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New diagnosis since EHCP Can we change school

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Hi

My AD has a EHCP based on attachment/trauma related difficulties. Since then (just a matter of months) she has been diagnosed with ADHD sensory integration disorder and dyspraxia. By chance I have come across an independent school which sounds perfect for my AD and I plan to visit it this week However, can I request this school be the named school on her EHCP in light of this new set of diagnoses or as it's within a year of the EHCP being granted, will the LA refuse? If so is there a right to appeal?

Thank you

Pigeon x


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I do not think it will be easy as your current school will probably argue 'we meet your childs needs, she's making progress and doing fine'.

So you need good arguments why you think this other school is better, this can be easy if your child is not doing well, and than I mean plays up big time in class. If your child is compliant and still to correct with words it's more tricky.


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Ok, thanks Pluto. Have you had your own experience of this? Px


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Another related question! If we moved to the area where the school is located would that help? Could we argue that the independent school is the best placed to meet her needs in the area? Would her adoptive status help with that? Thanks px


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As Pluto says.

As this is an independent school and fees will need to be paid there would have to be detailed and protracted discussions about who pays those fees, and only then if strong evidence that a state school couldnt meet her needs equally well.

The school would get her PPP+ but only if she goes to the school under LA direction. I picked a small independent non-selective school locally for my AS where he's in a class of 14, but I can no longer get his PPP+ cos I chose to send him there rather than our very excellent, but enormous local high school. The burden of his £11K a year fees falls fully on us.


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My experience goes asfar as that I did not agree with the school where my son was placed. But I could not get it changed as this school was named. Maybe things have changed as my experience was a decade ago.


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That's appalling! What if we moved to the small town where the school is located? Px


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Than they are likely to find a state school who has experience in special needs children as they try to avoid school fees for independent schools. If you pay yourself you are much more free in sschool choice.

I know some people on the board managed to get their kids on independent (boarding) schools and the LA, education, care whoever paid. Those children were hugely challenging in school and at home. If your child is no chair thrower the LA will not be in a hurry to provide.

That is the reason why I say you need experts agreeing with your choice, reports about what's less perfect in your child, tests and the results, and you need to be very pushy as parent.

And if you want things to move on you are sort of forced to go private to get the tests done you want. How is your child's speech? have you ever considered asd? Hyperactivity, attachment issues and sensory stuff are symptomes. It can present differently in girls.

I do not think moving a small distance will make much difference.


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Are the current school meeting her needs? Do they understand her? Differentiate appropriately for her?


I honestly don't think a diagnosis alone will be sufficient for them to consider funding an independent school place.


We're currently mid lengthy battle to get my daughter into special ed for KS3. She has an appropriate diagnosis for the place we want - state school - and it's in catchment. But so far we've been turned down 4 times. Now escalated as high as it can go and we're trying again this week. If we fail again we're in the realms of solicitors and tribunal. And yes we have a private EP report too. Everyone agrees she needs this place but apparently she's not quite autistic enough! We're now in month 6 I think of trying to sort this out - so I wouldn't hold your breath tbh.


Research whether the LEA have suitable provision which they could offer. Some LEA provision is very good - I know ours is because I have a child there already.


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Hi thanks for the replies, she has various diagnoses, ADHD, attachment disorder, current assessment for dyspraxia, also querying Aspergers. Assessed by EP as having mild learning disability and moderate learning difficulties. She sustained a head injury as a baby but was also prem so nobody sure what's contributing to what? She has a TA in school but emotionally and educationally I feel she's going backwards because relationships are becoming more tricky as her peers grow and develop interpersonal skills beyond what she can engage with. Her anger and frustration are shown at home more so than school, her self esteem is my main worry. She is highly self critical and routinely hits herself, just the other day she gestured towards me with a knife, it was dinner time and in a moment of frustration she picked it up and started jabbing it towards me. She routinely hits out and calls me names. The physical aggression is generally only aimed at me We are receiving sensory attachment therapy after a long fight, we are due to begin theraplay but my sense is that as we make progress in one area another layer reveals itself. Her school which I chose because it's small are doing their level best but 30 plus kids all high achieving isn't working on so many levels. I'm used to a fight! Looks like we are going to have another one! We've got private and NHS assessments coming out of our ears! Ironically the senco gave me details of the special independent school as they are offering a free training event and she thought it would interest me, I looked on their website and it sounds perfect! Going to visit them this week and see amongst other things what their experiences have been with my LA cheers px


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Hi Donatella I was told by the EP there isn't a special school within my LA that would be suitable. Px


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Hi Pigeon,

Move that head injury as a baby bit much higher up the list. If she has had a traumatic brain injury as a baby this could be key to her behaviours around learning, memory, aggression etc.

