A parent asks
I am a parent of a 18 year old who has an SEN, but has been excluded from independent school since May 2015 with the full knowledge of LA and has not been provided education since.
My son's Statement of Special Educational Needs exists, has not ceased to be maintained, still in force and no provision of part 3 of the Statement of Special Educational Needs has been made since he was excluded. I have advised LA this is unlawful. My LA are dismissing the fact that they have not provided education for one year but want to arrange a transfer meeting to start process changing over to EHCP. I have said that LA should make arrangements to provide as per my son's statement first.
The independent school should not have excluded my son but likewise my LA to withdraw his placement leaving him in limbo without any education for one year without accounting for their actions.
The first question to ask here is what outcome are you looking for? Does your son want to return to a similar school or post 16 placement?
Under your son’s current statement, the LA has a duty to ensue he receives the provision specified in Part three, but beware: a statement of SEN can only provide support whilst he is in a school placement and the fact that he is 18 years old and over compulsory school age - the end of the academic year in which a child turns 16 years old - will mean that it is very unlikely that the LA will amend it to name a different school now. It could even be argued by the LA that the statement has lapsed and that they no longer have a legal duty to make provision for him
You should start the transition to an EHC Plan as soon as you can. As he currently has a statement this will mean that the LA have to carry out an EHC assessment of his needs and decide if they are going to issue an EHC Plan for him. If the LA issue an EHC Plan this will ensure that he continues to be entitled to special educational provision and will name a new educational placement for him potentially up to the age of 25 years old, which can include a place at an FE College or an apprenticeship. It is clearly not right that the LA has not made provision for him for the past year, but do not lose the opportunity to transition to an EHC Plan now.
You should contact the LA and say you want to start the process of transitioning to an EHC Plan at once.