June 9, 2015
Being statemented has provided a means for parents with children that have special educational needs to ensure that their son or daughter receives the level of educational support that they need in order to enjoy a decent education. For a lot of children with special education needs, a statement has proven the difference between struggling to get by and excelling through their school and further education years. However, between now and 2018, the Special Educational Needs (SEN) statement is being gradually replaced by Education, Health, and Care (EHC) plan.
The EHC plan has the same goal as the Statement of Special Educational Needs, which is to outline the specific support that a child with special educational needs will receive in or out of the mainstream school system. Some of the process has changed, and even the new name has caused some confusion.
Health And Care Requirements
Despite the title of the new plan, it is only awarded to children that have special educational requirements. It may include provisions for additional health and care support, but no plan will be granted if they only have these requirements and a need for educational support is a prerequisite, and one of the factors that is considered during the application process.
The plan itself is a long, extensive document. It initially details the requirements of the child, before highlighting how those needs will be met, how the school will assist in meeting the needs, and any additional help that is to be provided to ensure that the needs are met. This may, or may not, include a personal budget arrangement.
Personal Budget Arrangements
A personal budget arrangement provides you, as parent or carer, with a notional payment that is used to help provide some of the additional support that your child needs. The head teacher of your child’s school can ultimately veto your application for a personal budget payment, if the support is to be provided in or by the school, but where a personal budget arrangement is made, the plan will include specific details of this.
Personal budget arrangements may be paid directly to you, to a service provider or organisation that will provide the support, or to a third party that will arrange for the appropriate payments to a service provider. The money may be used to pay for support services like speech therapy; something which mainstream schools do not provide access to, but may prove essential to help ensure that the child is able to study and learn properly.
Applying And Appealing Plans And Statements
Whether you are applying for a statement or a plan, and whether it is your first application or it is time for annual review and you believe that additional support will be needed compared to the last year, Tayntons Solicitors can help. Our experienced team of solicitors has considerable experience in dealing with Statements of Special Educational Needs, we know what information and evidence is requested by LAs, and we can help to formally lodge an appeal against a decision made during the process. Enjoy peace of mind and a professional, sympathetic attitude to your case, and enjoy the greatest chance of a successful outcome.