Did you get details of how bad the TBI was? What were her in hospital treatment needs? What did MR scans show? If you havent got this info you need you get it.

PS did anyone make a criminal injury claim?


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I think you can make a strong case, mld is in old fashioned terms mentally handicapped (just use it to your advantage) , plus all the additional issues. How much does she really learn in school? Is the gap getting bigger? This is a strong argument, she is not learning enough! My son made no progress and was doing 'very well' (not in my books), see there I had an good argument. They as the experts are not able to learn my child the stuff he needs to know, while at home he can. And you say he has no stress whatsoever.

Unfortunally he does not throw chairs and is over compliant in school (but very sneaky, half of it going unnoticed), exept with me, lol.


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Hi midge an MRI scan wasn't done at the time just a CT scan but we had a very understanding paed who organised an MRI scan last year. It didn't show any current 'damage' however it was a subdural bleed and my understanding is that there may not be physical evidence but 'damage' all the same. Yes criminal injuries comp auth continue to monitor AD via medics involved in her care, my sense is that unless they can pin her difficulties entirely on the brain injury they are reluctant to settle, it's been going on for 7 years the claim! Thank you for your responses px


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Thanks Pluto I will use whatever evidence/terminology necessary to help her get what she needs, sadly school is currently making things worse. She hates going to school at the moment and they are genuinely kind but don't altogether get AD or her problems☹️Px


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Poor child, ofcourse she does not like school, as many children are likely to ignore her and maybe even bully, the teachers are half the day talking about concepts she can not grasp. Beside the fact that she will feel that she's not as quick, clever, and funny as the other children. You need to be very lucky in finding a supportive class where the children help, invite her for parties, include her.

If that's not the case inclusion in mainstream is not more than a hollow phrase what's hurtfull to children. My oldest has been in mainstream in primary this worked out well as he was included, it was a steiner school and after that a very small village school with 25 students total, did have his own ta full time, she was lovely. Ones in secondary, what was a unit in mainstream he was bullied as mainstream kids told him what to do and he did it. The downside of a child what listens, lol. 'B jump', 'jump higher', B sit down', 'B clap you hands and jump' etc, etc.

Now he's in another school as we moved, only children with disabilities/problems, works out much better.

My child could not tell me what happened in school, as I pressume your daughter can not. I knew it was not good as he got tears in his eyes when I started about school and what happened there.

Can you not 'home school' her until the right school is organised?


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Hi Pluto I've considered the idea of home schooling but if I'm honest I think I would go mad if I didn't work Which wouldn't help anyone. I obviously work part time and flexibly. The flip side with school is she likes individuals there such as the TA although as an environment it takes away what it gives. Px


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I understand, it's all very tricky.


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Hi pigeon


I have today posted on the other post- "specialist v mainstream", exactly on this point. Have a read of my post as it's very relevant. In summary, my ad got an EHCP last July - full time ta in mainstream. In February I called an emergency review of her plan as I wanted to move her to an independent specialist school for kids with mild learning difficulties. I was successful, and the lea are now funding the independent school. So it can work out.


My Daugher has similar profile to yours- ADHD, dyspraxia, mild learning difficulties- she was very prem too. The older she got the harder it became for her to access a mainstream curriculum and in effect she was been educated by a ta outside her classroom! I argued that this was detrimental to,her self esteem and this separation from her peers was damaging for a child who had already suffered significant loss. In the 6 months from July to February she had also made little academic progress. There is research to show that kids taught by ta outside the classroom do worse than kids with same needs taught within the class with no support!! I quoted this research. The mainstream school also sent a letter in support, as I had a good relationship with them. My ad want acting out - they could manage her in mainstream with ta support- but it was not good for her.


The lea did make me visit two mainstream specialist schools, but neither were appropriate for her. One was a behavioural school (she doesn't have behavioural needs) and the other was a school for children with severe learning difficulties. Both schools thankfully agreed that they wouldn't be right for my ad.


Good luck xx


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Hi freddie2 that's very encouraging. Thank you for responding. Was that the first step, to arrange an urgent review with the mainstream school? I've got a date for the same but wasn't sure who I should speak with first? Thank you px


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Hi P


I visited the specialist school first just to check that I definitely liked it.


I then spoke to mainstream school. I was fortunate that I had a good relationship with them and they were very understanding. They offered to go and visit the specialist school themselves to help in my decision making.


My ad then did a 3 daytaster at the new school. She made the decision for us as she loved the school. At the end of the taster the new head said that they felt they could meet her needs and offered us a place.


We then called an emergency review of her EHCP. We did this by contacting our case worker at the lea and we out it in writing too - on the ipsea website there is a model letter for this.


