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My Son's Final Statement - Feel So Disappointed and Let Down(11 Posts)
I have come to the end of a horrendous process of obtaining a Statement for my 8yo son. I did all the work, including requesting SA myself with little support from his school. They filled in appropriate paperwork and totally agreed he needed the help, but pretty much left it all in my hands to sort and liase with the LA.
His draft statement arrived in June and aside from a few fluffy "must have access to, needs support with" issues which the LA have now sorted, my only other issue with the Statement was the ridiculously paltry 5 hours per week TA assistance they agreed to fund, plus 2.5 hours funded by the school. I replied within two days asking for the amendments to the fluffiness and pointed out all of the lists of things they had said he needed extra support with, and I quantified these in terms of the time they would take and said the provision didn't even come close.
Having heard nothing for two months I emailed his case worker last week asking for an update, and she replied that the statement would be with me shortly, and that the LA has agreed that they would fund a provision of TEN hours per week. The amended statement arrived today, and the front letter states clearly that the LA funded provision will be TEN hours, yet inside the provision in the statement still says five hours (plus the standard 2.5 funded by the school).
The caseworker has now backtracked, saying the ten hours mentioned in both the email and on the front letter which came with the revised statement today was an error, and that the funding will remain at five hours. To say I am fuming would be an understatement. I have put my heart and soul into sorting this statement, and feel I have totally wasted all my time and effort. The school have made it clear that for 7.5 hours per week nobody will be employed for ds. He is going into year 4 in three weeks time and is going to fall apart. He still cannot dress himself, toilet unsupervised and has regular panic attacks at school. I am disgusted at what has been offered, and the insinuation in both email and printed letter that the provision would be 12.5 hours between the LA's funding and the school's. This would have meant the school would have hired a part time one to one just for him, but now this won't even happen.
I'm going to Tribunal arent I?
If they wont agree to give him support for the time you feel he needs I would go to tribunal. They always send a crap statement first then you have to fight for what you need on it.
Yes you are off to tribunal - it saves them a grand total of 6 months fees in TA wages - which they then spend on lawyers fees IF and only IF you are the one parent in one hundred that takes it as far as tribunal.
Every stage of the system is a process of sorting those kids with the most determined/richest parents so that at the end all that's left is a very tiny minority of those kids who should be getting the appropriate help.
Gird your loins, stiffen your back and remember these people won't remember your kids name in 10 years. It's a marathon not a sprint but to quote the hairspray ads - your kid IS WORTH IT ; )
IPSEA is an independent organisation who can help you fill in the right forms to go to tribunal. Do contact them.
If you're going on thursday afternoon - we can have a good moan about our borough's systems. There will be many who will join in. If you're up for it, go for tribunal. You know that the LEA is sneaky - you've only got to see how many times they 'revise' transport systems during the summer holidays to realise that underhanded is an understatement.
that's crap humbug, have to agree with bochead with it being all about the money, have found that out in no uncertain terms with dd3 this year. The lea has a tribunal team so don't see it as really costing them anything to go Have you been in touch with parent partnership, they are pretty good, also worth trying to get through to ipsea if you can.
xpost, will join with moaning if needed
They don't have to hire someone specially for him - but they still have to provide 7.5 hours 1:1.
Which, yes, doesn't sound nearly enough......
Have you considered HE?
Sounds like you need to appeal and push for full time 1:1 with it too.
Thanks for the replies everyone.
Can't make Play and Stay tomorrow unfortunately as have a Wheelchair Service appointment for ds2 which will be a mission to get to.
I have kind of accepted now that I am going to Tribunal and I am going to face it head on and give it my all. DS1 deserves a decent allocation of 1:1 hours. 7.5 per week does not even come close to what he needs. I wasn't expecting full time his learning levels are good, it's just everything else he needs help with.
I have just put together an email back to his caseworker telling her that I won't be accepting the statement and also that I will be seeking legal advice over where I stand on the fact that I now have in in writing twice from her by way of email and the letter that came with the amended Statement that the LA would fund TEN hours per week, and now it has been confirmed as being FIVE. I am also going to see my local MP about it when I can get an appointment. I find the whole situation ludicrous that every professional they instructed I take him to see quantified exactly what he needed help with (lunch time, play times, PE, toileting, any situation away from the classroom etc), and they can deduce that an hour a day will cover this.
And Indigo, I am unfortunately not in a position to HE as I work and also have a ds2 who is severely ASD, so mentally I just wouldn't be up to the challenge. Also ds needs to be in school. I feel that HE would just be holding him back socially and not helping him to find ways to develop coping mechanisms for future life. Having said that I totally admire anyone who does HE, and also completely understand why the crappy education system often pushes them into feeling they have no choice.
Have a word with SENDIST as it sounds as it a letter from them may help initially as some things have been done wrong legally. They may not be able to do anything but I have always found a letter pushes the LEA on quite quickly and it is free and official.
We were only given a few hours initially but were eventually given 28.
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