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A "suitable education"

(90 Posts)
racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 07:07:02

Have namechanged.

Does anyone know whether having a child taught solely by a TA at home constitutes a "suitable education" under the Education Act for a child out of school?

Usually, LAs provide tuition. Our LA wants to send a TA for the next 3 months while they "assess" DS further. He has a statement and complex needs but can't cope with school.

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:08:26

"“suitable education”, in relation to a child or young person, means efficient education suitable to his age, ability and aptitude and to any special educational needs he may have.

So it would depend on your circumstances and your child's needs.

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:10:48

For example if the statement requires that teaching staff have specific training and this TA doesn't have it, it wouldn't be suitable.

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 10:20:49

But the statement is based on the assumption the child is in the class with a teacher supported by a TA and not taught exclusively away from the classroom by the TA.

I thought there were rules about TAs and teaching responsibilities.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:26:57

Is DS's absence medically authorised - not just by his GP but by paed/CAMHS?

I don't think it about legislation regarding appropriate interpretation of a statement but that your DS is covered by the same legislation as NT DC or those without a statement.

This means that the LA has a legal duty to provide EOTAS if a child is out of school longer than 15 days (and provide written medical authorisation). Don't waive legal entitlement.

The LA want the TA to be a bridge to getting him into school and are not concerned about suitability.

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:37:24

Well it depends on your circumstances and your ds's needs.

When ds was signed off school with anxiety/school phobia (awaiting statement and new specialist school to be named), it was recommended that a TA from receiving school, who had training in and experience of ASD came home to teach ds. This would have been the most suitable education for him and what I would have preferred.

But we didn't get that. I was told insurance didn't cover a TA to come home, im not sure if that was just an excuse or not, so that might be worth looking into, if you don't want TA.

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:42:03

and more to the point I suppose why you don't think its a suitable education?

I would have much preferred some of the lovely TA's I have met, to the home tutor from the PRU unit.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:43:31

Claw - whether or not the TA is a good idea or not depends upon whether or not the receiving school is the parental or the LA choice where there is disagreement.

It sounds like it may not be the parental choice of school?

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:46:28

and the work that the home tutor delivered was picked up directly from the school. Ds is 9, the work was straight forward, I could have done it with him myself. Academic qualifications were not needed, just an understanding of ASD and his difficulties.

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:47:46

Exactly Keep, it depends OP's circumstances and her ds's needs.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:49:21

Claw - what if the LA had wanted to send a TA from DS's old school with the intention of him returning?

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:53:25

Then that wouldn't have been suitable for ds. That is kind of the point I was trying to make its based on the circumstances and individual needs of that child as to whether the education being offered is suitable or not. Not whether its a TA or not.

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 11:00:01

"Academic qualifications were not needed" - this may be the reality, but it is not the way our education system works in terms of teachers having a defined role and responsibility for teaching.

Would it be acceptable for a non-statemented child to be taught by a TA full-time without teacher input? I suspect not. So why is it for a child with SEN.

There is nothing in his age, aptitude or SEN to alter this.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:02:49

So the question is whether the TA is a bridge to appropriate placement.

Tbh I don't OP would be posting here under a different name or that her DS would be out of school if the placement were appropriate.

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:11:43

Sorry Race, I was talking about in my circumstances academic qualifications were not needed. Due to my circumstances, more emphasis on understanding ASD and ds's difficulties, than academic qualifications.

Obviously not in your circumstances, as I don't know what they are.

I was giving an example of my circumstances and what was a suitable education for ds, as I don't know yours.

A TA from receiving school would have been the most suitable education for ds. A TA from old school would not have been suitable.

