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Is it a con? EHC Assessments

(15 Posts)
SensibleIshoos Mon 02-Feb-15 21:45:15

Theoretically speaking...if a school is doing f-all for a child, and the parents apply for an EHC assessment because their child is all over the shop, the assessment can be turned down, because there isn't evidence that the school have done all they can within their ability and budget to meet the child's needs.
So, you start off getting f-all because the school are rubbish, and can't get assessed because the school are rubbish.
Tell me that can't be right?!? Am I missing something? Afterall, some schools are frankly cr%p at recognising and providing for SEN.

fairgame Mon 02-Feb-15 21:48:31

No that pretty much sums it up!
I work in a primary school at the moment and the LA had told the Senco that they can't apply for an ech assessment until the child has been in school for a year. The Senco actually believes this is genuinely true angry

senvet Mon 02-Feb-15 23:04:16

One option is to do your own assessment and show that the likely cost of provision is beyond what is normally available to schools in the area...

The school's performance then drops away.

I must go and check that this is still the case in the new code - it was the case under the old one

maggiso Tue 03-Feb-15 09:31:23

Has applying for the EHC put any pressure on the school to pull their socks up?
This merry go round of neglect happened to us with the older system (statements) so I am so sorry to hear it is still the case. We got together lots of evidence and applied ourselves pointing out the things that ds needed (according to the professionals and us) and pointing out where the school/LEA/system were seriously failing our child. We did go to the expense of getting a private Edpych report done (school refused this as the LEA Edpych had given a preliminary screening at age 4 which the school/LEA seriously misinterpreted as meaning he did not have LD - he has severe LD so not exactly borderline!) which was both accurate and shocking. It took a while to get all the evidence together, so in the meantime you will need to try and get school to up their game.
I am not familiar with the new system, but we got help from SOSSEN, and I downloaded information from IPSEA. Theoretically IPSEA has a good support telephone line - which is difficult to get through to - but its worth trying. Good luck

ouryve Tue 03-Feb-15 10:06:43

You can appeal a refusal to assess - even if the school aren't doing assessments because they're deliberately being ostrich-like, every little bit of evidence that you have that needs aren't being met counts.

SensibleIshoos Tue 03-Feb-15 10:33:39

Hmm. Thanks, I think!

So, gather evidence of needs, then show how school aren't meeting them. And go to school first (again?) with this evidence, or straight to Appeal?

Oh, and I've looked at the ctiteria that my LA has for 'qualifying' for an EHC assessment. At age 11, they have to be a NC level 1B or lower. Surely that is too low? I would hope if a child was at 1B at age 11, they would have had a Statement/EHCP before then? What if they are higher than this, but struggling with emotional/mental health issues? Also I've just seen that the assess-plan-do-review thing has to go on for two terms before it is considered evidence, so there is a built-in delay? Argh. Shoot me now.

It just seems tipped away from supporting vast numbers of children. The document talks about 'exceptional need' and 1st centiles. Is this all they can offer - statutory support to those only on the 1st centile FFS? Is anyone going to qualify for these plans??

maggiso Tue 03-Feb-15 12:11:18

I agree entirely! There is supposed to be a graded response to support all children with additional needs. Theory and practice can be very different.
If you just been turned down, contact IPSEA urgently, ready to lodge an appeal if you can. I am afraid I did not do that when ds started school (I did not know I could) so am not familiar with how etc (or the new system), but I think there is a fairly tight deadline for appeals. I thought blanket policies were illegal. 1b at 11 may be their guidelines for LD alone but are there other grounds such as language, emotional and behavioural, medical etc. We actually applied on language because we had NHS documentary evidence that ds was below the 1st centile for this - he is also below the 1st centile for learning but did not have that evidence till later, and we had already been turned down 2 years earlier as 'not having LD!'.
Hopefully others will be up to date with the new system.

bjkmummy Tue 03-Feb-15 12:21:34

the 1b stuff is a red herring but often given. at my refusal to assess appeal my senco started to twitter such nonsense and the judge shot her down in flames saying they were not interested in such policies and it was the law they would be looking at. I think the new code still states that such blanked policies are illegal - as it is we did win our refusal to assess as we could show she was not making adequate progress.

my LA then issued a NIL so back to appeal we went and at the hearing last week the LA then spouted that if we had applied for an EHCP she would have got one??!!! anyway they conceded so all good in the end.

im also holding a draft EHCP for my elder son who is transferring over - first draft dire so they issued a second dire draft - thankfully he is in a special school but the new plans are not good at all

senvet Tue 03-Feb-15 12:49:58

I've looked at the ctiteria that my LA has for 'qualifying' for an EHC assessment. At age 11, they have to be a NC level 1B or lower

This is utter bollocks. If any policy is applied to a child then they have failed to meet the requirement to treat each child as an individual. They are also seriously at risk of failing in their basic obligation to meet the child's needs.

Policies like this should be publicaly named and shamed
(where is ugger)

bjkmummy Tue 03-Feb-15 13:28:23

I have two sets of such written policies senvet - one for the LA my dd school is in and one set from our home LA.

my dd school LA are still saying it even today and after the bollocking from the judge - the senco didn't get the message the first time and was happy to spout it yet again last week if we had gone to a full hearing. she was visibly distressed after the last dressing down from the judge but clearly thought the judge must have been wrong and that she needed to still follow what her own LA were telling her.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 03-Feb-15 13:37:27

The problem is that they darent go against the LA's because who pays their wages at the end of the day!?!

So the blindly continue despite being told they are breaking the law!!

It is a nightmare!!

And yes OP, you have basically understood it correctly!! If the school refuse to put anything into place or keep evidence of any issues you have no way of showing rhat they have done everything possible to meet the child's needs!!

Dd3 has also fallen foul of this sad

senvet Tue 03-Feb-15 16:47:00

Don't forget that if a school is failing to meet your child's SEN that can be an issue for Judicial Review with legal aid assessed on dc's income and assets.

It is a lot clearer cut with a statemented child, but if you have documents eg from an autism specialist teacher saying what approaches should be used, and evidence that those approaches are NOT being used, then it must be worth a look.

And if evidence is scarce and they are not forthcoming with it, try a foi request.

The very fact that they have no evidence will be helpful for your case.

And of course, to get them busy just try a mere mention of 'we wouldn't want it to come to the LA legal department having to defend an action for judicial review when you are just too busy and overworked to do what they expect...'

It is the 'look busy the boss is coming' syndrome
Good Luck

ouryve Tue 03-Feb-15 17:01:48

It's probably been said already but At age 11, they have to be a NC level 1B or lower. is a blanket policy and is unlawful.

2boysnamedR Tue 03-Feb-15 17:28:20

My son is on the first centile, I'm still told he's too bright. Ffs - he couldn't be any worse.

Setting nc levels is illegal. So if your la say they have to be at year one level in year six - pure lies. Totally illegal.

I applied for statory assessment. It was refused, I appealed, they assessed and issued a nil. I appealed that too.

I was quoted that my child had to fall behind by at least two years before the school would act.

I said different.

It's standard to be told this. I don't even know if some people know it's illegal or they just know it makes most parents give up

2boysnamedR Tue 03-Feb-15 18:01:58

Our school isn't doing anything anymore. Ot goes in, gets ignored. Had to mention disability discrimination act and cc governors.

It never ends. Mentally wearing doesn't come close

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