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Are you sure that parents can request echp?

(8 Posts)
guggenheim Thu 16-Mar-17 14:06:48

or must the request come from an official person, Senco for instance. Assuming that parents are able to put together the information needed to request echp, is there a good reason why it should be written by Senco not parents?

A very cynical person (not me, goodness no) might suggest that the LA are fucking around with time limits rather than doing their job.

Is it absolutely the case that parents can request echp?
if Senco goes ahead and also write request then that means that the LA have got 6 weeeks from when they receive that request, rather than the 3 weeks they have got left to reply to mine.

Can LA ignore my request for echp because I am only a parent not Senco?
I will contact IPSea when they have phone appointments available but this is hard because ds is rarely in school.

BoogleMcGroogle Thu 16-Mar-17 14:48:34

Parents can absolutely request an assessment. We did so, just using a sample letter from IPSEA. It went straight through, with no quibbling. The Local Authority can't ignore it, the legislation sets out when they must respond. We wrote ours' to the Director of children's services, enclosing relevant paperwork. Sometimes they ask for information from the school, but they can't go beyond their timeframes in order to get this ( sometimes they do, which is when it is helpful to remind thrm of their statutory duties). I think the request is better coming from parents, they get loads from schools so the request stands out and they know that, as parents you are more likely to hold them to account.

lougle Thu 16-Mar-17 14:59:55

"Relevant legislation: Section 36 of the Children and Families Act 2014

The following people have a specific right to ask a local authority to conduct an education, health and care needs assessment for a child or young person aged between 0 and 25:

• the child’s parent
• a young person over the age of 16 but under the age of 25, and
• a person acting on behalf of a school or post-16 institution (this should ideally be with the knowledge and agreement of the parent or young person where possible)

9.9 In addition, anyone else can bring a child or young person who has (or may have) SEN to the attention of the local authority, particularly where they think an EHC needs assessment may be necessary.

Relevant legislation: Section 36 of the Children and Families Act 2014 and Regulations 3, 4, and 5 of the SEND Regulations 2014

9.11 Following a request for an EHC needs assessment, or the child or young person having otherwise been brought to its attention, the local authority must determine whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary. The local authority must make a decision and communicate the decision to the child’s parent or to the young person within 6 weeks of receiving the request. The local authority does not have to consider whether an EHC needs assessment is necessary where it has already undertaken an EHC needs assessment for the child or young person during the previous six months, although the local authority may choose to do so if it thinks it is appropriate." Pages 143 and 144 of the SEN Code.

Because there is an absolute duty to consider an assessment of any child who is brought to the attention of the Authority, even if you had written "give little guggenheim an EHCP Now, from guggenheim." on a piece of paper and sent it to the the LA, they would have a duty to decide whether 'little guggenheim' needed an assessment. They can't just decline on the basis that you didn't ask nicely, or didn't full in their pretty form, or didn't ask in the right way. The law is the law, and it says anyone can bring any child to the LA's attention, and once they have done so, the LA must consider whether that cold should have an assessment for an EHCP.

guggenheim Thu 16-Mar-17 15:22:13

You people are marvellous 😎
I rather think that a phone call to the relevant department might just help things along.
My ech request contained chapter & verse & many relevant documents, so i would have some sympathy (not) if I had made a dogs dinner of it. Pretty sure they are trying to buy time.

Ineedmorepatience Thu 16-Mar-17 16:00:59

My LA likes to tell people that the child must have been seen by an EP prior to requesting an EHC needs assessment! Its all bo...x they must assess if the child has or may have SEN and or the child needs or may need provision that is not normally available in mainstream schools!!

Arm yourself with knowledge Guggenheim, it sounds like you are going to need it!

Good luck flowers

EffinElle Thu 16-Mar-17 16:04:41

I hope you don't mind me marking my place for this info, I'm considering this for my DC.

Melawati Thu 16-Mar-17 21:22:11

If you're 3 weeks into the 6 weeks they have to agree to assess (did I read right?) in our LA you wouldn't hear whether they agree or not until pretty near the 6 week deadline. If they say yes, great! If they say no, you can appeal that decision.
I don't think the Senco sending a request would make any difference - they have a statutory obligation to respond to your request once it's sent.
But but having heard anything 3 weeks in is perfectly normal.

Melawati Thu 16-Mar-17 22:23:46

Sorry 'but not having heard anything...

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