Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
LEA Educational Psychologist's report but she hasn't met DS(13 Posts)
LEA agreed to assess and we've just received the EP's report. She has never met ds nor spoken to school staff. She said she needed to submit report within 6 weeks and because it's the school holidays she had to write the recommendations based on other people's reports.
We haven't got a recent independent EP assessment.
We are not happy about this at all. Any advice on what to do next much appreciated.
depends where you think you are going with this tbh.
if you are hoping to negotiate with just LA and not go to tribunal then email the LA and insist on an assessment.
however if u feel that you will be heading to tribunal anyhow then this could actually work in your favour. obviously you will need a indie EP report but the LA will not have any reliable evidence against you if their EP has not met your dc.
Extra time should be allowed for reports over the summer break as I understand it - effectively the clock stops for August and restarts in September. As billiejeanbob says though, this may well work in your favour as it gives you very good grounds for appeal, whatever the LA do next. You can appeal against a refusal to issue a statement and state in your reasons that your DS was not properly assessed and the LA can't be clear on his needs therefore, or you can appeal the content of any statement that is issued on the basis that the assessment was not comprehensive enough and therefore has omisions. Obviously you will need to provide in some form evidence of these omissions. You can bet if you lodge an appeal the LA Ed Psych will be straight in to meet him!
Has your DS been seen by another EP from the LA?
I ask because my LA called up an EP as a witness for them who had never met DS. My solicitor said that they could do this as DS had been seen by another EP in the same department 18 months prior and that the LA could use that assessment to support their case. The solicitor stated that because DS has been properly assessed by the previous LA EP then the new EP would just be expected to collate and present that information for the LA.
Thanks for all your comments.
I wish I knew what the LEA is planning to do! SENCO says DS needs full time 1:1 and that's the outcome she hopes for.
DS hasn't been seen by anyone from LEA apart from the autism advisory teacher who supported request for Statutory Assessment. We haven't got a recent independent EP report either, I didn't really know we were going to need one but after reading your comments I'm really worried we've made the wrong decision and now it could be too late to seek independent advice.
We've got the first meeting with the LEA mid September. I don't really know what to expect.
If you do end up appealing then the LA will look like idiots without a proper EP assessment.
If you do decide to go for a private EP report then they can be done very quickly. My solicitor cocked up with mine but we still managed to get a report done in the week prior to the final evidence deadline. The guy came down on the Tuesday to see me at home then DS in school and the report was written by the Friday!
its hard to say what to do until you know how this report is going to influence the decision - it maybe that they move and issue a statement or they may not - many years ago we moved and LA wanted a new EP assessment and they did it over the telephone - never met my son but I was able to use that for them to support my request for a special school as if they had refused I would have gone to tribunal and the LA wouldn't be able to argue back - as it was he got the special school placement so it was just really a tick in the box exercise by the LA. how long now before the LA have to let you know the outcome of the assessment?
We have the EHC plan meeting mid September and decision due end of September.
Given that it sounds as if the school and the autism advisory teacher would support a statement, the EP probably will anyway if she's relying on their reports. That makes it all the more important that her report be up to date and based on a proper assessment. Therefore I would suggest that you tell all concerned that you want a proper EP assessment and ask that it be arranged ASAP.
Don't panic about getting a private EP report at this time. Should you need to go to tribunal you will usually have a few months in hand to gather the evidence you will need and can arrange it at that stage.
If you haven't already do get in touch with IPSEA for advice and support through the process too. As the new plans are only just coming into existence it is a bit of a trial time for parents and LAs alike as to how to interpret the rules. LAs will try and swing it in their favour in many cases, but organisations like IPSEA will help you avoid these situations.
Thank you all for your advice. I will give IPSEA a ring and I'll let you all know how I get on.
My son is being assessed on Monday by EP. They are over the deadline now but this is because of the 6 week break. There was never a doubt that our LA would send an EP. I'm shocked they can write a report based on other peoples findings. IMO they are failing as the recommendations made by EP should be used in statement for your DCs ongoing support.
Thanks jerbil for your input. We asked the EP to see ds but she is away until mid September and the extra recommendations will be too late for our meeting with the LEA to discuss the EHC plan.The report is actually not bad and indicative of full time 1:1 but it's not the full picture as she hasn't meet him.
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