SIASS Case study
X lives with his parent who works part time but had been off sick with their own mental health issues for several months. X has a diagnosis of ADHD and struggles with Social Emotional Mental Health issues. X has an Education, Health and Care Plan and had been placed in alternative provision at a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU) after placement at a mainstream secondary school had broken down.
Parent contacted SIASS wanting help in appealing to Tribunal. X had been happy at the PRU and parent wanted the PRU named in X’s EHC Plan, as after an Annual Review of X’s EHC Plan the Local Authority decided to name a local specialist provision. However, X refusing to attend the new provision and at this point had been out of education since the beginning of term.
SIASS explained to X’s parent that PRU would not normally be named on an EHCP, because it is a short-term provision with a focus to reintegrate X back into a long-term placement.
What we did ?
SIASS would support mum to appeal to Tribunal but firstly wanted to explore why X did not want to attend the new provision.
Parent felt that it was because X doesn’t like change and fears the unknown. At this point SIASS suggested to parent that a transition meeting should be arranged with the new provision and the PRU and offered to support at the meeting. Parent was very keen to do this and arranged this themselves. SIASS talked through the kind of adjustments and strategies that could be put in place to ease X’s entry into the school.
SIASS attended the meeting with parent, having arranged to meet outside the school gate. SX’s parent was very nervous. SIASS supported parent to enter the building.
During the meeting, SIASS presence enabled parent to engage well with the school outreach worker as they discussed a gradual introduction. The school outreach worker offered to visit X at home in the next day or two to talk through with X what the new start might look like. She also offered a different start time for X so that X could avoid other pupils initially, together with half days to begin with. Parent was pleased with these suggestions and the outcome of the meeting.
SIASS phoned parent later in the week to see how the home visit had gone. X’s parent was very positive. During the meeting X had said that they feared change and new surroundings, this was then addressed, and a plan put in place for X to start after half term.
SIASS spoke to parent a week or so after the second half of term had started. Parent was delighted to report that X had made a good start at the new provision and was settling in well. X was still on half days, but full days were going to be introduced soon. Parent said that they would get back in touch if she needed any further support.
This case highlights how an appeal to Tribunal was avoided and a better outcome for the child secured. It highlights how SIASS was able to support and empower a parent as they helped their child return to education, having been out of school for half a term, and helped X settle in a new provision. Through SIASS conversations with the parent and support during the meeting the parent was able to gain confidence to engage with the new school setting and thus enabled X to do so as well. As well as ensuring the new provision fully understood the needs of X going forward.
As a service, this has helped us to think through the fact that in some situations, an appeal to Tribunal may not be the best option for the child, and how we might be able to present other options to the parent and support them as they pursue these.
SAISS has been extremely supportive and helpful. They helped me to understand our rights better, SIASS presence at meetings made a massive difference
SIASS support, kindness, reliability and dedication to helping me when I have desperately needed it has been invaluable.
We would have been uncertain on how to progress with efforts to secure an education for our child who has specific learning difficulties and they have been so kind in listening and so knowledgeable with making clear the options we have to progress our case.
I found SIASS a great support and was able to call for advice and an ear when I needed help and reassurance. SAISS was always able to answer my questions help me navigate through processes I didn’t understand