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Applying for a statement for a child currently home educated? Is this possible?(21 Posts)
Asking on behalf of a friend.
Her 13yo DS (who has dyspraxia, hypermobility, ADD and possible ASD) has been out of school since Yr6 of primary. She deregistered him to HE after being told by the school there was no chance of him getting a statement - she was not happy to send him into secondary without one as he is vulnerable and very much in need of additional support not just in lessons but at breaktimes and between lessons.
They have been looking at the possibility of him returning to school recently and went to visit local secondary a few weeks ago. He was offered a place which they did not accept as there was no additional support and no school transport (essential for various reasons) available for him as he does not have a statement.
She's now been contacted by the EWO saying she must go to a meeting at the school about his educational needs with the threat at the bottom that the letter may be used as evidence in court I've offered to help her compose a response and to go to the meeting with her if necessary. I'm an ex HEer so know a fair bit about that side of things, and have learnt a massive amount about the SN side of things from MN.
But, I am struggling to find out if its possible for her to apply for the statement herself whilst he is still HE so that he does not have to go into school completely unsupported and suffer to prove that he needs extra help - google is proving unhelpful as its just telling me about HE if a statement is already in place which isn't the question. She is in Wales if that makes any difference.
Contact your local parent partnership for advice. As far as I am aware parents can request an assessment for statement whether they are HE or not.
IPSEA website has model letters for statement applications.
She needs to put in a written request for a statement as a matter of urgency. If it's not in writing she never asked for support, likewise if she didn't go through the correct channel of red tape. (bluergh!). It needs to be addressed to the director of children's services and copied to the HT and the chair of the governors.
She then needs to keep a copy of this letter on file.
After that a phonecall to the borough educational psychologist is in order - asking him/her to come out and do an assessment of her child's school support needs. Keep it informal and follow up with a nice chatty email recording what was said and inviting the EP to this meeting at the school.
It is perfectly acceptable to then email the EWO to ask what the expected outcome of the meeting with the school is and to ask the EWO how sshe's going to help her get that statement ; )
At the meeting with the school bring along a one page sheet of what support it is she feels her child needs to form a springboard for discussion. Also take along a few copies of her child's diagnosis and a friend to take notes of what is said.
If she is clear in her own head that the education she has provided to date meets her child's needs then the EWO won't be able to pull the meeting off course with nonsense & the meeting can stay focused on what support is needed in the school environment iyswim.
Thank you both very much.
Unfort. there is no paper trail. Friend has dyslexia and struggles with letters hence me offering to help with this.
The meeting is on Tuesday - she only got the letter yesterday. So very little time to respond and get things in order. Will read through suggested sites after breakfast (on phone atm) and then probably have even more questions...
She has time to write the statement application letter today. Post it and take a copy to the meeting.
It doesn't have to be massively detailed as all it asks for is for the LA to ASSESS the child's needs. They have 6 months then to do so, and she'll be asked for her views on this further down the line. A one pager as per IPSEA's example letters is all that's needed.
Monday she can phone the EP and take notes of what is said. Likewise she can email the EWO asking what the expected outcome of the meeting is to be.
What's she's doing right now is starting the paper trail. I know Tuesday isn't much notice - that's done on purpose to put her on the back foot .
If he has dyspraxia she should use the meeting to formally request an OT assessment as he may be entitled to use a laptop in class/ extra time in school exams etc and it's an OT who can work this bit out. It's worth asking her GP about this even if she continues to home ed as he's getting to GCSE age. (she can ask the GP after the meetings over when she has a bit more free time).
Thanks so much (again!)
Writing a letter right now, going to see her tomorrow to finalise it and get it printed and sent. The meeting will have to be rearranged as I can't make the time its at, and she isn't happy to go without someone there for support/note taking/fist waving if necessary.
I applied for and received a statement for my 14 year old son this year, after five years of home educating. Like your friend, I too was told that it was pointless applying for a statutory assessment while he was still in school as he wouldn't get one. He doesn't get any practical support with the statement (my main aim in applying was to document a history of need which I can use for college applications when the time comes) but he would be quite well supported if he did have to return to a school setting.
