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A few questions about the Statement

(24 Posts)
JK2010 Tue 14-Sep-10 14:57:06

Hi everyone,

I'm due to receive the first draft of my daughter's proposed statement at some point next week, but a few things are already worrying me. Perhaps you folks can help.

Today I was told that the initial recommendation for Speech and Language Therapy would be five sessions PER TERM. I laughed out loud as my daughter is already receiving 3 sessions per week - albeit privately.

So is the local authority strategy to offer as little as possible in order to appear generous by subsequently making an improved 'offer', or do they usually offer far less than one could reasonably expect?

Also, if the statement is very specific about certain needs which are more likely to be met in an independent school environment, will an LEA consent to independent provision?

Thank you

sc13 Tue 14-Sep-10 15:37:11

Hello there - others will come along with more experience than me, but I think the LEA will not necessarily take into account the provision that your daughter is getting privately. Five sessions per term, from what I've seen, is not even as little as possible - I do think that most LEAs tend to go for as little as they can get away with.
You can name an independent school in part 4 of the statement, but I think you'll need to make a good case that your child's needs cannot be adequately met at a non-independent school.
It sounds like you're in for a fight, I'm afraid, but because this is still a draft there is room for change, and good luck!!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 14-Sep-10 16:08:45

Hi JK,

When you do receive the proposed draft document seek independent advice from an organisation like SOS:SEN, ACE and or IPSEA. I have not directly mentioned Parent Partnership as many of them do not work fully independently of their LEA.

Ask on here too.

SALT will also need to be in Part 2 as well as 3. All provision must be both specified and quantified; if it is neither reject the statement outright. Five sessions per term is pants but par for the course. They will not take into consideration any private based provision, besides which you are paying for this.

LEA may well not readily consent to independent provision due to cost, you will have to make a cast iron case here to get this granted.

JK2010 Tue 14-Sep-10 16:45:20

Thanks for the replies.

Fortunately for us, the report from the SALT is very specific and refers to several key areas:

1. 'On-going direct speech and language therapy with the SLT, delivered individually or as part of a small group.'

2. 'Opportunities for 1:1 support to ensure *** remains engaged with a variety of different activities, accesses the curriculum and to engineer peer interactions on a regular basis throughout the day.'

3. 'Opportunities to work in small structured groups.'

4. 'Adult support and models consistently available to develop *** social communication skills and facilitate interactions with peers, both within the classroom and outside (e.g. at break time).'

5. 'Staff working with *** should be trained and experienced in working with children with language disorder and social skills difficulties.'

etc, etc.

It all appears to be very thorough and each need is comprehensively addressed. I do wonder though whether or not they have been so thorough as to almost preclude a state school! Luckily, our LEA has a number of excellent primary schools with OFSTED grade 1 reports, but I'm still not convinced they will offer the tiny class sizes (12-15) that my daughter currently enjoys at her prep school.

Has anyone successfully applied for a statemented child to be educated independently?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 16:55:01

Message withdrawn

cansu Tue 14-Sep-10 17:07:54

I did manage to gain an independent school place for my ds, but it is an ASD specific school mainly for children with quite severe difficulties, not a standard independent school. As someone else has no doubt said it was a long massive fight and only happened after he had spent five years in our local special school so we could actually show that he needed a more specialised environment. If you are planning to take them on i would also recommend that you get in touch with someone who can give you advice like IPSEA. Good luck

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 17:13:06

Message withdrawn

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 14-Sep-10 17:19:25

Hi JK,

I would also have to agree with Starlight re points 1 - 5. That provision stated on that SALT report is generalised BS!. If that appears verbatim in Part 3 you must reject it outright.

That weaselly word "opportunities" is present as well and gives the provider loads of get out clauses; note that nowhere does it state "x will receive..."

JK2010 Tue 14-Sep-10 18:04:10

Thanks for the replies.

I'm under no illusions that the LEA will provide the minimum they believe is acceptable. As mentioned above, points 1-5 are from a report I received today written by a SALT from the local authority .. not from the proposed statement!

There's no way I'd accept the above as the final draft in any Statement. I did notice though that the language used in virtually all 'assessments' - both NHS and private - is suitably vague and non-committed.

