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LGO news of sorts: Ed Psych anyone?(79 Posts)
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??
Line manager has said they'll speak to me about it all but I imagine it'll be easy just to shrug and blame it on a rogue or naive EP.
How this squares with the marvellous LGO's genius interpretation of this all being beyond reproach. Incredible.
Can an employer also be liable for an employee's actions? IF she's done wrong, perhaps she hasn't been supervised properly :-D
That really sucks! Nasty people tho, not even loyal to ex-employers! Can you still pursue a complaint to her professional body?
Just found out she has already left. Redundancy. There is alot of it about at county hall!
She did DS's SA assessment and I think she must have known my profession as they were all gossiping about it in emails with the NHS.
So I think this is why they decided to disclose her name. She's not here. May as well dump her in it.
No chance of getting an explanation from the horse's mouth now.
IE, haven't posted so far, but been lurking and thinking... The EP. She's been fed a load of misinformation, manipulated into writing the "less-than-professionally-perfect" email . And probably a lot more. Given your profession, one would have expected her to tread more carefully.
Now she's leaving/left the LA. Why? And why now? (Jumped? Pushed?). I bet your line of work was withheld from her until recently. And I wonder which other local cases she was given. Could she have been set up as a convenient fall-guy for all the unlawful/ difficult/ expensive cases?
I know. You should be able to complain without thinking you will get ten tons of vitriol and personal abuse aimed at you for it.
Why the LGO feel they need to be so abusive is beyond me.
It's rubbish isn't it! Just every single turn, every single point, it's utter rubbish
it's all so unbelievably shoddy that no one will ever believe it's true. In any other area, none of this would happen. A convicted murderer has more rights than us or our disabled children!
A thought has just hit me about this email. This came from the LGOs file but they redacted loads of stuff from it on the basis it was third party information.
Now I have the unredacted email I am really further annoyed by the LGO.
Some of the redactions were the work email addresses of LA staff or references to school staff by name BUT big chunks of the redactions were all these allegations about DS. DS is mentioned in other parts of the email the LGO did no redact so it is not about redacting anything to do with him.
So why redact this info? Not only did they find this sort of conduct acceptable but they withheld info.
I had just filed another complaint with very clear evidence. But what is the point? i am clearly bonkers to think there is any chance of getting justice out of this.
But worse than that I am just inviting another personal kicking.
I have asked if we could meet and talk to this EP. She should confront the consequences of her actions directly and explain them to us. I can't imagine for one minute she will have the balls to do that.
Oh geezzz...I was going to say write to the HCPC, at they are the ones that will look at her moral and ethical conduct, and it makes no difference if she leaves the LA as long as she is still an EP and her actions could have potentially put her client (or in this case, you DC wasn't even a client so she should not have been making such comments?!?) at a disadvantage they will look at it provided you have enough evidence to back it.
I cant guarantee the outcome my dear, but it should make her think twice about such conduct as they do not want this. The LEA/NHS will simply cover and find excuses for her as that is what they all do, even when the person has so obviously done wrong
Thanks - have PMd you.
Yes - please feel free to PM me.
If you go down the official complaints route it will be months before you hear any result by which time she will have long gone. Thpe immediate 'off the record' meeting gives you the opportunity to directly express your dismay re the email - which, regardless of all the other issues you have with the LA, I maintain you do have the right to reply to.
WEt - would you mind if I PM'd you? I know you have a lot on your plate right now so feel free to say no.
There are some data protection lawyers helping with our lawful information sharing campaign and they will write something to address the inaccuracies although the LA will probably not remove the email.
I was going to wait for them as they can't do anything on it until next week.
My concern is that this will all by-pass the woman who actually wrote the email and that as she is taking redundancy she may actually have gone by the time we do something.
On a personal level, it just seems important that she sees and hears the impact on us of what she did and said.
But how you do that without being accused of circumventing complaints processes and being a complete loon is behind me. The whose system is set up for you to be forced in to complaints and then you are criticised for making complains.
Sorry - I take your point. I was just reminding you that you do have a natural right to question the EP yourself if you so desired.
But when you discuss with your EP also discuss what remedy you want. An acknowledgment that all instances of this inaccurate and misleading email have been deleted?
Wet - I think the solicitor knows how keen this LA are to brand me vexatious if they can so she is warning me to watch my step by leaving myself open to allegations of vexatious conduct. This is why I thought copying in another EP might help prevent that.
