Lost in Transition – Part 7

Much Ado About Nothing

You must first understand how wildly damaged I am. I have this horrible habit of not stopping, not giving up, ever. When I was a kid I lived in London and would always run for every bus, every train. I found myself getting really anxious if I didn’t. There is a simple explanation. If I always did my best, then if it didn’t work out I didn’t have to blame myself.

It’s a pretty naive idea but it’s stayed with me. Now when I work I get horribly obsessed. I won’t sleep until I’m done. And to be done I have to go above and beyond. Max’s transition is under my skin in the same way.

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Contacting the shortlisted schools for more information was going to be a minefield.

So I did the only thing I could think of and got all grown up about it. I structured the questions based on some ‘fun’ bedtime reading namely The Children and Families Act 2014 and The Equalities Act 2010. The letters were formal, enormous and incredibly detailed.

I waited…then I waited some more. I got two responses after a week,

Thank you for your email requesting details regarding our post 16 provision for your son. Unfortunately we cannot provide for many of the requirements, therefore I have to regretfully say that we would not be an appropriate provision for him. If you need any further details regarding which aspects we could / could not provide then please do come back to me.”

The other school answered each question in the same amount of detail I’d sent them. They were surprisingly kind and open, they seemed to see him as a person. For the first time I felt as if Max’s promise might be able to be kept.

OK, one yes and one no. I sent out reminders to the other five schools through their main emails as well as the SEN department ones. I got two responses from PAs saying they would pass my message on. They either didn’t or the departments in question didn’t want to respond.

Instead I spent my time pouring over the school’s websites in shocking detail. Two felt right. I know, a terrible thing to trust your gut instinct but there was something that felt personal about these two. Less cattle like, they felt as if they were aiming at their kids having a future and weren’t looking at warehousing them. They didn’t’ even use the word ‘cohort’ in their about page.

I chatted to Miss Bob, Max’s Transition officer, about it and she arranged to speak to the rest herself. She has suggested visits and assessments. She wants more paperwork from Max’s school, from Max’s doctors, from his carers…it's endless. But at least it’s something I can get my teeth into.

 

If you’re in the same place, you might want to check out these useful links…

The Children and Families Act 2014 - http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/pdfs/ukpga_20140006_en.pdf

The Equalities Act 2010 - https://www.gov.uk/guidance/equality-act-2010-guidance

IPSEA - https://www.ipsea.org.uk

Preparing for Adulthood- http://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk

What can you do if your child’s application for assessment is turned down?

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If you're dealing with special needs tribunal or an assessment of special educational needs...Get advice and help here.

There is a lot of free professional advice available throughout the whole of the UK. There are also a lot of advocates and solicitors that specialise in SEN. We suggest you talk about costs right at the outset.  Time is of the essence. Just like the application process there are tight deadlines to appeal decisions. You also have to wait a certain amount of time before you can reapply. Some things are out of your control – sadly, the chances of success vary wildly depending on your local authority and how much funding they have left in the kitty. Have a look through these guidance notes: Special Educational Needs and Disability appeals (HM Courts & Tribunals Service)

If you take professional or free expert help, we still suggest you get every document emailed, acknowledged, time stamped and sent to your home address as a hard copy.

 

Here is a template letter for parents who have been refused an assessment

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l change in the way that education, health and social care professionals work with families and young people.

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What is an Education, Health & Care Plan (EHC plan or EHCP)?

The Education Health and Care Plan (E.H.C.P.) or E.H.C plan, is an exciting new system that puts you and your child at the very centre of the assessment and planning process. It is designed to make sure that your views are not only heard but also understood.

This is called 'person centred planning' because it  increases your choice and control. This new process focuses on what is important for children and young people. Thats because you know what you and your child want to achieve now and in the future. Young people and families have helped to design the plan.

The E.H.C.P. is designed to create a real change in the way that education, health and social care professionals work with families and young people.

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Who is an EHCP for?

The educational health and care plan is for children and young people who have special educational needs (SENs) and/or disabilities. Your child’s needs will be assessed by education, health and social care professionals to see if you should have a EHC plan. You can talk to your child’s school, college or nursery about eligibility for an assessment. For example, your school’s special educational needs coordinator (SENco) will be able to help.

So how does it work?

At the start of the assessment, you and your child will get the chance to say what’s working, what’s not working and what you think needs to change. Your school and LA will help you with this because a great plan can theoretically mean great change for your child!

At the same time  information will be gathered from the other people working with your child and a meeting will be arranged. At this meeting you can figure out outcomes and how you think they can best be met.

Remember that this is all about a partnership between you and the professionals involved to make the right decisions for you as a family.

Near the end of the assessment time, the multi-agency group will meet again to confirm the EHCP. They will decide what support you might be eligible for to meet your agreed outcomes. The plan will be clear about how much things cost and will have agreed timescales. This will  make sure that your child's plan is updated and reviewed regularly. That's really important so that any changes in their condition or development can be supported. The plan will then go with your child or the young person as they change services, change schools and also when they leave school and go on to college, training or employment.

The EHCP is designed to create a real change in the way that education, health and social care professionals work with families and young people.

How might this affect the support my child gets?

The EHCP assessment and planning is designed to focus on agreeing individual outcomes and the support needed to achieve these. The plan  will be tailored to each child's needs. This could include helping families to make best use of support available. These might include services available in the local offer, from the local community, or provided by statutory services.

Sky Badger knows that finding help is tricky, so please look through Sky Badger's website to find even more support for your whole family.

What age does an EHC Plan cover?

An EHC Plan covers disabled and SEN children and young adults aged 0-25

How long does it take?

The whole process lasts 20 weeks.

When Do EHC Plans Come In?

EHC plans start to come in from September 2014 and will be rolled out in phases over the next 2/3 years.

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Detailed advice about the EHCPs

Use our directory to find lots of organisations and charities with detailed advice

What can you do if your child’s application for assessment or EHCP is turned down? ...Get advice and help here.

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Sky Badger was chosen as one of the five charities to be honoured by The Guardian’s prestigious award.

Can we help with anything else?

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Education

Find extra help at school, information about Education, Health, Care Plans (EHCP), apps & programmes, tech and IT for supporting learning and sensory activities.

disabled holidays uk

Holidays & Free time

Find holidays, sports, free cinema tickets, theatre, clubs, art, dance, music, days out, make a wish charities and more.

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Useful technology & kit

Find sensory toys, useful technology, trikes and bikes, wheelchairs & mobility.

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Finances

Find grants, governemnt benefits and help with your utility and council tax bills.

oqmzwnd3thu-helloquence

Legal stuff

Find out about disability rights, educational and medical law and how to find a specialist advocate or lawyer.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Medical stuff

Find information about your child's medical condition, medicines that they take and mental health support.

Not sure where to turn?

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Contact our helpdesk

Do you need specific help for your disabled or special needs child? Click here to tell us more about what you're looking for and our helpdesk team will do their very best to find you what you need. All of our advice is confidential and we will not share your details or personal information with anyone.