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You can't JR for failing to quantify and specify can you?

(8 Posts)
StarChartEsq Sun 19-Jun-11 20:40:28

Just wondering.

Also wondering about legal aid in the name of the child as otherwise it is £15k

someoneoutthere Mon 20-Jun-11 07:47:51

For JR, you need to show that no reasonable local authority could have come to the decision your local authority has made based on the facts presented to them, or there was an error of law (failing to apply law properly). On a statement case I guess it would be the one for unreasonable decision.

For legal aid, when I was practising, if a case had merit to go to JR, we advised the parents to pay for an opinion of a barrister (cost between £500-600 plus VAT for an experienced one) and if it was favourable, then you can get legal aid for your child. The other option was that if a barrister was willing to do a report pro bono (without fee just as a goodwill gesture) or under £250, then it was covered by legal help.

Hope this helps. I have not touched a law book or paper for the last five years so things might have changed

StarChartEsq Mon 20-Jun-11 09:12:41

Thank you. Firstly, I'm not sure I know any reasonable local authorities that wouldn't do this hmm

Basically, they failed to specify provision, spent the last tribunal using up the time on 'negotiating' the specificity (so not ordered by tribunal but as a consequence of it) and then 6 months later they take out the specificity and we have to appeal to SENDIST again.

And I see my life appealing to SENDIST every year for specificity and want it to stop right now.

How do you get a barrister to do a report pro bono? I'm scared of them all tbh. The ones I have come across seem to be so money grabbing and arrogant but I might have got the wrong end of the stick.

bochead Mon 20-Jun-11 10:45:25

Is it worth seeing your local councillor & MP - after all Tribunal every year is a misuse of tax payers money surely?

In the current climate they might listen to that argument and lean on the authority to stop being so silly.

It's gotta be worth a shot?

StarChartEsq Mon 20-Jun-11 11:02:00

Yes, thank you it might.

I'm going to write to the SALT department and get them to confirm that the LA DO NOT give them instructions to make their recommendations wooly (I know in fact they do) and then take that to the MP. Either they'll blame the LA or themselves. Either is an issue.

The TA time is definately the LA though.

someoneoutthere Mon 20-Jun-11 11:10:39

Star, barristers don't normally have contact with the clients directly, it has to go through via a solicitor, even if it's pro bono. Every solicitors firm has their own list of pro bono barristers, so I guess to benefit you need to instruct a solicitor under legal help (your income will be assessed, and if you qualify, you don't have to pay for the solicitors fee). Your solicitor can also negotiate to have the opinion done under £250 with the barrister and again you don't have to pay if it's done under legal help. Only other alternative I can think of is to call the chambers which have education law barristers and talk to the clerk to see if anybody would be interested to look at your papers (sorry, this is where you would probably come across all the money making ones) and give you an opinion. If they do, you can still use that to get legal aid. Just look at the website of the chambers to see who does pro bono work on education law and then target them.

Again, my disclaimer for stating things from five years ago smile.

StarChartEsq Mon 20-Jun-11 13:20:45

The barristers I have met are during charity events or talks where you get to speak to them for a short time afterwards.

I won't qualify for legal help, but I wondered if a JR can be done in the name of a child and therefore qualify.

Not only am I scared of barristers but I'm scared of their attitude. The ones I met don't listen and seem to think that every case can just follow a set of rules. It seems like incredibly bad value for money.

someoneoutthere Mon 20-Jun-11 14:28:09

yes, you can get legal aid in the name of the child, but you will have to get the report by the barrister done to state that you have a good case and at least over 50% chance of winning. Don't know what to say about the barrister's attitude as there are some very pompous ones, but there are some good ones too who would go out of their way to help you (talking from experience). I only practised education law for a short while (as a trainee, so not much experience I am afraid), so only know of one barrister who did pro bono work for us on education law. I had one case I did the legal help work free as the parents did not qualify for legal help, but they paid for the barrister's report and based on that we got legal aid in the child's name. My old firm used to do a lot of free work, but they have now closed down the education law department. Can you pay for the opinion and then instruct a solicitor if it's positive?

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