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When you draft check the important thing to remember is that the document you are working with is cut and pasted from professional advice.
So if you want to change anything, or disagree, it helps if you can find the relevant report and look for where the information has come from.
To amend a plan there would need to be evidence from a professional in regards to the changes you feel represent your child.
An easy way to think of it- Making a cake -The officers for the 0-25 team collect the ingredients and make the cake. If the flour is missing, the cake can’t be made correctly. They can only use the ingredients given to them.
If you don’t think the cake is right, you will need to tell them to ask for more ingredients from the professionals involved with your child.
Your draft plan will go from A-K.
A - You can change this section as you wish. These are your families views and they are crucial to ensuring everyone who picks up the plan knows your situation and how you and your child feel. There are many ways to put your views down. There is no right answer to what they should say.
B- E -This is where the professional information begins. So when checking these sections I would try to look at each part and clearly bullet point changes:
• Incorrect information from professionals. – Suggest how it is not relevant to your child’s.
• Incompetent gathering of information – The officer who has written your plan (using the professional advice) has made a choice about the information they have brought over from professionals. Officers do make errors or have bad days. You may look at a section in regards to Strengths and Needs and feel it does not represent your child. At this point I would look through the reports used and see whether you can find any information you feel is more relevant. Then clearly let the LA know that you would like information changed or input from professional documents. Warning: You cannot simply make up information for this section. If you do want to re-write this section then you could do, but it would be unlikely to be used unless there is evidence to back it up in reports.
• Incompetent admin skills – mistakes basically. Names spelt wrong, errors in diagnosis etc. Highlight this by telling the LA. If your plan has lots of human error mistakes then I would also consider a formal complaint. Complaints would be normal practice in other services when people do their job incompetently. It is often the way that people can receive training or extra man hours.
This is the outcomes and provision section. It would be great if I could say that Outcomes in plans are always SMART (Specific, measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound) but that is not the case. Provision is rarely specific enough either. So in this section I would say you want to go through each Outcome and provision and make a comment – For example;
Communication and Interaction
Outcome is not SMART. It needs steps to achieve it as my child is way off this.
The Provision is not specific. Who will deliver the daily speech and language sessions? How long do they last? Where will they take place? How will this be reviewed?
Please go back to SALT and ask for more specific advice…
So basically the provision is usually taken from the reports or the SENCO (in rare cases). If the information from them is not specific, the 0-25 team cannot make it more specific. The only way forward is to go back to the professional and ask them to be more specific.
The important thing to think about in the provision is “What does this look like day to day”.
Sit down and try to write exactly what your child will receive. The document may seem daunting and confusing. Feel totally in your rights to ask for a meeting at this point and have the 0-25 officer explain what your child will receive on a day to day basis.
The document will not say 1:1 (possibly only in very rare cases). Try to look for other words like “high level adult supervision, key adult mentor to guide throughout the day.” These would be ways of expressing the level of help, without saying 1:1.
I feel in the provision section it helps to split a page in half. What does your child get now. What does the plan say. If there are gaps then make the LA very aware:
For Example – Bobby currently has 1:1 throughout the day. The school have tried to reduce this a number of times and it has resulted in high risk behaviours. I cannot see that sort of level of support in section F. Can you please explain why this has been left out?
Amending the plan: Some teams will not do this, but the 0-25 team do not have to make any changes based on your comments of the draft.
This is frustrating and usually down to them wanting to finalise and move forward. If that does occur remember you can appeal or call an early review to work with the school and rectify the errors.
It is far from ideal if the LA finalise a plan with incorrect details, and you will feel distressed understandably.
In this instance, again if a plan is finalised with crazy mistakes, I would complain through the official pathway at your Local authority.
When you are reading your plan there are a number of reasons why it won’t sit well with you:
1. The reports are out of date and therefore don’t tell the right story about your child’s needs.
2. There have not been enough reports or the quality of information is poor, so your child’s needs seem vague and the plan doesn’t feel relevant at all.
3. The reports and assessments are relevant and up to date but the officer who is transferring information and creating the plan has not taken across the right details.
So for 1 and 2 – make a formal request to the LA – in writing for more detail to be sourced on your child. Explain your concerns. The LA may not get more advice, due to time etc, but at least you have made it clear you do not agree with the content of the plan. You can then use all your comments when planning appeal or early review.
For 3 – Detail in writing the areas of the reports you wish to be brought across. If there are gaping holes where information on assessments has been blatantly ignored, ask the officer to explain why.
State that you want the officer to re-visit the reports, explain why/if information was left out and re-issue a second draft for your comments.
Section I – This is the setting section. You may have an indication by now what type of setting you want your child to attend. You can return your parent choice for school with the draft comments. If you feel specialist is required then put that down. It is then for the officer to come back to you and detail what the LA decision is. This can form a dialogue. You can ask questions and make your feelings known. Again I would do this by email so you have a trail to use in appeal.
J- Personal budget – This is won’t need draft checking. There in-depth info on personal budgets online. You will most likely know if you want to have one. The LA don’t have to agree to one. Best to look this up separately. If you are unsure, request one and see what happens, it’s a quick way for the LA to tell you if it applies to you..
K – In this section you need to check for errors in names etc., and also ensure all the professionals you wished to be contacted have been.
The basics of feedback could look like this: Please feel free to cut and paste across. The areas in blue are just examples of how it could read.
Overview of comments
The plan does not appear to set out detailed provision which will allow Jack to go to secondary feeling safe. At the moment he is in a small primary and the plan has big gaps in regards to the support he gets now day to day. The plans you used are out of date, going back to a report from pre-school. He is now 10yrs old and his needs have changed massively. We feel the reports need up dating and a second draft needs to be formulated.
Please change xxxxxxx to xxxxxxxx
Please remove the area around Makaton. Jack does not confidently use Makaton. This would seem to be a mistake by the professional.
Jack needs input here from the SALT who has worked with him periodically throughout primary. Jack still has considerable communication needs which are not expressed in this section. Further reports need to be sourced.
The outcome is not SMART. There are no steps to get to the outcome and it appears hugely unrealistic if you look at the information from the SENCO in regards to where Jack currently is.
Not specific – Who will deliver the group work sessions to develop peer interaction? How often will they occur? As it stands it could be once a year or 5 times a day. Please gain detail from Ed Psych.
I – Setting choice – Clyde Valley
This is a smaller school, with a good reputation for supporting young people with Jacks needs. Jack also knows some children who go there, so his anxiety is not as high in regards to transition across.
J – Personal Budget – Y/N - N
K – Professionals- This should state reports, let the LA know it any are missing.
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