Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
What support are Sen children 'entitled to' without an ehcp?(24 Posts)
What do schools have a duty to provide for children who have Sen but no ehcp. School says my yr1 asd son is way behind but not bad enough for a statement but they are being very vague about what support they are prepared to offer. I am working on pinning them down on the specifics but I have no idea what they have a duty to provide or what my son is entitled to.
I'm not sure what you mean? He has the same right to an education as every other child.
Why do they think he is struggling to make progress?
He hasn't met his early learning goals and is about a year behind but they haven't been able to articulate why. He doesn't have any intellectual difficulties.
Hi what you need to do is google SEND code of practice 2015 and read chapter 6.
That explains school's responsibilities. Unfortunately schools vary in what they will do and will claim funding issues, other more needy children etc.
I could have written ur post exactly as it is! So bumping for u as having the same issue
Lamya, i hope you have some success. I have experienced obstacles at every turn, caused mainly by a lack of resources, e.g. OTs don't do school visits anymore, school unwilling to use their budget to provide extra support. Result: child continues to flounder.
There is nothing that says 'for a dx of ASD x,y, z must happen' but the code does talk about assess, plan, do, review and class teachers taking responsibility for children's SEN. Read it first and then maybe ask for some definite facts on what they are doing differently. What you need is to avoid saying 'he has ASD, what will you do' but to focus on what having ASD means and what he needs support with.
Yeh it's all really tricky and I seriously feel that without an ehc plan no support will be consistent. Schools love talking about how they have children who are worse off, our senco as good as told me I should thank my lucky stars that my son is high functioning !
Schools should provide whatever support is required, but they often don't. There should be no blanket policies like having to be 'behind'.
In reality though they often don't. It is worth reading up on your child's rights. It's a good idea to keep a paper trail. Keep a diary. Put queries and requests to school in writing (eg email), and follow up any phone calls, verbal discussions or meetings with an email saying what you understand was agreed. This will al be invaluable in the future if you have to apply for an EHCP yourself.
Poltergoose, very good point about following everything up with emails so there is a record. I agree that it is important to know what your chlds rights are. I've been looking at the equality act 2010 and the children and families act. I've found that the equality act talks about 'reasonable adjustments', although we can differ on what we consider reasonable. Not sure which bits of children and families act i can use really. finding the send code of practice a bit vague too. I think our problem is really around poor teaching and low quality interventions.
Look at the IPSEA and SOSSEN websites.
IME a good school will do whatever is needed to support a child. A not good school will make everything a battle. I would advise you set yourself a goal, if things aren't demonstrably improved by X date, change schools.
If the school is saying that it doesn't have the resources needed to help your child make progress, then they are saying he fits the criteria for an EHCP. At the very least, it sounds as if your child should be the subject of an assessment - the only criteria for that under section 36(8) of the Children and Families Act is that he may have SEN and may need an EHCP. Even if the assessment doesn't result in a Plan being issued, it should mean that his difficulties are better identified and some advice will be provided as to what support he should be getting.
Agh, the criteria are, not is. Feeling illiterate here.
"If the school is saying that it doesn't have the resources needed to help your child make progress, then they are saying he fits the criteria for an EHCP."
Thanks JudyCoolibar. When you put it like that it seems really simple.
Poltergoose, I think you are dead right about having a deadline for moving schools. This thing could run and run otherwise. I intend to arrange an assesment.
I agree about moving if needs be. I fart arsed around fighting DS secondary for a year because of what they 'should' do. It just made me Ill.
A good school will do it because a child needs it or will discuss with you your concerns and show you evidence of progress if you question how they are doing with X.
So if you say you have concerns DS is struggling with X because he can't do Y - they either say, yes, we've noticed that. We are putting in an intervention 1 day a week for 20 minutes to work on y and our target is he will be doing it independently by this date.
Or they say, he's doing really well with y. This past few weeks he's independently shown this skill so we are monitoring him. If he doesn't bridge the gap with his peers we will put support in at this date.
Or you get, there's no problem, we have no or off there isn't and any way other childre are worse.
First 2 you know schoo, is good. Third one - run!
Good advice youare, thank you. I hope things have improved for now. I will be mindful of that when I meet with the teacher.
