SENDIST tribunal imminent - Baker Small and my most important report not admitted as evidence.(13 Posts)
Hello any help would be really appreciated - tribunal is 10 days away. The deadline for filing evidence was 12:00 on 26th May. I had been anxiously awaiting a report from GOSH Neuro Disability Assessment Service which diagnosed my Dd age 9 with Autism Spectrum, low cognitive skills (1st and 2nd percentiles), Hyperacusis, anxiety & self esteem issues. This is on top of previous diagnoses 's of Auditory Processing Disorder (spatial processing subtype), mild dyslexia, visual processing issues. The day before the deadline I requested an extension of a few days in which to file evidence, as GOSH were indicating the report would not be signed in time. As it happened GOSH were able to get the report signed and faxed to me on the day of the deadline, however it was past the 12:00 deadline. I emailed the report to SENDIST and Baker Small at 12:07 along with a note explaining this was the report I had been waiting for, and had filed the extension for. I breathed a huge sigh of relief and thought everything was good. Yesterday I received a direction back from the court advising they would not allow an extension. I checked the case file/pack I received from Baker Small and the GOSH report was not included. I tried contacting Baker Small (but no answer there for obvious reasons), and SENDIST who said the case file had already been prepared by the LA and I should talk with the LA, and I spoke with the LA who said that BAker Small had prepared the case file and there was nothing they could do. I today again emailed the GOSH report to SENDIST, and to the LA directly (rather then via Baker Small who the LA have now suspended), and asked if the report could be submitted as evidence. I attached a copy of my original email to SENDIST and Baker Small that included the report and was dated at 12:07 on the 26th may deadline date and I advised that I would be taking 5 hard copies of the report to the hearing in 10 days time. Is there anything else I can do to ensure this report gets admitted? It is my most important piece of evidence. Any advise would be gratefully received!!!
Sorry I should have added that the tribunal is me appealing against the LA's decision to not issue an EHCP. The LA refused stating she could be supported without a plan.
At our tribunal the LA submitted a report on the actual day. Have the rules changed? I thought that the panel will often accept late evidence if it's likely to be highly relevant.
Hi Lottielou thanks for response...I shall take 5 hard copies of the report to the tribunal as instructed, but really wanted the report submitted as evidence....
So BS didn't include it although you contacted all parties with this evidence by dead line? You can prove that too.
Don't worry about it, the direction you've got is absolutely standard when they receive evidence after the deadline. The fact that you sent it so quickly after the deadline and that the LA will have had, I assume, three or four weeks to look at the report will mean that they can't claim to have been prejudiced, and I think the tribunal will in fact very much want to see what GOSH has to say. I think it's a near-certainty that they'll accept it.
Exactly the same happened to me wrt submitting GOSH report, OT report and other final evidence on the day of the deadline but not by 12 noon. I made a mistake and thought that the deadline was for 5 pm the same as all other deadlines . It's because the Bundle seems to still be sent out by SENDIST rather than LA and is sent to arrive 10 days before hearing so the evidence deadline is more 'evidence to be included in the Bundle' rather than 'evidence that will be considered by panel'.
I don't think the panel actually read the reports that I had emailed to SENDIST but they accepted the hard copies of evidence and read the reports at the start of the hearing. When it's appeal of statement/EHCP it is usual for the working document to continue to be amended until the day before hearing and you may find that the LA come to hearing with a new proposal that you have not had time to consider. Unless there are very few points of contention remaining, the Judge will usually advise 'both sides' to see if they are able to negotiate any further points of agreement and then rule on remaining issues. My LA might be particularly disorganised but there was lots of time on the day where we were not in the hearing room and so the panel were twiddling their thumbs.
tbh the Judge was unimpressed with the report and diagnosis and said it was just confirmation that DS2 had an ASD and that as the school/LA had always assumed he would be diagnosed, that this was not a 'game-changer'. I then had, from the Judge, an explicitly stated view that DS2's significant issues with concentration and attention and significant underachievement were to be expected because this was a m/s school and limited in what it could do, and, because DS2 was autistic - so what did I expect?
