Advice please - right secondary to be named on DD's EHCP, but LA won't pay learning support

(12 Posts)
pannetone Mon 01-Feb-16 14:51:43

Another thread from me to follow this one. Things are hotting up because the LA is meant to finalise DD's EHCP and name the secondary she will transfer to by 15th Feb.

This morning I got an email from the caseworker at the LA saying LA will pay termly fees at the indie MS secondary that is right for DD academically. BUT the LA says they won't pay for 2.5 hours of learning support a week and the school should cover as they are a 'nuturing, independent school' hmm. The school need paying to cover learning support.

Dd's need for learning/mentoring support is vaguely referred to in her dodgy EHCP so there isn't a question she needs it - though because the EHCP isn't specific, how much is a moot point.

Apparently I have 15 days to make 'representations' to the LA about naming this school. I'm happy with the school but DD needs learning support and speech therapy (which it isn't mentioned that the LA will cover at all), so what do I do now? Presumably I can't stop the LA naming the school even if paid-for learning support isn't in place.

OP’s posts: |
Ineedmorepatience Mon 01-Feb-16 16:07:10

Oh what a pain panne! Its great that they have named the school that you want but it seems like they are being awkward now!

What evidence do you have that she needs the 2.5 hrs of support? If it says it in a report then it has to go in!

What about the SALT, what is in the SALT report?

zzzzz Mon 01-Feb-16 16:24:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mum2anxious Mon 01-Feb-16 17:31:37

this might be completely irrelevant but have a look at this ' School funding reform arrangements for 2013/14' para 18.' For non sen places in independent schools where LA choose to place pupils in independent schools because of pressure on the state school places in their area, funding will be allowed from the schools budget…' and, 'Fairer schools funding:arrangements for 2015 to 2016'. both .gov website . i might be completely wrong - someone else might be able to understand it. I've had a long day.
It would appear they are allowed to fund some ' non sen' places at independent ms schools. So, that might be why they have removed the specified hours from the statement to allow them to fund this type of school ??? who can then put the therapy back in once the pupil is there?

pannetone Mon 01-Feb-16 18:00:55

Ineed Neither DD's statement or the proposed EHCP are specific about the amount of learning support but the draft EHCP in Section F provision says:- -regular programmes as advised by the SALT and delivered by a TA
- time to build relationships with staff and opportunities to meet regularly with a trusted adult in school
- support to begin to understand how she can problem sove situations she encounters throughout the school day
so I don't think 2.5 hours a week support is unreasonable.

The LA aren't mentioning any SALT therapy for when DD starts at secondary - they say it can't be specified now. They won't use the old report which led to 12 sessions per year on her statement, and they won't get a new report although they say the old one is out of date. Which is my woes on my other thread!

zzzzz I vaguely remember that there might be something in the Equality Act (2010 I think) that says all schools including indie ones have to provide reasonable adjustments for disability including 'auxiliary aids and services' without cost to the parent, but then it is a question of what it is 'reasonable' for the school to provide, which would have regard to their resources. Section F provision is much wider as it is provision to meet the best possible educational and other outcomes.

Hoping you get the school you want named for your DS zzzzz.

mum2anxious - I sort of see what you're saying but I wouldn't trust my LA to place DD in a school without agreed learning support, as they wouldn't put it in later. This already seems to be what they are trying to do with DD's SALT - refusing to specify it in her draft EHCP saying that it can only be sorted when she starts at secondary - but I am concerned at that point the LA will say she no longer needs it.

OP’s posts: |
AgnesDiPesto Mon 01-Feb-16 21:43:55

Just ignore them for now if they only name that one school (i.e. not as parental pref with a 2nd school of their choice also named) they will have to pay the fees the school charges

Just make your reps as you would anyway naming this school, giving reasons and then amend the draft EHCP with your wording in a different colour adding the name and the 2.5 hours LS in & send it back

The fees are a matter for LA and school to negotiate - I would send the draft ehcp to school too and give them a heads up so they can make sure they are clear with LA when they speak to them

if LS doesn't end up in the final you will have to appeal it or if LS is put in but they then don't pay it you can complain / go to LGO for failure to make provision

what you need is the school named as the only school and the 2.5 hours week specified

zzzzz Mon 01-Feb-16 22:07:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pannetone Mon 01-Feb-16 23:09:15

Thanks Agnes - I am (fairly!) sure that the LA is only going to name the one school - there isn't really an alternative given her mix of needs including an appropriate peer group academically. I will red pen the draft ECHP and return it to them.

The school has the draft EHCP and have gone back to the LA and again said they need paying to provide the learning support in DD's EHCP. They also want to know that DD will be getting speech therapy whether it's paid via the school or by the LA direct.

OP’s posts: |
OneInEight Tue 02-Feb-16 07:41:05

Perhaps a timely reminder that the LA are getting a bargain by placing in a mainstream independent as oppose to the specialist independent she would need at £90,000 / year if learning support is not given might be opportune. Oh and, of course, she would have to board adding even more £££££ as none sufficiently close to you.

Ineedmorepatience Tue 02-Feb-16 09:49:20

I still think if it doesnt specifically say that she needs the 2.5 hrs you are going to be hard pressed to get it in the ehcp!

I agree with one though, we miraculously managed to get the vague wording and hours specified on Dd3's statement after we mentioned that we had been in contact with some specialist provision but it would have to be boarding because of the distance! wink We had no intention of sending Dd3 as a boarder but it gave us leaverage and the opportunity to play them at their own game!

Keep pushing and dont forget once they have named the school you want and finalised the plan you will get the right of appeal so you could challenge the vague provision that way!

Good luck flowers

pannetone Tue 02-Feb-16 13:15:37

Yes, Ineed I am resigned to the fact that this is going to go to appeal. We didn't end up appealing DD's statement in 2014 because the LA agreed to a indie special school place, but with DD going to a mainstream secondary it is really important her support needs are properly specificed and quantified.

OneInEight yes, I can think of a couple of specialist independents I could suggest to the LA for DD - even though DD wouldn't need to board they are at least double the cost of this indie MS even adding on support fees.

OP’s posts: |
Ineedmorepatience Tue 02-Feb-16 13:44:47

Our biggest problem has always been that our LA insist on waiting until placements start to fail before they will act!

I wonder if it would be worth you saying that if they dont support her properly in the mainstream setting that its likely that she will need to return to specialist provision!

I really hope they dont force you to tribunal! I hope they are just trying it on to see if you will give in!

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