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Needs Assessment when transferring from Statement to EHCP?

(13 Posts)
bedelia Thu 07-Jan-16 22:07:31

Asking on behalf of a friend...

DC with ASD and complex needs is in process of transferring from statement to EHCP in readiness to start secondary placement in September.

LA have issued draft plan, which is frankly terrible. Aside from asking school to fill in a form, NO assessments have been made at all. There is not even any input from an educational psychologist. As such, the draft EHCP includes much out-of-date information about DC, very little in terms of relevant provision.

On the IPSEA website, it says:
"Transition requires, as a matter of law, an EHC needs assessment to take place under the new legal framework before the LA either finalises the EHC plan or makes a decision not to issue a plan. "

Which implies that the LA should have undertaken a needs assessment before producing the draft. Parents queried this with LA and requested assessments to understand DCs needs as he transitions to secondary. LA replied that it is unnecessary as DCs needs have not significantly changed.

Does anyone know where in the SEND COP/SEND Regulations this is mentioned? Parents are concerned that DC has not seen (let alone received assessment) from Ed Psych in years, and want to make sure of a reasonably good EHCP for DC's transition to secondary.

TIA for any advice.

pannetone Thu 07-Jan-16 22:32:57

I don't know the answer bedelia but my LA have done exactly the same for the transition from statement to EHCP. All I know is that the LA can only use exisisting reports with the parents' consent - which isn't the case for your friend.

The LA did not ask our consent to use existing reports. They haven't made any new assessments, though I was told the school were responsible for getting an up to date SALT report. I can see that the School needed to give feedback including speech and language progress/lack of in DD's annual review, but DD's LA caseworker was adamant the School needed to obtain a SALT report for the transfer to EHCP.

Now we have a draft EHCP which is almost entirely cut and pasted from the statement in which provision isn't quantified or specific. And like your friend's DC, DD is due to transition to secondary this year...

Ineedmorepatience Thu 07-Jan-16 22:53:37

Completely unlawful but its happening everyday!

The Code of practice says an assessment must be made unless all parties are in agreement that previous assessments can be used!

Book a call back from IPSEA or just try ringing the helpline! Or SOSSEN offer a helpline service too!

I can look for the actual part of the SENCOP in the morning! Pm me if I forget!

Anomia10 Fri 08-Jan-16 08:17:47

Information and advice to be obtained of EHC Needs Assessments
6.—(1) Where the local authority secures an EHC needs assessment for a child or young person, it must seek the following advice and information, on the needs of the child or young person, and what provision may be required to meet such needs and the outcomes that are intended to be achieved by the child or young person receiving that provision—
(a) advice and information from the child’s parent or the young person;
(b) educational advice and information—
(i) from the head teacher or principal of the school or post-16 or other institution that the child or young person is attending, or
(ii) where this is not available, from a person who the local authority is satisfied has experience of teaching children or young people with special educational needs, or knowledge of the differing provision which may be called for in different cases to meet those needs, or
(iii) if the child or young person is not currently attending a school or post-16 or other institution and advice cannot be obtained under sub-paragraph (ii), from a person responsible for educational provision for the child or young person, and
(iv) if any parent of the child or young person is a serving member of Her Majesty’s armed forces, also from the Secretary of State for Defence;
(c) medical advice and information from a health care professional identified by the responsible commissioning body;
(d) psychological advice and information from an educational psychologist;
(e) advice and information in relation to social care;
(f) advice and information from any other person the local authority thinks is appropriate;
(g) where the child or young person is in or beyond year 9, advice and information in relation to provision to assist the child or young person in preparation for adulthood and independent living; and
(h) advice and information from any person the child’s parent or young person reasonably requests that the local authority seek advice from.
(2) Where it appears to the authority, in consequence of medical advice or otherwise, that the child or young person in question is either or both—
(a) hearing impaired;
(b) visually impaired,
and any person from whom advice and information is sought as provided in paragraph (1)(b) is not qualified to teach children or young people who are so impaired, then the advice sought shall be advice given after consultation with a person who is so qualified.

(The SEN and Disability Regulations 2014 Section 6)

bedelia Fri 08-Jan-16 09:11:29

Thank you everyone this is really helpful smile

Anomia - Much appreciated! I'd looked at that section but wasn't sure on first reading that it would be relevant as it didn't specifically mention transfer from statement to EHCP. Looking again though, I'm pretty sure this is what my friends need to quote to the LA.

Ineed - No I sincerely doubt my friends would have agreed existing assessments could be used, there has been nothing new in years (they think DC hasn't seen EP since starting primary school!).

Pannetone - Yup, very similar story to yours. LA are trying to wriggle out of EP assessment by saying it's school's responsibility. It would have been a cut-and-paste job, except that some of the provision from statement has been removed, and there is no mention of transport whatsoever. Which is very telling as LA website mentions a policy about "travel training" and phasing out transport confused

I think they're calling IPSEA today, and will mention SOS!SEN in case they can't get through as it's very close to the 15 days after draft was sent.

Thank you all for your help!

GruntledOne Sat 09-Jan-16 18:38:27

It's in the Transition regulations (called something like the Children and Families Act 2014 Transition and Saving Regulations) and the departmental advice which the DfE issued. I'm pretty sure there's a link from the Ipsea website. Sorry, got to go out, no time to check the exact details!

