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LGO news of sorts: Ed Psych anyone?

(79 Posts)
inappropriatelyemployed Fri 26-Jul-13 17:41:34

LGO will now deal with my request for a case review. God, why be so difficult.

As part of my complaint, I complained about some pretty scurrilous emails which were being circulated about me during Tribunal. They were not disclosed by the LA to my lawyers when requested but were voluntarily sent to the LGO which is how I got them.

One in particular is awful. It says the sender has spoken to school and accuses me of harrassing school, says staff were planning to leave because of me, that children on SA and SA+ weren't getting provision because of my unreasonable demands.

It is also very disparaging against DS. Saying he thinks he can do as he wants, even saying he marches in to the staffroom to demand that he doesn't do PE etc. It ridicules his 'anxiety' which it places in quotes like that. It says he lies and tells his parents he hasn't been doing work on targets when he has.

Utter, utter, contemptible bollocks.

LGO redacted email address info even though they were LA email addresses.

So requested info from LA. They sent same the email with just the sender's email redacted. At least it showed it was circulated to 7 other LA staff, 4 of whom I had never heard of.

I pressed the issue and asked them to reveal who had sent this pernicious email and they tried to rely on a third party exemption. I asked outright whether this person worked for the LA.

So this afternoon, I get told who it was.

An educational psychologist. Visiting school on another matter. This EP saw my son once ten months previously and had not seen him again. Yet she reports back everything the school has said as fact and her vitriol is amazing. She talks about using the email for Tribunal and doing something about me. She then circulates this to numerous colleagues.

The level gets lower and lower. This woman has no first had experience of my son or what was going on at school or his targets and whether they were being done but she writes this crap.

Surely this is unethical??

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 26-Jul-13 22:45:18

It's outrageous. And I had NO contact with this woman at all bar the SA 10 months before so its not as if this woman could even say it was her opinion.

It was so fixed and timed to get a vexatious determination but how dare this vile woman talk about my son like this. A highly vulnerable kid who couldn't even talk in school and was being referred for in-patient treatment at Gt Ormond St at this time.

TOWIELA Fri 26-Jul-13 22:54:54

Not only does it show appalling unprof by her but what the hell were the LA doing listening to her!

Why do LAs do this! In no other sector would this be allowed. At the very start of my Tribunal, I had a LA EP trying to remove my son's medical dx of anxiety. We argued over it for about an hour before the LA went away and reluctantly conceded that his dx - dx by two senior consultant doctors - should remain. No medical witnesses in the room but the LA EP thought she was above the medics - even the judge was scratching her head in disbelief.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 26-Jul-13 23:01:28

Incredible!

There is evidence of allegations circulating before this and the fact that it is presented to the complaints team as part of the package against me demonstrates that this was a put up job I think. Planned and organised by the SEN team to get the determination to stop me complaining and asking questions.

Lachanophobia Fri 26-Jul-13 23:18:34

It is indeed outrageous. I think some of these professionals are really stupid to think they can put what they want in writing without any comeback. They forget that parents can request a full copy of the records.
The sad thing is that this is not an isolated case. I have copies of some really damning notes and emails - it's just deciding what best to do with them. I plan to be unleashing my disgust and anger about this in the near future in the hope of making the public aware of how 'caring'some of these people really are. Good on you for keeping fighting IE.

nennypops Sat 27-Jul-13 10:05:47

"staff …are so distressed that they are thinking of leaving”

That's the one I like. She's seriously presenting a picture of a load of experienced school staff weeping and wailing and about to give up their jobs just because one parent is asking for her child's needs to be met. Even if you had been acting as parent from hell, this is just ridiculous. Teachers have to be capable of dealing with children with behavioural problems, children suffering severe neglect, children with serious health problems, complaining parents, annoying parents, demanding parents, you name it. In some schools they have to be capable of dealing with violent pupils and parents. Yet all of these teachers were apparently so feeble that they were reduced to a jelly by one person. And even though it was inherently ridiculous, the council eagerly accepted it because it suited their agenda. But it's beyond me why the LGO accepts it.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 10:17:12

Quite - and at exactly the same time, the head was emailing me saying:

"We really do want to support DS, and yourself. (I realise it is stressful for you too.) Is there anything that we are not doing that we could/should do that would help further? If it is within our power, we will do what we can."

But she knew all of this was going on. Two faced mare.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 10:19:16

You can see how a feckless Ed Officer might lap this kind of moaning up and spread it around but an educational psychologist?

It really is beyond me that she should be so unprofessional.

