Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Stirred up the hornets' nest?

(31 Posts)
Inappropriatelyemployed Wed 10-Apr-13 19:42:11

I completely lost my patience with my LA yesterday and lodged three complaints for the first time since I was branded 'vexatious' two years ago.

DS has been without OT for 8 months. We applied for DPs for it and they said 'we have a block contract'. But what use is that to him if he hasn't been getting any provision? They know we have been paying for it as it was all raised at Tribunal. Now they have asked our OT to do it through their block contract as she also works part-time for the NHS. She told me - not them. They have asked her to do one extra visit next term but have reduced the hours attributed to each visit to make up for it - irrespective of what his statement says.

Secondly, we got DPs for SLT four months ago. They still haven't paid a penny but are banging on about independent evaluation of our programme. Do they independently evaluate their own block contract? Chance would be a fine thing!

Lastly, they dragged us needlessly to Tribunal over a request for extra hours made by school. Costing us money we will never get back. Calling our head as a witness when they knew he was asking for the hours. They then conceded a couple of weeks before. They never produced any evidence to support their case.

It annoys me so much as they think you will be so happy they have conceded that you will walk away.

I know I have now stirred up a hornets nest but I am tired of this bunch of shits. The woman dealing with the DPs is the same lying tosser who circulated malicious gossip about me before the last Tribunal.

They're a complete bunch of deceitful tossers.

Does any LA treat people straightforwardly?

I don't know about the one I'm in. But the one I left no.

I think independent special schools whilst not ideal, perfect or even particularly good value for taxpayers, is a good escape route.

I recommend it just for no longer having to regularly sit in a room full of fuckwits.

And. Well done.

And. Sorry.

Icedcakeandflower Wed 10-Apr-13 20:18:59

sad angry

I read an article around 2-3 years ago that parents go down the independent special school route precisely because therapy was on site and timetabled.

When you find a good LA, please share grin

AgnesDiPesto Wed 10-Apr-13 20:23:44

Surely until they pay up they have no right to see anything about your programme because as things stand thats a private arrangement

Inappropriatelyemployed Wed 10-Apr-13 20:34:22

Well that is basically what I've been saying to them. Also, as it stands, unless we undertook to pay the SLT, she could refuse to do any work and DS would be without that too.

They got threatened with JR for not letting us apply for DPs, then threatened with JR after 3 months for not arranging payments. They then quickly produced a letter saying they would pay but setting out all their needs for an evaluation programme (although they didn't tie these things together).

But the letter had the wrong DP figure in it - their nominal figure for SLT not our figure but it staved off a JR. They then acted like 'oh what a terrible mistake' and took another week to send out an amended letter.

Three weeks later - still no payments.

And my solicitor says they are far from the worst she has dealt with! Although to be fair, they're probably perfectly pleasant to her. For example, I send the complaint across and she gets a return email but I don't even get an acknowledgment!

Inappropriatelyemployed Wed 10-Apr-13 20:37:05

Perhaps I should pay our SLT and then sue them for the money!

Handywoman Wed 10-Apr-13 20:43:00

Oh IE what a bunch of incompetent evil tossers. I say let there be hornets!

If it were incompetence........

It isn't is it?

Inappropriatelyemployed Wed 10-Apr-13 21:18:33

Indeed, they are past masters at passive aggressive behaviour. They do nothing deliberately and know that it inflames you but as soon as you complain, they were 'just about to' do something. To the unseasoned observer, it looks like human error. It's not.

This is what happens when the LGO lets these people get away with failing to arrange for 5 months. Next time, they make it 8.

LAmentable Wed 10-Apr-13 21:45:16

sad don't know what to say IE.
The problem is that if you upset them they do even less for you. I have discovered that the school have done something immoral and probably illegal but I don't know how much the LA know about it and if they have enabled them to do so. I know that if I complain I am likely to suffer in the future with getting provision. So you end up between a rock and a hard place, having to decide what to do for the best. I don't feel they should be able to get away with it but I expect this sharp practice goes on everyday around the country. There is no way of holding these people to account so they carry on as if they are untouchable. I really don't know the answer.

