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Naming a type of setting but not an actual School on an EHCP?

(33 Posts)
FrayedHem Fri 27-Jan-17 19:27:51

I chase the LA up today as DS1's EHCP is late. Apparently the draft was just waiting signature and should be coming out in the post today. The caseworker did say they have not heard about our requested placement. It's an ASD Hub which is geographically nearest to us but falls under South-county, whilst we come under Mid-county and they don't know when South will be confirming places. As it's to name a secondary apparently this must happen by 15th Feb.

I asked what would happen if the EHCP was due to be finalised before placements had been confirmed as I understood it was normally 15 days after the draft had been sent. I was told not to worry, they could name a type of placement. I queried how this would work as there are very limited spaces and a lot of applications. I didn't get a proper answer and I'm just a bit baffled.

Any ideas?

enterthedragon Fri 27-Jan-17 21:05:32

The LA are not supposed to name a school or type of school in the draft copy, that is for you to name when you receive the draft, you have 15 days to respond to the draft also naming the school and type of school that you want, the LA must complete the process by the 15th Feb so that if you disagree with what is in the final plan you have the time to go to tribunal before September.

The LA can only name the school in the final plan.

enterthedragon Fri 27-Jan-17 21:09:58

The LA have not left themselves enough time to complete the process before the the deadline, when did the process begin?

FrayedHem Fri 27-Jan-17 21:21:03

Sorry, they weren't talking about naming a school type on the draft, it was the final they were saying could be issued with a type but not a specific school.

FrayedHem Fri 27-Jan-17 21:27:25

I may be on shaky ground with the start date!

Originally it was supposed to be at annual review in June but the Specialist Teacher said the LA were behind and booked a transfer review meeting with the school SENCo on 20th September. Meeting went ahead paperwork submitted etc.

I did get a letter from the LA saying transfer was due but I didn’t pay much attention as I'd already had the meeting, and I was arguing (unsuccessfully) for DS1 to be assessed by the EP so the LA SEN team were aware the transfer was underway. The Specialist Teacher is LA staff so I've assumed as it was done at her instigation that it was all as it should be.

I can't find the letter! But everything says it's the LA letter that starts the process, so I'm not sure how successfully I can argue they are late. (They are seemingly accepting it is overdue atm)

enterthedragon Fri 27-Jan-17 21:55:15

Ok, so regardless of the fact that the LA sent out the letter after the AR, the AR took place on the 20 the sept so you should have received the final plan by the 24th Jan, if they issue the plan without naming a school on 15th Feb you will need to either wait until they name a school or ask for mediation or mediation certificate and take it to tribunal or go down the JR route.

Just out of curiosity did the LA send you a letter before June's AR stating their intention to transfer to EHCP at the AR in June. If they did then the clock began ticking then.

One other thing, you requested assessments and they refused? The LA can only use old reports if you and everyone else (including the original authors of the existing reports) agreed. If you requested assessments then legally they are obligated to do them.

FrayedHem Fri 27-Jan-17 22:13:52

More poor wording from me! The AR went ahead in June, September was just the transfer review meeting. No letter before the June AR it was the Specialist Teacher who'd said (in March) the transfer would happen in June.

Yes they refused even after I quoted the law. DS1 was last seen and assessed by EP at preschool. When school approached for an EP assessment the response back was "is this a good use of resources." I then took it up, EP claimed the SENCo told them in March no assessment was needed. Conveniently that SENCo had retired, this took place in a phonecall and there was a spreadsheet with just DS1's name on it showing as no assessment needed. [Hmm]

The EP arranged to come to school and I had a 2hr plus meeting with him and the SENCo. He refused to even observe DS1 saying all the paperwork from school, specialist teacher and me was more than adequate and there was no EP need there. He then rewrote a large part of the transfer paperwork the school had submitted.

I spoke to SOSSEN who said legally the EP had to assess but as they were being very obstructive I'd be better served getting a private EP report to strengthen the chance of getting the Specialist place. (We decided against that for various reasons).

It's probably too late for me to complain about the EP thing now.

Thanks for your help, I'm clearer on what to do come 15th Feb. Getting his statement all went smoothly so this has been quite a different experience!

enterthedragon Fri 27-Jan-17 22:47:24

I quite agree to this being a different experience, even with help from independent supporter ours dragged on for well over a year, no reassessment was done despite numerous requests and eventually our LA agreed to an EP assessment in year 11 (2 years late) and surprise surprise 2 SpLD were diagnosed, much too late to be of any real help for DS in his exams this year.

Do you think that the information provided by the school is accurate?