Education Psychology is a statutory service that anyone can apply to, regardless of how they are educated (school/otherwise) so your friend is well within her rights to make the application.
Your friend is lucky to have you to support her .
Thank you streaky Ed Psych is on the list of people we are going to ring when I go round later.
I have one more question - how do I find out who the director of childrens' services is, and where they are based? I'm looking but not finding anything other than email addresses. Is it a ring them up and ask job?
All I'm finding out so far is that they are currently recruiting for a head of childrens services...
Your CAB should be able to tell you, I would think. They do under different titles depending on your LA - in this case you might want to look under Special Needs services, Pupil and parent etc. In my LA, this information is on the last page a logical person would expect to look .
I don't know if it's of any help but initially I went through my MP as I had other issues that weren't going anywhere. I'd had a rotten relationship with our previous Director of Learning and the MP told me he'd been replaced, and set up a meeting for me with the new chap. He was the one who got the ball rolling with the EP, though to begin with this was for assessment for exam access arrangements. Once I'd pinned her down she encouraged me to apply for SA and came to visit again to do the formal assessment a few weeks later.
There are a range of ways around the system, you just need to find the one that works in your favour.
Returning to this to ask for more advice...
The LEA responded with some forms that she signed and returned but they have today emailed to say that they will not proceed with the statement process without an EP report, but that as her DS is currently home educated their EP will not get involved. End of.
Is this correct? Parents are on benefits (one disabled, the other a registered carer for 2 of their other DC who have severe SN) so no chance at all of a private EP being a possiblity...
No that's not true.
Has your friend read the 2007 Guidelines for Home Education?
The LA should be working with families of children with SN to provide the relevant services, including access to Ed Psych. I'm sure I've got the legislation around here somewhere and will get back to you when I find it.
3.23 A parent who is educating their child at home may ask the local authority to carry out a
statutory assessment or reassessment of their child's special educational needs and the
local authority must consider the request within the same statutory timescales and in the same way as for all other requests. Local authorities should provide information to
home educators detailing the process of assessment and both local authorities' and home educators' responsibilities with regard to provision should the child be given a statement.
The views of the designated medical officer for SEN should be sought by the local authority where a child with a statement is educated at home because of difficulties related to health needs or a disability.
Not sure what is meant by 'designated medical officer' but someone from the LA should be called upon to assess the child's needs and this may well mean the EP.
Your friend should also look at ed yourself and make contact with Fiona Nicholson for excellent advice in this area.
Ah streakybacon epic x-post, don't think I'd refreshed after all! Sorry and thank you so much! Will read it properly now
QOFE I have PM-ed you.
The LA is messing your friend around. There might not be many EPs left and therefore home educators would routinely be denied access to EP for advice or help, but as part of statutory assessment process that's different.
I can tell you various ways to complain about this but best if I knew more about where your friend is.
Yes, you can apply for a Statement and should ASAP.
Yes, you should gain access to Ed Psych and potentially other services.
OT comes to mind to help hypermobility and I'm guessing other issues too. OT might be accessed through NHS though.
In principle, with the new EHC plans coming as well. You might qualify for a personal budget for parts of the costs of home ed which ocme under the EHC. Also applicable if you can convince a school about part time placement to start with.
Part time initial placement might be an idea to run with in any case.
ADD and dyspraxia with needs should gain a statement, though it can vary. Also, potentially go back to doctor for a confirmed ASD diagnosis will strengthen needs case and might then qualify for a certain number of 1-1 hours on Statement, If you get those 1-1 hours you could use them in school or potentially eventually use them in home ed depending on the arrangement
PS Wales might have sthg different wrt to new EHCs though, I don't recall.
Thanks again everyone, its all really helpful.
FionaJNicholson I have now emailed you more details.
Can you use the TA budget for therapy if home edding?
what's the email for FionaJNicholson?
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