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Another SN Funding Question

(4 Posts)
Jaxx Wed 03-Jul-13 14:08:25

My LEA/LA is unusual. There are c10,000 residents, they estimate 1,000 are under the age of 19, but only 30 seem to use the primary state admissions system.

There is 1 state school. It is one form entry and about half of the students come from a neighbouring borough. The remaining resident children either go to 1 of 2 nearby Catholic Schools or another state school which is in a different neighbouring borough. There is no state secondary provision within the borough, although it is a partner in 3 academies in neighbouring boroughs which give resident children varying priorities in admission.

There are 4 private schools - 2 of which are actually run by our LA. I have not seen a breakdown, but a much higher proportion than average of children attend private school from within this borough.

I should probably just name our LEA, as there is really only one place it can be, but in an attempt to remain anonymous.....

How would devolved funding work in this kind of situation? The one state school receives a LOT of funding. The 2013-14 Schools Block per -pupil unit of funding is £8,594.55 - surely they aren't getting the SEN funding for the whole borough?

My son is 7 and received a statement when he was 3 after being diagnosed with Autism. His provision and needs have reduced since he was statemented, due to a very successful ABA program. I foresee a time he won't need a statement, but I am very aware things can go wrong in KS2 and will do whatever I can to keep it in place until we know he can cope with the increased academic and social demands.

I want to get the statement amended to name one the private schools (fees paid for my parents). I know there is no "right" for this to happen and I will need to make representations. I am concerned the LA will now be able to refuse simply on a cost basis as his provision is unlikely to cost much if any more than the £6,000 that would now come from a state schools notional SEN budget.

I can't claim his needs aren't being met in his current school - but due to the smaller class sizes and more structured environment, I believe his needs will be met better at the new school. This is in line with a recommendation made by an EP who assessed him a couple of years ago.

Any insight/information would be greatly appreciated.

claw2 Wed 03-Jul-13 14:56:17

I am a bit confused at LA funding 2 private school? and also if private school is named, do LA not have to fund? however advice given to me previously

Prove that it is the nearest suitable school

Prove that the school can meet his needs and that it is no more expensive than their preferred option which a tribunal might rule can also meet his needs

In ds case indi school have specialists on site ie SALT, OT, counsellors, I could have asked for transport as its out of borough etc

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 03-Jul-13 15:15:38

I think it might be helpful to put the funding argument aside to start with.

The Education Act says that a child is entitled to an education 'appropriate' to their SEN. This means that you are not entitled to the optimum educational options but just one which is appropriate (which means more than adequate).

If you can show that an LA presented option is not appropriate, and that yours is, then there is no need to look at funding. There is no cap on the amount which can be spent if there are no other suitable options.

If, however, there are other options which are appropriate and would meet your child's SEN, then it will be down to a question of resources which can defeat parental choice.

I think you are saying you think the current school is appropriate but you are not sounding entirely sure. If you have evidence that smaller class sizes would be a better option, you will need to argue that this is the only way your child's needs will be met.

If it is down to costs, you will have to measure the costs of the placements and take into account all the funding that keeps your child in his current school.

TOWIELA Wed 03-Jul-13 17:41:45

Whatever you decide, I would NOT recommend going down any path for a mainstream indie school for a child with SEN unless you are absolutely sure that indie school can totally provide your child with their particular needs. This is regardless as to who pays.

My child was in a indie school for 4 years and they totally failed him and caused more long-term problems than they solved. I have had to home ed him for a year (exactly today) to help with some of those problems.

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