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Waiting Nervously for Decision from Panel!!

(19 Posts)
yesitsme Wed 30-Sep-09 22:31:45

My Ds's school has applied for formal assesment for a statement, the panel met on Tuesday, I am now waiting for the letter to tell me wether they will go ahead with the assesment.
I don't hold out much hope!

misscutandstick Thu 01-Oct-09 12:11:30

im just quite jealous that your school applied for one - mine is trying to persuade me we dont need one!

Fingers crossed for you! hope that because its school applying, that its favourable. Good luck!!!

yesitsme Fri 02-Oct-09 10:30:13

Yesssssssssss just got my letter from LEA Panel they are going to formally assess him for a Statement.
Now the scary bit, I've got a 4 page form of questions to answer about DS, I've gotta do this right I can't let him down now!

Thanks for the luck misscutandstick I think it worked lol.

Any advice on how to fill this form out would be gratefully received.

tibni Fri 02-Oct-09 10:50:54

Glad to hear that they are assessing him.

The questions you are being asked are an important part of the information gathering process. All the key people that work with your ds will be asked to contribute.

If you want to post the questions I could give you guidelines (I have worked as a volunteer with parent partnership for years and helping parents fill these type of forms is something I often do) Sorry I don't have CAT.

Try not to worry too much and good luck!

misscutandstick Fri 02-Oct-09 12:47:11

Thats fantastic news!

afraid i cant give you any advice what-so-ever - im still being denied an assessment!

yesitsme Fri 02-Oct-09 16:30:21

Thanks tibni, going to spend the weekend scribbling some notes down and see how we go on with the form,I've had enough sleepless nights going over and over in my head what I'd like to say to the panel just hope I can make sense of it on paper, might take you up on your very generous offer of help if we get stuck.

misscutandstick I know how fustrating it is, we were knocked back last time we applied for a Statement.

A senco from one of the high schools we went to visit told us never to give up as it's the kids with SEN who have the supportive parents that do the best in the end.

tibni Fri 02-Oct-09 16:51:18

I know how diffcult putting words to paper can be.

This might help. The panel that look at your request will have a range of people sitting on it- headteachers from mainstream and SEN schools, EP, specialists in SEN. The assessment officers gather information but it is not them that make the decision.

Panel will be looking to see that the school has taken every reasonable step and the level of need can not be met on school action +.

If you can highlight the areas of significant difficulty - these can be educational, social, sensory, physical, behaviour - whatever is applicable. It is good to also include postives, what your dc does well.

You will not let your child down. Good luck

yesitsme Sat 03-Oct-09 17:39:37

Thanks tibni
Spend till 1.30 this morning doing the report and kept waking up in the night with ideas lol! Still tweaking it now.
Those pointers you've given me are really helpful I've written the report with them in mind.
gonna get someone to proof read it for me, check it reads ok
Going to include a couple of examples of his work that he did independantly that is pretty dire, as well as quote the test results that prove despite being on enhanced SA+ for 10 months has made only 2 months progress.
One of the questions is to list the people who have been helping DS but I'm not sure who I should include in this list and how far back in time I should go? anyone any experience with this question?
anyway must get back to my tweaking!

tibni Sat 03-Oct-09 21:42:46

People that may have been helping -
SaLT, O.T., CAMHS, TA, Behavioural support, Autism Outreach Service, Sensory Service, Visual / hearing team, EP, dyslexic services, Paed, community nurse, nurture teaching, disability social worker, portage, play therapy, dietician

These are just the ones I can think of the top of my head. Put down all those who have been involved - then you are showing the input already used / in place but can still demonstrate the need for extra support.

yesitsme Sat 03-Oct-09 22:18:01

Oh great that answers my question thanks again tibni.

MoonlightMcKenzie Sat 03-Oct-09 22:36:56

As with all of these things. Write it as your worst day, as if it is every day. What are your child's needs if he was having the very very worst day he could have. What support and help would he need if it was a stranger (not you or someone familiar) who didn't know him.

Parents compensate for their children a lot.

Unfortunately, these things are about funding and money, so when the first proposed statement comes through, don't just agree it. Think carefully about it and absolutely contact IPSEA for their advice (they might even read your parent advice for you before you submit).

Good luck.

yesitsme Sun 04-Oct-09 20:18:21

Thank you for the advice MoonlightMcKenzie, I've nearly finished the report, gonna read through it again with your advice in mind, see what might need changing.

yesitsme Sun 04-Oct-09 21:24:17

Oh no, sealed the envelope and just had a panic, for the question What help & support do you want for your child? Do I say what secondary school i want him to go to? or does that sound like I am just trying to get him statemented so I can get him in this school?
At what stage in the statementing process do we get asked what school we want him to attend or do they choose for us? DS is currently in Year 6 so it's a pretty important decision!
Don't know what to do now!

MoonlightMcKenzie Sun 04-Oct-09 22:44:20

Yes you should say if you know. Don't worry how it appears. They won't read it anyway.

Sorry to be blunt, but the REAL work in getting what he needs will be done when you get the proposed statement and send it back in disgust. It is handy to have done your report as you have though because they won't be able to accuse you of any last minute surprises, but this stage is 'usually' about fobbing you off with the minimum.

As soon as you get the proposed statement call IPSEA for them to check it over. There are legal issues and many LAs are notorious for deliberately misleading.

Again, very sorry to be so blunt, but it is better you know these things now and are prepared than find yourself on the back foot later.

