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(32 Posts)
Shineyshoes10 Fri 12-Feb-16 14:44:23

If a child is out of school due to their mental health when do they stop being classed as 'sick' i.e. the LA only have to provide 5 hours of education and when do they start needing to provide full time education.

The LA are dragging their heels with providing anything. Firstly it was 5 hours after half term now it'll be March and I can't find an answer anywhere. No one will give me straight answer either. Is it purely down to what medical professionals say? If so which medical professional CAMHS or the community paed who has seen DS once and appears to report whatever the LA wants them to?

mum2anxious Fri 12-Feb-16 15:06:43

hello shinyshoes
does the child have any diagnoses? Do they have a statement/ehc plan?

Shineyshoes10 Fri 12-Feb-16 15:24:37

The school have applied for an EHCP, we've had all the assessments we're now waiting for the draft copy and a meeting in a couple of weeks.

He has PTSD which is why he's off school. He couldn't cope in school and his self injurious behaviour escalated. He also has cf and a few other medical problems.

mum2anxious Fri 12-Feb-16 16:05:42

Are LA keeping to time scale with ehcp - when do you expect to receive the draft? What exactly are they suggesting - 5 hours of 1:1 home tuition or what?

Are you saying the school is not suitable for his needs, or is it that he needs further input to help him in this school?

Shineyshoes10 Fri 12-Feb-16 16:41:16

The LA are within the timescales. The application went in at the end of last term. Yesterday the LA said we would receive a copy of the draft within the next 10 days.

Till the EHCP is finalised he's going to get 5 hours 1:1 at home when it eventually starts.

He needs a specialist placement- a whole other thread- everyone agrees on that. His current school have said they can't meet his needs regardless of what's written into the ehcp. He was receiving a high level of support in school anyway including a full time 1:1.

bbkl Fri 12-Feb-16 17:59:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Shineyshoes10 Fri 12-Feb-16 19:41:16

CAMHS have said he isn't to return to school until the ehcp is in place, which the LA agree with, because his current MS school can't keep him and everyone else safe. CAMHS also say he is well enough to receive 15 hours 1:1 education at home i.e. 5 mornings a week. However the community paed only recommends 5hrs.

It definitely feels like we're in limbo without an end in sight.

bbkl Fri 12-Feb-16 21:09:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GruntledOne Fri 12-Feb-16 21:45:27

There isn't any rule that the LA only has to provide 5 hours a week EOTAS for sick children.

The guidance is here. Note:

"LAs are responsible for arranging suitable full-time education for permanently excluded pupils, and for other children who – because of illness or other reasons – would not receive suitable education without such provision This means that where a child cannot attend school because of health problems, and would not otherwise receive a suitable full-time education, the LA is responsible for arranging provision and must have regard to this guidance."

" “Full-time education” is not defined in law but it should equate to what the pupil would normally have in school – for example, for pupils in Key Stage 4 full-time education in a school would usually be 25 hours a week."


"The law does not define full-time education but children with health needs should have provision which is equivalent to the education they would receive in school. If they receive one-to-one tuition, for example, the hours of face-to-face provision could be fewer as the provision is more concentrated."

LAs like to propagate a myth that 5 hours a week is all you're entitled to, but it really is a myth. I've heard it said that, provided the child can cope with it, a primary aged child should get at least 10 hours a week, and secondary aged child 15. I suppose it's a sliding scale between those two, i.e older primary aged children should get more than 10 hours. Things like PE should be provided on top, e.g. through taking them swimming.

I suggest you write to them quoting the above and section 19 of the Education Act 1996 and tell them that you want at least 10 hours a week home tuition starting immediately after half term, including proper SEN provision, and it should move to 15 hours a week as advised by CAMHS within say 3 weeks after that unless he's back in school; and if it doesn't happen you will have to take judicial review proceedings. If that doesn't work, contact the solicitor at SOS SEN to see if they can send a formal pre-action letter to the council.

Shineyshoes10 Fri 12-Feb-16 23:29:14

Thanks gruntled and bbkl

I'm going to do as you suggest gruntled. DH had found the DfE guidance but we couldn't find anything about the 5 hours other than an LGO document which didn't reference the relevant section of law- we know why now. I don't have the energy to fight not being given the correct info.

I'll get back onto the comm paed too.

Having spoken to parent partnership, looked round lots and spoken to even more we are struggling to find a school that can meet all DS's needs. We will probably look to name an out of area SS that can meet all but his academic needs alongside some provision for the academic side of things.

GruntledOne Fri 12-Feb-16 23:34:08

I think the 5 hours came from the previous version of the guidance. However, what that required was a minimum of 5 hours a week. A lot of LAs chose to interpret that as meaning that was all they had to provide, and they still do.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 12:48:31

One thing you should bare in mind is how intense one to one tuition is going to be!

