Your views are important as you know your child best. It is also vital your child’s views, wishes and feelings are taken into account.
Share the reasons which led you to get a private assessment/diagnosis. For example:
- What was your child having difficulty with?
- Were they finding it really difficult to manage their feelings and emotions?
- Did you worry their difficulties were worsening perhaps where you were refused, or were waiting for, an NHS or local authority specialist assessment?
- Did you disagree with the assessment or recommendations from other practitioners?
Find out why the school/local authority disagree with the assessment findings or diagnosis and what their support plan is. It’s really important to understand their point of view as this will help you to ask the right questions.
Sometimes professionals have conflicting views about how to support a child, and the school or local authority will be using their best judgement when working through this specialist advice. If you disagree with a decision about support it might be helpful to allow some time to see if their suggested support has any impact, and agree to review at a later date.
You may find it helpful to look at our information ‘working with school’.
Let’s look at what you could do step-by-step:
- Share with school/the local authority the reasons why you decided to go for a private assessment/diagnosis
- Find out why the school/local authority disagree with this, and discuss how the support being proposed for your child differs from the recommendations within the private assessment/diagnosis report
- Take some time to consider their point of view and the questions or points you would like to raise with them. It can also be helpful to look at the school’s SEN Information Report (to find out how the school identifies and supports children and young people with SEND generally).
- You could request a meeting, or put your questions and concerns in writing to the school/local authority
- If you still have concerns, you could make a formal complaint (see our section ‘raising concerns‘)
- If you feel your disabled child has been substantially disadvantaged (within the last six months) you could consider complaining to the SEND Tribunal.
For disagreements about the needs or provision in a new EHC plan, you will have the right to mediation and appeal when the local authority send you the finalised plan.
For disagreements about the needs or provision in an existing EHC plan, you can request an early review. Following review, you will have the right to mediation and appeal.
Working with school (includes a pre-meeting email template)
SEN Support (the term used to describe the process for identifying and supporting a child or young person with SEN)
Raising concerns (includes information about the complaints process for schools and the local authority)
How can I get the most out of my EHC plan?