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EHCP: appeal against LA refusal. Anyone been successful?

(59 Posts)
notaflyingmonkey Sun 27-Nov-16 21:03:22

DS has had a statement since he was four when diagnosed with autism. He is now 15 and transitioning into 6th form. The annual review went badly, and the LA have refused to issue an EHCP, which means he is on his own.

I am appealing their decision, but have no clue about what that will mean. Has anyone had experience of this? Do you need legal representation? (If there are existing threads on this, sorry, I had a look and cound't find them).

zzzzz Sun 27-Nov-16 22:16:06

There should be lots of support and funds available without EHCP.

tartanterror Sun 27-Nov-16 22:18:01

Where are you at? Timings are important.
The LA are not allowed to use transition to get people out of the system.
If your DS has had a statement for 11 years (and he's not going to grow out of autism!!) you have a good chance. I don't know the figures for transition but for standard appeals the figures are good - something like 80-90% of families are successful. You need to book a call back on the IPSEA helpline.
You can do that here
Currently a couple of slots left on Friday
good luck

zzzzz Sun 27-Nov-16 22:18:01

Are they refusing all support?

tartanterror Sun 27-Nov-16 22:19:55

Actually given how critical transitions are for kids with ASD I'm fairly disgusted that the LA aren't supporting him at this critical stage. Have you got a 6th form which has agreed to take him?

zzzzz Sun 27-Nov-16 22:37:39

Statements and EHCP are not the same thing. Am I right in thinking EHCP becomes useless if he goes to university?? (Nb mine is younger and I can't remember where I read that).

I didn't appeal, I just reapplied on reviept of the refusal. I sent in exactly the same info/evidence,and got EHCP and the SS placement I wanted. Nb there was no doubt he should have one, he coasts through all the criteria......irritating twits.

notaflyingmonkey Mon 28-Nov-16 07:08:24

Thanks for the useful info.

All they see is he has done relatively well at school - but not that fact that he has achieved that becuase of the statement giving him the support he needed. He has offers from two 6th forms, but clearly I was up front about his SN and the statement.

We were told two weeks ago they were refusing EHCP, so we have two months to lodge the appeal. Apparently we have to get a certificate re mediation first - and I have heard nothing from them depsite chasing.

I'm so angry and upset. He has no self confidence, and I am so worried that this transition will be too much for him.

zzzzz Mon 28-Nov-16 11:10:51

How much (££££s) does that support cost? Because I think that's often the bottom line here. If it's less than the school allocation plus extra available from LA without EHCP then you are wasting your time and would be better choosing a school and putting your weight behind their application for extra funding IMO.

tartanterror Mon 28-Nov-16 15:15:17

He has no self confidence, and I am so worried that this transition will be too much for him. This is exactly why this is a completely inappropriate moment to remove the support!

Could you try to negotiate that they put an EHCP in place to cover the next year and placement transition and then have a full review after? Have you spoken to your local counsellor, head of LA family services to see if they can be persuaded to change their mind without wasting time/money on the legal route? LA officers can be encouraged to do things by our elected representatives.... I am starting to realise that a bit of lobbying might help things along sometimes....

Have a look at the scottish Autism Toolbox. There is a lot of good stuff on transitions in there that hasn't filtered through in the English system yet, but which would be useful to quote at them. They have lots of research quotes about what is needed for support at key transitions as useful evidence.

In terms of EHC process/paperwork, where are you? I take it that you have had an EHC assessment as part of the transition from statement to EHCP and it is at this point they have decided not to issue a plan? If this is the case, have you been sent a letter to confirm this? If so, it should tell you how to appeal the decision and there are time limits/mediation certificates you have to collect to proceed with an appeal - make a note of the key dates and don't miss them! If you haven't had a letter like that you have to badger the LA to issue one so that you can get on to the next step and not get stuck in "no man's land"

The 2 offers he has - do you need the EHCP to secure a place? Or do you live close enough to get in without? Obviously if you don't need the paperwork to get a place it takes the pressure off a bit....

zzzzz yes an EHCP doesn't cover an young person if they go to uni, but then again unis tend to have quite well developed support and mentoring schemes from what I can see. If they don't go to uni, they are covered to 25?

zzzzz Mon 28-Nov-16 15:56:04

I believe the EHCP is focused on children/young adults who require significant levels of support and are unlikely to be able to attend university. It is in no way an equivalent to a statement. The mistak is to think if it in terms of a "rebranded statement". Many (most?) children with statements won't require an EHCP. The funding and support they require should be accessible direct from school, possibly with top up from LA in more extreme (i.e. Expensive) cases.

tartanterror Mon 28-Nov-16 20:23:27

Many (most?) children with statements won't require an EHCP
Why's that zzzzz?
That's not the message I got from IPSEA.....maybe I wasn't listening hard enough tho!

zzzzz Mon 28-Nov-16 20:27:17

Because the whole point of the change is that more funds are available within school without the need of a statement. My understanding is that EHCP is for a subset of the statements population. Were you under the impression they were the same thing? confused. What would have been the point of just changing the name????

tartanterror Mon 28-Nov-16 20:36:11

Ah - I understood slightly differently - SEN Support is supposed to be the same as School Action/School Action Plus with a similar level of funding, and the LDA(?)/Statements now as EHCPs. The changes should make no difference to those with profound difficulties but the criteria are more flexible to allow for those who needed help, but didn't fit into academic criteria. Hopefully it will help autists in the mainstream who were easily overlooked in the statementing process....