Schools waste a huge amount of time in between the teaching so although 5 hrs isnt a lot and I do agree that it isnt a lot, it could be enough! Especially as it is a stop gap while you wait for a specialist school and while he is unwell anyway!

Maybe you could use some if the spare time to visit places while they are quiet during the day and get out and about to have some fun and improve his mental health!!

Good luck flowers

GruntledOne Sat 13-Feb-16 13:13:13

Five hours a week is highly unlikely to be enough. With all the timewasting in the world, how can one hour a day be equivalent to five hours in school?

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 13:32:22

I dont mean enough to pass A levels!! I mean enough to cope with for now for a child with mental health issues!!

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 13:34:31

And for a child with MH issues who clearly isnt coping in school so probably isnt learning a fat lot anyway!!

Shineyshoes10 Sat 13-Feb-16 15:08:00

At the moment he has a meltdown and self harms, or tries to, at the mention of leaving the house. I'm hoping things improve as he's recently started medication. We're doing lots in the house like baking, lego, reading and some maths (I'm not making him do this he likes maths) but he won't even go to grandparents houses and we are struggling to get him in the car for hospital appts. I can't keep him safe outside the house alone so we are also limited to when I have help.

Even 5 hours would be a start and we could see how it went. I'd just quite like something. The longer he's not getting anything the harder it's going to be to get him back into a school routine with someone teaching him. He was receiving more than 5 hours 1:1 outside the classroom in school.

Ineed you're right he really wasn't coping with school and his MH is the priority. Socially and emotionally he was learning nothing in fact he had regressed. Surprisingly though he was making progress academically, although that's really not much use if he can't cope with day to day life.

He's 6 btw so luckily exams are a long way off.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 15:33:29

Sounds like you are doing a great job shiney! We took Dd3 out of school in June 15 to home ed her, she was very low and wasnt coping at all. She had just transitioned to secondary.

Keep doing what you are doing! The system moves slowly but you can use this time to give your Ds some time out! It wont harm his education in any way, he is little and has time on his side.

Good luck flowers

GruntledOne Sat 13-Feb-16 16:11:17

No-one thinks young children should be getting sufficient tuition to pass A levels, and obviously a child who is ill should only do as much as he or she is able to cope with. However, if the child can cope it remains the position that five hours a week is grossly inadequate. You only have to stop and think for a bit about all that is covered in the primary curriculum, and bear in mind that if the child is to go back in school he needs so far as possible to have covered the same ground as his classmates, otherwise the return to school may well be doomed to fail anyway because he will hate the fact that he is so far behind.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 17:55:00

I know a mum on here who covered the whole of the primary plant curriculum in one day at Kew gardens with her son Gruntled! You wont ever convince me that children learn more in school than they do at home, whether they get one hour intensive tutoring or 5 hours of sensory bombardment, a bit of shouting, several lots of moving around to different places, confusion and goodness only knows what else!!

I am completely and utterly disillusioned with the system and I dont think there is anything you could say that would make me change my mind!

knittingwithnettles Sat 13-Feb-16 19:38:08

I agree with you INeed.

knittingwithnettles Sat 13-Feb-16 19:40:28

*it won't harm his education in any way, he is little and has time on his side" - this.

knittingwithnettles Sat 13-Feb-16 19:46:07

He probably doesn't want to go out, because he associates it with going to school sad

Ineedmorepatience Sat 13-Feb-16 20:19:54

That could well be right knitting! sad

Dd3 visibly struggles if she is in a situation that looks or feels like school to her! Its horrible to see!

Luckily she doesnt self harm but I do think it is only by luck! I think we got her out just in time!

Shineyshoes10 Sat 13-Feb-16 20:37:16

Thanks Ineed some days it doesn't feel like that.
I hope your daughter is much more settled at home.

sad in DS's case school involved lots of shouting and aggression, some crying and not even in the classroom more than half the time. I don't know why we let it go on for so long.

My hope is for him to go back into MS at some point in the future. I don't think we need to worry about him getting behind, he is above average in maths and literacy. We've got bigger worries at the minute. I just want him to be happy.

I wasn't concerned at the lack of progress but more if he's left for too long without formal teaching it'll be a nightmare getting him to cooperate when it restarts.

He doesn't like going out because he doesn't like people he doesn't know or noise. The thought of school probably doesn't help though knitting. When anxious he becomes violent and self harms. I believe school restraint made his reaction to us restraining him worse. It makes me question what exactly was going on.

Thanks everyone

bbkl Sat 13-Feb-16 20:38:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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