Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
LA assessments beforeTribunal?(26 Posts)
Suddenly LA is sending in someone to assess ds on Wednesday? The evidence deadline has gone but guess they are responding to our reports and going to submit late evidence. Should I worry? I guess I can't object as this would make me look bad?
Thank you for all your advice. It was NHS Salt but it was one who has never met ds before. She only saw him for 30 minutes today and they are bringing her to tribunal. Ds was assessed by salt during sa. I got the tribunal bundle today.
My LA tried to get a salt report after the deadline. They had had mine for weeks. They then wanted one once I changed my school placement to independent about 3 weeks pre tribunal. The tribunal had a telephone hearing and told the LA no - you can't get another report. LA wanted to adjourn the hearing but the tribunal made it clear LA had had long enough to get a report. The LA then had the opportunity to send mine to the NHS salt which LA did and salt said we can't comment as we don't know him so LA went to tribunal with only my salt report on the table.
The judge ruled as well no more than 3 witnesses as LA were messing around saying they were calling more - in the end the only change was they didn't call the OT and then called the sen officer which didn't go down well with the judge as it was clear she should have been called from the beginning.
I think the previous advice you have been given has been very good advice. The salt also would be unable to complete the same test as yours if it is within the last 6 months. My LA turned up with the ed psych who hadn't seen my son for over a year so there was very little he could say and I think that was very clear to the tribunal
Tribunal is very unlikely to allow more than 3 witnesses on each side as it then gets hard to get through evidence in 1 day. I would politely object to any further assessments as last day for evidence has passed and say any new evidence at this late stage will add costs and leave you insufficient time to prepare. There was no reason LA could not have done all this earlier. I assume LA has sent request for changes form. What does sol say? You can object and leave it up to tribunal judge to decide. Judge may call a tel hearing to get LA to justify all this last minute activity. If new people come and assess they can give oral evidence on the day even if written report not allowed so its better to get judge to direct. Eg judge may allow changes but give 7 day deadline. Tribunal sends papers to panel members and bundle out 2 weeks before hearing so usually don't want additions after that.
Cheese - is the SALT NHS or indi? My LEA was unable to get an NHS SALT in the timeframe and had to get an indi one. Turned out to be extremely useful - quality report from an indi SALT that specifies and quantifies in a way that is almost impossible to deliver in m/s written by the an expert for the other side. Make sure that Tribunal knows what they are doing - they could have carried out assessment earlier. Was a SALT seen for SA? If you have submitted a SALT report you have nothing to fear from another indi report, the LEA can't disagree without a counter-report but are gambling that their expert will disagree with yours.
Would suggest being kind to school. They may be under a lot of LA pressure to be devious, and being abrupt with you is perhaps their way of trying to cope with niggles of conscience. Or LA might have told them they have information on file that (insert slander of choice) a)you have voodoo dolls of all the teachers and are planning on using them b)are about to be taken to court for serious child protection allegations c)have committed educational fraud against a previous council
On a serious note, the school staff will definitely have been warned that their budgets and reputations are on the line, and they've probably been told that their jobs are too.
can you go to the meeting without getting upset or giving anything away about your case? Cos there is always a small chance the LA really do want to negotiate (particularly if they're worried you'll win more than you originally asked for). And if they say 'no' to a meeting, you appear the Empress of Reasonableness, which never hurts
I'd like to say they might let something slip, and/or give you a 'dress rehersal' so you aren't as anxious at the tribunal... but that's probably what the LA plans to get out of it as well. Someone here said 'SN strategy is like a game of chess' but I'm starting to wonder if it's more like poker.. a game of nerves and bluff
Salt. The parent partnership recommended asking the la for a pre tribunal meting to try to resolve. What do you think? School is being a bit abrupt with me which is not helping :-(
who else are they bringing? the witness list will change up to the tribunal - i know mine did with the LA - they didnt even call an officer from the LA until teh final week before tribunal which did not go down well with the judge
They are now bringing more people to assess ds and more to tribunal grr
Is is about 3 weeks till tribunal. I have spoken to our solicitor this morning. He thinks is is likely to do with the working document. I will be glad when its over. Although the battle still goes on with whether provisions are even being provided. Thank you.
cheese - how soon is the Tribunal - has the 16 week evidence deadline passed or the deadline for the LA response to your appeal?
You can object to late evidence without good cause without being obstructive. This is perfectly appropriate.
