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Guest Q&A - the Independent Support Service

IndependentSupportServicesIndependentSupportServices Posts: 54Community advisor Talkative
edited July 2017 in Guest Q&As

This week we have Amelia and Charlotte from the Independent Support Service answering your questions about Education, Health and Care Plans.  

The Independent Support Service provides free advice and support for parents of children and young people with Special Educational Needs, through the statutory assessment and Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) processes.

Our Independent Supporters will offer a range of time-limited support such as liaison across different agencies and advice on personal budgets. The level and nature of that support will be tailored to your particular needs.

We have both worked for the Independent Support Service since October 2014 following the reforms to the Children and Families Act. We support parents and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans, providing information about the process, assisting with paperwork, reviewing draft plans when they are issued and signposting to other support agencies. 



Our role is to enable parents and young people to ensure that their views are taken into account and that the EHCP is a document which supports children and young people to achieve their aspirations.

We can help with questions around what to expect during the process, who may be involved, how parents and young people contribute to the EHCP and how to find tools to support person centred planning. 

As each Local Authority has different paperwork and processes, we can only comment on what is in the SEND Code of Practice.


Do you have a question for the Independent Support Service team? Let them know by commenting below.

Replies

  • ZoeGottZoeGott Posts: 4Member Listener
    What do these assesments provide other than recognition for challenges.
    Do they only apply to children in mainstream school or special needs school.
    I provide the majority of my sons needs and endeavor to learn and support that tbat i dont understand. 
    In addition to providing home education and support for my sons medical needs.
  • IndependentSupportServicesIndependentSupportServices Posts: 54Community advisor Talkative
    edited June 2017
    Hi Zoe,

    Thanks for getting in touch. Evidence and advice from professionals should identify any needs and also give advice about outcomes and ways to meet these, which could then be included in the EHCP. Professionals may also make suggestions about provision a child or young person needs, such as speech and language therapy, mental health services,, specialist equipment etc. A needs assessment is for any child, in mainstream or special school. The below is from the SEND Code of Practice:
    9.3 A local authority must conduct an assessment of education, health and care needs when it considers that it may be necessary for special educational provision to be made for the child or young person in accordance with an EHC plan. 

    Parents may be able to provide all the support their child needs. An assessment is to ensure that there are a range of professionals who may be able to provide suggestions about how to meet need and that parents are fully informed and do not have to take all the responsibility themselves.

    If you would like to find out more about Independent Support, please follow the link below to find out who provides the service in your area

    https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/independent-support
  • ZoeGottZoeGott Posts: 4Member Listener
    Thank you. My son is hiģh functioning asd as with all autistic children has a wide range of challenges.
    People giving advice while their intentions are genuine doesnt result in action.
    Im still confused as to how this would help some one home schooled.
    I will keep your advice in mind if i feel it will help.
    Unfortunatly Autism is well discribed too much information so getting even more people involved wont go down well.
  • c4nowc4now Posts: 4Member Listener
    edited June 2017
  • adnamazadnamaz Posts: 3Member Listener
    Hello my daughter has had a report done and the next stage is to be seen by the educational psychologist but the school have no sessions left wat can we do to get her seen
  • c4nowc4now Posts: 4Member Listener
    Hi 
    We are just going through the review process for my son's EHCP and I have a couple of questions if you are able to help.  He is at a special school and in Year 10 so this is an important review for him and will be used as we review post 16 options for him.

    Firstly I have voiced my concern with the school that the outcomes (section E) are not detailed enough.  For example, one outcome is: 'X will have achieved a wide range of qualifications grade 9-1, including at least 5 GCSEs'.

    I have suggested that this should include some steps on how they are going to achieve this.  For example: 'X will have achieved a wide range of qualifications grade 9-1, including at least 5 GCSEs.by:
     Attending school regularly.
     Engaging in lessons.
     Learning to transfer thoughts to paper / text / voice recorder.
     Learning to focus and finish things.
     To learn how to carry on with work when distracted.
     To find strategies to better understand teachers
     Learning methods to remember things.

    The school are saying that the LA have advised that they don't want detail in this section and that they have an Annex which provides the plan of action. I have said that the SEN Act specifies that this section should include steps towards meeting the outcomes and arrangements for monitoring progress.  I think the arrangements are what they put in the Annex. I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Secondly, i would like to see something in Social Care about providing support to help him access the community.  It seems to be a problem because they say they can't put anything in Social Care unless they are already involved.  This seems unfair as surely this document is about identifying his needs. 

    Hope you can provide some clarification for me.
    Many thanks.
  • IndependentSupportServicesIndependentSupportServices Posts: 54Community advisor Talkative
    Hi Zoe,

    Parents of a child who is home educated can request a needs assessment. If you feel people working with your child have been given advice and suggestions and have not followed these, which has had a negative impact on your child, you can contact your local SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS). The National Autistic Society may also have some suggestions more specific to your son's needs. If you would like support to find your SENDIASS, please email me [email protected]
  • IndependentSupportServicesIndependentSupportServices Posts: 54Community advisor Talkative
    Hi adnamaz,

    If the Educational Psychology assessment is part of the needs assessment for an EHCP, it has to be completed within a specific timescale. You can find your local Independent Support service using the link below and request support through the process. They will then be able to make suggestions based on your Local Authority procedures and will know who to contact if the assessment is not being completed in a timely manner

    https://councilfordisabledchildren.org.uk/independent-support

  • IndependentSupportServicesIndependentSupportServices Posts: 54Community advisor Talkative
    Hi c4now,

    Regarding Section E, an outcome is an end result, what you would expect to see at the end of a specific timescale. There can be smaller outcomes with a shortler timescale for achievement which work towards these over-arching outcomes. The steps and support put into place to enable the child to achieve these outcomes is the provision (Section F). It is important that all the detailed provision goes into Section F as this is an area which can be challenged through tribunal if not completed and followed correctly. It could be that the layout of the plan is unclear and that Sections E and F are merged but this provision should not be included as an annex as there is a specific section for it within the plan. 