FrayedHem Fri 27-Jan-17 23:19:49

It's bloody disgraceful - over a year?!? and another 2 for an EP assessment...There just don't seem to be any meaningful consequences for the LAs who continually flout the statutory requirements. Meanwhile the children they are supposed to be supporting are floundering.

The school report was accurate according to their records at the time. But! DS1 has gone severely downhill since and his class teacher has threatened to have him taught outside the classroom by a TA if he continues to be rude(!) His behaviour has gone from passive to growling and throwing, he is miserable and uncooperative. And also the school have been carpeted by Ofsted for overstating pupils' attainments so having been told in September he was towards the top of the class for maths, he is now working at Yr5 level! And if he'd been properly assessed by the Ed Psych I'm sure there would have been a more accurate picture reported.

It's just so frustrating to watch it play out. The county even has a local charity telling parents that the poor EP service is overworked and they specifically told me I was lucky the EP had even spoken to me on the phone. The Specialist Teacher told me I was the only one of her Yr6 families that hadn't had an EP assessments, and the others' had home and school visits with a 5+page report. We got 2 lines saying he had reviewed and given some recommendations to change the transfer paperwork to the School SENCo.

enterthedragon Sat 28-Jan-17 09:23:25

Sorry, I am now guilty of poor wording, what I meant was that the DS should have been assessed in yr 9 but eventually had the assessments in yr11, the transfer review took place in yr9 but we didn't get the ehcp until the very end of yr10, meaning that DS was in yr11 before anything extra that had been written into the ehcp was in place in school, by the time it was in place we had had the yr11 annual review and are now awaiting the amended EHCP. I doubt whether we will get it before the 15th Feb.

It was complicated because of the fact that the LA carried out the whole process in an illegal manner and are still in denial

enterthedragon Sat 28-Jan-17 09:46:24

We were repeatedly told that there was a backlog, we repeatedly asked for an EP assessment and were told "no" and we were told "it is better to have a good plan that has been delayed rather than a rubbish plan that is on time" and when we did get the draft plan it was so bad that it didn't actually resemble or reflect ds's needs at all and some of the 'provision' in it was so bad that it would have been dangerous to implement it.

FrayedHem Sat 28-Jan-17 11:14:59

"it is better to have a good plan that has been delayed rather than a rubbish plan that is on time"

I'd say I can't believe they would have the audacity to say that, but I actually can. It's like one of those rubbish motivational internet memes. And then they add further insult by issuing a bad draft.

The EP I met with was doing the whole wide-eyed faux innocence routine when I stated the law to him over their statutory obligation to assess DS1 unless all parties agreed it was unnecessary. I even found a document on their (LA) website that said if a report hadn't been done in the last 2-3 years they should reassess. DS1 was 3 when his was done and he is now 11. But still they stood firm and utterly refused. Apparently when the school contacted them ahead of each AR from Reception - Yr5, to say the EP wasn't needed this counted as ongoing contact with DS1 so I apparently couldn't claim he'd had no EP involvement confused.

I'm on the wait for the postie, I daresay it won't actually arrive today but I am desperate to see what they have put together.

FrayedHem Sat 28-Jan-17 12:19:25

Well knock me down with a feather, it has arrived. shock

I'm going to read it properly but is it normal to have the "LA has agreed to pay x amount per annum learning support assistance (equivalent to 22 hpw)"? Does this mean the school will get that as an extra amount not out of their SEN budget? Does this mean no Specialist placement (I assume a hub place costs more)

enterthedragon Sat 28-Jan-17 12:42:15

Hmmmm, that sound suspicious, almost like they have a school in mind. If you're going to ask for a SS (and they already know that) then one would assume that the the SS will put in any Support needed.

For example DS is in a SS and they have small class sizes with a ratio of 5-2 if a class needs another LSA then it is provided, otherwise the class teacher and LSA is able to support all the pupils adequately. Only if a child needs a dedicated 1-1 does this incur extra costs.

Does your ds currently have 1-1?

lougle Sat 28-Jan-17 12:51:29

That means that they are intending that he goes to a Mainstream setting by the sound of it.

If they intended him to go to a specialist setting it would be worded similarly to:

"DS will be educated in an environment where staff are skilled in dealing with children with additional needs. He will have access to xyz resources throughout the school day. He will have xyz opportunities built into his curriculum."

There wouldn't normally be any mention of costs if a maintained specialist placement was intended.

