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I think I've messed up EHC transfer for DD

(20 Posts)
Stradbroke Sat 29-Oct-16 10:47:59

Ok. I am very confused. I have looked at IPSEA website and have a telephone conversation booked in for next week with them.

My DD has a statement and is being transferred to EHCP.

Her annual review was due July 2015, but we started the process (on the LA's insistence) in March 2015.

In June we went and saw a school in another LA that we would like her to go to. Currently she is in Y3 and the school is from Y4. The school told us to name the school in October 2016.

I decided in my head that I would call a review of the EHCplan and name the school after I had got evidence of my own (SALT, EP, OT etc)

We received the draft plan in August 2016. The letter states that I can meet with someone from the LA to discuss within 15 days and that I can be accompanied by someone, and that they will be issuing the final EHC plan shortly.

They do not mention schools, naming schools, school options at all. Within the draft plan it says "The Local Authority will name an education setting in section I of the final plan"

So I have a few questions.

1) have the LA missed (rather badly) the 18 weeks within which they are supposed to issue the final plan
2) have I missed my opportunity to name the school I want?

I am very confused about everythng and feel like I am drowning, so please talk to me in simple straightforward sentences! Thank you smile

Frusso Sat 29-Oct-16 20:30:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyConstanceDeCoverlet Sat 29-Oct-16 21:08:53

The LA is certainly way beyond the deadlines. The entire process is supposed to take no longer than 18 weeks. When they served the draft plan they should by law have asked you what your preference for a school placement was.

Assuming they haven't finalised the EHCP, you haven't messed things up. Email the LA now, say you understand that you should have been consulted about school preference, and that you want them to consult the school you prefer with a view to it being named in the final plan; also that you want them to finalise the plan within, say, three weeks to give them time to consult the school. Don't delay any more waiting for your own reports - they won't pay any attention to them anyway.

If they have finalised the EHCP naming a school you don't want, you'll need to appeal. But you may need to do that anyway, as so many EHCPs that are issued ignore the law and are crap.

You might find it useful to go to one of the SOS SEN workshops on EHCPs - information here

LadyConstanceDeCoverlet Sat 29-Oct-16 21:12:02

Just clocked Frusso's post. Sorry, but don't keep messing around with the draft - unless your council is very unusual they won't pay much attention to you anyway, so you'll never get a decent version without going to the tribunal, and you'll just give them a heaven-sent excuse to delay putting your child in an appropriate school and supporting him properly. And there is certainly no reason to delay telling them what school you want; in fact you really do need to get on with it in case they're planning to finalise the EHCP imminently.

Stradbroke Sat 29-Oct-16 21:32:01

Ok I will email the officer on Monday stating that I was expecting another draft and that I will not be agreeing to the final plan until I have agreed a draft I am happy with and that I understand that they should have asked me my school preference which they have not done. Thanks everyone.

noeuf Sat 29-Oct-16 21:43:36

Why email saying you were expecting another draft?

You revived a draft. At that point you had fifteen days to suggest changes and to ask for a school to be named. As it was August deadlines wouldn't be adhered to (they wouldn't be able to consult your school for example) but I would expect September or October to bring some progress. Have you been sent a Final EHCP?

Stradbroke Sat 29-Oct-16 22:33:30

No I haven't had a final draft.

That is where my confusion is. They gave me the draft. I didn't name a school. They didn't ask me to.

Can I now name the school I want or am I too late?

Stradbroke Sat 29-Oct-16 22:34:05

Are those 15 days the only time I can even though they didn't ask me to name it and no school is named?

noeuf Sun 30-Oct-16 00:30:55

They give you 15 days and have to finalise four weeks of sending a draft. So it's odd if you did nothing/no response that it's just been left hanging.

LadyConstanceDeCoverlet Sun 30-Oct-16 07:57:51

The normal process is: around 12-13 weeks after the date they started the transfer process,, they send you a draft EHCP and give you 15 days to comment on it, and they leave the name of the school blank so you can express your preference. They must then finalise it with 18 weeks of the original date. They don't have to have your agreement before they finalise, so there isn't really any point in emailing them along the lines you suggest.

Assuming they haven't finalised (it's just possible it's in the post), you're probably OK to email them today to say you now realise they should have asked you about your preference for a school, your preference is X School, please could they consult them as a matter of urgency. If you're right in saying they didn't ask previously they can't object that your request is late.

Stradbroke Sun 30-Oct-16 08:01:22

They definitely didn't ask me previously. I have the letter and there is no mention of school at all.

I will email today so she receives it in the morning.

It has so far been at least 30 weeks since this process was started.

LadyConstanceDeCoverlet Sun 30-Oct-16 08:04:13

You need to keep a close eye on it. If they haven't sent a finalised EHCP within three weeks, point out the deadlines (they're in the Transition Regulations) and say that if they don't finalise you will have to bring judicial review proceedings.

Stradbroke Sun 30-Oct-16 08:40:01

Just sent the email to the SEN officer stating that I have heard nothing since August that I am waiting to name the school. That I have looked in to it and realise that they should have given me a list of schools and asked me to name at draft stage which they didn't. I then named the school I would like and stated that I understand they have a legal obligation to consult.

And then I received an out of office as she has left.

I guess DD has fallen through the cracks then.

noeuf Sun 30-Oct-16 09:47:19

Don't be ridiculous, you need to forward the email to the SEN manager and you can do that tomorrow.
What does the original letter say? What did you do when you received the draft? Did you respond at all?

Stradbroke Sun 30-Oct-16 10:57:55

I have of course forwarded it to the Sen team! I'm not being ridiculous (maybe I am but I am feeling incredibly stressed about this so forgive me for not being perfect).

The draft was received on 4/8/2016. It said I had 15 days to respond and that I could have a meeting and that I could bring someone if I wanted. The school section simply says the la will enter this in final draft. No school is named.

The letter does not ask me to name a school. So I didn't.

I did respond via email to add some things, take some things out and to question some things. They responded to this and let me know what they would do with all my points. Again no mention of school. Not asking me to name etc.

That is the last I heard and they said they would issue it shortly. This was 19/08/2016.

I suppose my argument will be that they didn't do what they were supposed to do which is tell me about available schools and ask me to name it.

I have therefore emailed today saying that I was waiting for them to ask me to name the school, that I now realise they should have asked me at draft stage, they didn't and that I am therefore not naming the school.

I don't think the onus should be on me to know about naming the school. They should have asked a direct question.

Stradbroke Sun 30-Oct-16 10:58:52

That should at I am now naming the school.

noeuf Sun 30-Oct-16 11:03:40

Ok that makes sense - they should have asked you to name a school. Has it been radio silence since then?

Maybe ring tomorrow and ask to speak to the SEN manager?

noeuf Sun 30-Oct-16 11:04:39

Read this first though

Stradbroke Sun 30-Oct-16 11:11:00

Thanks. I can see that they didn't and shouldn't have put the school in to the draft.

But they should have asked me to name it. Which so far they haven't.

They have also missed the deadlines by quite some margin.

I have not had my eye on the ball with this. I admit that. And I am now looking at it and realising it has not been done correctly.

I am just worried that they will refuse to consult with the school I want.

I'll see what tomorrow brings.

SerendipityPhenomenon Sun 30-Oct-16 12:46:42

You're right, they should have asked you to name the school and it's not your job to find out about it. I think you're almost certainly right that everything went quiet because the case officer left. I don't see how they can refuse to consult your school in all the circumstances, but you do have to bear in mind that, whether they do or not, they don't necessarily have to name it if they think there's a nearer suitable school. In that event you will need to appeal to the tribunal.

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