Lachanophobia Sat 27-Jul-13 11:23:54

We got all those sentiments from school - 'we are only acting in x's best interests', we are doing all we can for x etc,etc,'.
Then,when I complained about an issue, I had an onslaught of vitriol from the GB threatening legal action against me. I had simply said my views on matters that were totally true. I do have loads of evidence to support the claims but they didn't want to see that hmm.
I recommend that everyone obtains copies of their child's records as the deceit and dishonesty that goes on just beggars belief.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 13:03:06

I agree. The extent to which adult professionals will lie is astounding, particularly when you consider these cases concern very vulnerable children. All to save their own necks.

You see that isn't about resources: it's about ethics and integrity.

WetAugust Sat 27-Jul-13 17:07:48

IE

Wow! Just wow! I am enraged on your behalf.

She will almost certainly be a member of the Association of Educational Psychologists – this is their ‘union’ that provides them with legal advice in cases arising from their professional dealings. They have a website and on that website is their Handbook.

It bangs on about their members “right to be treated with dignity and respect” - something their clients (i.e. us parents) should also expect.

She's broken a whole host of rules by sending that email. Apart from libelling you she broken the DP Act by sending information to people who had no need to receive it (as evidenced by the fact that none felt they had an obligation or duty to acknowledge/respond to it. Even the GMC tells doctors not to share information with people without explicit consent.

The email was full of hearsay so she failed establish the actual facts before doing the LA's dirty work - that's very unprofessional and potentially very damaging to a child, i.e. by calling him a liar is she assessing him as delusional?

I would have her bits on a plate for breakfast. I would throw the book at her. She has totally exceeded her remit.

How on earth can that woman expect any respect for her or her profession when she has acted in such a cynical way?

Of course the minute you complain about her you'll trigger another whole round of 'vexatious parent'.

Ideally you would seek the opinion of another EP as to whether what your EP wrote was / was not within professional boundaries but to any sensible person the EP was well out of order.

You do seem to have an unfortunate number of bastards to deal with. Our 'EP' was the only good guy amongst our own caring carrots.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 17:58:05

Thanks Wet. Interesting that the Council's position is:

"Sharing your personal information to those that have a need to know it within the Council is categorised as fair processing and meets the principles. It is one ‘arm’ of the data controller informing another."

Additonally "Not wishing to minimise that element of dissatisfaction – it appears that is a minor issue in the scheme of things."

I have quoted the case of Desmond v Foreman, Shenton, Elliott, Cheshire West and Cheshire Council and Cheshire East Council [2012] EWHC 1900 (QB) to them.

In case it helps anyone, it seems to support two propositions:

Firstly, that the fourth data protection principle requires positive and concrete steps to be taken to maintain the accuracy of personal data, particularly in cases like this where inaccurate data could have a serious effect on individuals.

Secondly, that defamatory statements are capable of infringing rights under Article 8 and the DPA (in particular, breaches of data protection principles 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6).

The Council seems to think that, because it is a Council, it can share data how it likes within its own body.

I don't think that IE has an unfortunate number of bastards to deal with. I think it's a normal number but most of don't dig like IE and uncover them.

Every time I HAVE dug I have found the same, it's just that I haven't dug in a limited no. of places and often not very deep.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 18:20:42

Star, not sure about that. These bastards have been there on the surface. I have not dug to find that out.

The vexatious ban was obvious evidence of skullduggery, I have merely unearthed the detail behind it.

TOWIELA Sat 27-Jul-13 18:54:41

This is the thing with them. You really don't have to dig too deep to find this level of, dare I say it, corruption. Not to mention the unethical unprofessionalism of those involved. They don't even cover their tracks that well. It only takes a little bit of continuous digging to find the truth.

It still amazes me that in my professional life (and, I suspect, the majority of women on this board's professional lives), I/we are well respected professional women whose professional opinion is highly valued and sort after. Yet the minute we become a 'mum' and fight for our child we are accused of all nature of things that just would never in a million years be directed at us professionally!

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 20:09:49

I agree Towie. I think it is why it is so shocking. If you take your own ethics seriously, it is harder to understand how someone can act like this.

Wet, re-reading your email, you make a very good point in saying the "email was full of hearsay so she failed establish the actual facts before doing the LA's dirty work - that's very unprofessional and potentially very damaging to a child, i.e. by calling him a liar is she assessing him as delusional?"

Clearly, she was dismissing out of hand everything DS was saying without being his psychologist and without knowing if the child needed help rather than criticism and abuse.

But how do you deal with this? I need a friendly EP to ask.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 20:13:30

Interestingly, I learn the EP, who is young, has taken voluntary redundancy so maybe the LA don't care about exposing her to trouble now she's on her way.

It was really bizarre yesterday. Adamant I couldn't have access then, as I pressed for them to confirm the person didn't work for the LA as they were being very vague about the exemption to disclosure, a sudden volte face and apology saying it's 'Ms X' and we just didn't realise she worked for the LA.

