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Connor’s story

Connor needed support to be able to attend education. With help from Kids SENDIASS a plan was put in place that led to him being able to move back into education.

Connor, 17, is part of the travelling community. He became Electively Home Educated, in line with cultural practices, at the end of Year 6. Connor’s mental health has been in gradual decline and he struggles with severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Connor’s family, supported by his Psychiatrist feel that Connor needs to be back in formal education.

Connor’s support

Connor’s mother has learning disabilities and describes herself as illiterate. Her mother-in-law, Connor’s grandmother, supports her but she is not a confident reader or writer herself. When Connor’s mother first called the SENDIASS she found it hard to describe what support Connor needed. It was decided, with support from the EMTAS (Ethnic Minority and Traveller Achievement Service) to conduct a home visit to further understand the support needed, ensure the family understood the SENDIASS service and plan the next steps.

The initial meeting took place with Connor’s mother and his grandmother, Connor felt unable to attend. He was however able to sign the consent form when his mother took it to him. It was clear that the family would need a significant amount of support with the education process and with completing paperwork.

Needing an EHC plan

There was a concern that as Connor had been out of education since Primary School that there would be no evidence that his needs could not be met in Mainstream education. The Young Person’s Practitioner then took the initiative to reach out to the local college. Speaking to the SENCO (Special Educational Needs Coordinator) the Practitioner described Connor’s needs and the type of provision that the Psychiatrist stated that he required. The Practitioner was then able to ascertain that from this initial consolation that an EHC plan would be needed to meet Connor’s needs and that it is likely that mainstream would not be a viable option. This was used as evidence with the EHC application.

The decision was made that Connor needed an EHC needs assessment and an educational Psychologist is due to come out and assess need. Throughout the process the practitioner will continue to work with the family and continue to explore how Connor may be able to directly engage.

Accessing the right support

Without the support of the SENDIASS service, we do not feel that this EHC application would have been submitted or a decision to assess made. The process was so hard for the family to partake in it may have been that they may have chosen not to attempt it and Connor would have remained out of education. There is still a journey ahead of the family but the SENDIASS Young Persons’ Practitioner will support them throughout.

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