What are your rights and what practical strategies can be put in place by a school?

Start by reading the government’s overview of rights of children with SEN needs.

Achieving for Children have got a page on the rules and processes governing Education and SEN in the borough which is very useful.

We have produced a video specifically dealing with EHCPS and how to obtain them.

Please note the support your child will get needs to be based on their individual needs and it is essential that parents and teachers clearly identify this.  We also recommend that input is sought from the child as to what they have difficulty with in the school environment and in terms of their school work. 

Eva Akins, a SEN lawyer, has produced an excellent document called 101 reasonable Adjustments for ADHD which will guide you through what you can expect for your student with ADHD in a mainstream or specialist school. You can also find help from the Richmond Educational Psychology Service which can provide, with your school’s financial support, help for your child.

Parents and schools often have much going on and therefore we recommend that you keep a record of interfaces and communications between you and school. 

Who do I go to for help if my school is not meeting the needs of my child?

SENDIASS provides information, advice and support around special educational needs and disabilities. The services are free, impartial, confidential and accurate. The services are for children and young people aged 0 – 25 who have or may have SEND, their parents and carers. 

Similarly, Skylarks also have an education advisory service and offers free, impartial support and information in relation to the education needs of children and young people who have special educational needs and disabilities.

Also, see our section dealing with Legal advice on SEN education.

If my child has a diagnosis, does that mean I must have an EHCP or are there other levels of support?

Having a diagnosis does not in itself mean that a child must have an EHCP or other levels of support. The types of support a child can access are as follows:

  1. All children regardless of needs or diagnosis should be supported by Quality First Teaching (QFT) this involves differentiation provided by the class teacher that will enable the child to make appropriate levels of progress across all areas of the curriculum.
  2. SEN Support is where a child has needs that go beyond things that the class or subject teachers can provide on their own through QFT. At this point the SENDCo of the school is likely to be involved in working with the teacher to support the child. Additional resource should be available to provide support for children. At this level the children MUST have some sort of written SEN support plan which is monitored and reviewed every term (as per the code of practice). Under the previous system that was called an IEP (Individual Education Plan). This phrasing (IEP) is no longer required the duty is to report the progress and support using some form of Assess/ Plan/ Do/ Review process. So that the school can show you (And others) what support is offered and the difference that has been made
  3. Education Health and Care Needs Assessment If there is aconcern that school are not providing enough support then either they or the family can request an EHC needs assessment. The assessment will take 20 weeks if the LA agree to carry one out. There are a number of tests the Local Authority (LA) apply in deciding if they will assess including looking at the evidence of involvement at SEND support and the funding spent supporting a child (The LA expect the school to find £6,000 from their budget but there are other tests). The LA will make a decision within 6 weeks of receiving a request if they will assess and if they decide not to there is a formal right of appeal.
  4. Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) Following the Assessment the LA may issue an EHC plan. This describes the Needs of the child/ Young person (Section B) The provision required to meet the needs (Section F) and the institution attended (Section I). The plan will have detail in all of these areas and there is right of appeal. It must be specific in outlining these areas and the funding needed to provide the provision must be specified. An EHCP must be reviewed at least once per year at the annual review meeting. Alternatively, the LA can provide Feedback which means a plan is not issued, this decision can also be appealed.

Under quality first teaching children often get a Pastoral Support Plan (PSP), which is a school-based programme which is designed to help a child to improve their social, emotional and behavioural skills. Read more here.

What is an EHCP?

The EHCP states

  1. What additional needs a child has. (Section B)
  2. What provision required to support a child within an educational setting to help them with the learning process. (Section F)
  3. What placement is appropriate for the child (Section I)
  4. It also indicates support required for their health and social care needs, if applicable. (Sections G and H)

This is a legally binding document. 

The SENDIASS Service can provide impartial support in regard to these areas. For Richmond and Kingston SENDIASS information is here.

Watch our seminar on “Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) for children and young people with ADHD” led by Jonathan Rourke, SENDIASS Team Coordinator and ADHD R&K Volunteer and joined by Val Ivens, ADHD Embrace Family Support Lead and ADHD coach. 

The EHCP Journeys website is also a useful guide.

How do I apply for an EHCP?

Here is where you can read how to apply.

Where should I go to for help and advice if my child needs more support at school or perhaps you are about to apply for an Education, Health & Care Plan or has a EHCP and is approaching their annual review?

Sendiass: https://kr.afcinfo.org.uk/pages/local-offer/information-and-advice/information-advice-and-support-ias

Skylarks has a SEND advisory service https://www.skylarks.charity/page/send-advice-service

Richmond AID: www.richmondaid.org.uk/services-disabled/independent-support-partnership/

Ruils: https://www.ruils.co.uk/services/send-advice/

Special Needs jungle: http://www.specialneedsjungle.com/ask-jane-snj-legal-agony-aunt-jane-mcconnell-ipsea/jane-mcconnells-legal-agony-answers/

IPSEA: https://www.ipsea.org.uk/pages/category/education-health-and-care-plans

Is my child entitled to extra time in exams?

Your child is not automatically entitled to extra time simply because they have an ADHD diagnosis. If speaking to the school directly does not resolve matters, please consult SENDIASS.