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Stating my preference for special school rather than mainstream

(7 Posts)
Ollyoscar18 Fri 19-Jun-15 16:42:54

Does anyone know whether I need to provide reasons why I am choosing a special school for my DD as part of her EHCP? The LA are asking me to choose mainstream but it's clear from my visits/research in certain schools that they cannot or will not meet her SEN. Ipsea have advised me that I can state a wish for a special school but I don't know if I have to justify my choice. I'm keen to get things moving and want to avoid unnecessary delays as the whole Statement to EHCP prices takes so long!!

Ineedmorepatience Fri 19-Jun-15 16:52:38

Very good question olly I hope someone comes along to advise you!

I do know that if the LA refuse to name the school you want you have the right of appeal and this includes if you want an independent specialist setting.

Good luck flowers

Bowwowchikkawowwow Fri 19-Jun-15 18:57:29

As far as I am aware you just need to name the actual school.

The burden is on the LA to name parents choice unless
1. Unsuitable to the childs age, ability, aptitude or SEN.

2. Incompatible with the provison of
- the provision of efficient education of others (full)
- efficient use of resources ( parents choice would have to be significantly more expensive)

They are the only lawful reasons they can give.

The cannot say, your childs needs can be met in current school, parent preference over rides.
A school over the border cannot say, we save places for local children.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 19-Jun-15 19:05:54

Thats useful info bowwow smile

Icimoi Fri 19-Jun-15 21:33:14

It shouldn't take longer than 14 weeks to do the conversion from statement to EHCP.

OneInEight Sat 20-Jun-15 06:55:38

Definitely I would accompany the application with a letter explaining WHY mainstream would be incompatible with your daughters needs. You can win on two arguments (a) Special School is cheaper - which despite its higher basic costs it might be if you factor in need for 1:1 TA's etc in mainstream that might not be needed in special school OR (b) That mainstream is incompatible with your daughters needs e.g. large class sizes, lack of specialist teachers. The argument that special school is better does not tend to work if the cost is more expensive. For ds1 and ds2 we were successful in getting specialist placements due to "b" but the LA did try to persuade us to stick to mainstream for several months so be prepared for a bit of a battle. We did have to register an appeal for ds1's placement but the LA did concede eventually.

Ollyoscar18 Sat 20-Jun-15 20:09:06

Do you think I should take my DD along to the special school for a visit before I state my preference to the LA of afterwards? I know that it will be a long process as I think my preference will have to go before a panel and they sit every fortnight. And that's without any lengthy appeal that may be involved. I'm home educating at present, although the LA have agreed to fund 3 hours per day private tuition whilst the search continues. But I don't think this will be allowed to continue for too long as it's so expensive they remind me. Yet they were the ones who offered it in the first place!
It will be a very delicate process getting my DD to settle in a new school, and I feel that I want to start the process gradually with short visits. But I'm worried that, if my preference is rejected for some reason, I'm going to confuse my DD by taking her to a school that she may not end up joining.
I also think that a special school will best meet her needs, but worry about her feelings of self-esteem if she realises that she is in a class with other children who may have more obvious SEN and/or disabilities. She has struggled throughout mainstream and has no friends, no confidence and no faith in teachers because of the horrible way she was treated at school. We are hoping that we can turn a corner with her and show her that school can be happy, but we just need to get the right balance in terms of type of school etc. Hence my concern about how to gently start broaching the subject of a special school with my DD?

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