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Quick question about GP letter for school appeal

(17 Posts)
ImASecretTwigletNibbler Tue 25-Mar-14 18:33:11

Just picked up a letter from our GP in support of our appeal but there is a line that's wrong and completely misleading. Could I just cross that line out and say to the panel that it was written in error or should I get the GP to redo the letter? I'd much rather just cross it out as the deadline is in a few days and they also charge for letters!

Also, rather than specifically saying that our child needs to go to this school she has said "I strongly support these parents in their quest to place DD in the right educational environment". Is that good enough to say that our GP agrees with us or is it too ambiguous (as 'the right place' could be anywhere?)

HPparent Tue 25-Mar-14 18:37:34

Get the GP to rewrite it and name the actual school.

meditrina Tue 25-Mar-14 18:40:28

Yes, you will need to submit the letter as it is (no deletions, no amendments) or get it redone.

And no the letter will not count for much unless it says something along the lines of "in my professional opinion TwigletNibblerJunior needs to attnd school X because (blah blah about condition and what is needed to ameliorate it)" or "in my professional opinion TNJ needs to attend a school which offers facilities/expertise XYZ because (blah blah about condition any why these features are needed)" and then you need to demonstrate why school X is the only one that has the features or has them in a way that is hugely superior to all other nearby schools.

jeee Tue 25-Mar-14 18:42:50

Honestly, if I was on the panel* I'd see that as a fob off the parents letter, and ignore it. I think the letter could be counter-productive, and you might be better to go without it.

* I'm not on any appeal panels, and know nothing about the process. So please feel free to ignore me. Good luck with your appeal, anyway.

EthelDorothySusan Tue 25-Mar-14 18:45:15

It is a fob off to parents letter, sorry OP.

eddiemairswife Tue 25-Mar-14 18:50:18

Yes, panels wouldn't be swayed by that letter. Sometimes appellants have letters from MPs, but the same thing applies.

Unexpected Tue 25-Mar-14 18:52:51

If your doc has a specific c

BabyJakekissedPeppaPig Tue 25-Mar-14 18:59:45

Not trying to stir OP, but DOES your DC really need to go to that school and none other? Or is it more that you prefer that one for them as it's "naicer"/nearer/DC'sfriend is going/better after school activities? I'm asking because your OP doesn't make it clear, and your GP is compelled to state the truth as they see it from their records and what you have discussed with them, not what you would like them to write.

Of course if there is a real benefit that only that school can provide (eg all one floor and your DC has a false leg, way nearer to home and your DC has cystic fibrosis and could make the easy walk home each day but not 2 buses to a school 8 miles away) then maybe ask the GP to rewrite the letter explicitly pointing this out? But don't cross stuff out on the one you have, it may make the whole thing invalid.

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Tue 25-Mar-14 19:03:26

Dammit, I was hoping you'd all say "oh it's fine!" smile

BabyJake, yes we have a real need for her to go to this school. I didn't put any details in my post in case it outed me. I will send the appeal off as it is, so that it meets the deadline, saying "GP's letter to follow) and get GP to rephrase letter and send it in later.

Thanks, all.

Unexpected Tue 25-Mar-14 19:03:27

Whoops! Iphone had a moment! There is no point getting yor GP to redo the letter unless they are happy to be a lot more specific. Their letter needs to say something e.g. Littletwiglettnibbler needs to be at School X because their medical condition Y means that they find it difficult to manage stairs and this school is all on one level/has lifts in all areas/ other reason. Do you think your GP could/should have produced such a letter?

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Tue 25-Mar-14 19:06:28

Unexpected, yes, GP can say all this - I've met with her and she completely agrees with us, she just phrased the letter wrongly. She has mentioned the specific problems DD has so that's all very specific, she just wasn't very specific about needing this school.

BabyJakekissedPeppaPig Tue 25-Mar-14 19:22:10

Maybe it's a while since the GP was asked to do one so they didn't realise they had to name it? As you do have a specific reason it sounds like your best bet is to ring GP tomorrow and ask if they can amend the letter asap. Good luck!

PanelChair Tue 25-Mar-14 20:30:54

Yes, as the other posters have said, that letter will carry very little weight because it fails to make clear why, in the GP's professional opinion, only the appeal school is equipped to meet your child's needs. And certainly don't start crossing out bits of whatever letter the GP provides!

cory Wed 26-Mar-14 18:32:43

TO clarify, the GP does not have to mention the name of the school: after all, GP's are not school inspectors and cannot reasonably be expected to know what local schools provide what.

What the GP does have to do is to specify that because of X condition having Y effect this child needs Z type of school. It is then your job to prove that the only school that offers Z is the one you are appealing for.

In our case, dd had EDS syndrome; our argument was that she would need: a school with wheelchair access for her bad days, a small school so she could walk on her good days, a local school so she would not have to tire herself out by travelling, and a school attended by at least some people she knew to manage the anxiety surrounding having to explain her condition.

I gave a note to the GP beforehand explaining that these were our arguments and asking him to specify, in as far as he felt he could do so of his own knowledge, what her needs were re wheelchair access, need to be encouraged to walk on good days, anxiety concerning her condition (here we also submitted evidence from a therapist) and difficulties with travelling.

We then turned up at the hearing with plans of the local schools which showed quite clearly that only one school met the requirements specified in the GP's letter. We won the appeal.

The GP has said since that he is always happy to supply evidence of what he has observed, but that it is difficult for him to know exactly what any one situation requires so he is grateful if we explain it to him.

PanelChair Wed 26-Mar-14 19:00:09

To clarify, the GP does not have to mention the name of the school...

Although frankly, Cory, it would be much more helpful to the panel if s/he did. The more explicitly the letter(s) from health care professionals make the link between the child's needs and the school in question, the better.

Blu Wed 26-Mar-14 19:03:57

I drafted the letter for our GP and she just printed it out on surgery headed and signed it.

And then didn't charge because I had drafted the letter for her.

(DS has mobility issues - we applied under S&M need criteria at application stage, but we would have got in anyway as we are close enough)

ImASecretTwigletNibbler Wed 02-Apr-14 13:56:27

Quick update - I spoke to the GP to explain what was 'wrong' and she has now written a perfect letter that explains everything well and says exactly what it should say to help us, phew smile

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