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Please Could You Spare a few Seconds to Sign this Petition

(25 Posts)
humbugholder Thu 23-Jun-11 10:15:59

Our local Council propose to make huge cuts to our SEN Transport. They propose that as of September there will be no more door to door SEN Transport and children will have to be taken to drop off points up to a mile from their homes to wait for their transport. As we all know, this is a dangerous and in many cases impossible suggestion, and will make the already difficult lives of many of us parents with disabled children even more difficult.
This petition is specific to my local borough Council, but the changes will no do be rolled out in a Council near you very soon if we do not join together to oppose them.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/stopsentransportcuts/

AlysWho Thu 23-Jun-11 10:28:32

OK smile

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 23-Jun-11 11:51:10

ffs, thought they'd given up on this one a while back after the last campaign! Can you point me in the direction of some more info please as hadn't heard this had come up again smile

humbugholder Thu 23-Jun-11 11:59:21

Ninja, I am in the London Borough of Sutton. It doesn't affect me personally as we are lucky to live near to our local ASD base provision for our borough, so do not need transport. But the vast majority (around 90%) of the children in my son's base come on transport.

All those parents affected received letters from the Council yesterday informing them that the service would be changed as of the September term. There has been no Consultation period this time. The same thing was proposed three years ago, but after the Consultation (and uproar from those that disagreed), it was deferred for three years. This time they have sneakily not bothered with a Consultation and just gone ahead, conveniently right at the end of summer term, hoping nobody would do anything about it.

The laughable thing is, in the letters they have said - talk to your child about the changes so that they are prepared for next term. The children in my son's base are Moderate-Severely ASD, many non-verbal and with very little understanding, and no sense of danger. Even the process of getting the vehicles into the school in the morning is a military procedure to keep them all safe. I'm sure they will all be listening intently to their parents all summer - NOT! I am so worried. Something bad will happen as a result of this.

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Thu 23-Jun-11 12:38:13

so am I humbug, saw your location on a thread in sn education smile SEN team listen to parents, ha ha ha ha, this'll be during the 2 hour a day slot during which they answer their phones will it grin Dd3 (no asd) is on transport from september and I've not heard anything . . . yet! Let me know if there's a need for placard waving and I'll be there.

humbugholder Thu 23-Jun-11 13:01:35

I am not sure which parents have received letters, but I believe it's mainly the ASD children who have been picked on yet again. The sad thing is at my son's base (Rainbow, do you know it?), a large proportion of the kids have other issues aside from their ASD (CP, Epilepsy etc etc), they just happen to be in an ASD base as this caters best for their education needs. The Council doesn't seem to be able to understand this, and somehow sees ASD as a non-disability. I'll keep you updated. x

Latteaddict Thu 23-Jun-11 14:42:18

I could understand the proposals suiting most children in mainstream settings but for those in SS? Obviously I have signed for you. This sort of thing would have been a nightmare with DS2 when he was younger (and not coping with transitions to the extent of taking 20 mins to get out of his bedroom in the morning, longer to get dressed etc, and then moving him out of the house and into the car, and then out of the car at the other end......) and given his obsessions/distractions etc still would be difficult.

I hope they reconsider this for you. Good luck.

wendihouse22 Thu 23-Jun-11 17:39:43

Am in this boat. It took us months and a visit to our MP to get Aiming High For Disabled Children payments. We have had it since March. I was told yesterday that it ceases in August. I'm so cross. Apparently, because we don't have (need) a Social Worker (we were assessed) we won't qualify for it to continue. My son has ASD/OCD/Tourettes and has no friends. His only social outlet, because he doesn't leave the house, is an outreach worker visiting once a week for 2 hours. ds is ten years old. He should be out on his bike/playing footie/having a friend over....... If he could, we wouldn't need this input. He's also an only child! Now, when he hears the doorbell he comes thundering downstairs to see if it's someone for him. He never did this before because no one ever comes to visit him (school friends, etc).

Perhaps David Cameron would like to come and explain to him that his "buddy" won't be coming anymore?

auntevil Thu 23-Jun-11 17:49:21

Will sign immediately. i have friends in LBS who got caught with this proposal last time - we can't let them push this through this time. Seem to remember last time that the consultation was done in the summer hols so parents couldn't meet and discuss needs, with a view to starting in the September that they returned. Underhand is the word that springs to mind.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Thu 23-Jun-11 18:07:14

Petition signed, this sucks but I think there will be other La's following suit.

Wendihouse, sounds very dodgy that you are having services removed after such a short timescale, what are the LA saying has changed that means your son doesn't need the service now when he did three months ago in march?

wendihouse22 Fri 24-Jun-11 09:01:45

I thought it was a nationwide thing. The payments come from Govt. The scheme is called Aiming High For Disabled Children. It's a fund allocated to the child from which you can choose to pay for services. Some people get say, a weekend away at Centerparcs.... I chose to buy in a "friend" for my son from an autism outreach service. I don't personally have the money....it comes from an account regulated by AH for DC.

It's a scheme set up about 2 years ago, I think. But Govt are discontinuing it. So, we've been told to approach our LA but.....they only give payments to those under the care of social services. Our Social Services assessment was lengthy and the woman concluded that my ds lived in a safe and loving home, with age appropriate toys and clearly had a close relationship with mum and from a social services viewpoint, was not "in need". Case closed. I have asked, in light of our present situation, for another assessment.

