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LA new low: Vexatious

(82 Posts)
appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 12:50:10

How desperate are these twunts?

They got their 4th witness blocked by the Tribunal as the second S&LT has never met my child.

I've challenged their change of EP as she has not worked with my child or even met him - suddenly she wants to go into school. I can't be there though.

Challenging these practices makes me vexatious and I have a letter to prove it. No warning, no appeal. All correspondence now goes through a single point and this little admin lady will decide whether it merits response!

They're not worried are they?

Very democratic. But then I suppose DH isn't vexatious is he?? I',m sure he would want to ask questions too

Starchart Sat 25-Jun-11 12:55:42

LOL, I am bit unlcear what has happened now.

Who is the admin lady? What does your letter prove? What was no warning? Who is not appealining?

Are you saying that you have been told to write to a single person in the LA who will decide whether she deals with it or passes it on?

If that is so just ignore it and write directly to whoever you want to.

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 13:05:10

Yes, sorry, I have been officially 'branded' vexatious under their 'vexatious' complainants policy which means that I am given a single point of contact who I must go through and this person will decide whether it gets answered.

They can refuse to read/answer anything else.

It comes from the Hd of Governance

CQrns1lk Sat 25-Jun-11 13:06:39

what!!? How did that happen? The LA can label parents as vexatious? confused

Starchart Sat 25-Jun-11 13:13:06

Oh yes, that can happen. It is to protect them from having to investigate 1 zillion complaints from the same parent thus implying that that 1 parent is wasting tax payers money.

But blimey, - you of all people. You certainly didn't start out vexatious. I remember, and quite frankly if you have that reaction there is every reason to suspect they are afraid of you. My LA wouldn't do that to me, or at least haven't because they are nasty bullies up their own arses that ENJOY dealing with frustrated parents to confirm their control.

Yours just don't like the challenging questions that hold them to account. You know you can get your MP to confirm their rationale and ask for their policy and how you met the criteria. Further, you could send the rest of yoru letters directly through your MP or another outside body (i.e. solicitor), or if it is just a request for information a friend etc.

Starchart Sat 25-Jun-11 13:16:53

Is this another tribunal strategy though? I mean you won't be the first person (or even the first person on MN) for whom the LA have gone around their staff and got a few of them to write a character statement on the parent as being unreasonable and impossible to work with.

Generally, tribunals have no time for such claims.

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 13:17:50

They all have policies on this so when they get sick of you, they can turn round and do this.

Very democratic and accountable isn't it?

Don't ask questions they can't answer as they get stressed and it's apparently not in your child's best interests - which of course is at the heart of everything they do as they run around trying to drag up unknown witnesses to bolster their defence


appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 13:22:21

MP has been contacted. I've also contacted a few other legal people who might be able to help.

It's probably to waste my time and get me angry. It's funny that it comes on the back of relative silence between me and the SEN dept save for the challenge to the EP coming in and the judge's refusal to allow their 4th witness

Our advocate was talking about negotiating. Why would you negotiate with this shower?

Starchart Sat 25-Jun-11 13:26:20

at don't worry about it honestly. You can still write. In many ways it is better if it all goes centrally through one person as you can all keep a track of where you are and no-one can hide behind pretend communication breakdowns.

Write back to them and thank them for at last giving you a keyworker to coordinate the correspondence and perhaps if they had done this at the beginning there wouldn't have been so many inefficiences and breakdowns in communication and you hope now that they can actually engage process of partnership with parents and you won't have to write some any letters asking them to clarify what they are doing and why.

Thank them again for considering your stress levels and that you are indeed vexed and welcome a better system for recording communication so that you can be certain you will now be kept informed of their work with and on behalf of your child.

Ask them too, under the data protection act, if they would please respond to a subject data access request so that you can use that as a baseline to measure whether their keyworker strategy has in fact improved things.