IPSEA and AFASIC helplines are good with advice on this. If a child has SEN and this is noticed, the school should put them on SEN Support. This means you should meet them 3 times a year and they need to keep SEN records (sometimes called a provision map or an individual education plan). They should tell parents if the child is being put on "SEN Support" - but it certainly wasn't clear to me when this happened to DS 2 years ago! So if you are not sure - ask. Also ask for copies of all the school SEN notes on your child as the records are very handy - our school said DS was "fine" but their own notes highlight stress and anxiety - ie "not fine".
It's best to stay out of discussions about money but in theory a school would normally be expected to put quite costly or complex support in place without an EHCP. In rare cases this could be up to £6k per year but in practice it will be a lot less. In practice there seems to be no accountability about spending, so the school can accept the SEN top up funds from the LA but then not necessarily spend it on SEN. It's all very murky. Anyway the Internet is littered with tales of mainstream kids on SEN Support with little/no/inappropriate assistance. As someone said above, it seems like some schools are good at this and many more are not. It's a lottery.
Many people are told that their kids will not get an EHCP but lots who are told this maybe are eligible! So it's best to work it out for yourself.
Get all your paperwork together and read it carefully. Make a list of all the "needs" listed in the reports - or all the things your child needs support with. Make another list of all the "provisions" - all the therapies, accommodations and interventions suggested.
If after that you think that your child has "complex needs which affect their day to day activities" then consider applying for an EHC yourself - do tell the school first tho!
Use a sample letter off the internet (some of the wording is important to trigger the statutory process) to request an EHC assessment and pad it out with a list of your child's needs/provisions and attach evidence (that is reports or meeting notes, SEN support records). (You may need to go back to the professionals who wrote the reports to get them to issues clarifications - lots of problems are caused by the diagnostic reports being vague or out of date it seems). You probably will need to have evidence of your child having some sort of Specific Learning Difficulty (ie dyslexia, dyscalcula or dysgraphia etc) - which is possible whether they are working below/at/above average age standards. You need to make the case that his needs are complex or severe to be one of the 2-3% who qualify for an EHCP. I'm hoping that "so subtle the school didn't know what to do" = complex but I'm not sure that's going to work. Send to the LA.
Legally if a child "may have SEN" and "might benefit from a plan" then the local authority are obliged to do an EHC assessment. Often they refuse. IPSEA advise families appeal which might involve tribunal. (They have special advice packs if you get into these more complex situations and advise you seek advice.) most appeals go in parents' favour.
After an EHC assessment lots of LAs go on to issue a draft EHCP. Whatever happens at this stage seek advice from IPSEA as they have top tips to save you from pitfalls at every turn!
Anyway hope that answered the original question: the school should be identifying needs and putting evidence based provision in place with targets and timescales. Schools are obliged by law to provide support for SEN children to "achieve the best possible outcomes" and also to use their "best endeavours"...... Vague does not cut it. In reality you will need to do a lot of encouraging to extract decent support.
Sorry about the mammoth post.....good luck
Thank you, Tartan, for your extremely helpful post, which I have made notes from. I will certainly not be engaging with the conversation around resources anymore, focusing instead on the need and the schools duty to meet it. You are bang on about the send code being vague and I don't think there's a lot of case law about. I do think that my son is likely to have dyslexia, based on my observation of his attention, executive skills etc but I think he is too young to be assessed for this. Thanks again.
I forgot to say that it seems that legally ASD is considered as SEN so you should be entitled to an EHC assessment - although you will probably have to be persistent to get it! It's at the "decision to issue a plan stage" that the needs have to be "complex" to get a plan. However complex doesn't equal expensive.
It's exhausting this isn't it?
I'm so fed up as I'm realising that in reality it's unreasonable to expect schools to "get" everyone's individual ASD presentation. We would be in a much better position if the diagnostic report had been much much clearer.... I'm wondering whether the NHS should have a standard reporting format? It could save a lot of us a lot of hassle
Oh bless you tartan, can you get your paed to see your child again and cover what's not been made explicit in the original report? Something tells me that might be easier said than done. We are seeing ou paed at half term for a final time (she doesn't normally see them once in school) and I was naively assuming she'd know exactly what to cover in order to provide evidence for the school to support my child properly. I hope and pray you have success Tartan.
Me too thanks! I'm expecting this to be a long game - DS is 7 and I might manage to have some official support in place by the time he's approaching secondary school
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