We are in the final stages of EHCP. We have requested EOTAS (to pay for online school) and a personal budget. The LA have said "County Independent panel have reviewed your request for EOTAS and personal budget to fund Kings Inter High, further information is required before EOTAS can be considered. We will be contacting F...... high school to establish if they are able to support funding Kings Inter High as E. remains on their school roll. We will also be issuing consultations to independent settings to establish suitability; these consultations will be shared with you before they are issued." My question is does the LA pay for EOTAS - why are they asking the school? The LA tried to unroll her from mainstream but we said they could not do this until they have provided alternative provision - and we request EOTAS - were we wrong to do so?
My daughter is happy at online school. She has tried two mainstream schools and cannot manage. She will not attend school in person and the EP report is fairly conclusive with this regard.
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- 18 Jan 2024
This question bears significant relevance in light of the growing popularity of online schools and academies. It is worth noting that the Department of Education is in the process of developing a form of accreditation, which could possibly be seen as an acknowledgement of this trend:
Regarding your specific query: “ … does the LA pay for EOTAS, and why are they approaching the school?”
The Local Authority (LA) is indeed required to secure Education Other Than At School (EOTAS), given it pertains to special educational provision and is therefore contained in section F of an Education, Health and Care plan (EHCp). This matter is elucidated clearly in the Noddy Guide:
Put another way, if special educational provision in section F of an EHCp is not made/ provided for a child or young person it falls into the lap of the LA to sort this out. In you daughters case, it seems you would like the arrangements around online education contained in section F of your daughters EHCp, hence given CFA2014 section 42 the "duty" referred to the in Noddy Guide lies with the LA.
As for the reasons behind the LA's interaction with the school in question, only the Local Authority itself is best positioned to provide an answer to that query. If one were to speculate – and admittedly this is of little value – they may want the School to have some involvement in your daughters receipt of any online provision. Another possibility could be they are gathering evidence about whether or not the “bricks and mortar” school can educate your daughter.
Regarding whether you were correct in seeking EOTAS, it is advisable for you to refer to the Noddy Guide, specifically the section entitled “Where parents seek non-school placement such as EOTAS.”
It is important to examine:
which addresses the possibility of a Local Authority providing Special Educational Provision (SEP) outside of a traditional school setting. This section also makes a clear distinction between EOTAS and similar but not interchangeable alternatives.
What remains evident is the necessity for evidence to determine the appropriateness of EOTAS for your child, which is assessed by applying the test in CFA2014 section 61 which I have summarised as follows: A local authority in England can arrange necessary special educational provision outside of schools or post-16 institutions, after consulting parents or young persons, if deemed appropriate. The fact that your daughter could not manage in the mainstream schools she attended would seem relevant as it would go to in “inappropriate” part of the test. Further the EP report you refer to seems as if its contents would assist in making the case for EOTAS.
Other individuals may have additional insights on this matter, and your question may indeed prompt a more comprehensive discussion of online education in future editions of the Noddy Guide. It is worth noting that any additions in this regard would certainly be, in my opinion, “on trend”.
If you want to raise any other points, please do so as I am sure this is a topic that would interest many people. That said, did the above in combination with the relevant contents of the Noddy Guide answer your question?