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 13:32:24

I'm not admitting to being vexed. This will be interpreted as me admitting my correspondence is vexatious. Vexatious means something in terms of them being able to bar complaints and ignore people so I'm not thanking them for anything even facetiously

This is a battle for another time but it is bullying.

I'll get DH to write.

Starchart Sat 25-Jun-11 13:52:45

Yes I know.

You just need to take it on the chin and keep going without any reaction and stick to the focus of your journey which is not to rise to any taunting or waste energy but simply and sensibly demand outcomes for your ds.

But know that attacking the character of the parents is not personal and some of us have been through that in one form or another. This is why I never went to the GP when I was suffering with depression. I just could not afford to have something like that on my record.

Starchart Sat 25-Jun-11 13:53:53

I meant my writing to them keyworker stuff in jest btw. Sorry.

Have you got a holiday planned for afterwards?

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 13:57:33

We will go but nothing planned at the moment. We need to take DS out of that school really as they are shit beyond belief. Honestly, I got feedback from our S&LT (not the one for Tribunal) yesterday as she had a meeting with them and it was incredible to hear how crap DS' TA is and what little bond he has with her.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Sat 25-Jun-11 17:08:24

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 17:16:57

Thanks tiredoffighting. She isn't going into see DS herself just chat to the staff about 'next steps' i.e. it's a tick box exercise. There were no first steps never mind next steps.

I checked EP's professional code of conduct and even 'indirect work' requires consent so I have told her to sod off - very nicely and with good grounds.

You are right. Why on earth would mediate with this lot? They lie and spend their time patching up provision and only bringing out anyone decent for Tribunal. Then, when you raise this (politely and with good reason) they get all cry-baby and start crying stress!!

tiredoffightingwithjelly Sat 25-Jun-11 17:26:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 17:30:24

Absolutely. And the only thing I have done is ask questions they can't answer properly. Oh boo-hoo. School are just the same.

They lie about stuff and don't put provision in place and when you question it, you are undermining staff.

Nice try twunts

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 17:33:20

The best answer to any of this is to see them at Tribunal.

We have nothing to lose. Our provision is only going to be improved or stay the same.

They, however, know that they have alot to lose. Let them explain what his needs are and how they've ignored them. Losers.

They also tried to block my request to file an updated report out of time. Best interests of the child and all that. Yet, I haven't had theirs and they were supposed to be filed a week ago.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Sat 25-Jun-11 17:38:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Agnesdipesto Sat 25-Jun-11 17:55:56

Sorry AT
But you and I know there is a massive difference between a persistent complainant and a vexatious complainant. The first has a genuine point to make but no-one will listen, the second is a time waster or bully. LAs often fail to recognise the difference, including that they often fall into the bully category themselves.
There should be a monitoring officer - an independent person attached to the Council you could write to.
I know how mad this makes you - we had a whole section in the appeal lever arch file our LA fabricated implying I bullied their staff and nursery staff and it was because everyone was so terrified of me that the staff had not gone in and done any work with DS - rather than them being understaffed / lazy / useless.
It does hurt to have lies told about you - the entire education dept at the LA believe we are horrible bullies - better this than admit they were at fault and ended up costing the dept £10,000s pa in ABA fees due to their negligence at not doing their jobs for a year. We try and campaign locally and help out at eg NAS branch events and these people ignore us like we were scum - if we are standing in the same queue next to anyone employed by the LA they don't even speak to us. If I speak at a public meeting I am put down. And we have to have these people in DS lives for another 14 years
But the Tribunal had no truck with it - they see this tactic every single day.
Don't let this be a diversion you get caught up in - you will get the chance to have some of your questions answered at Tribunal and thats the only place that counts. Just add it to your complaint list for after tribunal. Trust me you will have at least 10 more points on that list by the time the day of the tribunal is out when you have sat and listened to them lie
The advocate ended up quoting a case saying where a relationship with professionals had completely broken down the Panel had to take that into account - we were a bit narked about that as it wasn't our fault it had broken down, but she was right that neither we nor the nursery wanted to work with the autism outreach team again. Perhaps you could use this with the useless TA.
If there is crucial info you need for tribunal - use the request for changes form and ask the tribunal direct that it be disclosed.
It is true however that they don't really have the staff to deal with lots of requests - they can never put as much time and energy into the case as you (which is why you have a huge advantage)
When we got the lever arch file of lies we sent back lots of info showing it was all lies, but because our tribunal was just after the school holidays our last date for evidence was really close to the tribunal
They were overloaded and complained it was unfair we had sent lots of docs and started to threaten to adjourn it
Which was funny because really what they meant was we told a pack of lies, we had no idea you would have lots of evidence that proved it was a pack of lies and now we need more time to come up with a new pack of lies.
Hang in there.
Even if you don't negotiate the advocate will push them to go through the working doc line by line even on the day and make them say why they disagree with every one of your suggestions. When they didn't have any reason for objecting other than being bloody minded its quite funny to watch them trying to think of what to do or say without looking completely unreasonable, was one of my favourite bits of the day actually.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Sat 25-Jun-11 18:08:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 18:13:01

