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Reply To: EHCP SLT report

Sarah Barnett

Hi Ruth, I’m wondering if the EY and school action plus funding you’re referring to is what the legal process was up to 2014? The landmark Children and Families act 2014 became law in September 2014, changing many laws, including SEND. Since then the focus is (supposed to be) on identifying the individual child’s needs, across Education, Health and Social Care and, if necessary, co-planning the provision needed for that specific child to reach specific agreed outcomes i.e. an EHCP. The underlying principles of the Statutory SEN reforms (see Code of Practice 2015) is that the child and their family are at the centre of the process (yes, I know!)

Hi Gillian, I’ve looked at the cropped letter you’d attached and agree it is problematic:
(1) it’s ‘misleading’ (at best) to phrase it as ‘we’re pleased to say, he doesn’t require an EHCP’, because the LA cannot know whether or not the child needs an EHCP, as they haven’t carried out a statutory assessment.
(2) they cannot know the amount of funding required for this particular child, as they have not assessed his specific needs and the specific provision required to meet his specific outcomes
(3) there is no suggestion of health (e.g. SLT, OT), or social care being involved
(4) what they should be saying is ‘we are refusing to assess your child’

to answer your questions, in my opinion:
(a) it appears unlawful
(b) for the reasons given above – no
(c) missed provision at time when intervention most important
(d) The parents should appeal. Model letters for this are provided on IPSEA’s website. IPSEA would probably be interested to hear about this case, if they haven’t already heard from other parents.