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Meeting with LA(10 Posts)
We had a meeting with our LA about DS' proposed statement today.
The Ed Officer started by telling us that she had not had a chance to discuss the amendments we have suggested with her SALT and EP. I know they only received our EP's report last week (on the one day they were in the office) so her view was that she would need to talk this through with her EP as what is being suggested is very far from the Ep's view. She said likewise about our SALT and the NHS SALT, although I did point out there that the NHS SALT had had ours since before she did hers in October.
The LA officer is going to issue a finalised statement pretty much as it is now (although perhaps better specified) because they are very near to the deadline. Her view is that we can appeal and they will negotiate after.
Of course, I realise that this means we do all the running and they will want to see how serious we are.
I'm sure we could waste time going back on forth on amendments anyway but do you know if finalising in this incomplete way is appropriate?.
SALT is the big sticking point and increasing the hours to take into account our EP's report. I am sure she is trying to pin us down to see what they can get away with as the report will have taken the wind out of their sails - they completely missed the SpLD.
If they choose to finalise, there is not alot I can do and there are certain benefits. Are there any downsides?
Yuck, that's a wierd attitude of the LA to take.
It generally helps to get as close to the statement as you want before you go to tribunal.
It might help to write to them and confirm that their advice to you is that for the purpose of not missing their ample timeframe they have suggested to you that they will finalise the statement as is so you can appeal and start the negotiations.
The tribunal won't be very impressed with that, and you will include that letter in your tribunal bundle.
Thanks. I will do that. We submitted our EP report late and I think that has thrown them a bit but I will certainly record her view on issuing without proper final discussion.
I agree that it's odd, as she seems to be agreeing that the final statement won't be appropriate. But it would be in your favour to let them finalise quickly - it takes 5-6 months to get a tribunal date so it's true that there is a lot of time to negotiate. It's normally the parents who are asking the LA to finalise quickly though and the LA using delay tactics!
Once the statement is finalised, you can start getting any provision that is already on there, so that's also a good reason to let it go ahead now.
Oh, I'm really confused now.
Do I ask them to defer issuing a statement (they have until the end of the month) until they have considered the new report and taken it back to panel or let them get on with it.
I'm getting differing advice from IPSEA, SOS-SEN and ACE!
If they have until the end of the month, that's easily enough time to consider and add any extra reports. I would insist that all the reports are added as appendices.
I know SOS SEN generally encourage parents to finalise quickly so that it can go to appeal asap.
I suppose you have to consider how you'll manage in the period before the tribunal - it could be six months away and the provision you'll get in that time is whatever is on the statement now. I think you need to try to get at least a minimum so that your DS can manage in school, but not to expect the optimum as the LA will probably only offer that once you've appealed.
How do you think your DS will cope with the current provision they're proposing? And is there any way you can make up for the lack of provision in the meantime, e.g. using Cerebra vouchers for private SALT?
Interestingly, SOS-SEN said I should ask them to defer from finalising the statement until they had considered the evidence.
DS is flexi-schooling so I want to get at least the hours increased before appealing on the issues of SALT etc to enable him to be in school longer.
I would probably go with whatever SOS SEN are advising, they know their stuff!
I also presented our EP's report fairly late but my LA managed to incorporate bits of it into the statement (admittedly only about 10% of it, and not the most useful bits, but it showed that they'd read it).
Have you prepared a working document based on the changes that you want to be made? We copied and pasted recommendations directly from the reports, which should have made it harder for the LA to dispute it (but they did anyway).
Thanks. Yes, I have got a working document with all my changes.
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