GruntledOne Sun 10-Jan-16 12:21:58

Right, found it now. The Transition Regs are here and you want paragraph 14:

14.—(1) This Article applies to a child or young person to whom this Part applies, other than a
child to whom Article 12 applies.

(2) Paragraph (3) applies to the child or young person if during 2016 or 2017—
(a) he or she is expected to transfer to a different phase of education, or
(b) he or she comes to be in year 9.

(3) The local authority that maintains the statement for the child or young person must secure that an EHC needs assessment for him or her is carried out and concluded—
(a) where the child is expected to transfer to a post-16 institution in that period, before 31st March in the calendar year in which the transfer takes place,
(b) where the child or young person is otherwise expected to transfer to a different phase of education in that period, before 15th February in the calendar year in which the transfer takes place, or
(c) where the child comes to be in year 9 in that period, before the child begins year 10.

(4) If the child or young person falls within paragraph (2) more than once in that period—
(a) paragraph (3) requires an EHC needs assessment for the child or young person to be carried out and concluded before the earliest date that is applicable to him or her under that paragraph, but
(b) that paragraph does not require more than one assessment to be carried out for him or her in that period.

(5) If the child or young person does not fall within paragraph (2) in the period mentioned in that paragraph, the local authority that maintains the statement for the child or young person must secure that an EHC needs assessment for him or her is carried out and concluded before 1st April 2018.

(6) For the purposes of this Article a child transfers to a different phase of education if the child transfers—
(a) from relevant early years education to school,
(b) from infant to junior school,
(c) from primary to middle school,
(d) from primary to secondary school,
(e) from middle to secondary school,
(f) from school to a post-16 institution,
(g) from mainstream school to special school, or
(h) from special school to mainstream school.
(7) This Article is subject to Articles 16, 23 and 28.

GruntledOne Sun 10-Jan-16 12:28:00

The guidance is here.

5.6: To transfer a child or young person from a statement of SEN to an EHC plan, a local authority must undertake a Transfer Review. This will require them to undertake an EHC needs assessment under section 36 of the 2014 Act. The Transfer Review will allow for outcomes to be developed for inclusion in an EHC plan and provision identified to support the child or young person to achieve those outcomes. Until the Transfer Review is completed the local authority will remain under a duty to maintain the statement of SEN and arrange the special educational provision set out in the statement.

5.8: To conduct a Transfer Review, the local authority:
must give at least two weeks’ notice of the Transfer Review;
must undertake an EHC needs assessment in accordance with Part 5 of the Transitional and Saving Provisions Order 2014;
• must have regard to the 2015 Code in undertaking the EHC needs assessment; and
• must ensure that the child’s parents or the young person are invited to a meeting to contribute to the Transfer Review, in advance of the EHC plan being finalised.

So it's very clear that it's the LA's responsibility, not the school's, and they don't have a choice if the parent doesn't agree to old reports being used. I suggest your friend emails the LA now quoting the regulations and guidance and asking for immediate confirmation that they will fast-track assessments to ensure that they meet the mid February deadline.

pannetone Tue 12-Jan-16 18:12:44

Thanks for the guidance Gruntled.

I am furious todayangry Having provided a SALT report (which I now know wasn't my responsibility to obtain) the caseworker has removed the number of SALT sessions (it did specify 12) so now it says 'with sessions of direct therapy per year' which doesn't even make sense.

It isn't an error - caseworker says it is because the SALT report used for the original statement was done in early 2014 and is now out of date. The one I just had written doesn't specify the number of sessions because DD's primary area of need is selective mutism, and the SALT DD has been seeing isn't experienced in SM and can't do the transition work she needs for secondary.

So the LA say the old SALT report is out of date but aren't getting a new one for the transfer... The caseworker also seems entirely hung up on the idea that it won't be possible to determine DD's SALT needs until she gets to secondary whereas given her selective mutism and ASD it is fairly easy to work out that she will need a fair amount of support given her anxiety about transitions.

I will ask the LA to get a new report but if they refuse I suppose I have to let them finalise the EHCP and then go to appeal...

sazale Tue 12-Jan-16 23:07:37

You might find this info/model letter from ipsea useful

pannetone Wed 13-Jan-16 14:48:02

Thank you sazale - useful info - now just got to get my LA to play by the rules hmm. The caseworker is currently saying that the SALT reports produced by the school haven't got enough info and this justifies removing the previous 12 SALT sessions in the statement. They are ignoring the fact that the LA has a duty to get an up to date assessment if necessary, so I have just emailed again telling them that duty can't be delegated to the school.

GruntledOne Thu 14-Jan-16 15:18:47

This caseworker is utterly stupid. How on earth can she justify an argument that they haven't got adequate evidence and therefore that justifies taking support away? It may be worth going to her superior and suggesting that she urgently needs training.

pannetone Thu 14-Jan-16 16:34:31

Yes Gruntled - I asked for my email yesterday to be passed to the departmental lead... Not heard anything today though.

Unfortunately I am just starting the transfer process for my DS as well - though a different caseworker. This time the letter informing me the Transfer process is beginning says that the process is to decide whether DS's statement needs to be transitioned to an EHCP. Not a promising start...

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