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(UK) Worcestershire parents of autistic children wait years for SPED school plans

Dec 20, 2018, Worcester News: Worcestershire council 'failings' over EHCPs for children https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/17313255.worcestershire-council-failings-over-ehcps-for-children/ ANGRY parents claim the council is failing children with special needs by withholding funding. Worcestershire County Council allegedly placed unlawful demands on those seeking education, health and care plans (EHCPs), which are required before a child can attend a special needs school or receive extra funding. … Emma Thorne, of Flyford Green, in Flyford Flavell, near Worcester, applied for an EHCP for her autistic son in July. She said: "I received a letter in September which said we hadn't included enough evidence and support to suggest he needed an assessment. "My son's headteacher rang the council the day the children went back to school and asked them why they didn't put in the letter what was missing and how we could go about including it." … She finally received a draft copy of the EHCP last week. Another Worcestershire mother, Louise Houston, spent five years battling for an EHCP for her 12-year-old son, Noah, who has autism. Her boy has now secured a plan. However she said her struggle to get it was a 'diabolical nightmare'. … The mother claims she was repeatedly told that Noah did not need an EHCP, however after numerous legal challenges the council relented. Heather Saric, aged 33, of Penhill Crescent, in St John's, Worcester, also experienced delays in securing an EHCP for her son. She claims it took the council 18 months to send her a draft copy of the plan for her seven-year-old boy…. Her son, also called Noah, has learning difficulties, sensory processing disorder and a speech delay, and attends a special needs school, which meant he was automatically entitled to a plan…. "But also when parents do manage to get EHCPs, these can be worded so vaguely that they are unenforceable by the parents, both at school and with the council. … "The children with parents who don't know their legal rights, or who don't know have an encyclopaedic knowledge of special educational needs law often go without." …