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EHCplan refusal to assess

(33 Posts)
scrabble1 Sat 04-Mar-17 17:49:24

Just had the Refusal to Assess letter. I understood the law says they have to assess, as DS has special needs. Going to mediation and determined to carry on

tartanterror Sat 04-Mar-17 19:34:32

Aww sorry to hear your assessment didn't go through. The law requires 2 proofs: the first is that your DC may have SEN and the second is that your DC may benefit from a plan. If you look at the evidence that you submitted with the request for assessment - does it tick those 2 boxes? If not how can you get a letter or report to plug that gap to give you a better chance at appeal. Good luck

Ineedmorepatience Sat 04-Mar-17 21:01:35

Always appeal a "No" decision!

Lots of LA's use no decisions to try to put people off continuing. 86% of parents win their appeals!

youarenotkiddingme Sat 04-Mar-17 21:06:57

Yep always appeal.

It's section 36 of C and f act. IPSea do a great resource.

Just highlight that day has Sen and that he may need a plan because ..... then highlight where progress has halted, continued issues with anxiety/behaviour etc.

BackforGood Sat 04-Mar-17 21:07:21

What evidence did you provide?

Marshmallow09er Sat 04-Mar-17 21:38:52

Yes absolutely appeal - we had a refusal - appealed with no additional info, just referenced the law and SENDCOP and the LA have conceded without ever reaching Tribunal (as it was clear they should never have refused to assess in the first place).
I think they just bank on parents giving up / not knowing the law

scrabble1 Sun 05-Mar-17 08:44:03

When I applied I referenced the law that he does have a diagnosis and he is significantly behind his peers, the gap is widening, anxiety etc. Puzzled why it was refused? Have asked for the minutes from the panel

youarenotkiddingme Sun 05-Mar-17 09:56:20

Some refusals are delay tactics!

I was forced through a tribunal for refusal to assess when ds wasn't in school due to anxiety and I had a Cambs report stating that fact.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheTimeG0es Sun 05-Mar-17 10:06:49

I agree, delaying tactics. Most appeals succeed but councils benefit from refusing in the first place and hoping parents will not pursue it. Have a look at the websites of SOSSEN and IPSEA for advice on the procedure.

tartanterror Sun 05-Mar-17 10:22:01

It may be delay tactics/waiting list management or it may be your wording. A "diagnosis" isn't necessarily enough - if you haven't already, make sure that you highlight how it is SEN within the "4 Areas of Need" in the SEN COP.

Then you have to show that he needs a Plan. This was the bit that seemed more tricky to me - especially with a school that haven't done much. The ideal scenario is that the school put plenty of support in at "SEN Support" stage which sorts things out for you. If it doesn't then it is easy to show that a Plan is required as you can say despite X, Y, Z, DS has continued to fall behind/failed to catch up etc. You need to show that the level of support that is required is more than a school would normally need/be able to provide.

If you can look at your covering letter and it clearly highlights all of this, then it looks like your LA is managing their list via refusals and your appeal should go through fine. If it's not clear it might be worth spelling it out through mediation to see if you can save the bother/delay of a full appeal. I suppose it might be worth chatting with your LA screening officer to see if they think there is a way of sorting it.

Good luck

scrabble1 Sun 05-Mar-17 10:42:35

Thanks I enclosed letter of diagnosis and school reports which show him making no progress. Also a letter from the head staring that despite additional support he continues to make little/no progress.

beautifulgirls Sun 05-Mar-17 21:02:51

I agree, appeal. We went through this with the LA refusing to assess after the initial request. Fast forward and two written appeals later to which they backed down, and later one tribunal hearing my daughter is now at a specialist school and things are so much better for her. I wont pretend the fight was an easy one but it was worth it to get the provision she needs.

tartanterror Sun 05-Mar-17 21:20:32

Have you got a letter from anyone other than the school supporting a plan? Or could you get one? There seems to be hierarchy of importance - an LA employee ranks highest, then NHS, then schools.

Ineedmorepatience Mon 06-Mar-17 08:31:27

I disagree tartan in my LA and others around me much more importance is placed on what schools say than NHS professionals! Often the LA will say that paediatricians etc dont understand how the education system works and ignore their advice.

The tribunal wont ignore it though! They take all advice into account!

Ineedmorepatience Mon 06-Mar-17 08:32:45

I think they are trying it on OP appeal and keep pushing!

Good luck flowers

tartanterror Mon 06-Mar-17 12:06:14

I agree keep pushing - my main point was, that now is a good time to plug gaps in your evidence if there are any.

Ineed that's interesting. It must be area and school/SENCO specific. Our school had several EHC applications refused - I think because they didn't make the case well enough/provide enough evidence for seemingly clear-cut SEN requiring additional support. They always told us DS wouldn't qualify, so were a bit shocked when the LA agreed to assess him just after their own applications were refused.... I'm not sure our school is great at putting in basic supports and monitoring, which makes their opinion carry less weight than it could do....

mumsuzz Mon 06-Mar-17 15:21:24

Definitely appeal - even if you are going to mediate, prepare your Appeal.

I am convinced that it is just done to delay matters. Our LEA only conceded just before the Tribunal and now my dd has an EHCP and is at a specialist school. Their refusal to assess wasted months and months.

youarenotkiddingme Mon 06-Mar-17 17:07:56

My la didn't even concede when ds was out of school due to anxiety.
Think the issue is the academy were so crap but made it out to be a parent issue and the la jumped on board that as it suited their agenda!

But the Judge saw through it. Even as far as they tried to dis Camhs report as Camhs hadn't asked their opinion on ds. But the judge was quick to point out they'd already said they agreed with the information in the report!

It sadly becomes a game to some LAs. A game where they play dirty but as long as you stick to facts and provide reports evidencing what you said you'll get there in the end.

scrabble1 Tue 07-Mar-17 18:36:26

Got a call today. The case has been 're submitted to panel! School only gave one paragraph of information. I am fuming

tartanterror Tue 07-Mar-17 21:31:06

That's great news! Fingers crossed for you!

Ineedmorepatience Tue 07-Mar-17 22:23:11

YAY! Hope it goes through this time! 💐

scrabble1 Wed 08-Mar-17 09:23:18

Should I challenge school about not providing enough information?

beautifulgirls Wed 08-Mar-17 20:38:32

See what the panel say first and then appeal if you need to. At that point I would have a meeting with the school and try to find out what information they gave and talk to them about the possibility of providing more for the appeal. I find it hard because you want to keep school on side if you can but you also need to push them if they are not forthcoming and should be.

If the panel decide to assess then you should be able to get a lot more information put into the process by the school and professionals who are involved.

imip Wed 08-Mar-17 21:22:33

Hmmm, my experience with resubmitting info to panel is that it is just another delay tactic on top of refusing to assess!

We were asked to re-submit 4 times, which drew out our 6-week time frame to 20 weeks. Eventually, we threatened pre-action and we were refused. So now, we are getting ready to appeal and building our case. The request to assess was submitted in sept 2016, we will put in the appeal before Easter 2017 - very effective delay tactic!!!

scrabble1 Thu 09-Mar-17 10:41:14

Thanks everyone. Seems like could be in for a long slog! and wanted it all in place for secondary school in September

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