4yr old with EHCP refused place at special school for being non verbal(4 Posts)
It's for a friend that's really struggling with the process, so any help would be really appreciated.
Her 4yr old (Reception age) DS is in a mainstream school with an EHCP and 1-2-1 support. He has autism and is non verbal.
The LA sent a letter a few months back saying
*"The SEN panel has agreed that X's needs would be best met in a special school environment. We know your preference is for Y school (local special school), and we have added his name to the special school list. Y school currently have no vacancies but we will be consulting with them to see if they can meet X's needs"
Mainstream school have now told my friend that they have heard from the special school Y that they can't meet his needs as he is non verbal (he's only four?!!!), and have suggested another special school in a different LA (but under the same Academy trust) 6miles away from parents home - as opposed to the one on their doorstep.
Parents haven't received anything in writing yet to say this, nor have they heard anything from the LA or the special school directly, just from the mainstream school DS currently attends.
The special school specialises in Autism, and I can't believe they can refuse a child who at 4 is non verbal. Surely, with their support, it's likely he would improve hugely.
Is appealing this decision the next step? Does anyone know links/guidance on where to go from here? Parents are adamant they want local special school Y and not the one miles away.
Well, at the moment, it is all very 'chinese whispers' and you (or your friend) doesn't know if this has been said at all.
It may well be that the school is full. If there are no places, then they can't accept him. It might be that they know they are full, but know there is a space / are spaces in their sister school across the border. It is perfectly feasible that someone has expressed a personal opinion even that - for potentially a good reason, like them having better SaLT provision - they think the child might be even better placed there. However, for the moment, nobody knows. They need to wait and see, or contact the LA and chase up.
Out local special school specifically for children with Autism only has places for Reception aged 8 children a year - they have over 150 apply, so yes, the overwhelming majority get turned down and the school is in a position to only accept those who have the need that is most suited to the provision they offer.
If the LA agree that this child needs to be in a special school, they are acting unlawfully in leaving him in a mainstream school. If the one they're thinking of doesn't have places, they should consider naming it anyway, or look for alternatives including independent schools. I'd suggest the parent has a look around so that they can suggest names to the LA and push them to get a move on. Is your friend aware that if the LA name the school 6 miles away the (the LA) will have to provide transport?
My dd is the same age and non verbal and currently in mainstream with 1:1. We’re looking at a special school. I’d say to your friend to go back to the LA. If she’s heard it from the school and they’re as useless as ours chances are it’s rubbish. Has your friend visited both schools? LA have a duty to provide an education though it might not be your chosen provision. I’d contact Ipsea for advice but definitely speak to the LA.
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