Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Not sure what to do

(16 Posts)
sweetteamum Tue 16-Apr-13 15:39:14

I've met with Parent Partnership and gone over the proposed statement. They've said it seems ok, apart from SALT needing to be moved from part 5/6 to part 2/3.

I asked about it being vague and she didn't seem to think it was. I'm confused already and had some wonderful ideas from a kind mumsnetter smile apparently it was a new style version and I said I thought it would be more specific (ie 1 salt three times a week for 30 mins) and she said they don't do that anymore.

We got round to the school we've asked for and I already know its going to be hard but she said I'd need very good reasons and told me how hard it's going to be.

I feel beaten before I've already started. I don't know where will be suitable if she won't get indi special school as the lea one is apparently unsuitable for numerous reasons. She suggested I view all schools in the area to check suitability but make sure I have good reasons.

I've left feeling even more negative. We don't have money and know we can't afford help to get her into the school.

I would also have a chat with IPSEA about the proposed statement as well as they unlike PP (who are often in the sway of the LEA) are independent. I would agree that SALT needs to be in both parts 2 and 3 of the statement rather than in parts 5 and 6.

IPSEA now offer a call back service too. Their website is www.ipsea.org.uk.

Also statements need to be specified and quantified as per case law; if it is not then it needs to be rejected.

moosemama Tue 16-Apr-13 16:23:38

Absolutely agree with Attila.

Definitely speak to IPSEA, they helped me enormously with ds1's statement.

I totally understand you feeling as you do, I was much the same and felt like giving up at the first hurdle, but they say these things to make you give up and you'd be surprised how many LEAs back down when you show you aren't going to be the one to give in. It goes hand in hand with all those people that say things like 'he/she'll never get a statement' - it's purposely designed to put you off.

If the LEA special school is unsuitable (am assuming the LEA and/or PP have told you this) then they need to have evidence to back that up and if MS also isn't suitable and you have good reasons and evidence for that, then you are within your rights to ask for an indie special school to be named. They probably won't like it, but if like in our LEA there is a clear gap in provision for pupils with your dc's needs, then they have to pay for alternative provision, be it out of county or independent - or both.

Do go and visit all the schools in the area anyway. It shows you are willing to work with them and will hopefully give you the ammo you need to prove none of them are suitable. Also, you never know, one of them might surprise you.

We were told our ds would only get MS in area secondary, but he has recently had an Independent, out of area MS with a specialism in ASD named in his statement - without a huge fight or tribunal. This was basically because they knew they couldn't offer anything from within their own LEA to meet his needs and we ignored anyone who told us they wouldn't name an independent or out of area - let alone a school that was both. Plenty of children with profiles similar to ds have been stuck in totally unsuitable local MS secondaries because their parents were either told there were no other options or they would never win a fight for alternative provision. At the same time there are several other children from our area who already attend the independent he will be attending, because when pushed, our LA didn't have a leg to stand on when it came to the gaping whole in their provision.

In all honesty, I think things have got easier with our LA the longer we've been working with them, as they now realise we are unlikely to be put off and will keep on keeping on until we get ds what he needs. There have been plenty of bumps along the way and many times I've felt like giving up, but I am so glad we didn't and they do seem to treat us with more respect now we've stayed the distance.

Hang in there, you're doing fine and we are all here to help you.

sweetteamum Tue 16-Apr-13 16:26:34

Thanks Attilla. At one point I felt I was telling her the way things are supposed to go. It certainly seems like she was swaying towards the LA, especially saying they don't put exact details of provision in.

I just desperately wanted her to be devils advocate. However I need to pick myself up and carry on fighting. I. Just am not sure how to make a case for indi school.

I will give ipsea another call and get some more detailed advice.

sweetteamum Tue 16-Apr-13 16:38:19

Thank you so much Moose. You are so right and I do need to carry on. Like you say, unless I fight, I am going to end up being one of those parents that backed down and let them win and put her anywhere.

She's completely failed in mainstream high school. And could only manage 9 days :,( she's just about coping in a small unit with about a dozen children.

The EP has recommended special, but the temp EP at one point told me that its unsuitable as they're more "disabled" than dd - which was extremely insulting at the time but now I will use it. PP also told me its unsuitable but I can't help feeling negative.

Her unit manager has said she needs constant encouragement and cannot work independently

beautifulgirls Tue 16-Apr-13 16:45:32

Good advice above and certainly talk to IPSEA about this.

The PP are wrong, the statement should be specified and quantified. Don't take no for an answer. You should now look at what you want in there and ask for it. Re write the statement the way you want it if needs be and send to the LA to look at. They may give in on some things, they will probably reject most of your proposals. Ask them then to finalise the statement whatever they do or do not agree and then make a formal appeal to tribunal over the content and the placement if you are not satisfied with the statement or school given. You almost certainly won't get indi school without a hearing anyway so be prepared to do this. IPSEA will give you a lot of advice and so will the boards here about what to do and how to do this. Consider the proposed statement as another hurdle but that there are annoyingly a few more hurdles ahead yet. You can do this, just take a breath and take it step by step.

moosemama Tue 16-Apr-13 16:52:24

I don't know where you're based sweetteamum, but if you are anywhere near South London, SOSSEN also have free walk-in advice centres.

sweetteamum Tue 16-Apr-13 18:37:06

Thank you beautiful and moose. You've been just what I needed to push my arse into gear. I'm due to meet the LA this week to discuss placement. So basically, my next step is to see how much of my proposals they'll include. Then if we still disagree ask them to finalise statement and take it straight to appeal - did I get that right? Sorry if I'm a little slow and your repeating anything.

