How can I ensure my child’s in-school therapy is provided by a professional?
Is it possible to ensure that therapies, such as physiotherapy, OT or Speech therapy, are regularly carried out by a specialist professional rather than a TA who has been trained for a few sessions?
This may depend on whether there is an EHC plan in place or not.
If there is an EHC plan, then this information should be specified in section F of the plan which sets out the special educational provision (SEP) required to meet the child’s special educational needs. For each SEP, the plan should specify what provision will be made, how often, for how long, and who will provide it. Case law has considered specificity in detail. In L v Clarke and Somerset County Council  ELR 129, it was determined that plans should be as specific as they can be, stating that plans should be:
‘So specific and so clear as to leave no room for doubt as to what has been decided is necessary in the individual case.’
Therefore, it should be clear in section F if the provision must be provided by a qualified professional or if it can be carried out by a trained TA or equivalent. This information would need to be evidenced by the professional reports. We would therefore suggest that you speak to professionals when they are assessing your child to ensure that their reports will specify who will provide the SEP and discuss with them any concerns you have about this.
If there is no EHC plan in place, then SEP will be made via SEN Support funded by the school. Again, the decision over who needs to provide the SEP is likely to come from the individual professionals assessing your child’s needs and this should then be detailed in the SEN Support plan. We would suggest that you have a discussion with your child’s school and the individual professionals involved if you feel that the SEP is not being delivered appropriately or is not sufficiently supporting your child.