'I know that if I complain I am likely to suffer in the future with getting provision. '

Yes. This is what happened to me until everything I asked or spoke about became an opportunity for a vindictive dig or deliberate witholding, and I never complained, only asked questions.

LAmentable Wed 10-Apr-13 21:58:01

Too right Star. Sometimes even reasonable questions cause an upset and a 'I'm surprised you're asking this' kind of response <sigh>.

Though my questions got pretty challenging in the end to be fair:

'So Mrs X, you've had ds on your caseload for 2 years now. What outcomes have there been for him as an impact of this?'

Inappropriatelyemployed Wed 10-Apr-13 22:08:07

That's how I started off 3 years ago. Asking simple questions about their decisions.

But they couldn't answer the simple questions as they were lying to undermine my son's provision so they ignored me.

Then they lied and I caught them out so they turned on me.

They lied to all the oversight bodies I complained to and branded me vexatious.

So I instruct lawyers an don't deal with them myself.

They keep lying but I ignore it as I will be branded vexatious again and I want to keep my distance.

But they keep my son without provision and still claim the moral high ground and I've had enough.

My experience is - complain or don't complain, they're still going to shaft you (or more correctly your child) if you challenge them in any way or even make them do their job.

I'm tired of feeling 'silenced'.

MareeyaDolores Thu 11-Apr-13 10:04:15

or even make them do their job

This is the core problem. Their jobs are not well defined, there are some irrelevant performance measures, but nothing related to dc progress. And the lines of accountability tend to be unclear but basically all go back to the uninterested head hornet.

We define their job as communicate with parents, assess child, and ensure that additional provision meets assessed needs. Then provide it efficiently and responsively, reevaluate regularly and adjust as needed. But we aren't the employers.

MareeyaDolores Thu 11-Apr-13 10:05:43

thankfully there are quite a few staff who also self-define the above as their 'real' job, and they somehow manage to fit doing it around the cr*p that the authorities see as being their 'real' job.

zzzzz Thu 11-Apr-13 10:12:05

sad nothing helpful to contribute but this is yuck. I'm so disappointed by the system. Is that a pathetic thing to say?

I thought we were good, honourable, fair people in this country. How have we come to this?

Honk Honk Innapropriately

AgnesDiPesto Thu 11-Apr-13 10:20:35

IE write to Edward Timpson about the DP / Pathfinder debacle?
Do families who participate in the Pathfinder get to give any feedback or is it all self evaluation.
Isn't there some organisation overseeing the Pathfinders - is it Mott McDonald although if they are govt funded then may not be much use but at least you will have registered your concerns.
Other possibility is the Council's Monitoring Officer on basis breaking the law (again)

Inappropriatelyemployed Thu 11-Apr-13 10:32:11

Mareeya- I hear what you say but the law and SENCOP defines what these people's jobs are to some extent. It is not personal. It is institutional. These organisations function with no regard to the law. At the pre-legislative scrutiny hearings at the Education Committee, one Director of Children's Services even said to the Select Committee, 'we tell parents we don't do statutory assessments any more' or words to that effect.

Wholly unlawful. Sat there in a room of MPs and the Council for Disabled Children. Did anyone say - well you can't do that, it's unlawful? No.

This is the state of affairs we are fighting. Endemic, systemic, lawbreaking.

Agnes, I have had contacted about external evaluation but only a form which allows them access to all DS's and MY personal files! No request from evaluative input from me! So I can see how that goes - look how quickly we set up the DPs, yes she has moaned but if I can just direct you to the vexatious determination on file which the LGI itself upheld.

The Council Monitoring officer? Well there is a 2 stage complaints process - firstly handled by the team themselves and then the compliance team. I will get accused of being vexatious again if I don't follow this.

As far as I know the compliance team is the monitoring officer and they are the people who..........determined me vexatious!!

It fits together wonderfully. Yet somehow these people are the 'victims''!!

