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Starting the EHCP process - naming school(3 Posts)
We have just begun the EHCP for our dd 5 (asd). I understand that we have to name a school at some point, can this just be one school or do we have to name another too? We've looked at a specialist school that we liked, but at the moment we'd like her to stay where she is (mainstream).
Who would decide??? TIA
You will be asked to name a school once the draft EHCP is issued. Then the LA consults with the school. As long as they don't object, she can go there. I've never known a school where a child is placed to raise an objection. If you ask for s specialist placement and they agree they can meet get needs, the LA will decide at SEN panel whether to name the school. If they don't and you want the school, you can then appeal through the SEN tribunal.
It is reasonably likely they will let her stay in mainstream unless her current school are genuinely struggling to cope with her and already putting a lot of support in place. You don't name a school until you get to the end of the process. The aim is to identify needs and then the provision required to meet those needs and then look at where is best suited to do this. As mainstream is usually a lot cheaper for the LA to fund they are unlikely to argue with you if you want a mainstream placement. You should at some point in the process be able to put your views forward as well. If however you feel a specialist placement is needed then you need to push for this, but will also need to show that her needs can not be met in a mainstream setting with relevant support in place. If the LA will not agree to your choice of placement you may have to fight for this at tribunal. Please also bear in mind that assessment by the LA does not necessarily mean an EHCP will be issued either. If you believe she needs one in place and they refuse you may have to appeal this too. At each stage the LA should inform you when you have the right to appeal any decisions made.
Please take a look at the IPSEA site for a lot of good and valid advice and also have a (yawn) read of the SEN code of practice too. Many LAs are notoriously bad at refusing support or not providing adequate support in the EHCP. We had to fight every step of the way for our daughter for the right to be assessed, for the issues of a note in lieu (instead of a statement..the old version of an EHCP) and then the content of a statement including placement. We were told she wouldn't get a statement by the LA from the outset, she is now in a specialist school with OT and SALT provision and the fight was so the right thing to so for her.