TOWIELA Thu 12-Sep-13 11:15:13

My child was out of school for over a year - the first 7 months without a Statement and then with a crap illegal Final Statement for the final 5 months. In the 7 months he was without a school, he was not allowed to access any state education in school whatsoever. This was because he was previously in an indie school and when I withdrew him and my solicitors asked the LA to find him a state mainstream school on SA+, the LA point-blank refused to help and hid behind a Tribunal Order which stated that the LA didn't have to help. My solicitors wanted to appeal this to the second tier tribunal, but this was smaller battle in the bigger picture of getting a ss named, so I didn't fight it.

So my son was denied ANY school education whatsoever for the first 7 months and I had absolutely no alternative but to home ed him. Technically, because a school was named for the final 5 months - it became my decision to home ed him at that point - even though the statement was illegal.

To be honest, most LAs don't actually care if you home ed a SEN child. Your child's education becomes your problem, not theirs. Out of sight, out of mind.

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 11:23:20

Thanks for your response. I don't want to discuss the detail too much but school has completely that they are not a suitable educational environment for him.

A meeting with school and all professionals agreed that he should be educated at home so school don't want this package.

It is not necessarily an interim on the way to somewhere else.

TOWIELA Thu 12-Sep-13 11:28:50

Good luck - I really do hope you get what you need. If I hadn't 'won' the indie ss placement, then we would have continued to home ed.

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 11:30:31

That should be "school has completely agreed"

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:30:35

When is the AR? Will you be appealing placement?

If the TA is from m/s (and you are requesting Indi ss) LA will gather evidence from her that DS can cope in m/s. So will an LA tutor but you have more chance of finding a tutor that not only helps in the present but will provide written evidence if she thinks m/s would be wrong.

I would imagine that they are trying to trap you into applying more force to get DS into school - surely you want him to return to school? (which the LA will do even if you are going to tribunal and are appealing part 4).

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 11:33:57

We are not home educating. My son is still on the school roll because he cannot be removed by school as there are no legal grounds for them to do this.

I have not de-registered him as the LA will just leave us to it.

School wanted the LA to sort out provision for him out of school so that he could be disenrolled. They supported our request for home tutoring.

LA say he must stay on roll and a TA be sent out and will not pay for tutors.

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 11:37:58

School absolutely do not agree with what LA are doing. LA is another county so they are not 'controlled' by them. They have been 100% supportive so far.

DS has never even met this TA. We have employed tutors ourselves and DS has started to work with them and is settled and happy.

I agree Keep - it is their way of looking like they are doing something and also putting pressure to get him back to school.

Yet what they are paying for him to be in school is more than the cost of tutors!

We are taking barrister's advice on judicial review.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:49:46

EOTAS is always temporary. It is always leading somewhere. The LA need a reintegration plan for the school currently named in part 4. I don't think there is an option for the LA to say that part 4 is not only wrong but that nowhere would be suitable. This is one of the reasons that parents are forced to deregister their child and HE.

Either parents have legal responsibility and can be prosecuted if absence is not authorised.

Or, if absence is authorised, the LA has legal responsibility.

What are the LA assessing?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 11:53:55

The school would not be able to remove him from the roll. On the contrary only DC on roll are entitled to LA funded tuition. It is law - the LA do not have a choice. I'll post a link when I am back on my computer.

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 12:10:11

Thanks. That is exactly my point.

As I have said - school cannot remove him from roll and we cannot register or we cannot get LA support.

However, it is not true to say home tutoring can only be on the basis that it leads back to a school. The education act does not say this. It can be a standalone package in its own right under s 319 of the Education Act.

There is no other school available to him - SS or m/stream - which is why they have to force him back.

Or else they are stuck with admitting there is nowhere else to put him.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 12:13:17

There is a policy document called Access to Education for Children and Young People with Medical needs but it has been archived. I have a PDF copy if you want to PM your email.

Brief info here

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 13:02:14


Just heard from head. He has agreed nothing of the sort.

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 13:35:58

So the LA are proposing a package that the head has not agreed to.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:02:47

Why did the school allow themselves to be named on his statement? Why didn't they say 'no'?

