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trying to avoid tribunal... advice?

(25 Posts)
nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 14:40:19

DD1, Y2, HFA. Academically ahead, socially behind.

"Final" Statement came 10 March. Was leakier than a sieve, a festering bag of shite without any support in it :/

I say "final" because the junior school wasnt named, and i was told an 'amended final' would be along soon to address that. It didnt happen.

We appealed. Tribunal date is 30 September.

LA seem to be desperate to avoid going to tribunal. They sent in their 'signed response' on 25 May and it said they still intended to contest the appeal, but that they wanted to issue a 'working document' for us all to work on.

LA officer said today that she has a meeting with the senco at the Juniors to write this 'working document' on 21 June and will get it to us asap afterwards. (which usually means a month later, sigh)

I am worried. If DD1 starts juniors without support in place, its going to go to shit faster than the speed of light, and she's going to crash. At the mo she is confident, happy, and doing v well in infants...

Am i doing the right thing by working with the LA, trying to negotiate etc, or should i be holding uot for a tribunal date that is going to come 25 days too late (school resumes 5 Sept) ???

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 14:47:38


AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 10-Jun-11 14:49:16

I would try and contact one of the charities out there about this matter i.e IPSEA or SOSSEN to name but two. Their advice here would be helpful to you.

Your LEA may well be desparate to avoid tribunal because of how they have behaved to start with.

SENDIST do not work in August; tbh I would do both; work with the LEA and still hold out for the tribunal date.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 14:54:10

i just feel so scared, if DD1 starts Junior school in Sept with the sieve-statement being all the support she has, she's REALLY going to struggle, its a new building, new head, new teachers, etc...

this has the possibility of going to hell in a handbasket really, REALLY fast :/

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 14:56:31

thing is, they've done 6 pages of difficulties in part 2, but have barely addressed them in part 3...

we wrote off for stat assessment the first time in April 09... this has been dragging on since then and i am getting furious...

(and we've just sent off for DD2's statement, ARGH, get to start the whole fucking thing again, 2.5 nearly 3 years of fighting to look forward to)

asulikeit Fri 10-Jun-11 14:57:03

Hi There,

Is there any possibility that you can get an advocate to help you and is this will ease alot of stress perhaps parent partnership can help or its replacement ( our one as been replaced government cuts)

It is a real pain to deal with these people but if they wish to avoid tribunal they need to offer u a statement that reflects dd1 needs.

You could ask for mediation talks assuming that they agree to it.

Tribunal cases are stressful and sometimes can be very expensive sometimes it is better to try to come to some arrangement with the LA so as to avoid it.

We went to tribunal last Oct and lost. The panel sided with our LA we spent a lot of money and are still fighting with them.

Any how good luck

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 15:03:21

ah shit. The PP guy is going to represent us at the tribunal if it gets to that point, but unfortunately the PP guy is unlikely to be entirely unbiased, is he?

IPSEA say we know too much, and therefore wont represent us because they only have enoguh volunteers to represent the parents who truly have no idea what's going on etc. I was gutted to be told that...

so short of selling a kidney to afford a solicitor.....

TotalChaos Fri 10-Jun-11 16:19:26

agree with Attila. Keep the tribunal date as back up in case the LA don't sggest anything satisfactory.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 17:06:59

oh, i wouldnt cancel the tribunal, but i meant as a strategy - do i carry on with this negotiation as if its going to achieve something, or pray to god the tribunal see sense? Argh.

Anyone ever heard of this 'working document' stuff being done before tribunal?

moosemama Fri 10-Jun-11 17:27:29

I would try going to mediation whilst still working on the tribunal in the background.

Links to mediation services

The Midlands SEN Mediation website should give you some idea of what you can expect.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 17:34:51

if i'm not mistaken, this 'working document' is supposed to be some attempt at coming to some arrangement... i just cant find out much info on it out there on the intarwebs...

tryingtokeepintune Fri 10-Jun-11 18:52:16


Have PM you.

Working Document - I think it is a provisional statement and it is something both parties use as a negotiation document. You stirke through (I think) the bits you disagree with, and put the bits you want in but with a different font etc. At the end of the day, the tribunal will be able to see which points are in contention.

However, in our case, when we agreed all the points prior to tribunal, it became the Final Amended Statement.

Re: IPSEA - try calling and talking to someone. They assigned me a tribunal worker without asking what I knew. I just said I needed help. Alternatively, go to SOS!SEN. Very helpful - I went on their course and Marian offered to meet me and go through the WD with me etc.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 19:14:39

i did talk to IPSEA, i asked them directly, they said no.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 19:15:35

i will try SOSSEn

its definitely not a provisional statement, we've done that already - it came on 10 january, and the final came on 9 march...

tryingtokeepintune Fri 10-Jun-11 19:48:58

Oh, sorry I was unclear.

