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Got the tribunal directions today.....

(42 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Aug-11 13:34:08

Back to the sick feeling when staring at as yet unopened letters.

It has been opened. It was due on 21st July but tribunal admin is a joke. It isn't a scary letter (I was represented last time so didn't get this stuff) but my adrenaline was sky high when opening it all the same.

tryingtokeepintune Fri 26-Aug-11 13:54:36

My sympathies Star. I know what you are feeling. I know how the whole process takes so much out of you emotionally, financially, mentally etc.

Remember we are right behind you so shout if you need anything or even just to rant.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Aug-11 14:22:14

AW thanks. Doesn't help that I just had the tv lisencing passive agressive doorstep harrassment interview.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 26-Aug-11 14:54:51

If it were me and I were representing myself, I would put a cold flannel on my head, write out my exact case, then ask an honest and switched-on pal to critique your case. I would also be "more in sorrow than in anger" rather than aggressive in the tribunal itself, to put the other side on the back foot. And I would submit some parts of my case to LA upfront, in hope they would settle out of court. I would also get reports from a few key people, backing up my exact story. And I would maybe also submit a diary of how your child has worsened, day by day or even hour by hour, as the time has gone on. Am happy to help if you want.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 26-Aug-11 22:02:31

Thank you sickof.

What's with the cold flannel on the head? Would chocolate in the mouth do just as well?

TheTimeTravellersWife Fri 26-Aug-11 23:04:01

Star, it is horrible for you to find yourself back in the Tribunal system, but you have done it before and I seem to remember that although you didn't get ABA, the Statement was so much better than the original, so you did succeed in improving your DS education. No real practical advice to offer but I know that you can do it!

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Aug-11 08:21:38

TTTW, they took almost EVERYTHING away at the 6 month Annual Review.

I have to go for that, so may as well do the whole ABA thing.

They are even more dodgy than that. There were 'some' minor things left in the proposed statement but when I asked them to finalise it so I could appeal (I had to say this because you can't ask them to finalise a statement you are unhappy with without saying so) they removed those bits too, just for the final statement, probably so that they have a lower baseline for any negotiating.

TheTimeTravellersWife Sat 27-Aug-11 12:50:26

Star, I'm sorry, I didn't realise what had happened after the AR. That is just awful, but sadly, doesn't surprise me at all. I had an AR literally weeks after we won our Tribunal, and incredibly, they were trying to take support and therapy away then, but I managed to burn them off.

Totally stupid and complete waste of everyone's time to have an AR so soon after the Tribunal, but apparently the timescale is 12 months after the original Statement is finalised, not 12 months after the date of the Statement issued following the Tribunal. For the LA, it just offers an opportunity to have an early go at reducing provision.

I just know that I will be in the same position as you soon, back at Tribunal again, because they will strip away everything that I won at Tribunal last year. angry

The NHS professionals are in cahoots with the LA, and basically, everyone wants to save money and get my DD off their books!

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Aug-11 13:07:29

'the timescale is 12 months after the original Statement is finalised, not 12 months after the date of the Statement issued following the Tribunal.'

Oh God, really? How can the system be anything other than stacked against the parents then? I mean. Most of us practically bankrupt ourselves to get through the tribunal and then the LA has 6 weeks to make their changes, and another 6 weeks for not doing it properly and being challenged and then 10 weeks later then can do an AR and remove it all!!!

TheTimeTravellersWife Sat 27-Aug-11 16:27:30

Yes Star, that's right!

I took legal advice when they scheduled an AR so soon after the Tribunal and that was what I was told, it is within 12 months of the original finalised Statement.

Given the timescales to get to Tribunal, and as you say, then for the LA to amend the Statement,12 months is soon gone and you have an AR again before your can say "Tribunal Bundle"

And apart from SN parents, nobody knows or cares about the rotten, stinking SN system!

StarlightMcKenzie Sat 27-Aug-11 17:02:09

But still I couldn't live with myself for not doing it, and not giving ds just 10 weeks of adequate provision, and going to tribunal time after time to get random 10 weeks now and then.

What choice do I have? I'm not rich enough to afford to do it all privately. I offered to pay privately for the ASD specific intervention but the LA have convinced the school not to allow it, and this is the 3rd school they have frightened so doubt if I rang them all I'd ever get it.

DS is only 4. I may as well make tribunal my lifestyle.

In some ways, I wish this bloody government will just terminate the whole tribunal process as they threaten to and let me off the hook.

PipinJo Sat 27-Aug-11 17:28:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheTimeTravellersWife Sat 27-Aug-11 18:13:45

Pipinjo - I have just has a thought - it took the LA months after the AR before they issued the Statement, so maybe I could argue to postpone the AR? But knowing what the LA are like, they will just call it an early review and go ahead with it anyway.

I would be interested to hear what your solicitor thinks regarding the "clock" for an annual review being based on the original Statement date, not the Statement issued after Tribunal.

PipinJo Sun 28-Aug-11 18:17:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PipinJo Sun 28-Aug-11 18:21:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WetAugust Sun 28-Aug-11 18:56:18


Gutted to hear that you have to return to Tribunal so soon.

Can I be controversial?

What's the long term plan?

Even if this Tribunal gives you gold-plated ABA you know that your LA will take it away again at the first AR.

So what then - another Tribunal and Tribunals at 12 month intervals throughout your son's school life?

How can you enjoy their childhoods when all you're doing is preparing for Tribunals and fighting the LA in the intervals?

I'm not being flippant here but you have to move to another LA. Its the only way that you'll get the support he needs for the next decade or more.

To carry on with this never-ending battle is insane. You cannot fight an organistation that is so adamantly opposed to what you consider your son needs. You won't win - you'll drive drive yourself mad with stress.

