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Transfer to EHCP - confused by my LA's guidance on aspirations, needs and outcomes

(15 Posts)
pannetone Wed 08-Mar-17 11:11:43

DS is finally going to transfer from Statement to EHCP - he is Y10 now. The LA guide about transfers from Statement to EHCP says

'During the [transfer] meeting outcomes will be developed by starting with aspirations and finding out what the young person needs to do, experience or achieve towards these aspirations over the next phase of education..... The focus is on what a young person can achieve and not needs. The outcome is what the young person will experience and should be SMART.' (their emphasis)

I've read wise words on here about how needs and outcomes should be approached but now am just confused by my LA's 'take' on the process.

I've also got to navigate the question of whether I insist the LA gets an EP assessment done - the LA transfer guidance starts off stating they must not (their emphasis) get new assessments where existing ones are sufficient - no mention that it is a statutory requirement of an EHCP needs assessment.

lougle Wed 08-Mar-17 11:37:21

It's not as complicated as it sounds.

Imagine that you currently have to escort your child to and from school, handing him over to his trusted adult, who gives 1:1 support at school, and hands him over to you at the end of the day and you escort him home again.

You can't imagine it being different. He is far too impulsive, far too flighty, far too vulnerable, south so little awareness of danger and routine to do anything else. But what would your aspiration for him be? In an ideal world?

Imagine that you would one day like him to be able to leave the house on his own, walk to the bus stop 3 roads away, wait while 4 different buses pass him, get the correct bus, travel on the bus, get off at the correct stop, and walk the short route with 2 road crossings to college.

So, what will he need to experience, learn and do to achieve that? He'll need to do lots of bus travel, lots of road safety training, timetable training, independence work, troubleshooting (what do you do if the bus is late, or doesn't come, etc.), Route planning.

So you do that for each area of his development.

pannetone Wed 08-Mar-17 14:40:11

Thanks lougle - that makes it clearer.

Megatherium Wed 08-Mar-17 17:21:53

I think the best approach to outcomes is to use the definition in paragraph 9.68 of the Code of Practice, which says it is the benefit or difference made as a result of an intervention. Therefore you start off with what the child's needs are, decide what provision they need to meet those needs, and the outcome will be what you hope to achieve as a result of that provision.

I agree that the guidance on transition does make it sound as if the norm should be not to assess. However, it needs to be noted that that duty not to get any specific assessment only kicks in if everyone agrees. Therefore if you think an EP assessment is needed, the LA doesn't have any option, it has to arrange one.

Make sure you push them to get any other assessments that are necessary too, including Speech and language and occupational therapy if relevant.

enterthedragon Wed 08-Mar-17 18:37:32

The bit about must not get new reports only applies if everyone agrees that they are suitable for the purpose, that means, you, your DS, the school, the LA and the original authors of the reports, must all agree that the reports are all still accurate and are all still relevant.

pannetone Wed 08-Mar-17 20:49:24

Thanks Megatherium - so outcomes should come after determining needs and provision to meet them? I'm probably tying myself in knots, but does that give a different result than if you start off by deciding what you want as outcomes and then put in provision to meet them which has regard to the child's SEN?

Megatherium and Enter - in fairness the LA guidance does go on to say that everyone must agree that new assessments are not required - it was just the way it was set out with the 'headline' that the LA must not seek new assessments. Their guidance is 'we're not allowed to do new assessments apart from in limited circumstances' rather than 'we must do new assessments unless everyone is happy with existing ones'.

I'm really unsure whether to ask for a new EP report. It was sufficient nearly 3 years ago for the LA to name the independent mainstream we wanted - DS is finally full time there now and making good progress as his needs are being met. I wouldn't want a new EP report to say he should go back to the large secondary where he only managed a term of Y7...

Goldmandra Wed 08-Mar-17 20:56:40

Special Needs Jungle have some good guidance on EHCP. They also have a clinic that will take specific questions if that helps.

Megatherium Wed 08-Mar-17 23:11:15

Thanks Megatherium - so outcomes should come after determining needs and provision to meet them? I'm probably tying myself in knots, but does that give a different result than if you start off by deciding what you want as outcomes and then put in provision to meet them which has regard to the child's SEN?