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 14:12:04

I don't want to give too much away but he has attended the school.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:29:05

Talking to the good LA tutors when DS1 was out of school there are some children for whom the LA can't find suitable provision who will remain with EOTAS - eg 14 year old nonverbal ASD with challenging behaviour - and have home tuition until legal responsibility expires. This is rare.

Medical pupils are entitled to a minimum of 5 hours but in practice this is a maximum. In reality DS1 got just over half the tuition to which he was entitled after the various delays were taken into account.

Is this m/s or ss?

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 14:31:43

M/s. He is not in the situation your LA tutors refer to. It has been accepted he can be educated out of school until January subject to assessments which we are contesting as they have all the info they need right now.

The issue at present, however, is whether the TA provision is a 'suitable education'. Head agrees - no.

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 14:45:23

Race, you obviously don't think its suitable, the school don't think it is suitable.

Do you want a specialist teacher to provide the HT?

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 14:58:43

We just want the LA to pay for a tutor which is pretty normal practice in these circumstances.

I just wondered whether anyone had had any experience of arguing what constitutes a suitable education or had been offered a TA as a sole educator.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 12-Sep-13 15:49:10

Has DS been excluded?

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 16:28:44

Cant school just say no we are not providing a TA as we think it is highly unsuitable and list their reasons? if they are totally against it and haven't agreed to it. You do the same, list why TA is not suitable and why tutor is. That's your argument?

racetothebottom Thu 12-Sep-13 18:33:19

No not excluded and I am hoping Claw that this is what the head will do - write and say this is not a suitable education package.

Interestingly, he did say this to the LA who told him 'we're not interested in your views but whether a TA can physically be sent to the child's home'

Nice. Would they say that in front of the court? Yet, how many times do LAs tell us how important the head's views are.

Blimey, who would do their job? I would rather clean toilets.

claw2 Thu 12-Sep-13 20:32:27

The LA obviously want to keep tabs on you, as they did me and try to force a return to school. I had the opposite problem, I wanted the TA to come home!

The refused to send a TA from receiving school home for ds, despite it being EP recommendation and sent a home tutor from the PRU, who was regarded as a 'specialist' teacher as she worked in the PRU.

It backfired, as the home tutor they supplied backed me and stated that a MS education wasn't suitable for ds and recommended my choice of specialist indie school!

Blimey, not interested in his views or whether the TA can meet your childs needs, I hope this was written in the minutes of the meeting

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 07:16:42

No minutes - he was only spoken to on phone. He said he would write a letter and put it all in.

The sense of moral self-righteousness in the letters from the LA is what gets me. All while they are lying!

Summerhasloaded Fri 13-Sep-13 08:17:15

No advice I'm afraid, but angry for you. I hope the head writes a dynamite letter!

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 13-Sep-13 08:43:22

OP on this thread also had a child out of school with the LA suggesting TA from school but no statement yet in place. Might be of use.

Personally I would make it formal (if he has a medical diagnosis) otherwise you can spend months with nothing really happening. Obtain medical authorisation and apply to your LA for EOTAS. This is not an easy route and I only took it because I was appealing for indi ss.

If you are going to home ed on a long term basis, you can forget the LA paying for a tutor. 5 hours a week is just not worth it - even if you could get it - to have LA eyes and ears in your home. They like to do it 1 hour a day for maximum disruption. The last tutor was one of the nicest people I have ever met BUT she is an LA employee. Plus they say we'll bracket homework or plans for reintegration but they just won't let it lie because this is against their 'policy'.

I don't think parentally 'chosen' but LA funded HE is what s319 means in practice - rather, for example, if you were seeking to argue that the school needed to have specialised OT equipment on the premises (and therefore that indi ss was required to meet need) then the clause could be used to argue that a m/s school can meet need if it can provide 'access' to specialised equipment that is not in school. It also gives protection for the LA who can't find placement and 'park' the child.

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 09:35:14

Thanks Keeping - it is not parentally chosen but LA paid for provision.

