Special education needs- SENCO-IEP

I am hoping someone can help me because I am in a different country and trying to figure out how to help my stepson.

Hello- my stepson in England will be moving to the US hopefully in November 2013. I am trying to arrange his academic files sent to me so we can set up his high school schedule for the fall. He is currently in year 10- and has an IEP. The IEPs in England are a bit different than the ones in the US. The Nature of his SEN is: Cognitive learning, Tourettes, and I know that although dyslexia is not on it- a school official told me "He had a dyslexia screening in 2008 and results showed he was strongly at risk. I don't have access to the test document."

What school official would have access to that document?

I know that in the US- all parents are provided a copy of the IEP as well as given a yearly review of goals etc.

What are the laws in England?

Should they have sent my husband (living in England) copies of the IEPs and invited him to meetings?

Are there laws regarding this? I have a feeling that the SENCO has not given me as much information as he has, and my husband has not been provided an IEP in year 9 and year 10.

Should the SENCO be able to provide educational testing when asked?

Is there someone else I should contact at the school to get the testing?

Can a parent request educational testing if it has not been done for several years?

I hope someone can provide me with some information or a place where I can find out this info. If there are parental support groups or advocacy groups online- I'd appreciate it if you could direct me that way.

Thank you

7 Replies

  • Hi, I am a deputy SENCO and a parent of a child with SEN.

    IEP's are NOT compulsary unless the student has a statement. If he has a statement the IEP check time frame should be listed on the statement (eg a review each term) IEP's without a statement are just good practice, however many schools have abolished them in the UK. The SENCO is not obliged to do testing, but parent pressure often gets results, so I would advise that you keep on pushing.

    Regarding the Dyslexia screening the school could re-do the test (as the previous one may be lost in the system) or I would advise you pay a private ed-psych to re-assess your child for dyslexia. Dyslexia Action is excellent for this dyslexiaaction.org.

    The new government is all for parent voice in school and your best course of action is to make a big fuss. Hope this helps.


  • Hi Em,

    I am so thankful to everyone who has responded so far- and I had a few questions for you-

    How do I know if he has a statement? I have never seen it- but of course when I asked for academic records- the IEP wasn't even mentioned or sent....

    The SENCO sent me the following document by email

    at the top it said

    Individual Educaiton Plan and Review 1-June 2012

    Year 10

    Nature of SEN Cognitive and Learning (SpLD)

    BES (Tourettes)

    date started on P 17/12/07

    Current review date June 12

    Next review date June 13

    and there is a lot more after that- it was sent by MS word.

    things aren't filled out are

    Those present:

    Progress leader

    Are IEPs generally done on the school letterhead or more formal than the document emailed to me? My husband (who is living in England- the mother is out of the picture so he is the main parent.) has been totally left out of all of this- he has never been sent an IEP, invited to an annual review- nothing

  • It sounds like they are using the annual review paperwork to write to you regarding the IEP's, the 'those present' line would refer to annual review meetings if a child has a statement. If your son had a statement of need you would know as parents need to be involved in the process. It is a formal document. It seems to me that he might need one with the SEN you have mentioned. It might be worth asking the school to start the process. The borough you are in also has an impact on this as some are more keen to help than others. It is VERY hard to get a statement but it is a legal document that gives the parent and child a lot of rights.

    Try and find out who is responsible for your child's progress and monitoring the IEP. Like I said, make a fuss, complain , ask for meetings, threaten to see the head (that always works!)

    You should have a copy of the IEP to sign and agree to and you should be involved in the process, the school is being remiss if they have done this without consulting you or working with you.

    Do you know if he is on SA or SA+?


  • What does that stand for? Someone told me that I should contact the Chair of Govenors if I am not getting anything back from the school.

  • My son is 8 years old and has been diagnosed by three educational psychologists as having dyslexia. We have just had our Tribunal cancelled as the Local Authority have now agreed to formally assess him. In England we have help at school called School Action and school action plus. These are to help children who are struggling and the school can put in place actions to help them progress. If poor progress is made on school action they move onto school action plus and again if no progress is made thats the time you start looking at why and move to try and get a statement. From being placed on these your stepson should have an IEP. Normally schools do not assess now due to budgets but schools do have an SEN budget so you could ask if they would pay for an uptodate Ed Psych report but I am afraid it is unlikely and even more so for you probably as he is moving away. We paid privately for our reports and each one costs approx £100 you could have a WISC IV, WIAT or BAS 3 done which are intelligence tests and will determine his exact problems. Always ask for the Ed Psych to make recommendations and what your stepson needs at school to help him. Together with this report it should help in his transition to the new school in the US and you know what you are dealing with and can look at each school and what their specialist areas of SEN are. You are allowed to ask the school for a copy of his school file which may hold some information also and ask the SENCO at school for an uptodate IEP before he leaves.

    Good luck with everything.

  • Thank you for your response- I didn't realize that you might have to pay for reports. I wonder who the Ed Psych. is at the school. I have seen the entire directory- but there is no one there with that title. Could 2 schools possibly share one? I will have to have my husband ask for a copy of their school files- when I initially contacted the head of year 10 for copies of school records and transcripts my first email was dated May 13- no response from anyone

    2nd one dated May 23- no response

    3rd one dated June 4th- in which I also CCd the principal

    and finally on June 6th the teacher finally responded.

    I would think that it should have been quicker to get back to me-

    I have made his new school in New York State aware of his needs and possible other needs. I know the resource room teacher he would be placed in if necessary and my sister (a special ed teacher) knows the CSE chairperson (head of special education for our district) very well.

  • Ed psychs are not on the school roll. They are brought in from outside agencies by the SENCO. The school are reluctant to get them in as they are expensive. There is usually an ed psych used by the school who is linked to the borough.

    It would be worth gettig an ed psych report, my advice is go private. Ask the SENCO who they would reccomend.

    Good luck


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