What should I do if the school do not provide a graduated approach?

Parent Question:

What should I do if the school do not provide a graduated approach? The number of TAs in the school has been reduced over time and the Senco says he has not been given any funding to provide specialist support in school.

ipsea answers

IPSEA Answers:

I am presuming that your child has been identified as having SEN but at this stage that the school are able to support them from their existing resources i.e. expertise and funding for the special educational provision they need. This level of support is now called “SEN Support” and replaces the “School Action/School Action +” stages of support under the old system. The question is whether your child is getting the right support for his or her needs. To assess this the school – in partnership with you – need to be clear what special educational needs your child has, what special educational provision the school believe needs to be put in place to support those needs and the expected outcomes from the delivery of this provision over varying timescales. The new approach to doing that is detailed in the SEND Code of Practice – chapter 6 is relevant for schools – and is a four stage process of 1. Assessing a child’s needs; 2. Planning provision/identifying outcomes 3. Doing it i.e. putting it into place and then 4. Reviewing what has happened. Your school should record this process as part of an SEN Support Plan they must have drawn up with you and must review with you at a meeting at least 3 times per year.

If your school are no longer providing the SEN provision that your child needs put in place then it may well be time for them and/or you to request that the LA carries out an EHC needs assessment. If this resulted in a EHC plan being issued the LA would have the legal duty to make the provision i.e. fund the school to make it. You need to meet with the school to discuss the SEN Support Plan particularly the outcomes to be achieved. If your child is making little or no progress then it could be time to trigger that EHC needs assessment – the IPSEA model letter will guide you in doing that.