Good luck.

londonone Mon 05-Oct-09 17:22:37

Moonlight - I am just curious how you know that they won't read it? Your attitude on this thread is very aggressive. IME the vast majority of professionals who sit on SEN panels take their duties very seriously and read all the submissions put before them. Please do not tar everyone with the same brush. Teachers and EPs sit on panels and they are not the same as SEN admin who you seem to have such an issue with.

MoonlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Oct-09 19:31:00

Ipsea told me that my LA don't read them. They 'professionals' haven't read anything else I have submitted and I have evidence of this in their subsequent reports.

I think it is best to assume the worst and hope for the best in this instance. SEN provision is not based on the needs of the child, but on how finite resources can be distributed between the maximum no. of children. This means that professionals don't have time to even read parental reports. This doesn't mean that they are bad people, but it is a huge barrier to be up against and people should know this.

In addition, often the 'professionals' who studied to a high level and started their jobs with enthusiasm for their jobs, end up 'native' to their LA culture and with a mix of helplessness and dire workloads palm off parents to survive. For their own sanity, and through years of re-organisations, paperwork and lack of resources to enable them to update their skills, many even begin to believe that what they offer is good when if falls far short of what children really need.

I am and have been both sides of this and have experience of the internal workings of a few LAs. It is up to parents to fight for their children and hope that collectively this leads to improvements for all.

As you quite rightly point out, I have strong opinions about this. Complacency doesn't bring about change, and the SEN system in this country is in dire need of change.

londonone Mon 05-Oct-09 19:46:04

Well I can tell you now that whenever I sit on Panel, I do read all of the submissions and I argue for what I beleive to be in the best interests of the child. Please don't confuse the professionals on the Panel who IME do have the children's needs at the forefront of their minds and the SEN administrators who are indeed more concerned by allocation of resources. The fact you lump all of the people on the panel together suggests that perhaps you have had a bad experience, this is not the case everywhere believe me.

MoonlightMcKenzie Mon 05-Oct-09 20:30:30

London It is refreshing to hear what you say. However, is it not true that there is no set criteria for how a decision of whether or not to issue a statement, or what indeed what the contents of those statements might be? This lack of transparancy is a big problem for professionals and parents.

Indeed, I have been told that in my LA there is no panel at all for making the decision as to whether to issue a statement, onlt for whether to assess.

You are right that I have had a bad experience. I also know that many of the people involved with my ds have been working their socks off for one piece of red tape or another on behalf of my ds, but I am yet to see one scrap of evidence of the actual outcome or impact on him. These people defend themselves with 'evidence' of meeting attendance and reports. They think they are working hard and doing a good job and they probably are, but what that has to do with my ds I have yet to see.

An example: The SALT service have recommended for the statement that my ds has 11 sessions of 90 minutes. Sounds okay til they list what will be covered. There are 12 things and only one is actually working with ds. The others cover mettings, reports, liasing, preparing materials, obsevation etc etc. They think it is okay to directly copy this into the statement. Understandably I want time spent actually WITH ds specified. Most parents wouldn't know to request this, but get upset and confused when the 11x90 minute they thought they were getting, is actually a once a term visit in a school setting.

If you look on the SN boards you will see lots of stories of parents who are really struggling to get the needs of the child met.

I'm please there are people like you about. No idea if you have gone 'native' or whether you are challenging the system from within. Like SN parents, many SN professionals also suffer from lack of time and stressful workloads. It's lovely that you read parents reports and even better if you consider them seriously. However, my 'caseworker' (who to be fair has now read my parental advice, - coz I phoned her and asked her to) has already told me that they won't fund what I have asked for simply because they 'don't'. So even though it was read, it appears it was a waste of time my writing it.

I suppose a question for you, the people who really do consider the needs of the child first, - how influential is your contribution? And, do you tone down your suggestions if you think that the admin will laugh at you.

We have a ridiculous system here, where the chair of the panel that decides whether to assess, is the line manager of the admin casworker. How that cannot be a conflict of interest I fail to understand.

grumpyoldeeyore Wed 07-Oct-09 18:16:10

Our experience was that the LEA officer simply did not give the bulk of the evidence to the Panel to read - therefore they read it carefully and no doubt agreed with her suggestion there was insufficient evidence. She failed to give the panel our diagnosis, all the information from DS's nursery, all the reports etc. She told us she had but we did an FOI request and NONE of it went to the panel. So I accept the panel acted in good faith but they didn't have access to the evidence. She also told us that the head of the school we want DS to go to had said it was unsuitable for him. There is no way this could be true as we met her when deciding and she said her school was very suitable. As I understand it the Panel are advisory but the SEN officer makes the decision and does not have to accept the advice. It was clear in our case she decided what provision she wanted to offer and then tailored the evidence to the panel to support this leaving out anything which supported our case. Of yes and this particular officer also chaired the meeting and no minutes were taken. I work in the public sector and I have never gone to a decision making meeting where minutes were not kept. We have a lovely social worker who also sits on these panels and argues for what is in the best interest of the family. The rules say look at the needs of the child and then decide on provision - but in our case it was look at the provision we want to offer and make the child / evidence fit into this. Until parents are allowed to attend - be sure the evidence is properly considered - and listen to the arguments - there is going to be a lack of trust and transparency . At the very least these panels should have a parent representative / observer even if it is not the parent of the child concerned.

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