David was not attending school when his family was referred to KCIL for support to access an Education Personal Budget under the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Reforms.
David has high functioning autism and, although extremely intelligent, he struggled to engage with schooling provided in the traditional setting of a mainstream school. So much so that when KCIL’s broker met the family, David had been out of education for over a year and was becoming increasingly despondent with his situation.
Although he was engaging with the Tuition Service provided by the local authority for several hours a week and was receiving a few hours of additional tuition paid for by his family, it was very clear to all involved that David had the ability to perform well. It was felt that he would be able to achieve GCSEs if services could find a way to develop an education package that supported David effectively.
The broker was able to work with the family to draft a support plan which outlined the funding required to support David to engage with tuition with a view to undertaking his GCSE exams in 2017. Whilst there was some concern amongst the family and statutory services that David might struggle to engage in mainstream education later on, David really wanted to return to traditional education to gain A-Levels. KCIL sought to work with David to suggest routes into volunteering to help him achieve this goal.
Another member of the KCIL team made contact with the family to see if she could support David to access volunteering roles. David was clear from the beginning that he wanted to have more information about her before they met, so details about her role and a photo were sent to ensure that he felt confident to engage with her. After two meetings offering some guidance and encouragement, David felt able to pursue voluntary work independently.
Once the plan was approved by Achieving for Children, the broker worked with the family to set up the budget. Because David would be undertaking exams, many discussions were had around exam boards, complications arising from practical assessments and which exam centres offered the appropriate assessment environment.
The budget is now off the ground and David is accessing the tuition he needs and is working toward undertaking his GCSEs next year. Although in the early stages, all appears to be going well and David and his family are happy.
*Not his real name