My son can't cope in school and there are no other schools (even Indy SS) who will take him. There is one local Indy SS which might but it can't take pupils until Y7.

So, someone has to do something with him and I think this is what the problem is. They have nowhere to put him but don't like agreeing with the suggestion.

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 09:35:55

Also, s 319 is frequently used to cover ABA packages at home and covers any education for a child who cannot be educated in school.

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 09:52:06

Thanks for the thread b - very interesting to see that the use of a TA is intended to get him back to school!

claw2 Fri 13-Sep-13 10:26:25

Race, the problem with them paying for the tutor you have chosen is they cannot monitor (is the nice way of putting it) or snoop and they have to regularly 'review'. They are not just going to pay for your tutor and have no further involvement and just leave you to it.

Maybe your tutor would be prepared to 'work' with the LA and give regular feedback? Might be something you could offer to them, in order to get them to pay for tutor?

claw2 Fri 13-Sep-13 10:30:20

So you are saying TA isn't suitable and listing your reasons, HT is suitable and listing your reasons. School are saying TA isn't suitable and listing their reasons. However your tutor is prepared to give LA regular feedback and reviews etc. Then you look totally 'reasonable'

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 10:43:09

On to it Claw! I have already volunteered to EP that she meet with the tutor at her next visit so they can have a chat. I am quite happy for that to continue.

claw2 Fri 13-Sep-13 11:09:32

That's good, be seen to be totally reasonable at all times!

Ds's tutor had daily checklists and forms to fill out with regard to things such as pupil engagement, behaviour etc, etc.

Maybe you could ask the LA what they would expect a TA to do if she did provide HT and maybe offer similar? Even if you do not want to follow their 'guidelines' exactly as least you will know what you are up against and counter their argument.

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 12:50:15

I think they would be leaving that to the school to decide what the TA would do but the school don't want to send the TA or have her teach!

claw2 Fri 13-Sep-13 13:38:23

Not the curriculum that TA teaches, I meant more along the lines of when they send someone into your home, its to gather evidence that a return to school is possible.

They dont just let the HT get on teach, they gather evidence by asking the HT to fill out forms and tick boxes daily. The LA wont just hand over to a TA and have no further involvement. They will want boxes ticked etc.

In our case the evidence they got wasn't what they expected and it showed a return to the MS school wasn't suitable.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 13-Sep-13 14:19:29

Forms and tick boxes are where it is at. The forms are structured so that as a parent you can only give positive rather than honest feedback (otherwise you are being negative or praising insufficiently).

It is like making positive comments on your child's end of year report (that they read) knowing that they are going to be used as written evidence, in your own hand, that all is well. If you write nothing you are screwed as you have no counter-evidence, if you are positive you are screwed as you agree progress is being made, if you are negative you are screwed as you are seen to be the problem.

Thank god for tutors who can 'see' and are so royally screwed themselves by the LA that they are prepared to defy the bureaucrats.

claw2 Fri 13-Sep-13 17:50:00

So true Keep, our tutor just wasn't suitable to teach ds and i think she knew it.

At least she was honest, she wrote that she watched me carry ds down the stairs kicking and screaming, she wrote that ds was refusing to engage with her, she wrote that ds was refusing to get dressed as he thought she was going to try taking him to school. She wrote that I was trying really hard to come up with ideas to get him to engage and trying to work with her. She wrote that ds struggled to do the work. Above all else she wrote that return to MS school wasn't suitable for ds and backed my choice of school.

She had a rant one day about the LA, red tape, waste of time, ticking boxes and jumping through hoops! I guess she was retirement age and didn't have a lot to lose!

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 19:24:40

Well he works well out of school. He is getting on brilliantly with his tutor and we don't have any of that kicking or screaming or stress.

But that is because he is not at school!!

I am quite happy to report very positively because out of school tutoring really works for him.

School structure doesn't.

Private tutors are often very much used to the ways of LAs as they see the fall out of the system - the kids that need out of school tution.