I would do this immediately by email today - ring and tell the Tribunal you are sending an urgent email across.
The fact is that the only reason the LA can give this evidence in Tribunal is by an application to admit late evidence. This may well be accepted but they should be made to explain why.
keeping has set out the reasons they may well give but they have not given them yet. Make them do so before allowing access to your child. Assessments are stressful for everyone.
I have tribunal in a couple of weeks to appeal 2, 3 and 4. The LA requested extra assessment (comm paed, SALT and lea EP) in the weeks leading up to the deadline for final evidence. You can't stop it without seeming obstructive. lea EP is highly unlikely to agree with an indi EP.
Make sure that Tribunal know how they are acting. I would email the LA copying in Tribunal requesting to know the reason why they want a further report and what assessments they intend to carry out. Ask them to reply today. Draft out a Request for Changes and ask the Tribunal to direct the LA to answer your questions. If the LA don't reply email it to Tribunal, copying to LA. Be aware that the LA will probably reply that they need to update the EP report and that the EP will not repeat assessments but at least Tribunal will be aware of their behaviour rather than it remaining hidden at the hearing.
The Tribunal admin office cannot advise you on whether to allow your child to be seen.
All you can do is write to the LA and Tribunal and say you have been asked to allow an EP to do a report for Tribunal after the filing of late evidence and that no reason has been given.
Tell them that, at this stage, you would object to that late evidence as the LA have had ample time to get their own evidence.
Ask that the judge rule in this.
Thanks. I will make some phone call tomorrow.
I'd contact the tribunal and ask them for advice. The LA would have been aware of the appeal being lodged and the dates for final evidence and therefore gaining evidence this late makes a mockery of the dates system they set if the LA are just going to do as they please. If on the other hand the LA has a particularly good reason for a late assessment then it should still be considered. eg in our case they called a different SALT to tribunal at the last minute due to a problem with the original SALT being able to attend. Therefore with under 2 weeks to the actual hearing the new SALT went to see DD in school and submitted one A4 side report. We didn't argue against it as seemed like a realistic reason for the late evidence and actually nothing in it was new anyway. It kind of highlighted the crap service we have had for DD more than anything!
You should have a right to object to new evidence on the basis of unreasonable behaviour from the LA...or something to that effect.
Our ep did not redo the la ep tests but referred to them and connected them to her observations. She did do some additional tests that she thought would be helpful.
I am hoping they are doing this to see la ep agrees with our ep.
I am not asking for much more.
How long ago was this? Tests can't be redone within 6 months and she can't redo what your EP has done
It is unfair. Ask them to state explicitly why they are doing this so late and what she intends to do and say you will object to the late admission of evidence without good reason.
One possible plus is that they may reconsider if the EP agrees with your EP. Depends on what you are asking for and how far away they are from it.
I was feeling confident until now as I think my reports are good but worrying now (my chest is a little tight). Its so unfair that they get to read our report before doing theirs. Can I counter this new info? EP saw him once during SA. I am appealing part 2 and 3.
Has your son been seen by the EP before? What kind of appeal is this? Is it a refusal to issue a statement/Undertake SA or appeal against a statement/AR?
Oh they are taking the piss! The EP works for them ffs. There is no reason on earth they couldn't have sent him/her in earlier
Thanks. The deadline was about a week ago. They want to send in ed psych.
As beautifulgirl says, they will probably be get away with it but they might not. It won't be held against you. It is entirely unreasonable to start testing a child this late in the day.
What is the assessment for? When was the deadline? I am sure they have had ample time to get a report if they wanted one.
I really would object and get them to give you a bloody good reason for this messing about. They have a duty under the Tribunal's Rules of Procedure to act in good faith. Why have they left it so late?
Obviously, we know why, but they really should be made to explain and you should object to the late filing of evidence without good reason.
Write a letter to the LA and send a copy to the Tribunal.
It isn't really very good of them to do this, but there is little that you can do to stop them short of your son being off sick that day to at least delay them a bit. How far after the deadline is it? You can "drop in" to the conversation at the hearing about "the report that was submitted after the deadline states x...." and that will make the panel a little more aware of some of the difficulties you have faced in who you deal with a the LA. I think the LA will have to apply to the tribunal to submit late evidence too and they may just not allow it, though usually they get away with it as the tribunal will see it all as part of the bigger picture that helps to make a decision. Try not to let it get to you and just accept these things happen.
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