Our daughter is going to start reception in Sept 2014. The LEA have consulted our schoool and sent them the current statement.
However, we are appealing it and the LEA havent told the school what we our grounds of appeal are (namely ABA and part home-part school). Is that the right thing to do? Shouldnt they tell the school what could the 'potential' statement be and then ask will they support that statement?
I am worried the school will say 'yes' to one statement and I will expect them to implement another
I don't know the legal standpoint for this, but would agree that, yes, ethically at least the new school should certainly know what you're appealing for! And I'd be very surprised if this wasn't the case legally too.
Do you have a solicitor/advocate? If so, what's their view?
Also wonder if you could ask SENDIST too, for the legal obligation from the LEA about this?
Slightly aside from this though, have you talked to the school about having ABA there? if you are sure this is the right school for dd, you need to be sure that they'll support ABA willingly, as even if you win it in appeal, if the school is not onside and supportive with the approach, it could be difficult long term. Do they know about what you want, and are they happy with it?
Also, have you submitted your appeal papers? ie does the LEA know exactly what you're asking for? If so, I can't see harm in the new school knowing too. But if papers not submitted yet probably worth keeping your cards close to your chest just for the time being and not giving anything away just yet that might help LEA prepare their case against you.
We were in same position as you, appealing before ds started school. But we had chosen school on basis that they were supportive of ABA (at that point, before LEA got to them!). There's no point choosing a school who will close ranks about ABA.
Also worth considering possibility that the LEA have in fact talked to the school about it, but just not officially...
- yes i have mentioned ABA/vb to the prospective school. - yes we have Fiona on board. I will be seeking her advice too - Yes LEA know what we are requesting. The tribunal is in less than a month's time.
Tbh, thinking about it further, I would be amazed if the LEA had not already spoken to them... they must know if the school supports or opposes ABA
I would probably want to be completely open with the new school. Perhaps wait till the LEA have submitted their papers though, as of course you don't want to give the LEA (through school) any more info about what your case is until the tribunal itself, as the more you give away now, the more they will try to disprove it all. Cynical, and sad, but true.
Has school said they are supportive of you, and of having ABA? Will you be calling them as witness? Or will the LEA?
The tribunal will be looking at the current placement and arrangements and whether suitable. But as transition is coming up Tribunals are also expected to look ahead - there was a case on this (might be on David Wolfe's SEN guide). Tactically it depends what you think the school will say. If you think they are negative about ABA then I would leave it and just ask Tribunal to name PT ABA and PT nursery and then from Sept PT ABA and PT mainstream school (i.e. a type of school). In my experience its easier to get a school to say yes once a tribunal has ordered it (and the LA have stopped putting them off because they know they are stuck with it).
We went to tribunal in Oct and got new statement in Nov (ABA+nursery). LA then amended it about May to name new school+ABA (after trying to call a review and remove everything we had won in the January!).
With a statement your child is an excepted pupil and can go to any mainstream school whether or not the class is already full so as its only a month away I would only involve the school if you are sure they are going to be positive about ABA. Otherwise I would just ask for type of school with ABA and leave naming the actual school until later.
The last thing you want is a HT turning up and arguing why ABA will not work / is not needed.
You can say with ABA support any mainstream school should be able to provide the necessary inclusion opportunities.