Out tutor has already picked up strengths and weaknesses with working 1:1 with DS and works very hard to give him a very tailored curriculum.

WetAugust Fri 13-Sep-13 20:38:45
racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 20:54:23

Wow. Thanks so much. The Regs have been updated but seem to suggest that a TA can carry out specified activities in a school only under certain circumstances - none of which apply here, here

I know he is not in school but that is more reason to say they are unsuitable - it's probably unlawful!

racetothebottom Fri 13-Sep-13 20:56:04

Guidance from the Union too here

JustGettingOnWithIt Sun 15-Sep-13 11:58:10

Hi I have to be rather careful of how I put things as I dance with the devil, but yes I do have far too much experience of arguing what a suitable education is or isn't, but it became clear it was an argument that couldn’t be sensibly held with the LA without judge’s opinions being involved.

Yes it could be suitable educational provision if it was a brilliant TA who was able to singlehandedly meet all his needs, or his needs fell within what an average TA could provide, but while I’m sure such amazing TA’s do exist somewhere, I suspect I’d have rather more chance of winning the lottery than being allocated that person, especially if he needs work differention too.

You are absolutely correct that it “can be a standalone package in its own right under sec 319 of the Education Act.”

So is there a reason why you’re not going down section 319 route using statement review, mediation, and if required, tribunal, if his placement’s broken down and there’s nowhere suitable for him to go? (I did, but do realise it’s not what everyone wants to have to do)

If everyone’s in agreement there’s no other school that can take him and provide a suitable education there, then he’s a perfect 319 LA funded or part funded, route candidate and it's only parentally 'chosen' as a result of no alternative suitable provision being available and the legal requirement of the parent to ensure a suitable education is provided, not because the parent has a burning desire to throw up their life, career etc and take over educating or organising otherwise than in school educational provision for their child, instead.

I can’t see a good legal reason why part of the part 3 section ll provision couldn’t be any good tutor you wanted, as long as the needs that a 1-1 tutor is unlikely to meet, i.e. learning to be with other kids, cope with noisy environments, eventual de-velcroing etc, are being met in different ways as part of their IEP (which you write if you’ve taken this route) especially if you can bring it in within standard budget rather than SN budget. (so it can’t be argued it’s an unreasonable use of government supplied LEA pupil finances and affecting others)

If you can do that latter bit, then it can theoretically be done through the school (if it’s a standard one, don't know about academies etc) re allocating it’s budget and providing offsite provision and retaining responsibility for the pupil and keeping them on roll, but few heads in my experience want to be in that position and LEA’s lean on them to get them back in.
Having 319 + statement direct with the LEA can be a painful enough game, I don’t think I’d want a school responsible for other than school provision. (it's an Oxymoron your honour.)

racetothebottom Sun 15-Sep-13 12:11:01

This is exceptionally helpful - thank you.

I did not want to give away too much but we are arguing for a s 319 package and have a Tribunal listed. All parties involved with DS agree he needs a s 319 package.

LA say they don't know if there for definite that school is "inappropriate" hmm and have stated their intention to reintegrate angry.

They say they can't amend the statement at all as they need more assessments [hmm really hmm] which apparently means getting people involved with him that have had no cause to be involved thus far - e.g. CAMHS (who have written and said LA need to sort his education out, he's not mentally ill) and an NHS SLT (we already have a SLT working with him already under Direct Payments so why do we need another).

We see no need for these assessments, there just a delaying tactic - an excuse to waste time.

It also leaves him without enforceable provision as his statement is not fit for purpose.

In the meantime, they have accepted he can stay out of school (so implicitly agreeing they have nowhere to send him). They have said this can happen until January. They now say they have agreed with school a TA can be sent home.

Head has not agreed and thinks a tutor is not suitable - Wet's reference to relevant Regulations below seem to suggest it is head who can decide.

