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Draft EHC plan ...nightmare

(23 Posts)
millimoohoo Mon 26-Jan-15 22:27:23

I have received a draft EHC plan and have until Thursday to comment and put forward amendments. My ds changed from ms to ss only 2 weeks ago so there's a lot that's in the plan which relate to his old school and some of the issues stated don't seem to be an issue anymore. I mentioned this to ss and they said its not unusual hmm I thought the EHCP were supposed to be forward thinking/planning so seems like a pile of crap to me. I never had a meeting with the school before he started ( I was so desperate as I pulled him out of ms and had been home ed for months) that i jumped at the chance and put him in there (don't shoot me!) but met senco who said all the right things but has since left ! I have been advised to rewrite the plan myself by independent advice person and make the outcomes SMART and quantifiable but don't know where to start. ss advised getting in touch with ed psych ?

Im being greedy but more advice sought......The la sent me list of ss schools but I have since found out about a independent school which la didnt have on there list hmm the school specialises in ASD and its fantastic, a million times better than where he is now. As secondary provision isn't named on his EHCP (he's currently yr 6) im going to request the inde school, are independents more expensive than maintained ? do you think I have a chance by citing ds would thrive there as its specialist ? also ds started talking about drugs and mentioned he thought other boys in his class come from 'tough areas'..this worries me, should I cite this in the EHCP? sorry for long ramble and list of questions..

senvet Tue 27-Jan-15 00:55:33

I think you can put off the deadline by asking for a meeting.

You may not actually much want one but it buys time.

Concentrate on the transition goal as it will take from now to then to get it

If you can afford any indie reports the book early to avoid disappointment. The Rolls Royce option is good EP SALT and OT.

Indie ss will be VERY likely to cost more than mainstream ss, but be sure to check just in case there are transport issues that make the cost difference less stark.

These cases have been won by parents without indie reports, so don't panic if you can't afford them. (and if you appeal and are entitled to legal aid they might pay).

Oh and the Bedgebury Foundation will contribute if you happen to live in Kent/Sussex

millimoohoo Wed 28-Jan-15 11:30:44

Thanks senvet I didn't realise I could call a meeting to delay, I read the codes of practice and there it was ! I have now asked for a meeting to bring in ds teacher, la, (not sure if I should request ed psych). The plan is so badly written, not quantifiable etc.. it was a nightmare. I am going to do my best to ensure that the professionals pull their finger out and do their job....useless gits grin

senvet Wed 28-Jan-15 14:22:23

great stuff
glad that is still in the new code.

If you are going to request an independent school you need to contact them and find out what their admissions procedure is, you will need an offer of a place from them for your son, my DS is in Year 6 and we're just going through this too, I'm expecting the finalised statement this week.

millimoohoo Thu 29-Jan-15 09:58:42

Thanks whoknows I have been to inde school and they have told me he could have a place based on his statement and their ability to meet his needs, do I need to have this is writing ? tbh I think the chance of la authorising a place at the inde are the same as me winning the lottery.. sad the sen team have told me it is much more expensive than the la ss, its also out of county. I know I need to prove why his needs cant be met where he is and all I have at the moment is the inde is asd specific (la ss is open to all who cant keep place at ms) la ss has dire facilities, I'm concerned about his peers (ds talked about cocaine after 1 week there) shock, and I don't like the atmosphere of the place. I don't think that would be enough for a tribunal somehow. I'm going to give it ago anyway, part of me wishes I hadn't visited inde it feels's what a brilliant provision looks like, but you cant have it sad i'm feeling very negative (realistic) about the inde.