Op, have signed your petition smile

tiredoffightingwithjelly Fri 24-Jun-11 09:19:04

Oh I hadn't heard that aiming high funding was being discontinued, thanks for that wendihouse, yet more decisions to put children with disabilities back years in terms of social provision.

wendihouse22 Fri 24-Jun-11 09:22:20

Well, our area had an extent ion to end of June.....then extension to end of Aug but ow, no further extension so, it's stopping mid August. Even with his DLA, I ant continue it. They charge £58 an hour to include transport time/costs.

BakeliteBelle Fri 24-Jun-11 09:25:11

Aiming High is administered differently in different Local Authorities I think. We had a committee that made decisions about how it was spent and it went to a variety of good projects - and not so good projects, under the heading 'short breaks', (a loose term if ever there was. Not much good giving a drumming workshop to someone who is in critical need of overnight respite). It wasn't handed out to individuals.

Aiming High has ceased but the Government has continued to give councils extra money. However, they haven't ringfenced it so it could be spent mending potholes in your local roads. A last minute letter from toady Gove after the Riven Vincent saga (I think), made it explicit - but not compulsary - that the Government would like it to be spent on disabled children. Our LA honoured that letter...this year.

wendihouse it seems your LA have decided on a criteria for qualifying for help. Perhaps you could a) get a copy of that criteria and b) find out how much of that money is being spent on disabled children. If it is not much or not the full amount, start a campaign if your energy levels are adequate. Wasn't there some scandal in Scotland where millions that were meant to be spent on disabled children just disappeared into the ether?

As to the school transport...it is just unbelievable really. If they ever have the nerve to do that here, I think I would have to insist that my son gets sent to his nearest mainstream school, with a 1:1/2:1 from 8am when the school bus leaves, all the way through the school day til hometime and maybe with the odd afterschool activity thrown in. We don't ask for our children to have no choice apart from to be sent to schools that are remote from their communities.

Petition signed

tiredoffightingwithjelly Fri 24-Jun-11 09:29:49

What amazes me is that they are discontinuing a strategy and funding pool (aiming high) after such a short time when they have spent huge ammounts of money in our LA and I'm sure in others, producing glossy magazines promoting the concept of aiming high. What a waste of public funding, surely it's time they stopped knee jerking and started planning some longer term strategies.

So lets revamp the SEN statementing process using words like increasing aspirations but then take away the practical funding that allows our children to access their communities and ordinary activities taken for granted by non disabled children.......genius.....not!

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Fri 24-Jun-11 09:58:37

thanks humbug, I know where the base is and have met a couple of the parents before at the summer and easter play and stay, may be our paths have crossed!

it's certainly the thinking of the council here, I've found even the sen team at the lea have very little knowledge of sn at all. Atm they are fiercely guarding their little pot of money, so much so they are ignoring their own professionals that they pay to advise and assess confused

humbugholder Fri 24-Jun-11 15:48:02

Thanks everyone who has taken the time to sign. I am really hoping we can get this overturned once again. We will see.

Ok Ninja, I am certain I must know your face now as we have been going to Play and Stay for years. smile

Referring back to the comment about Short Breaks being cut. My boys have funding from Short Breaks for a Playscheme provision in school holidays. Please God this isn't axed or I think I would cry. It's the one service we access and it benefits my children (and me!) so much. I actually don't know what we would do without it.

wendihouse22 Fri 24-Jun-11 15:55:36

Good God, the money that's wasted by these schemes and think tanks and tribunals and expert advisors..... They ought to just get the funding to where it's needed. I am advised to try to broaded my sons horizons in order to help him socialise. And yet, the 2 hour session of outreach support is not deemed important enough to save.

Recently, his OCD and Tourettes (never mind the ASD) meant that he just could not leave the house. And when he did, his distress was so great that folks were either staring at him or giving him a very wide birth.

yeah, I'll try to get him "out more" sad

wendihouse22 Fri 24-Jun-11 15:56:34

Bakelite, thanks for your advice. Will do.

auntevil Fri 24-Jun-11 16:58:56

Ooh humbug, i'm another play and stayer. I'm sure we must have bumped into each other. AM or PM or both?

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Fri 24-Jun-11 18:21:42

humbug, we usually do mornings, I'm the one that turns up with 4 dcs grin Just hope P can sort out something for the summer, we rely on that in the holidays. Saw your thread about your ds' proposed statement, parent partnership are pretty good here, do give them a ring if you haven't already smile

<waves> to aunt, no signs of itching yet grin

auntevil Fri 24-Jun-11 19:56:19

As Ninja knows, i'm usually a pm person as i can't haul myself and the 3 DS out of bed for the early shift! grin
go on ninja, you know you want to start scratching grin

humbugholder Fri 24-Jun-11 20:56:30

Ooh I have done both on many occasions auntevil! Anything to get out of the house in those looooong school holidays. I have 2 blonde boys, one 8 one 6. Both ASD although ds2 more severely so. I am dark haired and the boys look nothing like me. Don't know if that rings a bell. Ninja, I think I know who you are. Did we once have a conversation about C&A clothes you can buy abroad? If not I am thinking of someone else (with short blonde bob).

Thanks for the PP suggestion. I didn't use them in the end as only had 15 days to respond requesting review and I have been told I am more than likely to get what I have asked for as it's not unreasonable. And apparently Sutton LA will go up to 15 hours provision per week without much disagreement, so if I can get it increased to that or thereabouts, I will be happy. Spoke to the school Senco today as had a meeting with ASD service and she was quite positive about how they will put the hours to good use.

Signed this

TheNinjaGooseIsOnAMission Sat 25-Jun-11 14:58:33

have pmed you humbug smile

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