Wednesday 16th March
There are some days you wish you could erase from the calendar – today is one of those days. We have been waiting to hear from the Local Education Authority (LEA) since Monday for the outcome of the school application we made for Alice for a Special School. Having been turned down by the three local primary schools in the area that we are moving to, we turned our attention to a special school, one that would suit Alice very well and might help her to progress in education at a rate and in a manner more suitable for her. The school went out to visit Alice last Thursday and had to return their paperwork to the LEA on Monday.
The caseworker assured me that she would call me and let me know. I was on edge all day. By 4pm I could wait no longer and so I called the caseworker. She then called the school, and they were in a meeting. So I would have to wait another day. On Tuesday, the caseworker was on annual leave, and it seemed no-one else in the department could access the information, so I would have to wait another day.
To be honest, I had just assumed they would accept her. I thought perhaps they might not have a place and we might have to wait for one to become available. So I very surprised to find that the school had actually declined. The caseworker sent over the report. It was very infuriating to read that the reason they declined is that it is stated in her Education Health Care Plan (EHCP) that she is coping well in mainstream school and that the future plan is for her to stay in mainstream education.
So the mainstream schools can’t take her because her needs are too complex, and the special school wont take her because her EHCP is out of date and does not reflect the level of her need.
We have to go back to the drawing board. After a lengthy discussion with the social worker, we agree that the EHCP needs to be reviewed with great urgency. The Special Needs Co-ordinator at school is informed, and it will be her job to request the review.
We will have to sit back and wait patiently. Something that is difficult to do when we know that we will be moving in nine weeks! Ultimately though, we have to accept that there is only is much we can do, and we just have to leave this issue in the hands of social services to sort out!
A Less Ordinary Family Blog