About six weeks ago I wrote a letter. I’m not going to say too much about my reasons or the recipient, but a Twitter colleague made a comment about reading it, so I sent it over to the wonderful @AspieDeLaZouch. He, in turn, suggested I asked Tania @SpcialNdsJungle and so The Great EHCP Swindle was born http://www.specialneedsjungle.com/great-ehcp-swindle

To date, the post has been shared over 800 times and this blog had a huge surge in viewings, as well as my Twitter follower numbers swelling! I’m not at celebrity status as yet, but it is kinda nice, if somewhat surprising, that my post has gone far and wide.

I would like to think that The Great EHCP Swindle, despite its title, is a straightforward clarification of law. The advocacy charity I volunteer for is both impartial and independent. What I say does not change depending on who I speak to. The law is the same whoever you are! I usually recite what the law states in lay terms to parents, use legal citations if/where necessary and allow whoever I’m talking to, to make their own decisions as to what they wish to do with the information given. Some may follow what I say to the letter, others ignore me and do their own thing. I don’t have a problem with either, or anything in between. I impart.

This week I also launched a survey to see how the EHCP process is doing. It is basically a tick-box exercise with a space for personal comments. The survey, I hope, is as impartial as it can be. The questions are straight forward and I have avoided sliding scales. Either you have this report or that – or you don’t. Either some, all or no reports state outcomes. Sliding scales do not really fit here.

I’ve wanted to do this as a piece of research for a while – well actually, I would have loved to do this as part of a Doctorate in Education, but I wasn’t accepted this time round. No problem – I’ll run my own pilot study and practice my writing skills at the end! I’m a glutton for punishment…..

The government commissioned a report into parental satisfaction of the EHCP process, released recently, but I fear for the biases. I’m not, in any way, shape or form knocking the researchers. However, the research was set by the government & families selected by the LAs involved. It is of a different type to mine. Mine is an England-wide snapshot of self-selecting participants. It is unfunded and completely independent. I cannot say that it will be without its flaws, but it will be as unbiased as I can possibly achieve. I have had no control over where it has been shared or who has chosen to complete it. There’s no ‘Countdown’ – “I’ll have two big ones and the rest small, please Rachel” – here. When I launched the survey, I only had an inkling of what the results might look like, but no-one calls an advocacy charity because everything is going swimmingly!

The more people who fill in my survey, the better a picture will be drawn. I can’t work in the thousands – not least because the price-plan doesn’t allow for this. I can collect up to 100 responses, which will be a huge amount of data for me to work with. I’d be happy if I reach 77, as that’s how many families were involved with the government’s survey.

Please bear with me while I write it all up. I want to make a good job of it all but it is quite a daunting task, but hopefully not an overwhelming one. If you’ve not seen my survey, it is here: surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TS3V7WM The counter is now at 60!!!! EEEEEK!


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