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Who is 'the boss' of the local authority? Having a really rough time

(45 Posts)
Purplerainbow2 Sun 01-May-16 17:05:15

I'll try not to make this mega long as I have another thread regarding ds also. Trying to post here for anyone in education or parents been in similar. Ds is nearly 10 in year 5. Was privately diagnosed with aSd and anxiety. His primary school has asd unit and have been reasonably supportive in the past. I can't put all the details on here but he has had a lot of iSsues outside of school. -8 months ago school put him on a nature type thing and an average management course. Iv had problems with him refusing school at times through out. I was called to head before Xmas last year saying attendNce was slipping and that at the moment he was going to reach the minimum expected level (was a year above on the old levels) I begged for years for statement and they refused saying he wasn't 'bad' enough and wasn't failing academically. Anyway, when I was called in I said to the head I heard about ehcp and I could apply. She said she would do it.

January this year just nose dived there on. By February he wasn't leaving the house, wasn't getting dressed and really depressed and no one was helping me. Wasn't in school. Head said attendance board were now involved. We had a lady assigned to us and she took all his history and agreed yea he had had a rough time of it along with asd. Had a few meetings but still wouldn't go to school. Turned a corner in Easter holidays, went away for a few days and now will leave the house, but not school.

Anyway turned out the school hadn't bothered aphing for ehcp so I did it last month. I mentioned dyslexia queries and they were going to arrange testing and didn't bother. Iv just got him assessed and he IS dyslexic which explains a lot of other problems.

The esbas woman had been great saying ds obv needed a slow integration back to school so she agreed him to go until 1030am each day. This was 3 weeks ago I think. He's done prob 3/4 of the days he should've. She's been here and hasn't been able to get him to school herself , said she knew I was trying my best.

Anyway Friday unnanounced her and her boss turn up here. Didn't speak to me first, made ds sign a 'contract' that he agreed to go back full time from next week!! Told him if he wasn't going full time he wasn't going on the trip at end of month. I was so shocked she kept saying 'oh I'm aware of the back ground etc don't worry' when she clearly hasn't taken that on board! I'm waiting to hear back if he will be 'assessed' by the 9th of May for ehcp.

Iv considered taking him out completely but he doesn't want me to but I'm getting to the point I might not have a choice. My other dc is at the same school and doing really well so I'm finding it so hard as they aren't supporting me and ds anymore, like they are trying to shove us out and something was obv said about us at the meeting at school they came from. Any suggestions or advice what I can do next? Who is above the attendance board people??

Sorry it's so long, tried to keep it short!

happygardening Sun 01-May-16 17:18:22

Has he been referred to CAMHS? If not then I personally think he needs to be especially if he's depressed not leaving the house or getting dressed. Do you have a good sympathetic GP? If yes go and see him/her.

Purplerainbow2 Sun 01-May-16 18:37:50

He's been under Camhs since he started school, is also under paediatrician for asd (but nhs won't diagnose) and the lot of them are useless. I rang Camhs in tears in February and they said 'well if he's eating and drinking he will be fine' and as I couldn't get him to an appointment they wouldn't see him. He will leave the house now thankfully but he will only wear one outfit, the same one for 4 months. As he says anything else irritates him (he has sensory sensitivities)

SweetieBumMum Sun 01-May-16 21:03:20

I've not had experience with local authority with regard to education, but we live down a single track road which was not a road but a kilometre long pothole. The suspension of my car collapsed etc. The rental agent had been talking to local authority for 4 years.

I flipped and emailed copying in every head of department I thought was relevant, the chief exec and most crucially I think. Head of public relations.

My road was resurfaced two weeks later.

I sent a really nice email which essentially said help me because this situation can't go on any longer.

I know it's not at all the same situation and I really feel for your family but I used to work in PR and it's usually a chief execs worst nightmare to get an email like that. Plus they HAVE to respond.

Give it a go and hopefully it will send a rocket to them

SunnySomer Sun 01-May-16 21:10:46

There will be a head of children's services. At my last local authority ( have recently moved), this was a really decent man. Lots of stuff didn't cross his desk, but if you wrote to him directly (with s good case) he could often make things happen. You could copy your situation into your equivalent person?
It sounds awful, I hope you have some success x

LineyReborn Sun 01-May-16 21:14:44

To answer your question literally, the 'boss' is the Chief Executive.

Under them is a statutory officer called the Director of Children's Services.

They are instructed by the elected politicians called councillors, notably the Leader of the Council and the Cabinet Member for Children's Services.

The councillors set policy and budget. The officers enact it.

mummytime Mon 02-May-16 06:44:27

You might want to contact someone like SEN!SOS! As ultimately if an LA is not fulfilling their statutory duties then it may need to go to court. They can give you advice. The NAS can also give advice.

Purplerainbow2 Mon 02-May-16 06:58:54

Thanks all for replying. I have the email address of the director of children's services as I emailed him the ehcp (aswell as put it in the post) application but got no response from him. So is he 'higher up' than the attendance board woman that came marching round here Friday? What is the difference between 'fulfilling the statutory duties' and me thinking they've failed us and now getting at me? If I go round saying they aren't fulfilling their duties.... How can I prove that? Obviously I can list numerous things like I have above (and more) but are there guidelines they have to follow on paper that I can look at and tick off?

I still can't believe this and I can't believe the bizarre aggressive turn around! I know it's the school, the head ignores me, won't even look at me. They were fine until I challenged them and said they weren't supporting ds anymore and applied for the ehcp. They also not impressed I got ds assessed for dyslexia. I emailed the head (have learnt to have a paper trail) telling her this and she said 'thanks for the information' no dear Mrs ds mum, nothing. I know that's not doing anything 'wrong' but it got my goat!

