Published Wednesday, September 02, 2015 by

Granted an EHCP, only to question the stated provisions

ehcp without a school

We have an EHCP! Unfortunately we don't have a school.

As everyone excitedly gets ready for a new year at school, we find ourselves unsure of where to send our son as we wait for a decision to be made on the best place for him to go.

I can't believe that it is over 2 months since my son was asked to leave his previous school, and just one day until the new term starts. It is even harder to believe that we still have no uniform, bag, travel or childcare agreements for when we are at work and no confirmed plan for school!

So how is it that with just a day to go, we still have no plan for school?
Turns out it is a questioning of timing, waiting for the process to take its course, and being caught in the middle as a decision is made on whether our Son can go into an ARP (additionally resourced provision).

Granted an EHCP - which doesn't quite meet our needs

In the past month we were granted an EHCP with 30 hours of one-to-one support at our local mainstream school (a major milestone which I will write about another time).

This seems great until you realise that the support person would have no training or experience in dealing with ASD and defiant behaviour, there was no Speech  Language provisioning to address his acknowledged social communication problems, and the likelihood of our Son being able to manage in the school is extremely low (as highlighted by several professionals in the submitted evidence).

Agreeing that the provision needs to change

Luckily the county SEN officer we raised our concerns with agreed that he needed more specialist support than he could get in a mainstream school, however this would mean having to put in a request for a place at an ARP. This would then be reviewed at the next panel meeting, in October! She also advised we should apply for a place at a special school as an alternative option. Not ideal when you need a decision for the start of school at the beginning of September.

After much discussion, emails and phone calls we were able to get agreement from someone senior that our Son could go into an ARP. We need needed agreement from the nearest school with a suitable ARP. The school in question agreed in principle, however they would need to meet our Son and review his EHC plan before they make a final decision. Great again, until you hear that they are only available from the 2 September (the day before school) and won't be able to talk to you until then.

Wondering how to proceed whilst waiting for a decision

So here we are - a confirmed place at a mainstream school where my Son is unlikely to cope, and a decision in principle from an ARP which is dependent on an assessment which we know nothing about and may take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks/ months.

Neither school are able to talk to us today since they are all busy preparing for the start of term tomorrow, so the question we have to ask is WHAT DO WE DO?

Send him into the mainstream school who would need to arrange the one-to-one support knowing that he may have a place elsewhere quite soon, or keep him at home for even longer until we are able to talk to someone and get a decision on where he should go?