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HELP - Applying for Statement myself

(14 Posts)
coogar Fri 07-Jan-11 14:20:57

Hi. Can anyone help with the following. My ds aged 7 is being assessed for ADHD in Feb on advice of school. I have been researching 'Statements' and feel he made need one. School are really pushing for a dx and say he needs extra help with his learning. My questions are:
1. Can I apply independent of the school?
2. How do I go about it?
3. Do I need a dx to apply
4. Is it better for me to do it or go through school?

He hasn't seen an EP via school, but we are paying for a private EP assessment appointment not 'till May.

Many thanks!

bigcar Fri 07-Jan-11 14:27:16

1. yes
2. here use their template letter.
3. no, it's done on need not dx
4. do it yourself so you are in control and know what the deadlines are for each step smile

coogar Fri 07-Jan-11 14:31:01

bigcar thanks for that. Does the school need to know what I'm doing and will they have to provide supporting documentation ie: education plans, report etc ? smile

bigcar Fri 07-Jan-11 14:45:37

you can tell them if you want, it's always good to try to keep them on side if they are generally good. The LEA will write to them for info but that doesn't stop you from including anything you already have.

sampepys Fri 07-Jan-11 14:52:28

School should have SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator). Talk to him/her about Educational Psychologist - if school has raised possibility of ADHD they should be able to call EP into the school to assess your son - that was what happened with my children (both have autism).

coogar Fri 07-Jan-11 15:59:25

Sam They've had a behavioral support teacher observe him and it was based on that they suggested ADHD. I've heard EP takes forever if done via school so thought I'd be pro-active. Should I ask them to ask for one anyway? We went for the private EP as we hoped that would be independent of an LEA's 'purse strings' iyswim. We wanted an independent and non-biased assessment. bigcar I will mention to SENCO and I do have a good relationship with school, so will ensure I keep them up todate on what I'm doing my end

StartingAfresh Fri 07-Jan-11 16:47:05

Coogar It is best to apply for a statutory assessment yourself.

Personally, I would wait until after the assessment in Feb to apply or tell anyone. I'm a suspcious thing and would want to know that there had been no pressure on the assessor to NOT diagnose. This is of course very unlikely but I do know of one case where this happened.

However, there is nothing to stop you from preparing the letter to be in a position to send off the application the day of the dx (if you get one).

It would be helpful too, at this stage to enter into written correspondance (email will do) with the school about their concerns, as well as send an informal note after every chat with them to clarify you understood what they are saying.

For example, you should not need a dx to get extra help with your learning. You should need extra help with your learning to get extra help with your learning.

So you might want to ask the school what he needs help with, so that you can try and work on some of those things at home. This will give you information to be able to help him, but also information for your application of SA, as well as 'evidence' if you need it to negotiate etc.

With the exception of holding off telling them you will be applying until after the dx, do try as much as is possible to have a good communicative relationship with the school. However, don't do this at the expense of your ds' education if it looks like it might go that way.

Toppy Fri 07-Jan-11 18:45:25

Hi Coogar - I have just applied for a SA for my DS (3, ASD dx) as I wanted to stay in control of the process

I called a lot of helplines for advice and found out that if the parent applies the LEA can turn down the request at the request stage but if the school applies the LEA HAS to carry out an assessment.

My LEA has a standard form for schools to fill out. As our nursery were supportive I managed to get them to fill in this form at the same time as my request and submitted them together along with copies of his nursery reports, IEP's and anything else I had (some SALT reports etc)
Make sure you do a good comprehensive list of your DSs needs and why they are currently not being met.

The other thing I found hugely helpful was this link which is not from my council but came up on a google search. Its sets out the criteria on which Barnet LEA decides whether to assess or not and feels a bit like reading insider info although it is not at all (it is all from the Code of Practice which whilst lengthy is THE guide book to Statementing really)

coogar Sat 08-Jan-11 20:12:51

Toppy that link was really informative .. an insight into how the LEA may work. It's given me more ideas how to apply effectively. Thanks to all!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 08-Jan-11 20:31:56

That link of Barnet's has really brought home to me how shite an authority they really are!. They don't want to statement any child at all!!.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 08-Jan-11 20:51:27

Hmmmm.

If I lived in Barnet I'd be running the contents of that particular leaflet past IPSEA!!. They've acted similarly before now too and have been rebuked for their actions.

Statements should be issued on basis of need, not some spurious criteria dreamed up by LEAs to save cash.

Toppy
re your comment:-
"I called a lot of helplines for advice and found out that if the parent applies the LEA can turn down the request at the request stage

Correct but parents can appeal the LEA's decision if they initially say no to a Statement request.

"but if the school applies the LEA HAS to carry out an assessment".
This is not unfortunately the case. Schools also have no right of appeal if the school make the Statement request and the LEA say no.

coogar Sat 08-Jan-11 21:54:45

I did think that doc made the process seem as if it could be "Mission Impossible"

Toppy Sat 08-Jan-11 22:36:09

I totally agree which is why I thought it was a very handy document to have - I had it on the left hand side of my computer as I drafted my request letter along with CoP.

Attila - my LEA Parent Partnership service lady told me the info about the educational setting's requests not being turned down. I'd be a bit pissed off if she was lying. Aren't PPSs provided and funded by the LA ?

StartingAfresh Sat 08-Jan-11 22:58:28

Toppy It's unlikely that she is lying, probably simply that she has received her training from the LA.

Either way she is wrong!

An LA can refuse a SA if the school apply. Fortunately, you seem to have all bases covered though.

FWIW I think that Barnet document is ridiculous. What in the world does this:

'The DfES Code of Practice and other relevant guidance? In what way has such guidance informed decision making at school or early years setting?'

have to do with the individual needs of a child?

Although I agree that given it is so awful, to have prepared a document that fits those criteria means you must have a pretty good and thorough application, but really, I can't imagine any but the most confident of parents believing that their child needs a SA after that lot!

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