Inappropriatelyemployed Thu 11-Apr-13 10:42:15

I've PMd you Agnes.

Inappropriatelyemployed Thu 11-Apr-13 11:02:19

This is quite an interesting piece on Pathfinders.

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Thu 11-Apr-13 12:19:43

IE this is all way beyond my knowledge, just want to send you some flowers

bjkmummy Thu 11-Apr-13 14:16:32

It's a blooming nightmare - post tribunal I contacted transport dept to see what the arrangements were to be told no contract yet set up - cue email to sen team - they then phone 10 mins later and as if by magic it had been sorted that very minute. The. This morning DH has had a phone call from the disability social worker wanting to come and see me - shame she hasn't been anywhere near us in the last 8months as we've been through the worst time ever which she knew all about as she sit within the sen team but has kept away deliberately. Now he's returning to school next week she wants to come and see me - too little too late but as we get direct payments I have no choice but to see her. I am inclined to ask for a full assessment of my sons needs post tribunal now and for an assessment of my needs and the impact on my daughter - in fact as I'm fired up I'm off to make the phone call - be right back!

AgnesDiPesto Thu 11-Apr-13 21:50:37

Interesting link IE
What we all suspected
Wonder what will happen in the bill with the personal budgets / DP as don't seem to be any LAs willing to trial this properly
8 months on LA still trying to come up with SALT that will meet needs - LA has pretty much accepted NHS not working but have totally ruled out paying private SALT and refused our DP request and now trying to offer us a LA staff member who happens to have SALT training.
Apparently the team discussion about whether we could have 6 private SALT visits a year to advise ABA went "them again, no its not fair, why should they get anything different, no they can't have it, its not equitable"
End of discussion.
DS actual needs did not even register in the conversation. Nor did the fact they have paid NHS SALT to come for 3 years without showing any positive outcome.
So much for all children being individuals
The LA staff would clearly pay shed loads of money just to stop us getting any useful help because they hate us so much

inappropriatelyemployed Thu 11-Apr-13 22:22:42

I feel for you Agnes, I really do. As there is no logic to their behaviour and there is precious little way of challenging it. Have you looked at JR for the refusal?

Knowing that there is a 'team' of publicly paid officials out there who would happily shaft your child because of their own petty personal indignation at being exposed by a parent who wants measurable provision is an horrendous thing to live with.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 11-Apr-13 23:27:41

IE will send you pm

'The LA staff would clearly pay shed loads of money just to stop us getting any useful help because they hate us so much'

Yes. Sorry.

I don't even know how to express my anger at this. I bailed but it is still eating me up.

2tirednot2fight Fri 12-Apr-13 17:14:07

So sorry you are going through this again IE, good luck with your complaints. I am waiting for no 3 LGO provisional report to be made final so I can apply for JR. There is fault found again but LA officer has completely pulled the wool over the LGO OFFICER so remedy is laughable, parent is the problem! Sounds like a familiar response? Most important aspects of complaint are not even mentioned let alone addressed. Hope you get resolution without needing to go to the LGO.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 12-Apr-13 17:44:55

God it is relentless isn't it? I hate the way the LGO just opens the door to this poor behaviour and conduct.

If they talk a really firm stance and just implemented their own good practice guidance on this or recommended that LAs follow the law, they wouldn't act with impunity.

2tirednot2fight Mon 15-Apr-13 17:43:44

Completely agree IE and beginning to wonder what the point of the LGO really is when it comes to SEN. I really hope that a JR application will aid my understanding as the behaviour of officers and the systemic delays and ignoring of key issues confuses me completely.

It's not just the professionalism or lack of it that bothers me but the lack of accountability and the fact that the LGO tell me they have no complaints procedure for looking at dissatisfaction with their service. What makes them beyond question and without any margin for error on their part?

I wish there was more that could be done but it seems we all fight our own battles in isolation and therefore there is no oversight of patterns of dissatisfaction or areas where the LGO fails to respect laid down legislation. So frustrating, feels like the service mirrors the behaviour complained about to me.

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