Applying for a Statement
The term "STATEMENT" under Special Educational Needs has now changed to "Single Plan" or "Educational Health Care Plan" (EHCP). You may already be at this stage. But for those of you who aren't, you may be needing just that little bit of help, advice and guidance.
Many of us have been through the journey of applying for the EHC-Plan and Kay wanted to share her experience when applying for her daughter for her complex needs.
Kay writes :
It took some time to achieve it, but things got that bad for her, that I was ready to defend her and fight. I was fortunate enough to have been successful first time. I wanted to share with you, what I did, so that hopefully you too can achieve success.
Below I have listed some notes / Advice on things you can be doing and may already be doing so. I have also talked about forms, one that you will receive and the other your child may be asked to complete in school. I have also detailed a flow chart of what you can expect at different stages of your EHC Plan journey. GOOD LUCK
NOTES / ADVICE:
Ensure that if you are having meetings within School that you bang your drum. Ensure that they are aware of your concerns. If you feel that your child is not coping and you think an EHCP and/or a different school would be appropriate, then keep stating this and why. If minutes are being taken down, ensure that you request a copy and that your feeling, requests and statements have been noted fairly and accurately.
Gather information. Document things. Take copies anything that can support what you are concerned about. This may include school books, reports, letters home, phone calls of incidents, CAMHS reports or simply comments your child makes. Keep a diary or a file so that you have numerous items to evidence your worries.
If you feel that you are not being listened too despite meetings, showing evidence etc, then contact your local SEND Team (Special Educational Needs & Disabilities Team) whom are usually based within your Local Authority. Ask them how you proceed with a request for an EHC Plan. They will advise you and may speak to the school to get their feel for what's happening. Don't be put off by the latter as you will be possibly writing and forwarding copies of your evidence. Never send the only copy. Either send the original, keeping the copy or the other way around.
If you do have to put this in writing, ensure that you have a contact name within this department. Address your envelope clearly and ensure that you send it recorded delivery. This way, someone at the other end MUST sign for it and also means that the signature can be produced if something goes a-miss.
The SEND Team may tell you it isn't necessary for you to write in and that they are happy to start the ball rolling. This may be due to discussions with the school and confirmation of issues.
As a response to your telephone inquiry or your written request, you should receive confirmation of what will happen next. You should receive forms for you to complete about your child.
The form you will receive is a request for information from the Parent(s) / Carer of the child and may be called something along the lines of "Parent/Carer Advice Form". This is an opportunity for you to paint a complete insight to your child and their life. Your child should also be asked to complete a form which is much more basic and is discussed further down.
Typical Questions on the form are:
Simply asking general information for contact, who are the parents etc.
state here if you have any issues with being able to attend future meetings around this application i.e. working times, illness, transport etc.
FAMILY AROUND THE CHILD
list here who the important family members are involved with your child - Grandparents, siblings etc.
PROFESSIONALS AROUND THE CHILD
list here the professional people or agencies involved with your child / care - CAMHS, GP, Speech and Language
CHILD'S HEALTH, BEHAVIOUR AND DEVELOPMENT
Achievements and Successes -have a think about all the positive that you can see in your child. What are they good at? Do they play sports, have the achieved recognition in this ability. Do they have an ability to focus when GAMING which they can't normal achieve. Is there a special talent that your child has?
Early Years : what were you noticing about your child when they were young? Were you starting to see signs that something was different? Did they have friends, have fears, wet the bed, have too many falls, unable to ride a bike. Maybe their early years were completely fine but as time went on you noticed certain things. Maybe this happened during schooling such as nursery or teachers were informing you of concerns.
General Health: has your child got an ongoing condition? Write here about general health such as diagnosed life long 'biological' issues such as asthma, epilepsy, re-curring colds or infections, hearing issues and so on.
Physical Development: did your child achieve riding a bike? Has your child got great co-ordination skills, is there a problem with balance? Can you child catch a ball? Do they risk take? Did they reach normal milestones for walking, crawling, rolling over etc.