    All reviews taking place from year 9 onwards must include a focus on preparing for adulthood, including employment, independent living and participation in society. This transition planning must be built into the EHCP. The main thing to be taken into account is your son's views and aspirations on what he wants to do in the future and how he can be supported in this.

    Some of the support identified through this preparing for adulthood review will be able to be met by including components in his future study programme and/or there may be a need for social care to be involved. A social care assessment can be requested at any time if there are concerns, there does not have to be existing evidence.
    Under SEN Regulation 6 (1) (h), a parent or young person can ask the Local Authority to seek advice from anyone within education, health or social care and as long as it is a reasonable request the LA must do so. 

    The Preparing for Adulthood site has an EHCP checklist that can be used to consider this future planning

    http://www.preparingforadulthood.org.uk/media/385562/2upload.pfatoolkit.pdf

    Read more at https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/34140/guest-q-a-the-independent-support-service#oU58VyBVsiuB33Kb.99
  • c4nowc4now Posts: 4Member Listener
    Hi 
    We are just going through the review process for my son's EHCP and I have a couple of questions if you are able to help.  He is at a special school and in Year 10 so this is an important review for him and will be used as we review post 16 options for him.

    Firstly I have voiced my concern with the school that the outcomes (section E) are not detailed enough.  For example, one outcome is: 'X will have achieved a wide range of qualifications grade 9-1, including at least 5 GCSEs'.

    I have suggested that this should include some steps on how they are going to achieve this.  For example: 'X will have achieved a wide range of qualifications grade 9-1, including at least 5 GCSEs.by:
     Attending school regularly.
     Engaging in lessons.
     Learning to transfer thoughts to paper / text / voice recorder.
     Learning to focus and finish things.
     To learn how to carry on with work when distracted.
     To find strategies to better understand teachers
     Learning methods to remember things.

    The school are saying that the LA have advised that they don't want detail in this section and that they have an Annex which provides the plan of action. I have said that the SEN Act specifies that this section should include steps towards meeting the outcomes and arrangements for monitoring progress.  I think the arrangements are what they put in the Annex. I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Secondly, i would like to see something in Social Care about providing support to help him access the community.  It seems to be a problem because they say they can't put anything in Social Care unless they are already involved.  This seems unfair as surely this document is about identifying his needs. 

    Hope you can provide some clarification for me.
    Many thanks.
  • MyBoysMyBoys Posts: 1Member Listener
    We have an EHCP going through at the moment and my son starts school september this year.My question relates to time off. It states my son will need time off for medical appointments including physio and orthotics etc. How should the school be recording these absences. I obviously will try and keep to a minimum but we hope to have SDR operation next spring and he will have lots more appointments than normal. 
  • IndependentSupportServicesIndependentSupportServices Posts: 54Community advisor Talkative
    Hi MyBoys,

    There was a petition about this issue which recently closed. You can view the full response here https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168779 but I have taken relevant parts and pasted below:

    The Department for Education states that:

    Section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on maintained schools, academies and pupil referral units to make arrangements to support pupils at their school with medical conditions.

    Medical appointments, wherever possible, should be made outside of the school day. Where this is not possible, and we do understand that sometimes it is not, we advise that children should only be out of school for the minimum amount of time necessary for the appointment.

    Schools should not discriminate against children for their attendance record if their absences are related to their medical condition, for example hospital appointments. Most schools use the national absence codes to record and monitor attendance. The codes enable schools to identify the reasons for absence. Therefore when monitoring pupils’ attendance, schools will be able to take into consideration any absences due to medical appointments.

    Page 11 of the Guidance Document below shows that an approved absence for a medical appointment would be 'M'

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/564599/school_attendance.pdf

    If you have any concerns over your son's school attendance record due to his medical appointments, you can contact your local SEND Information, Advice and Support Service (SENDIASS)

    Read more at https://community.scope.org.uk/discussion/34140/guest-q-a-the-independent-support-service#Zzy5LOdu6Dmh8pJ4.99
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 6,827Administrator Scope community team
    @lesjane asked:


    Hi my daughter has been on a statement since she was 8years old she is now 12 and still on a statement. When should this change over ? Thank you 

    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • IndependentSupportServicesIndependentSupportServices Posts: 54Community advisor Talkative

    Hi @lesjane,

    this is decided by each different Local Authority, so I suggest you contact your Local Authority and find out their 'Local Transition Plan'. All statements should be transferred to EHCP's by April 2018. You will find your Local Transition Plan on your Local Offer website. You should receive notice in writing of when this is due to happen 2 weeks prior. Statement remain in force until and EHCP is in place. You are able to request that the process starts before the LA's planned timescales for transfer. Please look at the following links for more information:

    http://www.ipsea.org.uk/what-you-need-to-know/transition

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/implementing-the-0-to-25-special-needs-system


This discussion has been closed.