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Anita* is a 15-year-old with dyslexia and learning difficulties, who also has a rare medical condition that causes pain and other difficulties.
This mediation was to discuss why the local authority had turned down a request for an EHC needs assessment for Anita.
She did not feel she had received adequate support at school, and as a result she had been unable to do all her exams. The local authority did not agree to the request because there was insufficient evidence of support required for Anita over and above SEN Support that would be provided by the school, and because her needs were primarily health ones.
Anita attended the mediation with her mother and a parental supporter. The Team Leader and Acting Team Leader attended on behalf of the local authority. The discussion focused on how Anita’s condition and learning difficulties affect her learning, and Anita’s mother also discussed her concerns about Anita’s vulnerabilities as a very trusting young woman. Anita had applied to do a course she is interested in at her local college, but Anita’s mother said that the college had told them that without an EHC Plan, Anita would not be able to access the course.
The local authority was concerned to hear that a college had suggested that it would not offer a place to Anita without an EHC Plan, because colleges have obligations to provide support to students with special educational needs and disabilities.
The local authority agreed to carry out an EHC needs assessment. The local authority also agreed to meet with the college to discuss with them what support Anita would need at the start of term, before the assessment was concluded, to be sure Anita would be adequately supported.
*Anita is not her real name.