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Admissions experts - How long should it take to get place for statemented child?

(12 Posts)
DameEdnaBeverage Fri 23-Sep-11 22:56:55

Posted in SN but advised to try ed boards for more expert advice.
Have recently moved out of county.Contacted old and new counties before exchange giving full details and understood that nothing could be put in motion until exchange of contracts. We exchanged 3 weeks ago and ds is climbing the walls as obviously has not been at school since July. He has a 22 hour statement and when I first queried what was happening was told that school was querying the funding. SEN case manager advised that they could not refuse him for that reason and would chase them up. I keep chasing and keep being told that she and school Senco keep 'missing'each other . Then I called again today and was told she was just about to call school to chase them . I asked how long it should take to arrange a place and was told that it could take 'quite a while'. Was promised an e-mail to update me but nothing has been sent. Should it take weeks to arrange or am I being messed about? Copy statement was sent to new county on 1st September.

wasuup3000 Sat 24-Sep-11 10:23:09

Have a look at the IPSEA website for some ideas on what to do next. You may need to write to the director of education (get it signed for) to clarify what is going on?

silverfrog Sat 24-Sep-11 10:29:59

afaik, when you move county with a statemented child the statement moves with them, and holds until a new assessment is carried out.

again, afaik, a school can make an exception on numbers for a statemented child (assuming eg 1:1), as the 1:1 take sthem out of 'class numbers'

so, technically there should be no reason why your ds isnot at school.

I would be phoning the LA tomorrow, telling them the school you prefer, and reminding tham it is their legal obligaiton to provide a suitable school place for your ds. and keep phoning to chase. eg if you get fobbed off with "can't do that unitl this afternoon", then call back in the afternoon.

call daily, be polite but firm, and keep reminding them of their legal duty. do not be fobbed off. write to them following each phone call (email is ok) to 'clarify' what has been said - keep the paper trial going. so, if you are told 'it could be some time' write clarifying that you have been told there is no suitable school placement at the moment, and asking when there will be a place, as your son is legally entitled to an education in school.

if they persist in saying that there is no place, or it is difficult to sort out, start researching independent schools (whether you want one or not). find one with a place, that is suitable, and ask for it to be considered, since the LA hasno places available.

this shoud ensure it gets sorted out asap.

insanityscratching Sat 24-Sep-11 10:35:29

I second what Silverfrog says but would add to put in writing a request for Home Tuition for the whole of the 22 hours on the statement for the period of time that your child is without a school. It's expensive, they won't want to provide, it will help them hurry up wink

prh47bridge Sat 24-Sep-11 17:19:04

Has the statement been amended to name this school? If so they have to admit. They have no choice. Even if they are already full to bursting they have to admit your son.

If the statement still names the old school the situation is a little different but the LA should still be sorting it out quickly. There are a few cases where the LGO has got involved and taken a dim view of LAs that have taken too much time to find places for SEN children.

DameEdnaBeverage Sun 25-Sep-11 00:00:22

Thanks for all responses - like the idea about requesting home tuition until they sort a place smile.
I will e-mail the case worker to ask what was meant by 'could take quite a while'. I have not been advised that the statement has been amended to name the school yet so will ask the question. Have not been told that a place at the preferred school is not available but that they are waiting for Head teacher to get back to 'confirm whether school can offer him a place' hmm. I thought that the county names the school on the statement and the school has to accept the child or has to have a very good reason to refuse to do so. They may not be happy about funding but that is not my problem. Why is everything always a battle? sad

prh47bridge Sun 25-Sep-11 19:09:37

You are correct that once the school is named on the statement they have to admit your child. However, some LAs seem to lean over backwards to avoid offending their schools even if it means parents and children get a poor service.

admission Sun 25-Sep-11 20:18:36

This completely depends on the status of the statement. As PRH says whether the school has a place in the year group is irrelevant, if the school is named on the statement then the school has to admit or have a remarkably good reason for not admitting.

I suspect that the current situation is you are in the period between the new school getting a copy of the current statement, which will in effect become the new statement, with confirmation that the LA intends to name the new school for the pupil. The school should be establishing exactly what support is necessary for this child and whether the proposed statement covers that adequately by having discussions with the LA.

I can't remember the exact timing for this to happen for a new statement, but it is a number of weeks. Given that the statement is already in existence one would have thought that this should be easy to resolve but as any parent with a child with SEN knows, things seem to drag on for ever as soon as it involves funding.

I think the only thing you can do is keep hassling the LA SEN team to get a response - waiting for the head to confirm whether the school can offer a place" is clearly unacceptable.

DameEdnaBeverage Wed 28-Sep-11 06:38:21

Update: After 'phoning again to be told that county was still waiting for school to get back to them I sent an e-mail stating that the delay was unacceptable and asking how his education was suffering etc.
The next morning, funnily enough, I had a response that the school had confirmed a place hmm and were advertising for a TA with inteviews next week. I find it very strange that they've gone from not responding at all to suddenly wanting to hire a TA (unable to trace any job advert for this). They have said that to give ds a successful start at the school they would like him to start there after half-term i.e 1st November when TA should be in place! He will then have missed 6 weeks of school and ,due to school hol's,3 months of socialising with other children . He is asking me daily when he can go back and dh is having difficulty coping with him due to his own health issues. Can I demand that school work is provided at the very least or should I insist that he starts school anyway without full support? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

prh47bridge Wed 28-Sep-11 10:05:26

I would certainly ask the council what they intend to do about the 6 missing weeks and how they intend to ensure that your son catches up.

latedeveloper Wed 28-Sep-11 10:14:55

This does seem a very long time to wait and your ds will miss out a lot - not just on schoolwork but also on forming relationships.

I guess it depends on whether the 1:1 is "just" to assist with learning or is also necessary to keep him from becoming upset and to keep him and other children and adults safe. If it is mainly the former then I'd be tempted to ask if he could go half days at least.

Alternatively you could could ask for home tuition from next week till half term (you probably wont get it tho but will make you feel if you are covering the basis). i know some people are not big fan but it is worth trying to call the parent partnership to ask their advice). also see if you can find someone from the local support group for your ds's disability - (MENCAP, NAS etc) - other parents may know how the local system works.

good luck

admission Wed 28-Sep-11 21:57:40

Around our way, the LA would have told the school, they start next week, you need to cover the 1.1 for the time it takes to get somebody in to do the job permanently.
So I either the LA is very weak willed or the school has far more clout than they should have to be telling the LA what they will and will not do. Also another 6 weeks is a very long time not to be in school, in fact quite enough time in different circumstances for a school / LA to be taking a parent to court for no attendance.

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