Posted 03 July 2015 - 05:19 AM
We are thinking of moving our son from a mainstream school to an independent specialist school.
He has a Statement, and I just wondered what the process was if we intend to pay the fees for the new school?
I would also be interested to hear how the process would differ if we wanted the LEA to pay or contribute to the fees.
It may be helpful to know that if we moved schools, it would likely be next January, and our annual review should be next February.
Finally, our reason for moving is that our son is cognitively well-matched to the mainstream, but his education, social development, etc is stalling because of the environmental challenges of being in a busy school, large class, etc.
Thanks in advance.
Posted 03 July 2015 - 05:24 PM
What you need to prove is that your son is not making academic, or social, or emotional progress where he is currently placed. That he is cognitively able and should be making progress and therefore is not suitable for any of the LA 'Special Schools'. That the gap is widening between him and his peers. That the independent school has skilled teaching staff and therapy staff that he NEEDS ie. for a SALT to say that he needs xx 1:1 therapy and xx group therapy with xx other children of a 'similar peer group', which the current mainstream school cannot provide.
That due to his needs he needs class sizes of less than x pupils [usually around 8 for an independent school]. No mainstream school has classes of 8 pupils or less.
That he needs 1:1 OT therapy for sensory integration or sensory issues, or dyspraxia etc.
That he has a SpLD [does he have Dyslexia?] and needs a specialist teacher.
You can ask for an emergency review of the Statement or you can ask for your child to convert to an Education and Health Care Plan [all Statements will revert to these]. I would check via somewhere like IPSEA, what you would need to do to get an early review of the Statement or EHCP, because you need that to take into account your parental choice of school BEFORE they move.
Can I ask what the age of your child is?
If you can prove the above, and that your parental choice of school is the only one that can meet their needs, then the LA must pay the fees, because the Statement or EHCP will name that school in part 4, and a Statement/EHCP is a legally binding document that the LA has to fund.
So please find out the above from IPSEA. If you tell us your child's age that will also help with the advice given.
And please ENSURE that you don't just go for the 'cheapest' independent school because you are afraid that the LA will refuse to pay the fees.
A Statement and EHCP has NO LIMIT of the amount of funding it draws.
It is about IDENTIFYING NEEDS, and finding a placement that can meet all those needs.
For example my son goes to an independent school The fees are around £50K a year. Plus he has dyslexia, and his Statement says he must receive xx hours a week of specialist teaching from a teacher qualified to PATOSS Level 7. That is an additional £10K a year. He also gets two nights a week residential, which is another £12K a year. And we are seeking funding for a full time 1:1 during the day and also Psychologist or Psychiatrist Behavoural Therapy programme for his OCD. And whatever that cost is will be included in the Statement/EHCP.
His school have also recently informed the LA that he needs to travel to/from school in his own taxi as his OCD makes it impossible for him to share a taxi with other children/adults. That will be an additional cost too.
Hope that clarifies things.
Edited by Sally44, 03 July 2015 - 05:25 PM.
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