What do I do when child (16) in 6th form has a statement and yet school are seemingly disregarding it, giving him no support and just 12 hours of education a week? Where can I turn to ensure they meet they statutory obligation to support him.
A statement is a legally binding document on an LA to make the special educational provision in it. Ultimately they can be challenged legally for failing to put that provision in place. However, the first question is to look at his statement and make sure it actual specifies what he is supposed to receive by way of support. Too often statements have been written in vague ways which do not give schools clear indications as to what needs to be put in place using words such as “opportunities for”, “regular”, “as required”– weasel words.
Using the statement, identify what provision he should be getting but is not. Then call a review of the statement – this can be the Annual Review if it is due soon or an interim review. If the school won’t hold a meeting write down all your issues and send it to the LA and the school making clear that you are aware that it is the LA’s duty to arrange the provision in Part 3 of the statement. Explain your concerns and the fact that the provision is not being put into place and ask for clarification as to what action the LA will take to get the school to do it.
You may also want to ask what programme of learning he is on and whether this is ambitious enough or suitable for him if it is being provided by only 12 hours a week actually at school. Such an attendance usually relies on pupils doing a great deal of work on their own, and if his difficulties mean that he can’t manage such independent learning, and these are recognised in the statement, you and he have real grounds for complaint. The SEND Code of Practice 2014 at paragraph 8.41 talks about the need for a Local Authority to provide a full package of support across 5 days for those with an EHC plan.
Depending on the result of this meeting/letter you will either have your solution or you will need to get further advice. Contact us via www.ipsea.org.uk