Q:

My daughter's EHCP is going through a Phrase Transfer (nursery to Reception) annual review. She is currently repeating nursery at an independent school who are supporting her brilliantly and where we want her to stay for Reception. She has Goldenhar Syndrome which results in a hearing loss and severe speech disorder plus various other things. The upshot is that she needs a full time LSA, SALT and OT provision plus Section F of her current EHCP specifies 'quiet listening conditions with low levels of background noise and reverberation'. The independent school which is our first choice has said they can meet needs conditional on her receiving full time LSA support (current EHCP specifies 30 hrs).

The LA say they have two state primary schools that can meet needs. Both schools have intakes of 60 children in Reception where all 60 children share the same classroom space. One of the schools has been described as unsuitable by the Teacher of the Deaf. We obtained the offers from each school and actually neither of the offer letters say they can meet all needs, they both say they can meet SOME of her needs but not all. Both also say they would need extra funding from the LA to make changes to the acoustic environment.

Are we now in a position where the LA do not have a suitable alternative school that can meet needs so they must place her at the independent school that we want and pay for the full package (including fees)? Does 'meeting needs' mean 'meeting all needs' or is there a grey area?

CL

Christine Long
N/A
29 Dec 2022
Watched by 3

A: SenseCheck

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  • 03 Jan 2023
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    All the special educational needs detailed in section B of a child or young person’s EHCp must be met by the special educational provision specified, quantified and detailed in section F. 

    Section 42 The Children and Families Act 2014 (CFA) places a duty on the LA to secure the provision in section F

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/section/42/enacted

    The Noddy Guide is particularly good at explaining the legal framework in this regard, albeit it must be remembered all additions/ amendments to an EHCp must be evidence based.

    Section 39(4)(a) CFA addresses the issue of suitability (specifically unsuitability):

    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2014/6/section/39/enacted

    the school or other institution requested is unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or special educational needs of the child or young person concerned,

    With regards to the ‘state primary schools’, these will presumably be mainstream schools or academies, albeit there are significant differences between mainstream and special schools when it comes to the obligations places on the LA to make a school suitable. Again, the Noddy Guide addresses this in full. It is advisable you spend some time reviewing this resource which is downloadable from this site. 

    Sean Kennedy

    Sean Kennedy
    Talem Law

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