Language & Communication: are there difficulties here regardless of diagnosis? Does your child appear to not pay attention or maybe doesn't seem to respond to your requests appropriately. They maybe advanced for their years and ahead in this area in comparison to their peers. Were there any speech delays or was everything inline with the noted milestone? Does your child stutter or have an impairment when speaking? Does your child get frustrated when trying to explain certain things to you?
School and Learning: does your child refuse to go to school? Frequently in trouble? Disruptive? Difficulty sitting still or paying attention? Do you feel your child is happy at school and if not why and how do you know? Does your child respond to certain lessons and not others and do you know why this is? Have they been in trouble for fighting, not doing homework, arguing with teachers or seem to constantly complain about schools or specific parts of their schooling. Do you think your child has been bullied and why? Does your child display inappropriate behaviours at school? Have school contacted you about your child's abilities, performance or grades?
Play and Leisure: What do you notice about their leisure time? Do they have specific things they like to do? How do they play? Are there things that you notice that may be different? Does your child isolate themselves during times of play? Do they like to visit places and which is their favorite and why?
Social Skills: What's your child's social skills like? Do they mix well with others? Does your child only mix with children of the opposite sex or same sex? Maybe they'll only mix with adult company or completely isolate themselves? Can your child make friends? Is this friendship long term or are there re-curring episodes of classhes, misunderstandings and fall-outs? Does your child attend parties, how do they behave in a larger social environment? When shopping can your child cope with the super market environment? Would they have the skills to shop and take the items to the check out or even ask staff for help?
Emotional & Behavioural Development: What does your child enjoy and laugh at? Do they cry and why? Is their crying justified? What about your child's level of maturity, would you consider this to be inline with their peers? If not how and why? Can they talk to you about things? Do you find their behaviour immature or inappropriate? Does your child show remorse for mistakes ?
Child's needs to stay Healthy and Safe: Do you consider your child to be vulnerable? To what degree - give examples to explain this in full. Can they go off to a neighbours without you being concerned. Is your child aware of dangers? Do they keep themselves safe in all situations i.e. aware of strangers, keeping in contact, using the internet safely. Does your child frequently get into fights? Have they ever wondered off regardless of age?
Supporting your Child: Does your child attend SEN Sessions where they interact more here? Do they respond better as a 1:1. Does your child have a specific learning method such as using visual aids, ear defenders, support software. What's working?
Things used to help: What's helping you cope and your child too? Have you been recognised by a charity and receiving their support? Awarded breaks away for respite? Is your child receiving respite or residentials which helps them with learning and development?
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR CHILD -
What's important to them
- Teddy Bear
- Collecting Items
- Performing a Ritual
- Certain place / colour / number
What works well
- 1:1 support
- a certain teacher supporting your child
- techniques used to manager and cope
- a Pet
What doesn't work well
- School environment
- method of learning
- sensory issues
- Punishment / Blame
- Being misunderstood
What does your child like
- Favourite Top
- Making noises
- Dressing up
- Pretend play - no one else
What does your child dislike
- Certain people
- Being lonely
- Hostility for being different
Request for a EHC Plan - Child / Pupils View
As mentioned above, your child may be asked or rather should be asked to give their views on how they're feeling. Here is the outline of what the form 'may' ask them:
- What have you done well at school in your last year?
- What do you enjoy doing at school?
- What do you find hard at school?
- What improvements would you make for next year?
- Additional Information they want to mention
NOW you need to ensure that you have as much information in as possible. You may find that taking extracts from the Child and Family Act which was amended April 2015 as a firm reinforcement as quoting legal excerpts can support you further. Aspects of the Law talks about Parental Preference when discussing your child's schooling provision and also the right for the child's happiness. I used this so recommend doing so fully.
Flow Chart of your Journey throughout applying for an
Educational Health Care Plan (Single Plan)
If you have reached the stage of Assessment Refusal, please note that you can appeal. The National Parent Partnership Network will offer you support throughout and can help you complete your form. My local National Parent Partnership Network is now Banardos so please bare this in mind if you struggle to find your local office.
Please visit the LINKS tab to find their website.
- See the Flow Chart Below
Why not discuss your experiences on the Parent Forum.
Who helped you? Who would you recommend for Support?
Did your experiences unravel in a completely different way to the above?
Maybe you were surprised at the help you received?.