Hope you don't mind me asking a question but I've been lurking a while.
I have a son who has a severe development delay and also health needs (he's on a ventilator when asleep). He's 2 now but developmentally is an 8 month old with a speech and language age of about 3 months.
He goes to a fab nursery but I wanted to start him in the local preschool at 3 (mainstream) in order to prepare for picking a school the year after? It's felt that cognitively he is stronger than his physical age and that his receptive skills are better than his expressive. He's also progressing through eyfs well. I need to know whether mainstream will cope with him or whether I need to look at a specialised school. Nursery agreed to apply for an ehc plan for us in preparation for preschool (everyone accepts he will need one and the paediatrician even wrote it in her last review).
I had a phone call today from nursery to say they can't apply as the birth to five service have a policy that you can't apply for an ehc plan until the year before they start school ie two months before I make decision on school. There is no way he could survive without one in place before he starts he has 1:1 supervision, all staff have to be trained in oxygen and ventilator equipment alongside the 24 other professionals he's involved in.
This is utter bollocks and illegal isn't it? I'm just so pissed off that I now have to apply myself on top of everything else I need to do. Can anyone point me int direction of case law in preschoolers and plans needed before start of placement?
You are absolutely right - this is not legal. Check out the IPSEA web site, click on EHC Needs Assessment and use the model letter to apply directly to your LA as soon as possible. Even if your LA refuse (illegally!) you will have a right of appeal to tribunal. A tribunal will rule on the law and have no interest in LAs internal (illegal) policies. Hopefully your LA will agree and the assessment will commence. IPSEA also have a really useful timeline on their site to show you how long the process must take. Some LAs are over running by months so it worth being clear about what they should deliver by when. Include as much evidence as possible from all professionals and yourselves when you apply. The process is difficult for parents even when it works smoothly so be prepared and all the best.
"I had a phone call today from nursery to say they can't apply as the birth to five service have a policy that you can't apply for an ehc plan until the year before they start school ie two months before I make decision on school".
Such blanket policies are illegal and should also be notified to IPSEA because they like to hear about such transgressions. Use IPSEA's website www.ipsea.org.uk