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EHCP - refusal by LEA to consult

(4 Posts)
mumsuz Fri 10-Jul-15 12:03:10

Just wondered if anyone had come across this?

We received our dd's draft Plan more than a month ago. We named an independent school for children with additional needs. I expected the LEA not to agree to it on the basis of resources etc.

But I thought they would first go through a consultation process. In fact, they have had couple of Panel meetings - the conclusion being that they say they will not consult with the school. The SEN Code of Practice and Act seem to say that they must consult but the LEA seem to think this is not the case because it is not a maintained school.

I might speak to IPSEA to see if they have come across this but just wondered if anyone else had faced this? I don't know if the process was different with a statement.

Thanks for any thoughts.

Bigbird69 Fri 10-Jul-15 18:17:25

Our son is at an indi school placed by LA. "Parental choice" played a big part in securing the place, along with the school writing to confirm they can meet his needs etc, cost too - we agree to transport instead of LA. From memory I think the school does need to be an approved department of education setting and I think various LAs have approved service providers etc. does your preferred school have other children placed there by the local authority? If it does they should have a working relationship with them and the school should be able to give you some advice. The LA's are notorious for trying to pull the wool over your eyes!

Fanon Sun 12-Jul-15 20:59:16

This is copied from a letters end to my LA by my solicitor, might be useful:
The parents also remind the panel that as well as having regard to their preference in accordance with s9 Education Act 1996 this is a EHC plan case and they must also have regard to s19 Children and Families Act 2014 specifically:

‘19 Local authority functions: supporting and involving children and young
people
In exercising a function under this Part in the case of a child or young person,
a local authority in England must have regard to the following matters in
particular—
(a) the views, wishes and feelings of the child and his or her parent, or the
young person;
(b) the importance of the child and his or her parent, or the young person,
participating as fully as possible in decisions relating to the exercise of
the function concerned;
(c) the importance of the child and his or her parent, or the young person,
being provided with the information and support necessary to enable
participation in those decisions;
(d) the need to support the child and his or her parent, or the young person,
in order to facilitate the development of the child or young person and
to help him or her achieve the best possible educational and other
outcomes.’

mumsuz Sun 12-Jul-15 22:39:22

Thanks both. Yes the school does have other funded children there and they have tried to help. After 4 weeks delay from when we stated our preference the school sent an email saying they were surprised my LEA weren't consulting and they could meet my DD's needs.

Looks like we will be appealing so the reference to the Act and taking parent's wishes into account is useful.

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