Baker Small - councils cancel or review contract

(4 Posts)
AugustRose Wed 15-Jun-16 09:32:34

I'm pleased to see there has been some payback against this company.

www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jun/14/councils-cancel-contracts-with-law-firm-tweets

However, I find this paragraph from the article particularly distressing,

"Baker Small is the most prominent law firm in this niche area, and its success rests on its ability to help cash-strapped local authorities cut the costs of SEN provision. As well as being contracted to fight cases at tribunal, it is also paid to provide training courses for council officials, offering strategies on managing and ending specialist provision for children with disabilities."

I don't have a child with SEN but the fact that councils are seeking legal help to actively stop giving SEN provision makes me feel ill. What an awful world where money trumps need every time.

WorcestershireYP Fri 17-Jun-16 14:11:03

the Authorities who have contracts with Baker Small use them for precisely that reason, and avoiding cost is the only driver in these cases, NOT the needs of the child.

mrsmata Sun 19-Jun-16 01:18:13

We've had personal experience of this firm and their tactics following a review of our DS's SEN provision and our Local Authority engaging them when we appealed their decision to cease support.
It was obvious to us from the start that cost saving rather than appropriate provision was at the heart of their endeavours.

We refused to be intimidated by them and were able to provide a wealth of evidence from professionals who know DS and were willing to assist us in securing the educational support he needs.

They backed down when we got to the stage of exchanging our bundles of evidence prior to the tribunal hearing. Their "evidence" rested entirely on a single professional opinion from someone who had never met or worked with our DS

The whole process though was very stressful - they were quite aggressive in their communications and they seemed to rely on parents and carers either being afraid of going to tribunal or not being confident in managing the process themselves and unable to afford their own legal representation.

The way they behaved towards us was little short of bullying and I for one am delighted that not only has this come to light, but it has done so by their own actions.

ProfessorPreciseaBug Sun 19-Jun-16 09:13:36

The underlying problem is the local councils trying to save cash... whilst they waste it on admin and themselves.. But I still don't know how someone can actually do that sort of work.

I could never do it... (even if I was a solicitor)

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