But as I see it this could well count in our favour. After all, we only need to make a strong enough case to support our belief that our daughter's needs would be best met in a certain environment .. don't we?

In other words, the local authority can offer what they believe to be sufficient, but if we provide a comprehensive rebuttal written by an accepted authority, the LEA would likely capitulate.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 18:09:18

Message withdrawn

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 18:11:24

Message withdrawn

JK2010 Tue 14-Sep-10 18:20:42

I think you're right StarlightMcKenzie, and I will be firm with the LEA when it comes to the precise composition of the Statement. But do you really believe I should be as critical as possible - and even mention 'failure' as a nuke option if I genuinely believe the LEA needs to be coerced?

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 18:46:17

Message withdrawn

vjg13 Tue 14-Sep-10 19:32:12

Do you know of a school that you would like her to attend? IMHO it's important to visit loads of schools and see where you think your child will fit.

My LEA fund my child at a non-maintained special school outside the authority and we really fought hard to get it.

JK2010 Tue 14-Sep-10 20:29:48

The choice between her existing prep - which has been 100% supportive since day one - or an OFSTED Grade 1 primary is a tough choice. There are some truly great schools in Kensington and Chelsea, and it's extremely difficult to choose. Some of the primary schools appear to produce outstanding results across the board, and several have confirmed that a statement effectively removes the usual admissions criteria. Of the six I've actually visited, two stood out as very promising. But it's not an easy choice to make ...

justaboutawinegumoholic Tue 14-Sep-10 20:33:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JK2010 Tue 14-Sep-10 20:35:28

That's what I've been considering justaboutawinegumoholic. If the LEA don't agree to fund therapy, I think the best solution would be a great primary with private SALT 4/5 times a week at my expense.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 14-Sep-10 20:48:15

Message withdrawn

vjg13 Wed 15-Sep-10 09:59:17

I'd echo what starlight says. It really does depend on your child's needs but if she has significant difficulties in the more academic schools the kids will overtake her very quickly and the parents of other children may be not be very tolerant.

The first school my daughter attended was an outstanding OFSTED rated, small class sized, league table topping school and they were RUBBISH at meeting her needs or understanding them. We had wanted her to go there for religious reasons as it was the only school of its type in our area.

JK2010 Wed 15-Sep-10 19:42:02

Thanks once again for your replies.

You've hit the proverbial nail firmly on the head StarlightMcKenzie. The decision is really between a leading, mainstream state primary with little to no specialist SEN provision, or a -slightly- less academically successful (reading between the lines in the relevant OFSTED reports) primary school with a greater focus on special needs.

Part of the problem - I use the word 'problem' loosely - is that my daughter has a non-specific language disorder. Even after two full multi-disciplinary assessments, the conclusion is stated as '? language disorder'.

So, do I choose the 'safe' option of a school with established, experienced SEN provision and small classes, or a great primary which is highly sought after and which will offer at best limited SEN provision?

justaboutawinegumoholic Wed 15-Sep-10 19:59:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

negligentmummy Wed 15-Sep-10 20:48:24

This is a really interesting thread for me. DD1 has verbal dyspraxia and attends an independent pre-school (which has just lost it's early years funding). We are in the statementing process and I am expecting the draft any time now. My pediatrician (how hard is that to spell?!) is totally behind us, and our SALT has admitted that DD1 is at the severe end of the scale for speech difficulties.
I am trying to get 1:1 support and an SALT to visit the school once a week and then we pay the school fees. School is 100% supportive, keen, and interested. Her teacher is going on a Makaton course for 2 days next week etc etc. However, if we get a statement DD1 will be the only child there with one... is that a problem??
Also do LEA give you support if you are not in the state sector?? There is a state primary with a speech unit locally, but it has a bad reputation and as a child with almost no communication I am very worried about DD1 being overlooked in large classes etc.

justaboutawinegumoholic Wed 15-Sep-10 20:55:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

negligentmummy Wed 15-Sep-10 21:10:54

been lurking quietly in the background!!
bother. was hoping LEA would be pleased to save the cash on the school fees (x2- DD2 will almost certainly attend the same school as her big sister).

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