School have finally agreed to apply for an EHCP for BoyCat (nearly 8) and the school part is due to be submitted next Friday (17th Dec). I have been asking for support to apply for an EHCP from school since year R when he was really struggling then (especially with regulation). Better late than never. He has ADHD diagnosis as well as insecure anxious attachment, sensory issues, alcohol and drug related neurological damage, trauma etc. all the usual IYKWIM. We get frequent violence and destruction from him at home, but the ADHD meds have helped a bit and melatonin is a godsend. So, if you are of the praying kind - pls pray that the powers that be agree to do an assessment and don’t kick it out at the first hurdle. One step at a time.
At last our BoyCat (8) has an EHCP, at least we have the draft version! And we have started looking at SEN schools localish to us with SEMH focus. In the meantime the poor boy cannot access the classroom and so is being held (I can’t say taught as he’s not accessing any teaching) in a separate room on his own 😢 And is on reduced hours, finishing at 1:30pm. I won’t be surprised if they exclude him. He’s so dysregulated and anxious… We have to reply re comments on draft EHCP. Any tips or things to look out for?
Hi Scaredycats, section B should specify all of the child's special needs and in section F they need to detail how these special needs will be met. This must be quantified, e.g. 5 hours per week. They must say exactly what they are going to do, how, when, to what extent etc. Anything which sounds woolly e.g. "we will help the child regulate" is not enough. Whatever is not specified in Section F is not enforceable. Anything you want to happen therefore has to be in Section F.
If you have a SENDIASS worker get them to go through it with you.
If you have not got an electronic copy ask for one urgently and use the comment function in Word to make all amendments. Easiest for you and no scope for things to get lost.
Anything not mentioned say it must be included and how. Think best case scenario from your point of view and state it all.
If you are able to afford possibly around £200, I would recommend getting a specialist solicitor to read through the draft EHCP and either give you comments to make or writing your 'parent response' letter for you. (I used Simpson Millar and they had very reasonable fixed price rates but of course everything has suddenly become much more expensive.)
I thought I was very experienced with EHCPs and needs/provision but was amazed at not only how much the solicitor drew from reports etc that should have been included but also how much they picked up parts where the LA had been sneaky and underhand in describing things in such a way they could never have been forced to actually be provided.
Beware lots of description of needs in the non enforceable parts that then isn't matched with Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed provision.
Also, lots of people don't realise therapy can be included - as long as you can state it educates or trains. I said therapy was training my children to regulate and educating them in emotional and social resilience. They won't specify a particular therapy provider but will specify a 'type'. Ours say something like, 'fortnightly therapy following a Neuro Physiological Psychotherapy approach which must include sensory integration and Dyadic developmental psychotherapy' ' which means the LA can't wriggle out of it and try to send me on a parenting course instead.
Don't be afraid to add in extra objectives or re order them to make more sense and think ahead a few years at least. The more provision you have put in now, the easier Annual reviews are later on and the less stress and difficulty there will be at transitions times such as primary to secondary.
To be fair, I had a few as 4 year battle in all. Alice Gough was most recent and lovely. They offered me a cheaper paralegal or trainee (whose work was always overseen by a supervisor) which made the cost more manageable.
You phone their head office and they allocate you to someone once you have given a little detail. They applied for a short extension for me too - although the speed with which they could read and recommend was astounding to be honest!
Thanks so much guys. It is £300 incl VAT for an hour’s advice or £840 incl VAT to do all paperwork, incl review and edit of EHCP/ writing to LA, advice on exclusions and reduced provision etc. Lots to think about.
Gosh, it’s like treading on egg shells working with the school isn’t it. I can barely bring myself to talk to BoyCats current mainstream school (after they made a referral to SS about us without having the guts or respect to even let us know) but have to make the effort. Buy the way the SW said there was no safeguarding issue at all, so thank goodness he was experienced enough to understand our CPV situation.