Andre has multiple health conditions that mean he is often too unwell to attend school. He attended the local primary until he was 7 but then mum had to pull him out as she felt the school were unable to look after him sufficiently and that he was missing out on too much learning when he had prolonged stays in hospital as the school would not send him work to do there. Andre has been home-schooled for the last 5 years.
Mum could never get him statemented as he didn’t have an actual educational need, but has waited for EHC plans to come in as the assessment will take his health needs into account. Now he is 13 she is looking to get him into a part-time school place so that he can get help preparing and being entered for his exams.
Trying to make a self-referral into the EHC process was difficult as there were no details about self referral on the LA website and no one knew how she could do it when she sought help. As a home school child she was unsure how to fill out the forms and only had medical reports on his condition.
After she applied someone from the LA came to their home and explained the whole process to her. This was followed by an Ed Psych visit and Mum providing all of the medical reports on Andre. The professionals came to her home again and between them they co-produced the draft plan. Mum was really pleased with how accurate the plan was and only made small changes to it, clarifying the impact of his condition.
Mum was then asked to sign off the plan, although it did not state what school Andre would attend.
“Negotiations around his education placement have happened since I signed the plan. Everyone was clear from the start that the reason I was seeking an EHCP was just to get Andre into part time school. But, the plan only stated his needs and NOT the school in which they would be addressed. After I signed the plan the LA rep said they would go away and look for a school that would meet his needs because they were not sure of one. I then got a letter to say Andre had been given a place at a local high school.
“I was really concerned as I didn’t think high school was suitable, that’s why Id been teaching him at home. I rang the school up and was told that it was a school with a separate unit attached where children being bullied etc can go.
It would have helped if they had explained in the letter that about the school and why they thought this was suitable for him. Instead I had to be proactive in seeking this information and I’m not sure all parents would do that.
Andre has now been to the school for a trial session and loves it. However, mum still had to wait further while funding was put in place.
“It was a worrying time waiting to hear if he could go to that school he has been transitioning to because of arguments over who will fund it.