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sorry..another statement of education issue.....HELP!!!!

(16 Posts)
clarisa Fri 08-Aug-08 13:10:42

After the LEA refusing to even assess my son, and with the help of another mumsnetter (drafting a letter to mp), and a long wait, my son has finally been identified as needing a statement. What an exhausting battle....... one that is to continue. My DS (10 in aug) has asd,tourettes,sensory intergration and dyspraxia. He has been out of mainstream education since Jan 08, (I have posted about this previously, please take a look to get more idea of the hideous situation) and due to the fire in my belly, had got him a place for 5 hours per week in a special school until the statement process had been finalised. Whilst attending this school he has been happy about going (not threatening running away, stabbing himself ,being bullied by parents/staff/peers etc etc, which is what was happening at mainstream). I have had the proposed statement through, of which I had to name a school, obviously I have named the special school that he attended for the 5 hours per week. I have received a letter today advising me this placement has been refused. The 'panel' have decided DS can be educated at a Mainstream school as he is academically more able than the peer group at the special school. If only they knew my son, he cannot cope in busy environments, and this is when serious behaviours arise. He had been excluded 3 times in his last primary (of which he is still on role), due to his behaviours and there complete lack of understanding and knowledge of his disabilities. He is due to go to secondary next year............. of which there is no way he would be able to cope, and that is not just my view. So at the moment, september is on its way, and still my son has no education placement to go to. The school that he is still on role with at last meeting advised a caseworker that they would not want him to go back there, also this is my view, I wouldnt send him back there. LEA have advised me to finalise statement with primary school he is on role with if I want to go tribunal, or find him a suitable 'Mainstream'......... he cannot cope in a large classroom i cannot find a suitable mainstream. Obviously I am going to have to go to tribunal, which I have been advised by LEA dates are already being scheduled for December. What is wrong with this education system, there needs to be more suitable schools for children with disabilites, its appauling that a parent has to fight for an education. Is there anybody out there going through the same, or been through the same with a story to tell. I need some advice, I am totally exhausted, with 3 other children also(one under school age), and having to continuosly battle the LEA

Flocci Sun 10-Aug-08 20:09:37

Can't really help you but I am having rows with my LEA to get my dd 121 support in mainstream and I am totally disgusted at the system's inadequacies. I fight, I row, I make a fuss, and I am so bloody tired of it all. I don't know how these people sleep at night - can't they just read the info put in front of them and just bloody think reasonably? Apparently not.

It is a truly disgusting state of affairs that this is what we have to do to get our children a decent education.

Stay strong Clarisa!

harro39 Mon 11-Aug-08 20:27:48

clarisa, it sounds horrendous but unfortunately you are not alone. have you contacted the national autistic society parent helpline? you will be able to speak to parents who know exactly what you are going through and hopefully ways to help. you are justified in your concerns about secondary as many with asd struggle with that change. It is worth contacting parent partnership and seeing if you have any mainstream secondary's with asd specialism as this may make things a bit better, they will also know if your LA has any asd specialist outreach team that may be able to offer support to the school. It is they who shout loudest who get heard and listened to so good luck with the shouting!

GentleOtter Tue 12-Aug-08 14:09:29

clarisa - You are going through exactly the same as us and it is an utterly hellish system.

Here in Scotland the mainstream secondaries go back and my child is expected to attend yet I am refusing to send her to the frankly awful school chosen by the LEA.

Our next and last chance is to appeal to a sheriff so today I'm in a flap as to how you get
-A good lawyer who specialises in cases like ours
-Independent reports by both Educational and Clinical psychologists
-Money to pay for it all

Have you read "Surviving the special educational needs system" by Sandy Row? My copy just arrived and from what I can see, she has gone through the mill with this very subject yet has included helpful contacts etc.
It may be what you are looking for just now as it gives structure to the fight and reveals that not all specialists or LEA's are honest.

Massive strength to you and yours. x

GentleOtter Tue 12-Aug-08 16:25:25

Link to the book

clarisa Wed 13-Aug-08 11:52:41

big thanx GentleOtter, will take a look at the link x I reckon most of the 'deciders' within the LEA have no experience of having kids...let alone special needs. Wake up and smell the coffee is what they need to do. There are so many children out there struggling day in day out, due to the pathetic system in place. Good luck to u and ur fight xx keep in touch

clarisa Wed 13-Aug-08 11:54:54

thanx also to Flocci and harro39, LEA's need to be more supportive and understanding. The system stinks

GentleOtter Wed 13-Aug-08 14:21:00

In my own opinion they seem to place finance above everything else.angry
I did ask at the appeal how much to educate a sn in mainstream but also wanted to ask how much public money is frittered away on council beanos or bloody hanging baskets?

