Suffolk EHCP Quality

 6th June 2021

Some Tribunal Quotes 

‘Other LA’s advise a maximum of 6 weeks on a part-time timetable.  The absence of an LA policy means that this LA does not apply a suitable maximum, and did not do so in X’s case.  Furthermore, in this case, there appears to have been a failure by the LA to follow a number of aspects of the national guidance’ 

‘Why A had not previously been assessed for an EHCP was never explained; nor indeed was it explained why, when her case was put forward for one, the LA initially refused to carry out such an assessment.  That decision was reversed on an earlier appeal to this Tribunal’ 

‘The real reasons appear to the Tribunal to be that the funding needed to support B was inadequate and the LA, which had the power to make an EHCP, did not do so in a timely manner. This was unfavourable treatment’ 

‘We found it difficult to assess exactly what support had been given, how it had been selected and how it had been monitored and reviewed.  This was particularly the case given Z’s (Independent Educational psychologist) view that the school utilised strategies applicable to other children whom had the benefit of external advice, rather than referring every child’  

‘We considered whether now there was a clear diagnosis, it was appropriate for the school to have further time to undertake cycles of ‘assess plan do and review’.  We found that we could not rely on this being undertaken and evaluated in an appropriate timescale as we were concerned about the school’s apparent reluctance to seek advice up to now’  

‘We are not satisfied from the evidence available to us that the LA have a sufficient understanding of the ways in which ASD impacts upon C and their learning. 

‘We cannot accept the LA’s view that X’s communication difficulties do not present at school and do not affect her attainment, progress and attendance, given the problems there are getting X to school’ 

'The Tribunal finds it difficult to comprehend that the Local Authority rejected the Parent's application for a needs assessment".


Independent Advocacy Service Quotes (not Sendiass!) 

Independent Advice on section B of a Suffolk EHCP 

"Turning to [Suffolk SaLT] s Speech and Language report, we would consider this to be
completely inadequate to fully understand and analyse Ciara’s needs – as a consequence, many
of Ciara’s communication and interaction needs are likely missing from Section B of her EHC Plan.
To provide some context, the experts that we work with typically produce reports that are often
20-30 pages (or more) in length and analyse every aspect of a child’s linguistic ability. This
includes not just the ability to speak and use appropriate vocabulary, but also to understand and
process what is being said to them; also, their ability interact socially, to understand, express and
regulate their emotions and to empathise with others. [Suffolk EP]’s report does not even
attempt to address many of these important areas, which is particularly concerning given that
both [paediatrician] and [Suffolk EP] identified clear weaknesses, particularly in the areas of social
and emotional capabilities. Key areas of need are therefore likely to have remained undiagnosed
and are therefore not present in Section B of Ciara’s EHC Plan (and therefore unsupported)."


Independent Advice on section A of a Suffolk EHCP 

‘When a child or young person’s views are stated in a report, it should always be made clear how much help they have been given and by whom. This is not the case in H’s draft EHCP – in fact, at the top of Section A it is simply stated that this section “has been completed with or on behalf of H’ 


Independent Advice on section B of a Suffolk EHCP 

‘The EHCP appears to downplay G’s diagnosis and provision needs.  For example, expert assessments are referenced as ‘suggesting’ a diagnosis.  If a diagnosis has been made, it is more than a suggestion and should be represented as such in the EHCP’  

‘In conclusion, given P’s past history, current presentation and ASD diagnosis, and the absence of a needs assessment by the SALT Service and a Specialist Advisory Teacher for Autism, this is very unlikely to be a comprehensive list of P’s Communication and Interaction needs and further professional specialist advice should be sought/utilised.’ 

Independent Advice on section D of a Suffolk EHCP 

‘In H’s EHCP this Section simply states: “No Social Care needs have been identified for H”. It is not made clear whether an assessment by Social Care was requested by the local authority SEN Officer during the needs assessment – but there was a statutory duty for this to be done.’ 

Independent Advice on section F of a Suffolk EHCP 

‘The EHCP does not appear to currently contain provision to actually address L’s specific fears/anxieties - to support him to overcome his significant difficulties engaging with school life and learning’ 

‘For each category, please cross through all ambiguous language –“should have”, “requires” (will have), “Opportunities to”, “access to” (will be supported to...), should be detailed with how often exactly is required’ 

 Independent Advice on section H of a Suffolk EHCP 

‘As for Section H2, there is the rather unhelpful comment: 

“M’s needs can be met through the Local Offer.” 

As you may already be aware, the Local Offer lists all SEN-related services and support (both in and out of area) that in theory could be accessed by families living within a local authority area, but there is absolutely no guarantee that it will be possible to do so. It is essentially an information source and a directory – useful for reference, but not a true indicator of what is actually available to a CYP with SEN (or their family).’