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Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

sign in here and I'll do a FOI request for you...

(21 Posts)
Starchart Fri 29-Jul-11 16:01:09

and hopefully some of you might do the same for me.

I have found http://www.whatdotheyknow.com very easy and practical to use and you can use a psuedo name if you want/need to (although anything too devient from your real name reduces your rights to appeal).

Please put here that you have something you'd like to know (you don't need to put the details), and then another poster can offer ON THREAD to do it, then you can PM them privately the details.

Each request only takes a couple of minutes through this site.

Feel free to feedback whether you think this is a good idea or not though.....

appropriatelytrained Fri 29-Jul-11 17:21:03

Star is it possible through the site to do requests to all LAs?

I think this is a really good idea and I know some NGOs/pressure groups have got really interesting information asking the same question across the board to get a picture of regional disparities.

For example:

How many SEN Panels keep minutes of their decision-making?

How many SEN panels allow observers from PP or other parent organisations?

How many LAs issue guidance about preparation for Tribunal, I'm thinkin specifically of witness management/priming?

If there is no facility to do the same question repeatedly, then it would be good to draw up a list of LAs and get volunteers to take a certain number and ask the same question.

Just starting with a single common issue but doing it nationally would produce a very interesting picture of good and bad practice and might be a startring point for a campaign group.

Starchart Fri 29-Jul-11 17:38:57

I'm afraid you have to submit each request seperately but you can cut and paste and the specifics i.e addresses etc. are automatic.

I did one to nearly all LA's and it took me around 2.5 hours work. Then you have to deal with the numpties who pretend they don't understand the question as a delaying/avoidance tactic which is a bit more work, but not a lot.

ivykaty44 Fri 29-Jul-11 17:49:50

I see a lot of FOI coming in, nothing to do with dc with special needs.

I will say this - the more complicated the FOI as in statistics, the more unlikely it will be needed to answered. The more questions the more likely it is that a charge can be made legally. The more people the email has been sent to then the bigger the smell and then the more likely that a charge is made.

keep it simple and easy to answer and very very clear - read it through and make sure it is clear, as when we get some questions they really are not clear and we don't understand them and they get past round the office to see if anyone does understand and usually no one is to sure what the person wants.

This is of course just purely trying to help and only my opinion

good luck with the emails

appropriatelytrained Fri 29-Jul-11 17:52:55

Perhaps a list of able volunteers then Star and a few choice questions to start?

Thanks ivykaty - you are right, the more the question relies on getting statistics, e.g. how many statements are issued for children with ASD, the more likely they will use the 'time and cost' exemption

Questions that have a yes or no answer or a simple one-line answer will be based

Starchart Fri 29-Jul-11 18:01:44

I know Ivy, but some LA's are just clearly nuts. I sent a question 'how many children on ABA programme's do you fund?' and some seem quite unable to understand that the answer is numerical.

So your right, I probably wasn't quite clear enough wink

But I get your point that they can't be too complicated. However, I believe that one simply asked, simply responded to question can lead to the next and you can build up a good picture/bank that way.

Starchart Fri 29-Jul-11 18:02:57

Copies of policy documents are quite good too. Sometimes the fact that there isn't one is telling in itself.

ivykaty44 Sat 30-Jul-11 08:53:54

they probably can't count - no one asked them at the job interview and now 40 years later they can't seem to sack them...

Some will always be nuts on both sides smile

Starchart Sat 30-Jul-11 09:08:17

Oh yes. On that site I see some crazy requests. I'm a bit surprised that some of them haven't got vexatious labels. Not sure either how responding to requests for policies on zombie invasion is reasonable use of taxpayers money, although, if I'm honest I'd rather our Autism Service spent their time doing that than decking up the life chances of my ds.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Sat 30-Jul-11 11:05:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ivykaty44 Sat 30-Jul-11 11:29:22

I doubt it would cause any chaos - it may even improve services - note to self to stop being so cynical this morning

tryingtokeepintune Sun 31-Jul-11 14:53:13

Am willing to do an FOI if anyone wants information.

tryingtokeepintune Sun 31-Jul-11 14:53:41

request, I mean.

Starchart Sun 31-Jul-11 19:33:34

I guess nobody want's to make use of this free and useful service then!?

If we don't get a response by Tuesday, I might ask you to do one for me Trying if that is okay!?

mariamagdalena Sun 31-Jul-11 23:27:51

This sounds like an excellent idea.

tryingtokeepintune Sun 31-Jul-11 23:35:18

Of course Star.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Mon 01-Aug-11 08:29:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

appropriatelytrained Mon 01-Aug-11 10:21:30

I'm happy to help too.

I'm wondering what would make a good, simple, question we could ask nationally? SEN Panel minutes? ASD Outreach services working directly with the child? Or anything else?

What do you think?

insanityscatching Mon 01-Aug-11 16:40:00

I'm happy to do a request too.

I do know our LEA don't keep minutes of SEN panel meetings after asking for them myself though they do though have a form that documents their actions at panel.
Our LEA call it FJ016T.CE so if you have no luck with minutes you could maybe chance your luck (supposing this is a standardised form) with a request for a copy of that form perhaps.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 03-Aug-11 11:36:05

FJ016T.CE means nothing to Google.

Right. Who's up for asking an insanely boring FOI of my LA?

I think general questions about the ration of Autism Advisory Qualified teachers to children with autism, might be a good first question, but it IS ASD specific so not relevant to everyone that might want to be involved.

I know mine is 9 Teachers for 1400 children shock. How the hell that can be any use to anyone I have no idea.

I'd quite like to see the monthy diary of all the Advisory Teachers for one snapshot month and then figure out the cost of all their damn meetings.

insanityscatching Wed 03-Aug-11 11:50:01

I thought it was a longshot but it's what they sent a copy of when I requested the minutes alongside an explanation that there were no minutes but this was an action note they used. Interesting reading though because I discovered they discussed a school not yet built as a possibility for ds angry

I'll do it star pm the the question and LA and I'll pm you my pseudonym.

Do you want to do my LA I'd like to know how many tuition hours weekly are given when a SEN student is without a placement because of the failure to amend a statement and secure provision.

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