Working Document is not a provisional statement but a negotiating document.

We got our final statement, appealed that and got the working document. By the time we agreed, we reached working document 5 and that became the final amended document.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Fri 10-Jun-11 20:30:17

yeah, i gathered it was some sort of official thing as the PP guy whom i queried this with said it had 4 fonts in it, strikethrough, italics, whatever, and they specnfically meant something, and it was an 'official legally binding document' he said, etc...

gosh, that sounds like how we'll end up. its good to know this process works (for some, anyway).

feynman Sat 11-Jun-11 10:22:51

nicevideo. I'm in exactly the same postion. The working document is the 'offical trying to get agreement document' that will go to tribunal. The lea have to show that they are trying to resolve the disagreement before they get to tribunal. I have been advised my ipsea to work with the working document but not cancel the tribunal until (if) we reach agreement.

The working document is basically a copy of the final statement which gets amended/altered as things get agreed. If you've not already done so I would go through your final statement and highlight anything you disagree with. Use a different colour to put in anything you want adding (but you will need to reference this to your reports). Then send it back to the lea.

This document should then go backwards and forwards between you hopefully so that when(if) you get to tribunal it is obvious to the tribunal which points are in contention and which you have agreed.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sat 11-Jun-11 13:45:20

awesome, thanks for that feynman. we wouldnt be canceling any tribunals (!!!) but praying to god we can come to come conclusion before the end of the school year so she can start Juniors in September WITH a statement that is good and proper and filled in.

tryingtokeepintune Sat 11-Jun-11 14:28:40

Just remembered NAS tribunal helpline. Have you tried them yet?

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sat 11-Jun-11 14:42:31

erm, not this time - i hsve dsone before but havent tried them recengtly since we got to this stage of things - i will phone them on Monday!!

Agnesdipesto Sun 12-Jun-11 11:17:45

You go through the statement line by line and state which parts you can agree and which not
Then when you go into the Tribunal (and they will have a copy of the working doc) they will hear comments on each bit of disagreement - so the tribunal will only have to deal with the bits no-one can agree
The Tribunal then have to make a decision about which wording to put in.

Only if you can agree everything (or you can live with the bits you can't agree) would it be worth cancelling the tribunal.

Do keep the date as if it does go belly up in school you will certainly have lots to say at Tribunal!

Its good they are doing it early - probably so they can all go off on holiday for the entire month of August and forget about it.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Sun 12-Jun-11 11:51:12

yeah, they dont work in August, twatbags that they are. I remember that from last year when we had an appeal going over refusal to assess, and they just didnt bother working in August at all so any work done stopped in July and resumed in September...

pinkorkid Mon 13-Jun-11 17:02:32

Could you ask sendist to expedite the hearing, giving your reasons - likely impact on settling in to junior school? We did this and they agreed in principle but asked us to check that lea were also happy to have an earlier hearing. In the end lea made the changes we wanted so didn't have to push it. I'm not sure what happens if lea refuse request to expedite, whether sendist can force them but it would be worth trying to see if they could hold the hearing in July.

nicevideoshameaboutthesong Mon 13-Jun-11 19:43:54

i've considered doing that but was told (cant remember by whom) that it is unlikely they'd expedite it...

would it then piss off the LA if i were to suddenly have things moved forward on them? i'm trying to give the impression of working with them but at the same time i am so fucking desperate to wrap this up that i'd almost PAY to go on and end it and finalise the fucker just so its in place when DD1 goes to Juniors... we are SO worried about DD1 and juniors, its not looking good. she's fretting every day about juniors, having nightmares at night, etc...

pinkorkid Thu 16-Jun-11 09:50:01

They would need to have a very good reason not to agree to expedite when you have such a compelling reason for wanting it to be settled sooner. For sendist it's a routine matter - they will agree to give you an earlier date if one is available and there usually is because leas often cave in before cases get to tribunal and then parents withdraw their appeal.

The onus should be on the lea to prove it's not possible for his case to be heard sooner and really unless there is a genuine reason not to settle it quicker they should be ready to do so becasue it will be costing them more money the longer the case is open.

I don't think you will piss them off by making a very reasonable request but in any case you can only afford to think about what is best for your son even though I know it's hard to be pushy when it's not the way you would normally be. (Sorry if I'm projecting there but I felt I had to take on a different persona sometimes in dealing with professionals than I would normally be comfortable doing and also you can go mad trying to second guess how your actions will be received by others) Anyway good luck whatever you decide to do.

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