It's very clear that that's what the law says; however, you may well have trouble convincing your caseworker of it, as most LAs seem to operate the other way round. You're absolutely right that that it gives a different result, and it's the fact that LAs tend to decide outcomes first and then try and "fit" provision to it that means they go so badly wrong so often. If, say, they've identified a communication problem but not identified a communication outcome, the chances are that they won't put any speech and language provision into section F - and that would be illegal, as the law is very clear that there must be provision in place to meet each and every need.

What you say about your DS's situation does rather change the picture about an EP report: I can absolutely see that you don't want to rock the boat. What you probably need is quite detailed reports from the current school setting out what they say his difficulties are and what they are doing to meet them, preferably in quite a lot of detail. Then you can ask that the LA put into section F the support that the school is actually giving - they can hardly argue that it isn't needed, since the school will know your DS extremely well. Include in that the sort of support he gets just by virtue of being in that school, e.g. small classes and maybe other facilities.

ouryve Wed 08-Mar-17 23:26:35

The aspirations bit is only a flight of fancy that doesn't really have a place in the actual EHCP, anyhow. I think it's a cutesy bit of bollocks intended to make a parent feel vaguely engaged in the process, even with the most obstructive LA.

For DS1 my aspirations were that he'd actually like school and have an opportunity to meet the incredible potential that he has.

For DS2, that he could be the best he could possibly be. I have no idea what he could possibly achieve for me to aspire to. He was pretty passive and non verbal just a few years ago. He's starting special school for secondary, in September. The school has a head boy who was just like him, barely verbal and engaging pretty much on his own terms and needing the discreet autism provision, just the same, in year 7 but has made incredible progress (like DS2 in the past few years) and he tried to sell me brunch when I visited, last week!

And yeah, DS2's EHCP transfer took place just a bit early for phase transition, so it was decided to hold a better timed early review for phase transition, at which point, it was agreed that there simply was not enough information for all the SMART targets and that new assessments had to be sought as a matter of urgency. While the LA officer did give me the urge to bury her under the patio over one or two issues, I've never seen the services which have been neglecting him (due to under resourcing, to be fair) respond so fast. But, in your circumstances, pannetone it doesn't sound like new assessments are needed (or wanted!)

enterthedragon Thu 09-Mar-17 08:02:13

It is also worth reading the transition guidance for local authorities, I picked up on a few things in there that are phrased differently to the CoP and it appears to make things seem more of a should do rather than a must do scenario.

Our transfer to EHCP was basically illegal all the way through and when we eventually got the draft copy it was a complete joke, the final was basically a cut and paste job from the existing statement.

Ineedmorepatience Thu 09-Mar-17 09:04:37

The law is so much more important than LA guidance in this situation!

As others have said SOSSEN, IPSEA and others have info on websites! Well worth a look.

We are in the middle of the transfer process, Dd3's Outcomes are linked to her needs and the provision will hopefully support her to reach them! We have an interim SEND manager at the moment who is sampling a new format with us! Such a relief because our LA Ehcp's have been shite upto now!!

zzzzz Thu 09-Mar-17 11:10:33

I like what lougle wrote. My own approach is to disengage from their process and think about my child and what great provision would look like and achieve for them. Then I reengage and get them to help me write the EHCP that will get that. To be fair my LA are still "human" and school too, so they see and hear us and are reasonably helpful. As with all things know what you want and ask for it.

pannetone Thu 09-Mar-17 23:10:51

Thanks for more words of wisdom.

In a strange coincidence the EP who assessed DS in 2014 rang me today - it was actually to arrange to assess my older DS for an EHCP. She remembered assessing younger DS and asked after him - and was pleased to hear of his progress. Which was a timely human touch after grappling with outcomes, aspirations and provision!

enterthedragon Fri 10-Mar-17 19:18:14

I referred to the transition guidance because our LA seem to have used this more than the actual COP, and had interpreted it to suit their own agenda.

But yes the Law is far more important. grin

enterthedragon Fri 10-Mar-17 19:38:37

The focus (imo) really should be on the provision required to meet the needs of the child in order to achieve the outcomes and aspirations of the child/parents.

All needs must be recorded accurately and where relevant, all outcomes must be relevant and achievable, all provision must meet the needs in order to attain the outcomes.
Any therapies that 'teach' must be recorded under the educational heading not the medical heading.

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