Same here, even down to it being out of county, although it's nearer than any of our county maintained SSs, but I know other people with children similar to mine who have won places at that school through our county, so I am going to take it all the way. Have you got an advocate/solicitor/help from charity etc? Also have you had him assessed by your own experts (EP, SALT, OT)? If you'd asked me a year ago did I think I would have a chance of getting this placement I would have said "no way", but I have learnt such a lot along the way and know think I have a pretty good chance. I have had to engage a solicitor plus all the above experts to even get this far though. There is help available from some charities and Legal Aid if cost is an issue.

millimoohoo Thu 29-Jan-15 13:04:56

That's reassuring whoknows, the LA haven't refused the place yet although I know they will and im preparing for it. ds hasn't even had salt or ot assessments yet.. I have chased them up. There are mixed messages whether private ot and salt assessments are better, I don't know whether to pay or wait for nhs appointments. Sadly the la's ss is a lot closer to us than the inde so I cant use that. why does everything have to be a battle when u have an sen child, it drives me mad that I've had fight so hard just to get to this stage ! good luck with your battle .

Thank you. I have had private SALT, OT and EP done (I had to appeal against refusal to assess last year). They were vastly better than the ones the LA had done. However if you have got this far without them then you may be able to go further. Does your son require SALT and OT provision and has that been written into the draft EHCP? Indeed if these assessments haven't been carried out how would the LA know that he doesn't need them IYSWIM?

millimoohoo Thu 29-Jan-15 13:41:37

That's reassuring whoknows, the LA haven't refused the place yet although I know they will and im preparing for it. ds hasn't even had salt or ot assessments yet.. I have chased them up. There are mixed messages whether private ot and salt assessments are better, I don't know whether to pay or wait for nhs appointments. Sadly the la's ss is a lot closer to us than the inde so I cant use that. why does everything have to be a battle when u have an sen child, it drives me mad that I've had fight so hard just to get to this stage ! good luck with your battle .

millimoohoo Thu 29-Jan-15 13:59:43

oops wrong message..
yes whoknows ds definitely needs ot and salt assessments. Ive chased them up today, salt said that I had previously refused an if hmm paediatrician hasn't even referred to ot ! I have no idea how we have got this far without input from both teams. Draft EHC plan states that salt are no longer involved (?) and there is no mention of ot..

If I was you I would start getting some recommendations for private ones, contact them describing your situation, ensure that they are prepared to go to tribunal as witnesses and pencil in some dates in a couple of months time for assessment. You can always cancel them again, but getting them at short notice isn't easy.

senvet Fri 30-Jan-15 23:39:42

If I were in your shoes and had no money worries I would get indie OT SALT and EP reports, and get at least one expert to go to your chosen school and the LAs chosen school.

There are ways of getting help with the cost of indie reports:-

a) legal aid if you are eg low income and in rented
b) Bedgebury Foundation if you like in Kent/Sussex
c) if the indie ss has specialists they may have at least observed her and written it up which will help
d) someone mentioned private legal or medical insurance
e) getting hold of DLA could help with anything including paying for experts.

And polter does an amazing job of learning everything she can so that she knows as much or more than the experts so that she can do an excellent job for her dcs without indie reports.

Hope this helps

millimoohoo Sat 31-Jan-15 00:15:40

thanks senvet I am a piss poor, single mum in full time ed but ive just got dla so can fund private assessments if I have to. I feel like I haven't got much of a case for the inde if im honest. Ds is much happier at his present ss but from his experience in ms that isn't saying much. He's only been there a few weeks, I thought it was my only option as I didn't find out about inde until after I'd accepted the place. Surely I cant cite that inde has better facilities its not strong enough, inde has onsite ot and salt which current ss doesn't, again, don't think that would be enough. I know it would provide the best possible chance for ds to achieve his potential, could cite that I guess. I'm logging any incident that can work in my favour such as ds talking about drugs. I've started looking at private providers for assessments, again bit of a minefield unless anyone can recommend for the Cheshire area.
I have to say I have learnt so much reading this thread, its really has been invaluable smile

I'm busy today but will pop back with a few more comments when I get time. Definitely get the offer from the indi school in writing ASAP.

millimoohoo Sat 31-Jan-15 09:34:39

that would be much appreciated whoknows. I will ring them on Monday and ask if they could provide a letter.

Icimoi Sat 31-Jan-15 11:07:43

Things like on site SALT and OT could well be relevant, if it could be demonstrated that your son needs it. For some children just having, say, a SALT who comes in for an hour a week and sets up a programme in school isn't enough - they need a school where the SALT is on the premises and working with the teachers and children all the time. If your experts think that that would apply to your child and can produce reports explaining precisely why, you might be able to make a case for the independent school.