I am getting a new copy of the redacted email but from the redactions, she has clearly signed herself off with all her details so that is a bit unbelievable.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 21:32:54

I should add Wet - she wasn't even DS' educational psychologist. Someone else had been advising school and had attended meetings. She was there for a transition review on another child so it's like they just bitched to any old professional walking in and that professional decided to circulate all the bitching as fact while adding their own prejudicial, judgmental comments.

Incredible.

WetAugust Sat 27-Jul-13 22:48:21

Sounds like she's going to be the LA's scapegoat if you do make a complaint. As she's already facing redundancy they'll hang her out to dry.

I think I would still complain - even if it's just about personal information being shared unnecessarily will all and sundry.

The people who are supposed to monitor / curb / oversee etc the council are the Councillors. Have you had any discussions with any of your Councillors about all this?

The way it usually works is that a Councillor who is not one of the majority party can make a fuss with his political opponents - unless his own side happen to chair the education committee etc. Once I started formal legal proceedings my Councillor, who had been really helpful, refused to talk to me any more.

Reading DS's school file did my head in as it contained similar inflammatory material, including an admission that they had indeed ignored his SENs "because his parents told us to".

Incredible!

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 27-Jul-13 22:58:16

Incredible indeed!

Councillors round here are appalling beyond belief. Honestly, I raised an issue about maladministration judgements not being passed on to councillors and I approached two councillors who both ignored me.

It's a rural county full of elderly councillors who seem useless and completely disengaged.

I have already been through a two stage complaint over lack of OT provision for a year which they have just forced me to lodge a complaint with the LGO again as they refused to accept anything despite not being able to demonstrate any evidence of his programme being in place.

The senior bitch at the top of the shit heap is the one responsible for using the EPs email to get me made vexatious so no chance of a fair hearing from her.

I will try and see if I can locate an EP to give it the once over and see if I can pursue for ethics.

Perhaps the complaint, in the first instance, should go back to the EP involved?

WetAugust Sat 27-Jul-13 23:29:05

It would only be fair to offer the EP the opportunity to comment on her email. I think she'll be very shocked to discover that she's been named as its source.
You may even find that you have an ally in her (ally doesn't look right??). She has nothing to lose, is out of their grip and probably doesn't want a complaint lodged when she's looking for work. Yes - I think she could be helpful.

Sadly your Councillors seem perfectly normal. Depressing really that as a nation we are so disinterested in proper governance.

I share your frustration IE. Every avenue seems to have a juggernaut blocking the way. I suppose the press is an option but that's one route I would ever go down.

Somehow you need to divide and conquer and the key to that may be a 'friendly' approach to the EP to see what information you can milk from her on the rest of the bastards.

But I do worry about the effect this will be having on your wellbeing. Although this is a useful vent if you're like me this will be on your mind 24/7. I remember those times very well.

WetAugust Sat 27-Jul-13 23:30:13

never

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 28-Jul-13 00:19:04

I wouldn't want to get accused of being vexatious and 'bullying' her!

I know what you mean about well being! What's that? The people who do this try and treat you like your insane for pursuing it like you should just let them get on with it.

Perhaps I should ask DS' EP, off the record, whether I should raise this with the EP who did this. DS's EP is very experienced and nearing retirement I would think. The other EP was pretty young. DS's EP was copied into this email and interestingly offered to attend school shortly after (though I did not know this had been going on). She would never have written this email.

WetAugust Sun 28-Jul-13 11:16:57

Yes- another EP's view would be the best way forward but I do think we already know that what she wrote was uncalled for.

DS used to come home from school when he was about 14 and tell me that everyone in his class had bullied him. I couldn't conceive of a class in which the whole lot were bullies so used to tell him they couldn't all possible be.
Then I saw his school file and the notes made by teachers that confirmed he was indeed being bullied by the whole class.
That's when I learnt just how widespread bullying was - it's the herd instinct and you spread the instinct by emails like the EPs, which effectively 'give permission' to bully - as a woman with her professional status is virtually encouraging it.

And we pay our taxes for this crap angry

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 28-Jul-13 11:21:31

Perhaps I should just email her and very blandly say we are in possession of an email dated XX and have been informed that she wrote it. We were very shocked to discover this and would like the opportunity to discuss it openly with her.

Maybe copy in our own EP to ensure we are not accused of 'bullying'

What do you think??

WetAugust Sun 28-Jul-13 12:01:10

I'd make it a much more friendly approach. I'd just tell her that you had recently been given an email and noted that she had expressed some views about your DS. Could we meet to discuss this?

Avoid all emotive words (shocked, discover etc).

Def copy in someone else - but ensure that someone else is not someone who may warn her off.

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