FrayedHem Sat 28-Jan-17 13:19:22

The Ed Psych was biased against the ASD hub and said something about making children more autistic(!). Yr5 he was borderline mainstream secondary with the right support but now I'd be surprised if he would last a day. The local mainstream just isn't suitable; they said they wouldn't allow any adjustments to PE kit etc and DS1 could have help getting around school if he asked for it (which won't happen). Also said I needed to let get of my maternal response and also used the words parental anxiety.

His statement is 25hrs of learning support assistance- it's not strictly restricted to 1:1 but that's what he has mostly got.

I'm not really convinced that the outcomes are particularly achievable, but maybe I am being overly sensitive?

Things like "by the end of KS3 [DS1] will have developed his social skills so he is able to use language socially for a variety of contexts and interact appropriately with adults and peers"
"By the end of KS3 [DS1] will have developed his social skills so that he is able to use language socially and interact appropriately with adults and peers."

I know they have to be specific but it feels a bit lacking in ASD understanding

FrayedHem Sat 28-Jan-17 13:24:32

The hub was always an outside shot. This is the first year for places in my LA sub-area so even the staff are at a bit of a loss of what is going on.

Not sure what to do really, is it worth messing around with the draft if we'll likely home ed him?

lougle Sat 28-Jan-17 13:34:40

You can still name the hub as your choice of placement.

FrayedHem Sat 28-Jan-17 14:01:26

You're right, I'll continue on with it until I get the official confirmation about the placement.

Thanks enterthedragon and Lougle for the replies.


enterthedragon Sat 28-Jan-17 14:37:04

lougle just said what I was thinking, mainstream with Support.

With the 2examples you posted what is the corresponding provision to meet those outcomes?

enterthedragon Sat 28-Jan-17 14:50:14

If you want him in a school fight for what you want.

I couldn't home Ed for various reasons, but there was no realistic option other than the school DS is in, it would not have been my choice of school had there been other options iyswim but it has been worthwhile and they have been fantastic. There were much better options but they were further away and DS would have had to be residential and at the time that would have completely destroyed him.

FrayedHem Sat 28-Jan-17 14:59:56

There is a long list for each provision but I have noticed there is no frequency specified. Here's the Social Skills list:

SEN Provision required
*There will be rehearsal of social interaction and social communication skills in a secure and safe environment in a pair and small group, initially supported by an adult.
*Adults will support to help him to develop appropriate interaction with another child in a small group situation by an adult.
*E will need simple turn taking activities paired with another child in a small group situation supported by an adult.
*Adults will scaffold play with others to include demonstration and modelling of language.
*Play cards will be used to help him to ask others to play and to teach common playground games.
*Staff will help him write his own social story.
*There will be access to a buddy scheme or a mentoring programme.
*E will receive adult support during breaks where appropriate.
*There will be opportunities for E to begin to find out about the interests of his peers.
*E will have opportunities to work in a small group and practise conversation skills.
*There will be use of social skills programmes, for example "Social Skills Training" by Jedburgh E Baker.
*Scripts will be used for approaching others and asking to play, for example use of working together with Lego with one trusted peer, increasing this to a second trusted peer once successfully established.
*Staff will use Comic Strip Conversations and Social Stories by Carol Gray to explain others' perspectives in social interactions.

FrayedHem Sat 28-Jan-17 15:17:47

The school choice is complicated by DS1 wanting to go to the local secondary without any support as he thinks we're "trying to make him weird". It's really hard as I don't like to be negative with him but he is on very thin ice at primary atm. The support available at the secondary is really only for children who need support in Maths, English and Science which he doesn't in their criteria (it's a specific teaching wing for 16hrs a week). There's no TA's in the classes, instead they take groups out for...Maths, English and Science and again DS1 would be above that threshold.

He doesn't want to be home ed as "I'm a lazy guy so going to school means I get some exercise". We hadn't mentioned the hub placement as he'd go off on one, but if we had got it I know the head of the hub would do a really good transition as he totally "got" DS1 when we met with him. But if we try and fight via tribunal etc DS1's views will go against it (though he normally refuses to discuss school).

My gut says the local secondary will be a disaster, but I've made wrong school choices before so perhaps I should let DS1 go there...

FrayedHem Sat 28-Jan-17 15:22:21

And there's no other mainstream secondary suitable, the next nearest is the largest school in the county, over-subscribed and on split sites.

lougle Sat 28-Jan-17 16:29:09

Well it's also complicated by the fact that children with ASD aren't known for having the breast insight into how they present to others and how their ASD affects their interactions with others, are they? confused

Isn't that, in fact, what makes ASD such a challenging condition? Its pervasive nature means that it seeps into every aspect of life and can't be separated from it.

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