I checked IPSEA's website and it says The expectation is that all children with a statement will be transitioned to an EHC plan unless there has been a change in their individual needs which mean they no longer need the same level of support

QwertyKeyboard Mon 28-Nov-16 20:48:54

It wasn't just changing the name though. Statements were for education. And Ehcp brings t all together health and social and takes them up to 25, whereas a statement ended earlier?

knittingwithnettles Mon 28-Nov-16 21:21:55

In the letter in which they refused to issue an EHCP they should have given you details of the Mediation service, you need to contact the Mediation service directly rather than the LA to arrange mediation. It is a formality, you can just get the certificate rather than attending a mediation session (which usually just is a way of prolonging the arguing and stringing you along)

I was not aware that an EHCP was any harder to get than a statement, only that schools NOW have a larger overall SEN budget allocation, out of which the first 6,000 of any EHCP funding was already considered allocated which ironically means a SEN shortfall for many many schools with large numbers of statemented or EHCP pupils (. So the nominal amount per child was 6.000 whether they had an EHCP or not.)

zzzzz Mon 28-Nov-16 21:35:55

Surely if more funding is already within the school budget then it follows that those with minimal financial needs will be catered for without the need for an EHCP? Here there is significantly more than the money within school too (e.g. DS had several thousand pounds in addition direct from LA to pay for his support without an EHCP). I'm not aware of the "health" side of EHCP being utilised at all in school age children here.

tartanterror Mon 28-Nov-16 21:52:03

Schools don't get £6k per child on the SEN register. It's a lot less. It's a compound calculation which takes into account Free School Meals and SEN (?) and varies between schools. I can't find the reference now, but I think that the Parliamentary debates when the C&FA2014 was passed assumed that there would be about the same % of EHCP as statements.

zzzzz Mon 28-Nov-16 22:10:24

I hate this automatic battle mentality. How can you possibly think an EHCP that covers health, social and education to 25 in any way is the same as a statement of SEN? It's a different system. If OPs child doesn't require an enormous amount of expensive intervention HOW is it helpful to encourage her to pursue an unnecessary and possibly unattainable EHCP?
She has two schools her child is interested in. Surely the intelligent use of her time is to contact those schools and find out what support they feel would help them educate her child?

BackforGood Mon 28-Nov-16 22:18:07

At a NASEN conf in July 14, when the bill had been finalised and was just about to start to be implemented. The dfe sent some representative to reassure everyone that the expectation was that all the dc eligble for a Statement would still be eligble for an EHC Plan. Sorry, OP, just replying to zzzzz's point.

zzzzz Mon 28-Nov-16 22:20:10

I thought it was all who had a statement could be transferred?

knittingwithnettles Mon 28-Nov-16 23:17:45

I was offered a place at a school where only delegated funding (ie 6,000) was considered appropriate (LA said this not the school) to meet child's needs. School told me that with this amount of money they were NOT able to meet child's needs, and we had to play cat and mouse game with LA to get extra funding agreed. School said it was very common problem even when EHCP had been agreed, LA just would not give the extra money that was required and argued that school should meet needs within delegated funding. The law says school should meet needs, and the school says, but with what money, and asks LA (whose responsibility it is to ensure needs are met by school) who then strings it out as long as possible by insisting on evidence. In our case it was only solved by threatening JR on LA. The extra three thousand was what was required to provide son with increased dyslexia help and LSA help. Otherwise it would not have been forthcoming. It certainly wasn't forthcoming in his original mainstream school where he was on SAplus with no EHCP. They just did not have the money to fund those sort of interventions, although they were kind and caring. Honestly it is not as straightforward especially where children are compliant and under radar (until they crack up) as you might think. They won't say they are feeling anxious, they won't ask for help - they just withdraw. It costs money to have someone looking out for them, or rather it costs staffing hours for someone to be available to look out for them amongst all those other children, all with competing needs.

zzzzz Mon 28-Nov-16 23:35:50

Why would you want funding given without evidence of need?confused

notaflyingmonkey Tue 29-Nov-16 07:13:10

The mediation people have now responded to me, so I wil follow them up and get a certificate.

I will be pursuing an appeal, on the basis that my DS has been getting a high level of support due to his statement, over the years. And that support has meant he has done ok at school so far (GCSEs still to come, obvs). He hasn't been 'cured' of autism.

This is not a knee-jerk needy mother, btw. It is a mother who knows that her child needs a safety net, which a group of people who have never met him have decided he doesn't need despite what the SENCO and I have said.

What I was really after when I started this thread was practical tips - have I missed anything?

zzzzz Tue 29-Nov-16 07:57:13

What worked for us was reapplying rather than the mediation path and a firm eye on the ££s so you are basically babying them through the entire thing. How much support does he receive in terms of ££s? Can you show it is over thresholds?

tartanterror Tue 29-Nov-16 08:23:58

Good question zzzzz - which neatly brings us back to Op's problem...

What is evidence? How does OP get it? How long will it take? What are the risks to her DS' education?

Welcome to the chicken and egg of mainstream SEN Support - our kids have to fail before action is taken - despite stacks of evidence that cheap/free early intervention could avert problems. Complex support needn't cost a lot

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