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Question about named school

(10 Posts)
insanityscatching Wed 24-Aug-11 14:25:51

The LEA has named a school on ds's statement that is entirely unsuitable. Prior to naming the school the LEA sought opinion from the school who provided extensive reasons as to why it couldn't provide for ds, why it was an inefficient use of resources and why his admission would be to the detriment of other pupils there. I fully agree so don't dispute this.
Nonetheless the school has been named on the statement although the LEA haven't ascertained yet whether the school will take ds ( it's not looking hopeful that they'll refuse and refer it to the Director of Education) and if they do, no doubt the LEA will induce them to accept ds.
On receipt of finalised statement we will appeal to SENDIST anyway but with the timewasting and procrastinating the LEA have done it will be early October before we receive it and of course ds is without provision until then at least and possibly January at the earliest because of the Tribunal Service timescales.
Would Tribunal look unfavourably on the LEA for naming a school that had already stated unequivocally that they can't meet his needs?

prh47bridge Wed 24-Aug-11 17:46:00

Once the school is named they have no choice as to whether or not they admit your son. However, there are only very limited grounds on which the LA can refuse to name the school you requested. The school's statement that they are unable to meet your son's needs is likely to damage the LA's case when this goes to SENDIST. Not only will they have to explain why they didn't name the school you chose, they will also have to explain why they named a school that says it is unsuitable.

insanityscatching Wed 24-Aug-11 18:04:34

prh I want a non maintained school because that is what he needs. The other placements discussed by them (made data request) because the LEA can't come up with anywhere that can meet his needs include one placement that doesn't exist (an idea mooted but no plans, building etc), one that is an 11 to 16 placement only (he's post 16) one that the LEA hoped would be built for January and is now shelved until next September if it ever happens and the one they have named despite them saying quite rightly they can't meet his needs.
I have looked county wide, their inclusion officer and Ed psych concede they have no maintained provision to suggest and that he needs the specialist provision I requested back in February. I have supplied a psychiatrist's report stating that he needs a small specialist provision and the school they have named will have serious consequences for his mental health.
It appears that it is cost effective to procrastinate and timewaste because more than six months after the deadline quoted in the code of practise I still have no final statement with which to appeal despite securing the services of a top educational law firm.

insanityscatching Wed 24-Aug-11 20:33:38

Just to add we haven't been waiting it out patiently the solicitor makes numerous Judicial Review warnings, they ask for extensions (granted because we'd be seen as unreasonable) then they act.
But they make irrational decisions so the first JR warning got them to issue a letter saying they didn't intend to amend the statement.Solicitor points out they have to amend the statement because it names a 11 to 16 provision and so it can't be named on a post 16 statement.
A month later after the next JR warning they concede she is right and say they will amend the statement.
Six weeks later after another JR warning they issue a proposed amended statement but they have named the school and signed and dated it. They rewrite it to fit the school they named without reassessment with no reference to any programmes or curriculum ds needs.
Solicitor points out that they have signed and dated and named the school on a proposed amended statement. Tells them I will not accept it and to finalise it so that we can proceed to Tribunal.
They have eight weeks to, in effect, stamp the exact same document to make it a final amended statement.
What will happen is the eight weeks will pass, solicitor will issue another JR warning, they'll ask for an extension and then at he last minute they'll issue it.
We are already looking at mid October before they issue a final statement. It will be January before it gets to Tribunal at the earliest and no doubt they'll try and delay that and most likely pull out at the last minute.
There will be no consequences for them, a slap on the wrist at best I suppose but it will be worth it for them because they will have saved themselves at least one whole term's fees.
Until this happened to me it seemed inconceivable that a total disregard of their statutory duty would be seen as a viable and indeed cost cutting exercise but it most definitely is and our MP and Parent Partnership confirm that I am not alone there is "not a small number" of parents experiencing exactly the same in our LEA.

admission Wed 24-Aug-11 21:47:37

Have you tried approaching SENDIST?
Although you should officially wait for the statement to come out, my inclination might be to send the latest inadequate statement back to the LA with a scathing comment about how long it has been going on, that it is not the school that you want and has been recommended and there is not way that you will be accepting this. Copy it all to SENDIST and just ask them whether they are prepared to start proceedings early given the level of procrastination and skullduggery that the LA are indulging in. You have nothing to loose and maybe if the LA realise that SENDIST are involved they just might do what is necessary.

insanityscatching Wed 24-Aug-11 22:16:50

We have this week sent in an appeal against refusal to amend the statement following Annual Review noting that the LEA have now agreed to amend the statement but are dragging their feet issuing a final statement and that on issue of the final statement we will be appealing that alongside in an expedited hearing (touch wood)
The LEA seem fearless we have already had comment that we can't appeal non issue of amended statement because they have stated their intention to and have indeed issued a proposed amended but not finalised it yet. But as the eight weeks haven't elapsed yet they consider it unreasonable on our behalf angry
The proposed amended statement is in no way an attempt at a reasonable statement. To get round the fact that the school has neither a curriculum nor peer group one of the objectives is for the school to find and facilitate ds's attendance on a college course appropriate to his needs.
It isn't in any way a document that could be worked with to make it workable and yet the Inclusion Officer has obviously been tasked with trying to get me into mediation whilst assuring me he has nothing to do with the statement he wrote nor Tribunal.

admission Thu 25-Aug-11 20:51:07

It seems that the LA officers have lost sight of what their role is supposed to be, that is making things happen ASAP and with the child being the prime focus. Their focus seems to be solely on a process being drawn out as long as possible, with as many obstacles as possible being put in place. It is not unreasonable to complete the proposed amendment in less than the 8 weeks, that is the maximum period it should take, not the minimum. In fact on the basis of what you have said they could complete the proposed amendment in 8 minutes.

insanityscatching Thu 25-Aug-11 21:16:33

It has been a nightmare so far and we aren't even on the way to Tribunal yet despite ds's transition review taking place Dec 2010. I forwarded the complaint to the LGO who acknowledged receipt on time, informed me it would take 28 days to allocate the case and then 30 days later informed me that due to a glut of cases they would be taking another 28 days to allocate the complaint.
The school named on the statement phoned today, they haven't seen the proposed amended statement but have been told to advertise for the TA to support ds. Asked me to forward them a copy to draft the advertisement and only discovered then ds has 30 hours TA support per week allocated whereas LIO assured them ds would only be attending part time 15 hours per week.
I wouldn't mind ds attending part time if that is what his course took but I won't accept part time hours because of an inappropriate placement as school is the only respite from his needs I get.
On a bright note ds passed all of his GCSE's and BTec exams which undoubtedly the LEA will seize upon as proof that he should be in a mainstream setting.

prh47bridge Fri 26-Aug-11 14:24:47

Can I just add that if they are dragging things out in the hope of saving money they may well find that they are mistaken and could end up costing the LA money. It is not unknown for an LA who fail to provide an education for a child in this way to be ordered to provide funding for additional education to make up for the time missed.

I must confess to being slightly confused. On Wednesday you said you had sent in an appeal (to SENDIST?) but yesterday you say you aren't even on the way to Tribunal. I agree with Admission that you should approach SENDIST if you haven't done so already.

I hope you manage to get this sorted out quickly despite the LA's attempts to obstruct you.

insanityscatching Fri 26-Aug-11 15:06:35

Well the appeal that has gone in is an appeal against the failure to amend the statement which is technically already obsolete because they have amended the statement but not finalised it.
I think what I meant was we don't have an appeal in as yet to appeal the final statement despite the deadline for that being February 15th IYSWIM.
We will have to draw up a new case to appeal against the final statement won't we once it's issued?

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