Ps thanks for the link but I am not close enough for the drop in at sossen.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 16-Apr-13 19:49:18

PP told us it was obvious ds statement request would be turned down at 2, we could appeal it if we wanted but it would be a waste of our time, and he would not get a statement or specialist support until he was 5. All of which we proved wrong. In my experience pp are good where a parent is following LA line eg dealing with problems with mainstream schools but as soon as you go against LA policy they behave like the policy is law and impossible to get around. Which it isn't especially if as in our case the policy was unlawful in the first place. PP rarely support indep placements here as they buy into the LA line about it taking resources away from other children. don't be disheartened as they are not always indep or aware of what a determined parent can achieve.

moosemama Tue 16-Apr-13 19:52:27

Yep, that's about the size of it. It's what we did. They used every delaying tactic in the book not to finalise, going on for weeks and weeks. We repeatedly asked them to do so in writing, eventually taking legal advice and threatening them with Judicial Review - then all of a sudden, not only did we get a second proposed, but we managed to get almost everything we'd asked for included in the statement. As soon as they knew we had legal advice and were willing to go to tribunal they started to back down.

Check out some of the other stuff on the page though, because they have helplines as well and I think SOSSEN can hook people up with ProBono legal advice in some cases and that might make you feel more confident in threatening or actually going to appeal. I'm pretty sure it's mentioned on that page somewhere.

insanityscratching Tue 16-Apr-13 20:06:49

I spoke to PP regarding ds's transition review in year five. They said they would support me but I should lower my expectations as what I wanted was unheard of in our LA (1 to 1 support full time in an ASD unit) I ditched PP and went it alone and ds got exactly what I wanted wink

sweetteamum Wed 17-Apr-13 19:31:20

Thank you all for your comments. I really do appreciate the time you take to reply. If I could just ask another question.

What is the best way to make a good case for independent school? Do you have any tips/suggestions for me confused

iAutism Thu 18-Apr-13 16:37:57

Statements are mostly vague as they usually don’t quantify the statement because in doing so they would have to provide the service which in turn cost money smile

You need to state why a special school and why not the others. Best to visit all and make notes on services provided , environment and impact on your child etc

Yes lot of work but with the right advise and help it would be the best way forward.

Have a chat with the independent head on requirement and advise. How do they do things differently that will be more helpful to you child.

Rgs

Autism Resource Centre - Early Intervention
www.Meetup.com/AutismUK

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 18-Apr-13 17:45:19

Most importantly DD is not in m/s - proven 'failure'

She is too high functioning for maintained ss.

Lack of local suitable provision.

What is the alternative and how long before DD could be full-time?

Provision backed up by expert assessments and reports that cannot be delivered in the m/s (specific environment, small school/classes, specialist teachers, onsite therapists etc).

Be prepared for tribunal - prepare a watertight case and a put together a good team of witnesses (inc head of proposed indi school - you will need a formal offer of a place) and legal representation if necessary - you can use an advocate on the day to keep costs down.

Get an indi EP report and have them visit the LA named school to assess its suitability. It will help if they can be a witness at the hearing.

Phone IPSEA. I would imagine that you would be allocated a case worker - there is a delay so don't wait until you lodge the appeal - and they will help you on the run-up to tribunal and may be able to provide representation at the hearing.

Don't worry - seems daunting but you can do it smile

iAutism Thu 18-Apr-13 21:42:07

Ok so SALT and OT etc finally make it to your house and show you the wonderful tricks and tips while munching down the free cake and tea….and so you follow the advice and build it in your intervention programme and GREAT! the results are quite significant to maybe remarkable smile

So now the child is moving into an educational setting where some of this work needs to continue to make progress. So it’s reasonable to be concerned if the continuations of those vial services in the right environment are not met. Don’t you think?

Take legal representation if necessary? Yes take the Queen of SEN … mention her name and they will drop the case smile

Rgs

Autism Resource Centre - Early Intervention
www.Meetup.com/AutismUK @AutismMeetup

sweetteamum Fri 19-Apr-13 13:42:51

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply. I have dusted myself off and have re-focussed my energy into what is clearly going to be a fight.

One thing they told me was DD would not be getting SALT in part 2/3 as the NHS SALT has discharged her, saying she doesn't need regular therapy. However, we've not had any letters or notification of this discharge, so I called them as soon as I got home yesterday - I am still waiting for a call back.

I also called various charities (ipsea, sossen, ace) and infomed them of the SALT to go in parts 5/6 and also mentioned the reason. I was told as long as it impacted on her education and learning then no matter what the NHS SALT said about discharge, that it should in fact go into part 2/3. They did say I may have to get a private SALT report done for appeal, but said not to accept it in part 5/6.

Well, as the agenda changed last minute (due to the lady being off sick, who was due to discuss school placement) I wasn't ready to be altering the statement and lost myself and just said I need to go through it all again.

The case worker was very confident that we were close to finalising anyway and doesn't feel there needs to be much added, if anything - of course they will say that though, won't they.

We briefly spoke about school once, and thets when I discussed the old EP, who last seen her in December 2012, who I complained about and he was took off the case - well in the proposed they've put that he sees no reason why DD shouldn't be educated in mainstream and he states another 'expert' also thinks this. Now in the other 'experts' report, there is nothing to suggest mainstream - so why would they put it in there. The latest EP, who seen her in January 2013 has suggested special school. So do I argue that hers rules the december one out - that is how we worked other details out so I see no reason why it can't be done for this.

It also states that DD is of average ability (based on EP report May 2012). However, I have a report dated March 2013, from camhs, that says not to presume DD has average ability as her scores indicate she's good at some things and bad at others.

So sorry, for all the questions but I just don't trust PP.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now