Hard to believe that your LA is hiring BS at this stage - did they carry out assessment and then say EHCP was not needed? Unless the key defence of the LA was to claim that your DC was NT, I would not expect them to concede due to diagnosis. Low cognitive skills can actually be used to justify lack of progress if you argue that poor progress/regression means that your DC needs more support. Hopefully, the Judge will think this is overkill and be on your side.
Good luck for the hearing
Hi Ma due to delays at GOSH in signing & sending the report, I emailed it on to SENDIST and to BS at 7 mins past the deadline - BS prepared the case file without the 12:07 report.....all I can prove us that I admitted the report at 7 mins past the deadline.
Hi Keeping yes they refused to issue after assessing, so I am appealing that decision.
It will be interesting to see whether LA offers anything further - I'm expecting the panel to ask the school to increase Lucys support to the 13 hours as that is what EP recommended. However I do still want the EHCP as I think it is the only way of ensuring there will be support (or at least reviews of support) for the rest of her education. And I want specialist support SaLT, and Autism outreach. Do you think this is reasonable, am I likely to get it, and can you think of any other support I should be considering (the ASD diagnosis is very recent and not got my head round it yet.... I am shocked at the comments made by your judge - how did your's end/did you get your EHCP? Xx
You will get autism outreach without an EHCP - my LA insist on a firm NHS diagnosis but believe that, contrary to the care pathway the NHS used when statements were around, that DC with an ASD don't necessarily need an EHCP.
For a full assessment of all needs and proper specification and quantification you need indi EP, indi SALT and indi OT with post-grad sensory integration qualifications. LA and NHS reports can be useful if they do objective assessment but often do different analysis (say of motor skills) and so miss stuff. Plus, they write their reports according to the provision they already have in place and according to local policy which they think is gospel.
Re the 13 hours - that would be an EHCP which could be fully met from the schools devolved budget with no LA top up funding. Does the 13 hours refer to specific time limited interventions which are all that is required to meet need or is your daughter only autistic for 13 hours a week or have no needs which exist throughout the day and are associated with her ASD, say, relating to social communication?
DS2 has a statement which has not yet been transferred to EHCP. The statement was amended and support increased but the academic stuff, in class LSA dedicated support only exists on paper and has not led to any actual increase in support and therefore not impacted progress. DS2 does now have indi SALT and OT as he had been discharged by the NHS services in line with local policy. OT are now saying that all primary school age DC cannot be referred - only pre-school and then re-referred in secondary school if problems have not resolved. This is supposed to be a paediatric service ffs.
Omg that is unbelievable I am sorry. How old is your ds2? My DD has a diagnosis from GOSH Neuro Disability Assessment Service - how do you think that will be viewed by the tribunal? The so called "assessment" done by the LA did not of course pick up her autism. Keep on keeping on - your name says it all 💐🍷
Hi Judy the GOSH report was in the tribunal case file but not in the case file that Baker Small sent me so that was good. However, what came out at the tribunal was that the only children with autism that have EHCP's in Dd's new school are those with behavioural issues (Dd doesn't at the moment and is so passive that she is unlikely to - she internalises everything and is just hugely anxious), the school can support her needs without an EHCP, neither the LA expert witnesses or the panel accepted the GOSH Neuro Disability Assessment Service diagnosis - as it didn't reference themselves??!!!!!!???!*!, Dd does not present the more typical autism traits (she can look you in the eye , and isn't rigid with her routines, and is currently willing to play with other children), I was so shocked about them not accepting the GOSH report - I really didn't know what to say to that! I really don't feel i will be successful in securing the EHCP for her. You battle and fight for diagnosis, but then it's not accepted. So no case. Feeling very dispirited.
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