Keeping - you could just be wrapped up in complaints forever can't you? I have solicitors who will address the inaccuracies but I did want this woman to know the damage she had caused.
Oh and the EP who did DS' tests only wanted to do observations. They never want to assess children formally or deal with them directly.
Perhaps I should just send the emails to our EP, say we are very distressed to find they were written by a colleague and ask for her suggestion about how to address this constructively.
The difficulty seems to be that even if you do complain to the LA, they simply ignore the complaint. On the run up to tribunal hearing, a DP request showed that one of his EOTAS tutors was circulating malicious emails (including sending to the head honcho of SEN) and making comments to the IO about me.
In the confusion of half-messages, the facts were 'mis-recorded' so that the written record now indicated that the tutor had been racially harassed by the parents and refused to return. The matter was to be reported to the union and there was concern at sending another tutor to our home. In reality, the tutor had been racially harassed by a neighbour and I had spent on hour with the police giving a statement as her witness. Complaint disappeared into a black hole. Another complaint took 6 months to reply to - conveniently after the LA had conceded - that basically said, oh well, never mind, you got what you wanted and he's at indi ss so what's the problem?
Recent LA EPs that I have had contact with have both been trainees but have the arrogance to challenge medical diagnoses. One spent 2 pages of a recent report to tribunal challenging asd diagnosis given by DK and MS and accepted by the NHS. The other one only conducts limited assessment just in case they discover a problem and writes reports that omit key information and incorrectly records information as to when assessments were carried out and by whom and whether DS2 is a current patient (DS2 is a current SALT pt but the EP wrote in her report that he was discharged last summer). I just correct misinformation and copy in the supervisor. It will be a dark day for DC with SEN when they graduate.
Well she would say that wouldn't she - she's a solicitor.
I think we sometimes get so wrapped up on doing what we perceive as 'the right thing' that we lose all sight of common sense and basic entitlements.
When I was divorcing I used a solicitor but that didn't stop me talking to my now exH about the divorce.
When I was battling the LA my solicitor was assisting but I was also writing my own letters to the LA, unapproved by the solicitor but praised for doing so when he saw them.
The fact that I had hired a solicitor for legal advice about LA's failure to provide did not preclude me having a 'natural dialogue' with the LA myself. Only after provision had finally been provided and I was then in 'revenge mode' bringing a case for damages, did I step right back and leave everything to the solicitor. However, during that time I was also managing the parallel LGO complaint singlehandedly without consulting the solicitor - and obviously with his blessing.
Never forget that you are allowed to be a questioning mother and for that you do not need legal cover. You seem to be relinquishing these rights.
Mmm, solicitor advises not to approach her directly but to make a formal complaint if I want to pursue it.
Excellent advice as always Wet. Thanks for your help on this.
Yes - the objective in meeting her needs to be clear.
Is it to express your disgust at what she did - that may upset her temporarily and get it off your chest, but nothing meaningful will come of it
Is it to see who (if anyone) pressured her / originally made these comments - that could be useful ammo later
Is it to sound her out before making a formal complaint - I think that would just bring you another vexatious label
To me it's all about knowledge. OK - probably a bit Machiavellian but she needs to be made aware that personally, by writing that email, she has screwed up and that he only remedy that would keep me happy (from raising a formal complaint) was some 'insider' information as to how that email came to be written. Seems a perfectly reasonable demand to me
With that knowledge you increase your power.
Yes, that's right Wet. I suppose I need to be clear about the purpose of the approach. To give her the opportunity to explain why she thought this was appropriate action to take when dealing with a child she had no knowledge. Bear in mind that things had got so difficult for DS that we withdrew him two weeks after this email.
I would like to get her to acknowledge that she made inappropriate personal and judgmental comments when she had taken no steps to verify the facts she was being presented with and when she had no dealings with DS. This could clearly (and did) significantly damaged his ability to get his needs met.
Perhaps I will run it past my lawyer first.
Vicarious responsibility - they are all collectively responsible. Phelps v Hillingdon Borough Council - my favourite case, all about a girl who was let down by EPs - just as my DS was.
Don't copy your EP when you send the email to young LA EP. If you think your EP needs a copy send it separately or BC it if your email system allows you to.
She is one of the EPs. I have asked for details of her line manager presuming she was under a principal psychologist but have been given the head of statutory sen. Yet, this woman was the one who used the email to advance the vexatious determination!
I just want to make sure this doesn't happen to anyone else.
Was this EP junior to someone else within that department? If so, you could argue the LA is not off the hook because her superior is still responsible for what she did.
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