And I say this with my very best wishes and hope that you will win again.

Take care.

TheTimeTravellersWife Sun 28-Aug-11 19:40:24

The issue of the Statement after last year's AR was significantly delayed; we didn't receive it for 4 months. I didn't chase it, in case it took away DD's support, which in the end, it didn't.

The date of the next AR was set at the end of the AR meeting, so it may be hard to change it now.

I am thinking along similar lines, about annual Tribunal appeals.

It may well be better for us to pay for private SALT & OT, rather than keep spending time and money on endlessly appealing. What sticks in my throat is the idea that this means that I have given in, and the LA will effectively have won and saved themselves the cost of providing the support that DD needs.

Until I had a child with SN, I had no idea how the system was stacked against parents and children. I mistakenly believe that we lived in a civilised society, that would care for children that needed additional support; not a system designed to get away with providing as little as possible, alienating parents, and wearing them down.

It makes me feel sick, right to my core, it really does.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Aug-11 08:46:36

WetAugust, not contraversial at all. And you're right. The trouble is, my ds only needs decent consistent ABA for a short time.

If he can get what we want in the school, with as much engagement, inclusion of his teachers as possible, then the school will see what he is capable of. They will be able to mark him on assessments where he is that will set up the following years of expectations. We will have demonstrated IN THAT school how much easier their lives are with our model than the LAs.

Now that doesn't mean they won't still do wrong by my ds. I'm not silly enough to be certain, but I feel I have to give this 'round' a chance.

We have researched other LAs but sadly the only viable or affordable ones are Enfield or Essex and possibly parts of Surrey. None with reputations not worth moving for.

Our long term plan is that if ds is failed over the next couple if years and we have kept good records of it, we'll decide between home schooling (we have just moved to a part of our county with a fab HE network just in case, or we'll go all out for a specialist out of county placement. But ds has't been failed for long enough for that yet.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Aug-11 08:48:41

Btw Wet, I didn't win last time. They threw prision at us and the tribunal were impressed with what they said they were going to do.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Aug-11 08:49:26


StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Aug-11 09:15:06

TTTW, we can't pay privately. We tried but where ds needs his support and provision in IN school and they won't let our people in.

appropriatelytrained Mon 29-Aug-11 11:13:37

Star, I am so sorry you are going through all this again and I am sorry to be pessimistic but my experience is that when a child gets into the school system things get worse. The potential for school to be the puppet for the LA increases massively. Heads want to toe the LA line and won't do what the LA tell them not to.

Schools often do not want the hassle of children with needs and what they perceive to be demanding parents. They will often deliberately not do as they are supposed to and just do what they feel is required, even with a statement, as with the LA and other services backing them up, what are you going to do? They will just lie and give minimum effort and the provision they feel able to offer and tell you your child is making wonderful progress.

They lie Star, all the time. It will drive you mad before you can gather enough evidence of 'failure'. Go while you can!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Aug-11 12:22:56

Thank you. I don't think I'm deluded. Just hopeful. My plan to get out if we need to is to HE, but I want to give it a go and see how far we get.

I agree with you about the likeliness of the school agreeing/supporting us, but I also think this is true of most schools, and changing authority would not improve our chances. DH is in a job where he would most likely have to wait years for an opportunity in another part of the country, and all the commuting alternatives have already been explored and ruled out, as we know they would also present us with a fight (I have spoken to the SEN officers in them and sought advice from other parents as well as squeeze info out of of the charities), but an unknown fight iyswim.

Also, this time I have an addition couple of tools to fight with that I both didn't have last time and wouldn't be so easily able to use with another authority.

My ds is 4. I'm not planning for life. I'm planning for next year and the long term plan is to review options regularly and be open to alternative and creative solutions (although to be fair it is my imagination that has got me into the trouble I'm in now). I can imagine how frigging easy it could be to have my ds' needs met cheaply and effectively.

People have advised before that I move LAs. Those people must feel they are banging their heads against brick walls, but I suppose I don't feel backed into a corner yet. I do know the climate very well. I know that the system is evil and that those who regulate it actually perpetuate it. I do know how damned we all are, but yet I still refuse to believe that that is the end of it. And I refuse to believe that those who work on the frontline with our children are evil people (although I won't deny the existence of one or two who how allowed themselves to be absorbed wholly by evil due to their laziness, convenience etc.).

Do I know what I am doing? No, not really. But I need to see this battle through and what the results are. I do think though, that right now I am doing the best I can with the information I have available to me.

However, I would also like to say how much I appreciate the challenge I get on here. I've missed it recently due to my stalker and not being able to post as much info as I used to. Without a doubt the challenge in the past has been the most significant input that has made a difference to my ds and his chances.

pleasestoplying Mon 29-Aug-11 13:17:10

Star, I'm with you (you do know me, but not under this name). Your fight for your ds has been admirable and I remember how gutted I was for you with the last Tribunal (though, as your other thread said at the time, you really won in many ways).

I think it was also you who said that you want to live your life knowing that you did the very best you could for your kids and it really struck a chord with me.

Both you and I are fighting fights that are probably ultimately unwinnable but at least we'll know that we have tried.

Good luck.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Aug-11 13:39:57

Pleasestoplying Thank you for your post. I've seen your other recent thread and was impressed at you battling on despite your being okay for the moment.

I've missed a few posters from the near past, and am wracking my brains as I recognise your style.

After the hols there are a few of us getting together via web to establish a small action/challenge group with a view to defining aims and outcomes by the end of the year. We believe that there are some very easy wins indeed that can be brought about simply from working together with minimum effort to share/ask for information, that can expose inconsistencies, illegalities etc. Let me know if you would like any part of it.

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