We are paying for tutors and have been since June.

racetothebottom Sun 15-Sep-13 12:13:59

Just to add - you are right about the position of the head. They see no roll for themselves if he is offsite all the time.

racetothebottom Sun 15-Sep-13 12:15:01

Sorry: "Head has not agreed and thinks a TA is not suitable"

JustGettingOnWithIt Sun 15-Sep-13 13:40:07

I'm in a rush right now, but will send you a PM re a not dissimilar situation later if that might help?
i don't want to say too much of what I do (when not busily home edding) but you might want to PM me a very rough location? If you're in any of a particular set of LEA's I might have something useful for you.

racetothebottom Sun 15-Sep-13 13:50:12

Thanks v much - that would be great!

WetAugust Sun 15-Sep-13 15:55:01

It sounds as though the LA has the thumbscrews on the Head to force him to play along with a situation the Head himself thinks is wrong.

So, to that extent, the Head is your ally - as is the school Governing Board.

This 'home TA' is probably paid for from the school's own budget. As such she will be a school employee (not LA) employee and who works under insurance cover of the school. It's important to make that differentiation.

So, ultimately, should anything go pear-shaped while the TA is at your house or even en-route to your house, it's the school who will be responsible. That's why the Head will be so averse to this arrangement.
The TA is his employee and his responsibility but over whom he has no control. Has he for instance carried out an HSE assessment on your home? That's the very least I would have to have done before permitting someone to work from home when I was a manager. I was also expected to inspect car insurance, MOT and driving licence before permitting my employee to claim mileage allowance. I also had to carry out a DSE assessment to assess whether screens were correctly sited for my employee and appropriate furniture was available at home. Etc Etc.

When the LA were determined to foist DS on a school that simply could not meets his needs and knew they couldn't and where arguing that with the LA behind the scenes - I thought it only fair to intervene on the poor school's behalf grin.

I sent a letter to the Head of the school cc Chair of the Governing Body explaining exactly why their school could not meet DS's needs and filling the proposed school in on all the bits the LA had conveniently left out of his Statement grin.

That gave the proposed school written ammo to tell the LA - no way would they admit DS.

A similar letter to your Head cc your GB telling them why you think that in addition to it not being a suitable education you have serious concerns about the insurance cover (your own house cover) and theirs). That, as the TAs employer, you hold school fully accountable for enabling this unusual and untenable arrangement blah blah.

That should get the attention of the GB, get the LA of the Head's back, while also being totally reasonable in pointing out the difficulties in this arrangement.

Unless you actually want a TA at home.

racetothebottom Sun 15-Sep-13 15:57:52

Thanks Wet - I am hoping the county's legal team will flag all this up to the head. He has asked them for advice. The school is not in the same county as the LA with responsibility for the statement.

And....I am a Governor wink

WetAugust Sun 15-Sep-13 18:36:36

Ohhhhhhh Excellent grin

claw2 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:24:54

Yep, insurance was the reason I was given for TA not being able to come home to home tutor.

racetothebottom Mon 16-Sep-13 09:30:10

Interesting Claw.

Well it is Monday - the beginning of another week - and there is still no education in place for the foreseeable future - suitable or not!

It is outrageous that LAs feel so comfortable lying. But have you ever read the North Tyneside judgment? It is very short and the judges lay into the LA barrister for dragging things out when he's got no case.

These are Court of Appeal judges basically saying the barrister is not fulfilling his duty to the court and is practically pretending there is a case to answer in the hope that "something comes up".

Worth a read to demonstrate in some courts (as opposed to tribunals), judges take such things seriously.

claw2 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:43:24

Well the TA would have been from receiving indi SS school, so LA couldn't really force them to play ball. So it would seem that most schools wouldn't regard TA's as 'suitable', regardless of what LA think.

No I haven't read that, ds is now attending indi ss school, after receiving 6 months worth of HT, 5 hours per week. But ds was previously without education for 4 months prior to that.

