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Can I refuse to let LA EP assess DS (transition to EHCP related)

(9 Posts)
zen1 Tue 09-Dec-14 23:13:31

It's 10 months since the LA conceded just before tribunal and we finally got the provision we wanted on DS's Statement. He is only in year 1 (so not a priority year for transfer) but the LA want to transfer him to an EHCP in a couple of months. We had him assessed privately for the tribunal process and reports are just coming up to a year old). SENCo has informed us that the LA have arranged for an EP to come and assess him just after term starts in January for the purposes of providing a report for transition, despite the fact that the the LA's own transition plan states, 'it will not usually be necessary to seek updated professional advice as the child or young person already have relevant support through their statement of SEN.'

I feel uncomfortable about why an EP has been sent in (school haven't called them in. DS has a very good statement and has made good progress due to having f/t 1:1, weekly OT and SALT. I think they'll want to try and cut back in his provision, but he won't cope if they do. So, can I refuse?

NoRunAround Wed 10-Dec-14 09:41:49

SENCOP 2014 9.47 is relevant here,

The local authority should consider with the child’s parent or young person and the parties listed under paragraph 9.49 the range of advice required to enable a full EHC needs assessment to take place. The principle underpinning this is ‘tell us once’, avoiding the child’s parent or young person having to provide the same information multiple times. The child’s parent or the young person should be supported to understand the range of assessments available so they can take an informed decision about whether existing advice is satisfactory. The local authority must not seek further advice if such advice has already been provided (for any purpose) and the person providing the advice, the local authority and the child’s parent or the young person are all satisfied that it is sufficient for the assessment process. In making this decision, the local authority and the person providing the advice should ensure the advice remains current.

If you haven't already done so, it may be worth asking the responsible LA officer why an EP assessment is required, as in your view, the existing advice remains current. You are right to be suspicious though, as LAs usually guard their limited EP resources!

zen1 Wed 10-Dec-14 09:51:24

Thanks. I have asked the SENCo (who is in favour of directly transferring all provision as it stands to EHCP) to contact them and find out why the need for further assessment, given the wording in 9.47. I am trying to work out the excuses the LA may use for 'not being satisfied' with the current advice, but I know from experience how manipulative they are. They (LA) have asked for Salt report too. I don't know whether to pre-empt them and book my own specialists again, but I was hoping to avoid this having only just gone through the process.

Icimoi Wed 10-Dec-14 13:32:46

They're likely to say the advice is out of date. It may help if the school can say that in their view it is all still relevant. If he's getting SALT at school, you could suggest simply that the SALT concerned could give an update rather than going through a full assessment.

If they insist on going ahead with the assessments, and if they come up with recommendations for reduced support, you should ask that the EP/SALT say what has changed since the tribunal and why that translates into needing less support. If they are arguing that the extra support is no longer needed because ds has made progress, they need to be required to give chapter and verse as to why they think that progress is sufficiently consolidated after less than a year.

zen1 Wed 10-Dec-14 14:53:29

That's helpful, thanks ici

billiejeanbob Thu 11-Dec-14 05:02:56

Can you not refuse the EHCP transition?

zen1 Thu 11-Dec-14 17:06:43

I don't think so as they're planning to do the transition at his annual review which is in keeping with the legislation.

billiejeanbob Thu 11-Dec-14 18:34:39

I could be wrong but I thought for this year only parents have the right to refuse the EHCP transition. Might be worth checking with IPSEA?

zen1 Thu 11-Dec-14 20:53:51

I think it might only be if you have a DC in Year 6.

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