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Somerset council refused to assess my 13 year old son(5 Posts)
Hi mummies! Moved in UK from Greece a few months ago with my 13 year old autistic son. He was diagnosed back in Greece 10 years ago and had assessments and EHC plan for support teacher at a mainstream school. After applying for an EHC plan to my local council, they refused to assess as they say my son has made progress throughout the years. Now, we have no school placement and no support, my son doesn't speak or understand English, only a few words. Please, help! Some advise? Legal support? Anything?
Have they offered a school?
Ipsea or Sossen would be good places to start for advice.
It's unfortunately very common for LAs to refuse to assess (my DS hadn't been in school full time for nearly 2 years and is now about to start a special school and we were refused at first)
You can appeal yourself and something like 85% of all no decision are overturned at appeal (its paperwork only - you don't have to go in person).
Also, LAs can concede prior to appeal (ours did), or if you go to mediation, they could concede then too.
Ipsea have lots of info on how to appeal:
The more cynical among us might see it all being part of the LAs trying to save money and hoping a good % of parents give up at the first hurdle.
Appealing a no decision to assess has almost just become part of the process (which of course is clearly wrong and adds more stress to parents. But seeing it as a process you have to get through can help to stay calm through it all)
If I remember correctly, Somerset has a particularly low proportion of children with EHCPs, and refusal to assess is very common (as Marsh says, it's pretty much become part of the process) so do appeal/go to tribunal.
Your child should have been offered a school place though so I am surprised that hasn't happened. Schools have a duty to support children, EHCP or not, and it's possible that a school will provide evidence to support the need for an EHCP.
Did you apply for a place in a mainstream school?