My solicitor at the time advised me against paying for HT myself and relieving the LA of their duties.

My asking LA to fulfil their duties resulted in them reporting me to SS! Again just another delay tactic.

racetothebottom Mon 16-Sep-13 09:45:49

If you pay, you are not relieving them of their legal duties.

In fact, quite the opposite as it demonstrates that they are not fulfilling their legal duties because if they were, you wouldn't have to pay!

What you are doing is ensuring your child gets some education in the face of their failure rather than none at all.

But it is wrong that anyone has to do it.

WetAugust Mon 16-Sep-13 11:38:20

Just chipping in - my solicitor advised us to recoup the costs of the private GCSE courses we bought for him from the LA. Was probably part of the eventual settlement.

claw2 Mon 16-Sep-13 20:14:02

You are right Race, if I had have paid for a HT, then SS probably couldn't have said that I was taking no steps to prioritise ds's education! I had asked LA to provide tutor, I had asked school to send home work and he had been signed off from school by my GP and I had applied for SA!

LA had refused SA and refused HT. Yet I was the one being reported to SS for not prioritising his education!

Strange what people in positions of power regard as 'prioritising education'. They make me sick!

racetothebottom Mon 16-Sep-13 20:30:45

claw that is dreadful. These people sicken me, they really do.

No one can get away with saying this is just about the money. If it is, why vilify parents?

claw2 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:22:30

I suppose blaming or trying to find fault with the parents (ie getting your hands on their medical records and investigating their life style/home environment by involving ss), is a whole lot cheaper than paying for provision.

I was one of the lucky ones, I have never suffered with any mental illness or depression. My older children all attended school and college. My house is well maintained. Just some examples of the info the LA get their hands on by involving SS and then run with.

Mum has suffered with depression, other kids school attendance is a bit patchy (for whatever reason) and house could do with a bit more maintenance and you are in shit. Bang goes indie SS school and mum needs some tablets and parenting classes. Just another LA dirty trick.

racetothebottom Mon 16-Sep-13 21:27:09

They got hold of your medical records!! What?

claw2 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:32:54

Yep, SS write to your GP and ask any problems with drink, drugs or mental illness. Any problems with your other kids, any other concerns and what for and when you have taken your child to the GP for previously!

You are then part of a CAF or TAC whatever they want to call it, because of SS involvement which involves 'information sharing' between parties!

racetothebottom Mon 16-Sep-13 21:34:04

OMG. Utterly awful and traumatising.

claw2 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:39:31

It was Race! then when they can find no fault with your parenting and you and your solicitor make complaints about SS and LA conduct and SS/LA realise what a balls up they made of the whole thing and that needs are actually with the child, not the parents. All of SS records 'disappear', including all assessments from their system and history is rewritten!

racetothebottom Mon 16-Sep-13 22:00:05

I am so sorry you had to suffer that.

Nigel1 Mon 16-Sep-13 23:08:35

Its s19 EA96.
He is entitled to be taught by a teacher.
It looks like the LA is hiding behind the school keeping him on roll. The LA is probably trying to get the funding to pay for the tutor from the school. If all are saying that he should be taught at home that must be recognition that MS sch is not appropriate and he needs a different environment. Home Ed is is not an option here due to the circumstances in that you have not chosen it.
Check out the local independent schools and make noises to place the child there. That may change the current views.
On the face of it the child is having his right to education denied to him. The child would therefore be entitled to Legal Help/Aid to correct the failure of the LA to educate him. You would act as his litigation friend. Go through the Legal Aid Agency and seek advice from Maxwell Gillet for Judicial Review against the LA. Nothing like a JR to make the LA see some sense. Not perfect but helpful.
Hope this helps.

racetothebottom Mon 16-Sep-13 23:45:19

Thanks. That's really helpful. But this TA 'package' came in response to a pre-action protocol letter!

They are determined to do nothing unless forced so we will have to take JR.

