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No funding for occupational therapist referral

8 replies

Gizlotsmum · 08/03/2022 13:23


We have had a (school funded) educational psychologist report for my son which has identified sensory needs and recommended an occupational therapy referral. However the county the school is in won’t accept a referral as we live in another county and our county won’t fund sensory referrals..

Any ideas what my next steps could/should be? If I go private will the school accept any findings?

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Imitatingdory · 08/03/2022 13:26

Does DS have an EHCP?

Schools and LAs who have blanket policies about not accepting private reports are unlawful.

Gizlotsmum · 08/03/2022 13:29

No he doesn’t, the school have made allowances for him so he gets extra time in formal exams, a scribe and sometimes a reader. He gets to do longer written work on the iPad etc, but that is where it stops ( I appreciate that is quite a lot) but no formal diagnosis means it is always a fight to get the support he needs, and there were further recommendations in the educational psychologist report which they are hopefully implementing around movement breaks

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Gizlotsmum · 08/03/2022 13:30

So do they have to take on the recommendations if we go private?

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Imitatingdory · 08/03/2022 13:34

Legally they can’t refuse to accept private assessment reports because they are private.

You don’t need a diagnosis for an EHCP, depending on DS’s other needs he may benefit from you applying for one. If school have funded an EP assessment they must think there are unmet needs. The benefit of an EHCP is as part of the needs assessment you can ask for a sensory OT assessment and if the NHS won’t provide it then the LA must commission an independent report. In a similar vein the EHCP can include sensory OT and if the NHS won’t or can’t provide it the LA must seek a private provider.

GrangeRoad · 08/03/2022 13:36

I work with schools in a private capacity (I’m not an OT though) and I have found best practice is for me to closely collaborate with school so that I make recommendations that they understand and can see practically how to do them. Sometimes this involves me helping them look at a child’s timetable/staff timetable to identify best ways to implement X intervention, or looking at what resources they have in the school that meet the purposes of the intervention. I’ve noticed that schools find it much harder to translate recommendations into practice if you don’t do this.

Having worked in all LA/NHS/private sector, it seems that schools seem to find it harder to translate reports into action if it’s from professionals who haven’t been able to have detailed consultations with school.

So, all that to say: a school shouldn’t be able to disregard a private report but ideally try to find a private professional who will collaborate with the school rather than see your child once in a clinic and then send off a generic type list of recommendations.

Gizlotsmum · 08/03/2022 13:45

Thank you. Would I or the school ( or together) apply for the EHCP? I suspect my son probably doesn’t qualify for an ECHP as it is more about not reaching his full potential as he is doing ok in assessments, especially with the adaptations made by the school this year. Until last week he has masked pretty well at school, not so much this week so hopefully that will also help.

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Imitatingdory · 08/03/2022 13:51

You can apply yourself, IPSEA have a model letter, but it would be wise to speak to the school first to let them know. You can get EHCPs for academically able DC and those who mask. The threshold for an EHCNA is relatively low. It is a) has or may have SEN, and b) may need SEN provision to be made via an EHCP.

If you go down the private route the report is more likely to be seen as valid by others if the OT also works in the NHS.

Gizlotsmum · 08/03/2022 18:08

Thank you all. School are actually being pretty supportive, just want something in place permanently not on a teachers decision ( although I am hoping his teacher will move year groups with them)

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