Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
LEAs - Haringey/Buckinghams
I wonder if anyone has any thoughts or experience on differing LEAs (in the ongoing EHCP assessment for my DD).
Our local LEA in London refused to assess my DD last year, we appealed and they finally agreed to assess. We are coming to the end of the assessment process and will find out whether they will issue a plan soon. With all that is said in the LA and independent reports, you would think we would get a plan including one to one, SLT and OT but I know that nothing is as simple as that.
We are intending to name Egerton Rothesay as a preferred school and would be prepared to part fund that. Ultimately we would move house to be closer to the school and the main options are either Hertfordshire or Buckinghamshire. Ideally we would transfer to one of those counties after agreeing something with our LEA in London.
From what I hear, Hertfordshire is a very difficult LEA and Buckinghamshire is better. But that is only what I hear.
Does anyone have any experience or even thoughts on our strategy and on the various LEAs mentioned.
Thanks as ever.
I don't have experience of those LA's personally, but I've heard that Bucks is as difficult as Herts when it comes to SEN provision, particularly if you were to end up in a tribunal situation.
Last I heard, Buckingham used a certain firm of solicitors for tribunals who have, shall we say, an interesting reputation. To be avoided if at all possible.
I know Herts. Not good, although I did hear that they have stopped using a certain firm of solictors which may help.
Don't know Bucks, but if they use that firm, it will be tough.
Egerton has a good reputation - have you asked them which LAs have placed their kids without a Tribunal? Also maybe ask them which areas they already have transport set up for that dc could share
I would certainly not get a statement/ECHP finalised naming an indie ss in one county and then after it's been made final, move to another county afterwards. You will have a tremendous struggle keeping the school placement between LAs. Yes, it can be done (and does get done), but the new LA may (or may not) decide to fight you all the way. It would be in the lap of the gods if they did or did not decide to fight you.
My DS is in an indie ss in another county to my home county. I just wouldn't risk moving.
Can you get dc firmly through the door of Egerton, maybe for a year, and then move?
Watford gets its education services from Herts, iirc
Well that doesn't help.
Barnet are very keen to have everything in borough, so that doesn't help either.
How does Egerton survive?
Forgot to add - I don't know much about Bucks or Haringey, but I do know that these are currently two of the key team objectives for the relevant part of Herts LA:
"- A maintenance or increase in the % of children and young people with SEN having their needs met without statutory intervention"
"- Children and young people receiving full time education in a local school or setting as close to home as possible"
They're likely to fight you if you go to Herts. If nothing else, because meeting these targets is probably the team's only hope of getting any sort of pay rise this year.
Herts fight every stage imo
So it takes a year to get through refuse to assess, a year to get through refusal to statement, and a year to get the statement right.
Thanks everyone. We are too far away for dd to go to egerton without moving. It seems to be the perfect fit for her. I don't know if haringey will agree it or indeed any provision so maybe I'm jumping the gun.
Yes I will speak to egerton about LAs that support their dc at the moment. Ironic that it is situated in Herts when they seem to be so difficult.
I've heard very mixed experiences with Bucks. With a clued-up SENCO there can be some really good statements. The Specialist Teaching Service is stretched but has some fantastic practitioners. It certainly has a better reputation than Herts but I'd say a clued-up SENCO really is the key.
Getting an indie placement can be difficult. It can be done but I know of several families who had to go to tribunal, two to JR.
im in Northamptonshire and thinking of naming Egerton for Sept 2015 (in the middle of a tribunal) Its an hour or so for my son but there is nothing else out there for him. Anyone else out there in my neck of the woods to poetentially share travel. Egerton has mini buses and you only need a couple of children in an area and the kids can be bused in. happy to chat more about my 11 year old and experience of Northamptonshire LA and Egerton.
one of my friends moved from herts to here as her experience was so bad - she was dragged to tribunal each time and sadly she lost both times and was financially in dire straits so moved her as we are more north and thereby cheaper I guess. her story alone and what she went through is enough to make sure I would never move to herts. whether things have changed now I don't know as she went through it all about 2 years ago
Does this help?
DFE has released national Stats on Statements of SEN & EHCPs. www.gov.uk/government/statistics/statements-of-sen-and-ehc-plans-england-2015 … #SEN
I have looked up the statistics in the tables and worked out the probabilities.
I have fought it every step of the way with my third Tribunal looming have to for the kids sake.
I live on Herts and had no problems getting an EHCP, I must be one of the lucky ones.
I would also like my son to go to ER. Not ready to face that battle and he is doing very well in his mainstream primary school at the moment.
We used to live in Bucks and looked seriously at getting DS into Egerton Rothesay. Do speak to the ER admissions lady, Mrs M - she is really friendly and very knowledgeable about the admissions process and ER's relationship with the different LAs.
Bucks can be a total nightmare and that's why we eventually left the county. We had no trouble at all in getting a Statement but they then refused to agree that DS was struggling in mainstream with 1:1 support. Our mainstream headteacher told us that a child has to be seen to be failing before the LA will consider placing them at ER or similar provision. (Yes, really!) I believe they can be 'nicer' than Herts, though, I think it depends a lot on who your case officer is and how much in agreement they are with you on the needs of your child and how those needs can best be met. You may well face a fight to get ER named on your child's EHCP, as they'll almost certainly want to explore state mainstream provision first. Good luck! X
If I had a kid with SEN and I lived in Herts, I would move all my possessions by hand cart if I had to.
Check with ER and see which LAs their kids are from. See if they have any feel for which LAs put up the hardest fight.
Thanks all. Yes the registrar and newish statementing officer at ER have been helpful.
Our latest is that Haringey have issued dd's draft EHCP - it's more or less as we drafted but they have removed the written reference to 25 hours one to one support. The panel say that have agreed the cost of that but removed the wording. So annoying as we argued so much about it during the process. I just kept reading the relevant part of the SEN code of practice at our meetings. They so desperately don't want to agree quantified provision.
We are going to name ER as our preferred school and no doubt will have to appeal then try to agree some part funding arrangement. Then move to Bucks which seems to be better than Herts on the basis of where dcs at ER live.
So our fight goes on. I should be pleased that Haringey have at least agreed to a plan but I have the bitter taste of them firstly making us start a refusal to assess appeal and now taking out of the draft plan the quantified provision that the professionals all agreed on.
Herts do stick to the timelines though and paperwork protocols. So at least you can plan with some accuracy.
Their paperwork is full of illegal shite though.
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