There were no suitable local schools but one has said they may be able to assess now. Not sure if it is the right option for DS but the sum for this school makes tutor time seem like peanuts.

claw2 Tue 17-Sep-13 07:14:36

Seems like involving SS Race, is becoming standard response in some LA's. Im quite shocked that SS can be used like this and allow themselves to.

Anyhow I wish you the best of luck.

racetothebottom Tue 17-Sep-13 07:28:34

Yes I am not sure why these services allow themselves to be played like this. Disgraceful.

JustGettingOnWithIt Tue 17-Sep-13 12:07:45

Race I'm really sorry, I've realised my pm didn't go through. I've resent it.

Re cost of provision, if they name a school purely on any school must be better than an individualised package, rather than why this one can meet needs better, don't forget it's not only them that can argue it's an unnaceptable use of funds.

Claw I don’t think it’s becoming, it has been standard response in some places for many years. It generally works too. Only a few come through thoroughly battle scared but no case to answer.

I’m cautious of the repercussions of speaking out too much because I had years of what you went through, but because I'm visibly disabled and come from a disastrous childhood, I’m an easy target for having those things used to turn the spotlight away from my dc’s needs, onto the parent and paint a different picture of why a parent says their dc can't get an education in the school provided, or why the child’s needs are the way they are, rather than as a result of the condition they have. It's an old game.

It is very painful to be subjected to, but judges generally see through it if you can keep your head and your dignity and your child’s needs to the fore regardless and doesn't leave people looking like they genuinely had the child's needs at heart if they use this without honest grounds.

Why do SS allow themselves to be abused? Because they operate on ‘no smoke without fire’ theories, a desperate need to back cover should something later happen to any child ‘now known to them’, and rarely acknowledge to parents even when they want to*, that ‘professional colleagues’ at all sorts of levels, routinely abuse their positions to cover up situations, and that they are on the receiving end.

*I’m always reminded of the unspoken conspiracy of silence between adulterous men and the male population as a whole even when they don’t approve.

It's very difficult. I've seen both sides of this but the worse thing for genuine child protection is when an emergency SS/CP inquiry is called for as a silencing tactic, minuted, and then not followed up (or poorly investigated and swiftly closed) because SS know or suspect they're just being used as a stick to beat a parent with. I was of course grateful that they didn’t bother pursuing that one, but, how did they know that my accusers weren't finally right? I hadn’t finally snapped under the years of accusations and strain, or become too disabled to cope, when they didn’t respond?

That’s the dangerous situation ‘professionals’ abusing the CP system to cover up situations, mis management, and malpractise, or discredit parents for other reasons, helped create, and that’s the bigger disgrace IMO.

racetothebottom Tue 17-Sep-13 12:35:10

Thanks - have PM'd you!

JustGettingOnWithIt Tue 17-Sep-13 14:11:29

have responded, hope it helps.

racetothebottom Wed 25-Sep-13 20:07:31

This has all got so complicated.

LA still not put anything in place.

School still not agreed anything with LA.

DS still without provision.

Threatened judicial review by end of week if not address it so LA will doubtless now try and strong arm school. But we will still be considering question of TA.

Because we weren't concerned with suitability as much of the absence of any provision in the last few weeks, I had forgotten to check out the guidance.

It is here and I think it is very much suggestive of a teacher rather than TA being out in place to provide tuition

It tooks of an education equivalent to what the child would have at school, it talks of teachers and teaching.

This is statutory guidance which means it must be followed unless there is a very good reason not to follow it.

The LA are playing games with the school and us.

Anyone any experience of this?

racetothebottom Wed 25-Sep-13 20:10:52

Should be "it talks of"

racetothebottom Thu 26-Sep-13 06:48:09


bochead Fri 04-Oct-13 03:50:54


claw2 Fri 04-Oct-13 09:12:24

Apparently LA don't receive any funding for providing home tutors. It comes from school budget. Have you tried asking school to pay for your tutor?

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