LineyReborn Mon 02-May-16 10:21:22

The Director of Children's Services is the overall boss of all the staff who work in the Local Authorities departments of Education and Children's Services e.g. social services, educational welfare, attendance, SEN services.

If you are being ignored, given the run around or otherwise treated poorly, there will be a complaints procedure you can follow on the Council's website.

You've probably already done Stage 1 by contacting the head of service - the Director of Children's Services - so you may be able to escalate straight to Stage 2 where another senior officer will need to investigate your complaint.

LineyReborn Mon 02-May-16 10:22:23

*Local Authority's

I'm blaming incorrect...

LineyReborn Mon 02-May-16 10:22:47

*autocorrect grin

Herschellmum Mon 02-May-16 10:29:12

I have written to chief executives of the council before so school and said Disability related issues, however they just tell me to take my complaint up with the school and go the "proper channels" which just kills time for them.

I would write a complaint and send it to everyone relevant, including governors at school, and all those involved. Remember to include the fact you will contact the ombudsman in due course if your are not satisfied with the answer.

Ginpuddles Mon 02-May-16 10:43:57

You might want to try contacting the councillor who has responsibility for Children's Services (usually called the portfolio holder or cabinet member for Children's Services).

Their contact details will be on the Council's website.

Formally speaking, they outrank the Head/Director of Children's Services. The Leader of the Council (the top councillor) outranks everyone! The right councillor can sometimes get things moving when paid officers haven't.

Purplerainbow2 Mon 02-May-16 20:24:44

It all sounds so scary. I just don't know what to do!

Purplerainbow2 Mon 02-May-16 21:00:09

What would happen if he got ehcp and I took him out of school?

Purplerainbow2 Tue 03-May-16 05:55:03


wannabestressfree Tue 03-May-16 06:11:48

If you got the ehcp the bonus is you could look at sending him to a school better equipped for his needs.
Could it be that the boss was trying another 'tact' with him? I am not saying its right but we have school refusers who are pandered to when they need to be in school.

Purplerainbow2 Tue 03-May-16 11:21:13

Well she actually rang me this morning in response to my email Friday and apologised saying perhaps she shouldn't gone in like that.

Iv just been dragged into school and head have ago at me saying there is nothing on the dyslexic report that they don't do, that he isn't dyslexic that there is 'no such thing' and that it should say 'is at risk of dyslexia'?????!! And they are a dyslexia friendly school! She said if his attendance doesn't sort it self out and I don't get him in then he's out. She didn't say 'out' but that's what she implied. I though you can't expel a child unless they are abuaive to people?!

admission Tue 03-May-16 12:14:11

There is no possibility of the school excluding for not attending school. If they do, it is definitely an illegal exclusion.
There is actually more danger that you as the parent will be hauled before the courts for not getting son to school. But with your history assuming that you can prove the various issues and what you have done, it would be potentially a very silly action for the LA to take.
To protect yourself and your child's place at the school. I would reply to the school in writing, confirming the meeting, that you were clear with the school that there are medical issues with your son and that there is always an intention for you to get son to school if at all possible, so the school place will always be needed. You should also say that you will always work with the school and other organisations to try and enable this to happen.

Purplerainbow2 Tue 03-May-16 12:54:57

I did that after the last meeting when I had a meeting with the attendance board with the school. I didn't like their attitude to the dyslexia, she was more or less saying he wasn't dyslexic!

MiniMover Tue 03-May-16 13:56:19

I am going to be vague here.

I have taught in a school that took a similar stance with a parent. The only difference being that they were keen for the child to get the statement (as it was then) as they knew that the parent would then request and get a place at another local school. Basically, my school wanted rid of the problem despite the 'problem' being a vulnerable child. I know the HT and those involved from the LA would discuss it regularly and blame the mother.

Anyway, the mother enlisted help from a solicitor and suddenly the HT and the LA were panicked as they could see that every piece of correspondence was being cc'd to this solicitor. It didn't help relations but it certainly made the HT sit up and make sure that she was doing everything asked/expected. The child got their statement and moved school almost immediately.

I was only 2yrs qualified at this point so felt powerless to get involved in any way but it has always stayed with me and affected which jobs I applied for and schools I considered for my children based on the attitude of the HT. This may be of no help to you but worth a try. Good luck

Purplerainbow2 Tue 03-May-16 14:03:59

Thanks mini. I can't afford any legal help. They are blaming me, saying he wants to stay at home with me, despite the fact he does naff all during the time he is supposed to be in school. I don't make it remotely attractive so I don't understand why it's my fault all of a sudden. Their attitude towards me sucks at the moment and Iv had enough of it. There is no relationship there anymore as I just get called in for them to have a go saying there's nothing more they can do. It was very hard not to cry to be honest. I still have my other dc there for another 4 years. I don't want to have to take him out. I don't want to make him go to a different primary school as it's cruel as he only has one year left before secondary, and why should I have to do that?!

They are saying there's no way he will get the ehcp and that to get an INA you have to be in a very small percentage right at the top of the scale . I said so? At least I have tied

DobbinsVeil Tue 03-May-16 14:17:45

Have you tried getting in touch with or Both have advice lines although it can be difficult to get through.

wannabestressfree Tue 03-May-16 20:45:48

You do realise your son can 'employ' a solicitor on his behalf this costing nothing. It's how we got my son his statement.

Purplerainbow2 Tue 03-May-16 20:46:52

What do you mean wanna? How can a child employ a solicitor??

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