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36 replies

JessicaKenny2018 · 08/10/2019 13:54

my little boy's application for an EHCP was sent back in April this year at the beginning of may I was contacted by a co-ordinator to confirm that they would carry out an assessment.
From what I understand an EHCP should be completed within 20 weeks although I understand there are some reasons as to why this is not always the case, currently we are still waiting on an educational psychologist assessment being done and we are sitting at around 22 weeks already.
I have contacted the LA they have advised that he hasn't yet been appointed an educational psychologist, I have asked where he is on the list and was informed it doesn't work on a first come first served basis and is done as a priority service.
This is where I get baffled my little boy is 4 in January so will start school next September, he is severely autistic, non verbal, he has high sensory needs, he can be aggressive and tries to harm himself, he is still in nappies, he also is diagnosed with global developmental delay and functions in general at around the 18 month old mark, he is also hyper mobile and hypotonic.
I have complained to the executive director of children's services for the LA, and have not had a reply, where do I go with this next my son will not cope in mainstream, he has already been asked to leave one nursery as they couldn't meet his needs and was showing aggression to other children, the cut off for school applications is January I just don't see how his EHCP is going to be ready in time to apply to a specialist provision, all the professionals that work with my little boy have said there is no way he is going to be able to cope in mainstream, sorry for the long post, any advice would be welcomed.

OP posts:
10brokengreenbottles · 08/10/2019 14:34

Write to your LA's Director of Children's Services threatening judicial review for failure to stick to the time limits. Often just the threat makes them act, if not a pre-action letter usually does.

If the council EP can not assess within 6 weeks the LA should commission an independent report. Given they are passed week 16 you could say you are expecting them to issue a plan and when will you receive it.

IPSEA or SOS SEN will be helpful too.

AspergersMum · 08/10/2019 15:19

I'm having to apply for secondary for my autistic son who it wouldn't be suitable for. I've been told that I should apply just in case (not that he would attend, but he'd be registered then missing education when he didn't attend so would still be very much the LEA's responsibility) but that once we have the EHCP we don't have to worry about the normal application process anymore as we choose a school and he is admitted.

But yes I agree to quoting the law at them to speed things along and make sure everything is in writing. Did you write a formal complaint?

10brokengreenbottles · 08/10/2019 15:55

Yes, with an EHCP you can go over the infant class size limit.

Clearly my grammar in my pp while multi-tasking could be improved. past rather than passed Blush.

Tonnerre · 08/10/2019 17:25

The exceptions to the 20 week time limit are very limited, and certainly don't include inadequate EP availability. I agree with 10brokengreenbottles, threaten judicial review.

JessicaKenny2018 · 08/10/2019 19:48

I have sent a pre action letter to the executive director of children's Services, this was also emailed to her, so far no reply but I will give it till this time next week and will then send another letter.
The LA have told me that I have to apply for a mainstream school place which I haven't done, they advised that I would have to name a mainstream school for the EHCP, is this correct?

OP posts:
10brokengreenbottles · 08/10/2019 20:12

Apply via the normal admissions process as a back up. No you don't have to name MS on an EHCP, for some children MS won't be suitable. If it is "local policy" then it is an illegal blanket policy.

You need to follow through with JR. Normally it's recommended to allow 14 days for a response to a pre action letter, after this you need to apply for permission to JR. Did you have legal advice for the pre-action letter?

JessicaKenny2018 · 08/10/2019 21:10

I went through ipsea for the pre action letter, it was sent 2 weeks ago this Friday, hence me waiting until next week to send any further letters.
So do I have to go through the normal admissions process and apply for a mainstream school place for him for September, it seems ludicrous that it is a necessity to do that as I know and every professional that knows my little boy are saying there is no way he will cope in mainstream, I mean my little boy smears, it truly concerns me him going into mainstream and how other children will be with him I know that in reception class this isn't really an issue but as is hets older plus the older children in the school, sorry starting to rant a bit now but I simply want what is best for my little boy.

OP posts:
10brokengreenbottles · 08/10/2019 22:46

You don't have to apply via the normal admissions procedure, nobody does, but by not doing so you risk ending up with whatever MS has spaces if the EHCP isn't finalised. A MS you have some choice over is better than whatever is left if you had to make a late application, even if it is a rubbish school close to home rather than a rubbish school miles away. All the admissions experts on MN would advise you to make an application anyway and include a school you will realistically be offered a place at somewhere on the application.

JessicaKenny2018 · 10/10/2019 16:20

Thanks @10brokengreenbottles you have been very helpful

OP posts:
Beveren · 16/10/2019 07:35

If the letter sent was a formal letter under the judicial review pre-action protocol, why do you need to send any further letters? If they haven't issued an EHCP yet, the next step would normally be to contact solicitors with a legal aid contract in order to start legal proceedings in your child's name.

JessicaKenny2018 · 16/10/2019 08:08

All I have had from the LA is a generical reply saying thank you for your letter it has been passed to the EHCP team

OP posts:
Beveren · 16/10/2019 23:19

Did you use an IPSEA precedent? If so, I don't think it was a formal pre-action letter. You may need to contact lawyers or SOS SEN.

SisterSistine · 16/10/2019 23:31

I'd suggest writing to your MP alongside everything else. Our case jumped along after our local MP stepped in and asked them what they were playing at.

JessicaKenny2018 · 17/10/2019 04:20

@Beveren yes I used ipsea, one of there templates, it in short stated that they had exceeded there 20 weeks.

OP posts:
Beveren · 17/10/2019 08:19

Ah, none of IPSEA's templates are formal judicial review pre-action letters. SOS SEN have lawyers who do those.

JessicaKenny2018 · 17/10/2019 09:43

@Beveren do I call them sos sen? I take it you have to make an appointment

OP posts:
10brokengreenbottles · 17/10/2019 10:56

Yes ring SOS SEN, call their helpline. Keep trying if you don't get through first time.

If they can help with a pre action letter they will, if they can't they will give you details of solicitors that can.

Beveren · 17/10/2019 18:45

I think you can contact them by email - details on this page:

10brokengreenbottles · 17/10/2019 19:10

You can't email them for individual advice.

Beveren · 17/10/2019 22:57

But you can to ask for a specific service.

10brokengreenbottles · 17/10/2019 23:23

Their website page you linked says you can only email for "administrative queries." I don't think pre action letters would come under that.

Beveren · 18/10/2019 07:34

Apparently it does - I've seen their Co-ordinator on FB specifically suggesting it.


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10brokengreenbottles · 18/10/2019 11:49

Wow, I would never have thought it counted.

JessicaKenny2018 · 24/10/2019 20:31

So today I get a letter from my sons EHCP coordinator basically saying thank you for your letter of complaint, I have emailed regarding your son seeing the educational psychologist allocations are made during school holidays, basically hopefully he will be allocated this half term no definite, in the mean time apply for a mainstream school, I've tried calling sos sen it's just constantly engaged.

OP posts:
10brokengreenbottles · 24/10/2019 21:03

Did you send a letter threatening JR?

Also, remind them that if their EP couldn't assess within 6 weeks they should have commissioned a private assessment.

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