About two weeks later a meeting was arranged at my ad's mainstream school , attended by myself, the head, senco and th lea case worker. The head and senco supported my arguments for change of placement, even though current placement had not broken down. They said new specialist placement would be in my ad's best interests. It was really helpful to have head of ole school on board. They also did the review paper work and put in a supporting letter.


The caseworker then took the case to panel (panel meeting are helped twice a week at out lea) and change of placement to a specilaist setting was agreed. But, the lea said that they would be consulting with 3 schools, including my preferred one.


The consultation period is 15 days.


In that time I visited the other two schools. I explained my ad's needs and both agreed that they would be the wrong school for her.


Then went back to panel, and lea agreed the private specialist school.


Hope tha helpsxxx


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Was she at this school before the EHC plan? What was the discussion at the time of naming schools regarding what provision is best? The LEA would tend to try to get the cheapest option - ie if they think needs can be managed in mainstream then that is what they would try to do. I presume there is a review - annually? It might be worth waiting a while to see how she progresses - given the new information - is she on meds for her ADHD as that could make a significant difference? Also it gives you time to gather all the information you would need. They might say you haven't had time to start the recommended therapies and that these would make all the difference - obviously an arguable point but just so you are prepared.


My advice would be to visit as many schools as possible that might be remotely suitable so that you are well informed yourself of the options and discuss your daughter's specific needs with them too. We changed schools both at the time of getting the statement (age 7) and on secondary transfer and I visited 3 special and 3 mainstream for secondary transfer and a number of inclusion units the first time - all of those that looked remotely suitable (though obviously some weren't when we visited) The first time I asked if special provision would be suitable and the senco rang the Ed Psych while I was there and she basically said yes (though they aren't allowed to recommend this as such I understand) She had been assessed as having MLD and SAL difficulties and all the other actual diagnoses basically came later. We had a letter from PAS which supported the second application to special school - laying out her complex needs - and I was very involved in writing this - I'm sure it helped a lot. You need to see the schools - find out the criteria - and then think what you need to support your daughter's case.


Its all very confusing isn't it to try and work out what is due to what. My daughter also had a severe head injury as a baby - 3 subdural bleeds - never had scan (as far as we know - though presumably did in hospital) and recently the GP had one done which did not show anything - again I'm convinced there is damage - and the scan probably wasn't detailed enough. However in some ways having this injury has been to her disadvantage as when she was young everything was put down to this and the GP at the time would not refer for ADHD assessment - meaning huge delays there. You could try Cereba and I think there is another head injury charity too for advice. She also had a claim with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board which was settled before she came to us - it was only for £1000- the SS recommended we accept this as there was a lack of clear evidence (as for you).


I would ring Sendias / parent partnership for advice - they will know the situation in your LA or IPSEA for general advice on changing from the named school in the timescale - you can book a consultation via their helpline (if you're patient enough!)


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Sent a pm


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The slight problem you will have is that the provision is supposed to support the needs identified in the EHC Plan. Your daughter may have some new diagnoses, but the assessment process in an EHC Plan is not diagnosis specific - it looks at the child's needs per se. So why would these have changed?


For specialist school (independent or not), the EHC Plan would be pointing towards things like small class sizes, high staff to pupil ratios, access to services not normally available at a mainstream school.


So your EHC Plan needs to demonstrate this. Usually a diagnosis is just mentioned in passing - it is really supporting evidence for everything else.


I think it is unfortunate that you got the EHC Plan before knowing you wanted this particular school. If you had known you wanted this school you could have 'aimed' the EHC Plan in the right direction if you see what I mean.


It seems to me that the new diagnoses are not that useful in terms of getting this school. They are the sort of diagnoses that a lot of children in a mainstream school would have.


What is the specialism of the independent school btw? To get a place there you would really need to demonstrate that it offers things that other schools don't and that these things are entirely what your daughter needs.


You can ask for a reassessment - you would need to do this to get the needs changed in the Plan if they don't currently point towards specialist provision.


But like the others have said, it can be hard to persuade a local authority to fund one of these schools. My daughter went to one of them, so it's not impossible, but it's becoming harder and harder each year. The LA really will only fund if there is no other option. If your daughter is doing okay where she is, then I can't see why they would grant the request.


But anyway, I think you need some proper advice as this is going to be tricky. I suggest you contact ipsea or SOS!SEN


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Hi - if the school is named in the EHCP you will struggle, unless you can prove the current school is not meeting need. If you moved and the school now attended is to far to travel I think you would have grounds to request a move. This however would need to be done via the EHCP and the new LA. They may then dispute the placement due to cost etc. Good Luck.


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