For SALTs, you could try Catherine Aldred - I think she's somewhere around your area.

millimoohoo Sat 31-Jan-15 11:54:05

thanks ici i've had a look at Catherine Aldred, service looks good but OMG so expensive, (the reality of private provision is sinking in) sad

I agree with Icimoi that inhouse SALT and OT are valid points, it's proving that your child needs them that is the tricky bit.

I'l tell you what I would do (bear in mind that I'm on statement not EHC plan, so the format might be different).

1. Get that letter from the school (email would do)
2. Request the placement in the correct section in your draft comments

I'm a little unclear, is his present school secondary as well? OR will he have to move anyway? Also is the indie SS secondary only or could he go now? You can always write "Existing School with Indie School from SEp 2015". Also I'm assuming you are in an area where everyone changes school at Year 7, not a middle school system.

3. Go through the draft and try and get it more specific.
4. Phone up your OT and SALT services and see what they can do for you, it doesn't hurt to try, maybe also DS's paediatrician if he has one
5. Don't delay getting the draft back in for too long, I'll explain why in a minute
6. Contact IPSEA, the charity for parents of DCs with SENs. Actually do this ASAP before sending your comments in. Also try and find out about legal aid.
7. Contact those professionals anyway, they may well agree to a short phone discussion with you as to what your situation is which might give you a few more pointers. Might be worth doing the same with specialist SEN lawyers / advocacy services. Also the HT of that indie school will have a lot of experience with all this and may be able to recommend local professionals that other parents have used.
8. You also need to look at why the existing school isn't good enough in social terms - is your DS for example, small, mild mannered, geeky, which sets them up as a potential bullying target? Is he having any problems there already? Is there an appropriate peer group for him to socialise with? IT's not all about the academic stuff by any means.
9. Start looking into the appeal process and maybe draft an application for that too.

The reason for not delaying too long is that I think it is highly unlikely you'd get this school named without going to appeal. You can't lodge an appeal till you've got the finalised EHC Plan which takes a few weeks after you send your comments in. In Feb all the other statemented/EHCPed Year 6's get their intended placement for secondary and many of those will be lodging appeals and booking up the independent experts. So the system will get busy.

senvet Sat 31-Jan-15 13:55:58

who is on the ball. Nothing I disagree with there

If you have an ASD type diagnosis NAS also do a scheme like IPSEA
The NAS one is 0808 800 4102

Once you are looking at an appeal then legal aid is well, well worth checking.

Someone on these threads had a government website where you can check if you might be entitled.

Even if you do not get your preferred school at Tribunal, if you can get the OT and SALT provision added to the EHCP, especially if it is specified and quantified that will probably be well worth it.

If you don't ask for your preferred school, you certainly won't get it. And the worst that can happen is that you end up with the same school you have now.

Good Luck

Icimoi Sat 31-Jan-15 16:37:47

This is the website for legal aid. There are now only two organisations doing legal aid in education, and if I were you I'd specifically ask for Maxwell Gillott. One of the big advantages is that you can get expert reports on legal aid.

senvet Sat 31-Jan-15 20:50:35

Maxwell Gillot have a really good reputation.
Fingers and toes crossed that it works for you

millimoohoo Sun 01-Feb-15 09:45:32

thank you all so much for your guidance and advice. whoknows ds's ss school covers yr5 - yr11 the indi has primary and secondary provision.
I have details for private assessments which i will contact 1st thing Monday, like you say whoknows i can always cancel at later date. Ds is down on nhs as an urgent case as he slipped through the net but don't know how long it will take. I don't think i can rush EHC plan through without ot or salt assessments as it wont be a true reflection of his needs (or could it be put on after draft finalised and before yearly review?) I have spent ages with an independent advisor going through draft EHC plan and trying to make it specific finally took senvets advice and called a meeting to give me more time. I've looked at what it takes to go to tribunal and scared myself, i thought it was stressful getting ds a statement and getting him out of ms, looks like the biggest fight is ahead of me !

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