Helping Families Through the Maze of
Special Educational Needs
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The ‘Statement’ of Special Educational Needs
If your child is under assessed with incorrect or insufficient provision in their ‘Special Educational Needs Statement’ OR following September 2014) ‘Education Health care Plan’ EHCP - you are far less likely to get the help they need. The Local Authority have a duty of care towards your child and the statement is a legal document regarding your child’s future - it must be entered into very carefully. Do not sign it off until you are completely satisfied that the content in PART 3 of the statement - (provision) OR Section ‘F’ of the EHCP; is detailed enough to ensure that the correct environment, qualifications and exact time spent by specialist support is included. Part 2 of the statement is only a description and does not provide help; whilst all parts of the statement have the right of appeal - Section ‘F’ of the EHCP is the only section for which you have the right of appeal to the ‘SEND’ tribunal. Without a correctly written statement or EHCP you can only hope that help will be offered. If you wish to change the school - in (Part 4) you must have a fully detailed Part 3 to justify it. BOTH the statement and the EHCP can extend support until the age of 25.
Is it a misnomer that the Statement ends at 16. The special needs code of practice clearly points out that it will cover provision throughout formal education. Be very careful when it comes to the last year or so of school you may loose the statement if you agree to a further education college placement. If you feel your child would not cope in college you can and should look for alternatives -possibly keeping the statement. If college is an option insist on correct the support. (an S139a - form , ‘LDA’ or ‘moving on plan’ filled out by Connexions does not have as much legal obligation to provide support (but can be strengthened with the use of Disability Discrimination Laws). Your Statement OR EHCP can support out of county placements and provision in Independent schools at any age including past 16, - up to 25.
There Is legislation in place which should ensure that children are put before finance - however, in reality gaining ‘appropriate provision’ for your child can become a battle with your local authority to prove that they will suffer unless this help is given. Education should not be about ‘coping’. If the ‘Every Child Matters’ policy is to be believed then it should be a joy for all...!
Evelyn Ashford -
If you would like to put us in touch with your local parent forum we are happy to discuss your needs and arrange a visit.
We provide parent talks Nationally - these can give an over view of the current Special Educational Needs System or any other area of information regarding Autism and special Educational Needs. or this can be used as a surgery session to support individual cases. To raise awareness amongst parents, teachers and the general public.