Some children just do not fit into the LEA's niches plus information is so hard to access - usually you find out after reaching a crucial stage and thinking "God, I wish I'd know about THAT".

twoluvlykids Wed 13-Aug-08 14:26:01

clarisa & GentleOtter - just to try & reassure you - most mainstream 2ndaries are well equipped to cope with sen - I work in such a school, we works our butts off to accommodate sen pupils & make a positive difference to their our school we also have 2 other units for students that the sen department cannot support.

twoluvlykids Wed 13-Aug-08 14:27:50

and flocci - sorry, wasn't ignoring your post.

GentleOtter Wed 13-Aug-08 14:50:05

twoluvlykids - I don't have a problem with the teachers or other staff who help the sen children - my problem lies with those and such as those in the LA who have never even met my child yet wish to put her in to a school that is renowned for being rough.(understatement)
The SEN unit is excellent and the staff dedicated but the LA could not guarantee her safety.

twoluvlykids Wed 13-Aug-08 15:23:33

i do agree it must be hard to fight LEA, faceless nameless couldn't careless - trouble is most special schools have been closed, which was not a good idea.
have you tried her "rights to an education which suits her needs" tack?
good luck. you're obviously determined to get her the best,& that's what she deserves.

GentleOtter Wed 13-Aug-08 15:32:22

They have deemed her to be special needs enough to go through their unit yet not disabled enough for the school of our choice. What is infuriating me is the moving of the goalposts and ignoring the child in all of this.
School starts next week yet the appeal will take weeks so we are scuppered at the moment.
(Plus dd is acting up, partly because she is picking up on our frustration and partly because she is insecure because her routine is all to pot)
Thanks though smile

WetAugust Fri 15-Aug-08 23:41:08

Hi GentleOtter.

The LEA must give you reasons for refusing your choice of school. I suggest you ask for these in writing.

In deciding which school a child goes to the critical thing is what's actually written in the Statement itself.

Part 2 of the Statement should list the childs difficultis. part 3 should state what help is required to overcome them. As a result of Parts 2 and 3 a school is chosen that can meet the needs stated in part 2 and can provide the support detailed in part 3. So, it's very importnat that these Parts are accurate or the level of support your child requires may be under-represented.

If you disagree with the LEA's choice of school you can appeal. All you have to do is to convince the SENDIST that the LEA's choice of school cannot meet the Statement whereas the school you are proposing can. So you need to compare the LEA's propsed school against the needs and support in the Statement and determine where you think the shortfall laies - and do the same in positive terms for the special school. the LEA must continue the diaglogue with you even though you lodge an appeal at SENDIST. It will be difficult for the LEA to explain to SENDIST why it agreed to the special school placement, that things improved and now they wish to withdraw the support - so well worth fighting them.

Your child is probably 'dual-rolled' i.e. still on the books of his original school and on those of the special school. If so, the LEA can insist he returns to his original school. But, if he is only rolled at the special school they must leave him there until the SENDIST has ruled - so well worth lodging an appeal now.

If you have not already got a copy I strongly suggest getting a copy of the SEN Code of Pratice (SEN COP).This is the rule book / best practice / bible for all SEN issues that is published by the education Dept and is FREE - no postage either. It will help you enormously in undertsanding the'rules'and what you are entitled to. You can get a copy by ringing 0845 60 222 60 or email

Or you can write to
DfES Publications, PO Box 5050, Sherwood park, Annesley, Nottinghamshire, NG15 0DJ

You need to quote Publication Ref No DfES 581/2001

as i say - it's free and it details the Statementing process and what the LEA must do. The other thing is that although the LEA tell you that a 'Panel' decided this the person responsible at the LEA is the Case Officer. They use Panels to hide behind to make it seem more 'professional' but at the end of the day it is the LEA and the LEA Case Officer alone who determines the school.
Best wishes

HappyBunnie Sun 24-Aug-08 22:38:45

oooo listen to her....shes a mine of most useful information! this one knows her stuff! lol...
the SEN code practice will become you bible! trust me. and if all else fails it weighty enough to wack em round the head with.

AvenaLife Sun 24-Aug-08 22:44:39

These may be able to help. smile

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