Thanks Agnes. It is really reassuring to hear that. I think one of the difficulties we're facing is that our advocate really felt that we should try the 'mediation' line with her as mediator but she has since disappeared off the face of the earth - undoubtedly because she is busy.

But this means that, at this crucial time, when everyone is attempting to try it on, or making requests, we are without the 'independent' voice I had hoped I had paid for!

So, I am left fending off the requests for access and applying to file evidence late and they, as you say, treat me like scum and dismiss me. They keep asking for the working statement which I've sat on for a month as the advocate was going to deal with it in her response and they ask to deal with her directly but I can only say a reply is on its way. So, I'm sure they think I'm winding them up.

Now, we've only a few weeks and any meeting will take time to set up. In the meantime, I'll now have to pay for updated reports etc because if it settles it won't do so much before Tribunal, so I have to prepare as if we are going there.

If a letter had gone out 2 weeks ago as promised, we would be in a better position to see where the land lies.

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 18:14:21

You are right tiredof. The MP responded to me and made the point that these are sensitive issues where feelings run high so it is a surprising and rather pathetic response.

bochead Sat 25-Jun-11 18:52:41

Do these people have a never ending arsenal of tactics to bully parents? Jesus wept, just when you think you must be aware of all the weapons they use against parents summat else crops up.

I really feel for you BUT in your shoes I'd write back direct to the admin lady, and say thanks for streamlining future communications, avoiding crossed wires etc, that hopefully having a single point of contact would free me up to concentrate better on the family life of my disabled child and that I really appreciate the efforts the admin lady is making personally on my account to help my family at such a stressful time. I'd make it a handwritten note on nice paper (perhaps even a thank you card, not flashy but worthy of being displayed on her desk) & photocopy it of course.

Rise above the vextatious insult - now if comms aren't dealt with in a timely & appropriate manner you have a person who is clearly identified as accountable! This could be seen as a real boon in a world where teflon shoulders is the norm ; )

I can't believe the tribunal will be impressed by this stunt on the part of the lea, and it means they've decided not to negotiate so carry on with tribunal efforts. You can't reason with the unreasonable, & bullying is not negotiation. The tribunal will be sensible enough to see this as simple intimadation of the weaker party by the lea and will judge accordingly - you have them on the run ; )

I'd be flattered if I were you - it means you are an adversary worthy of more than the "crap mum" standard bullying tactic. They are running scared so keep singing the Tom Petty tune "No I won't back down" and see this through to the finish line.

appropriatelytrained Sat 25-Jun-11 19:04:45

Thanks bochead. I don't know what I'd do without you guys.

Somehow, bizarrely, in their weird little Twilight zone, they really do see themselves, as Agnes said, as the 'bullied' party.

That poor ickle public authority with its multi-million pounds funding and the nasty parent asking mean questions and not just getting with the programme.

Poor staff. Maybe they should all go off with stress.

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