My adult son was awarded a laptop provision in his EHCP and he receives 1:1 support in college. The college is asking him to sign a loan form and I feel he is being put under pressure to sign the form. Who does the equipment belong to? Should SEN students have to sign for and be responsible for equipment when it is obvious they have SEN and need support with basic things? He is anxious about the whole situation and the consequences if the laptop was lost.
If the provision of a laptop is specified in Section F of the EHCP then the local authority (LA) have a duty in law to ensure this provision is ‘secured’; in other words, they are the body in law who must ensure your son has the provision of the laptop as specified in his EHCP.
It is not uncommon for colleges to ask students to sign a loan form when they are taking electronic equipment. Such forms usually detail the terms of using the equipment and the student’s responsibility to use the equipment responsibly. You do not say how old your son is but young people under the age of 18 cannot usually be legally held to a contract because the law considers them as ‘minors’. In your son’s case the provision of the laptop is specified in his EHCP and this means it must be provided for him regardless of whether there is a signed loan agreement in place. Put simply, it is deemed special educational provision that he must have so if the college refused to provide the laptop in absence of the signed agreement the local authority would be in breach of its duty to secure the special educational provision in his EHCP which in this case is the provision of a laptop.
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