Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Need help to help friend with statement appeal. *long*(41 Posts)
My friend has had...problems...getting our
notoriously crap with SN school to help her DS. He has been diagnosed with ADHD. He is on a waiting list for ADOS testing for asd. He is VERY young for his school year. He will be starting In Y3 in September. His birthday is 26th August AND he's a twin, from a VERY large family.
The school, when PUSHED have sent in a half-arsed application for a statement, not filling in half the info etc, they've put nothing in place except saying (verbally) that he can only attend from 1pm-3pm each day, and they have excluded him for SO MANY spurious reasons my jaw is hanging open at some of the paperwork my friend has given me.
The LEA have just sent her a letter saying that they are not going to assess for a statement based on the evidence (I can't see why - boy is 'working towards NC lvl 1 at the END OF Y2??!! - with behavioural difficulties too). She has 2 months to appeal. I want to help her. How do I collate the evidence I have into a decent appeal for her?
I have personal experience of how much the HT is against statementing, through my own SN dc at the school. Mostly because we are in Essex LEA, SA and SA+ budget is delegated to the school, so if they only want to spend £2 a year on helping that dc, the school can spend the rest on...tarting up the toilets and doing a new library like they're doing over the summer holidays this year...They have 53 dc on SA / SA+...I know myself that there are NO MORE THAN 4 dc with a statement (as funding is then ringfenced) In a school with over 400 pupils. . Being the only LEA run school that HAS to take sn dc when they are excluded from other voluntary run schools locally. again.
Also, every time they have excluded him, they have done it by telephone, and never anything in writing. The only thing that states he has been excluded in his file is one sheet, printed out for the express purpose of stuffing in the envelope for the statement application.
If you need any info from the evidence I've got to help ME to help HER to build an appeal that has a chance of success, then please tell me.
Oh - and there is a letter, in black and white, from the paediatrician that assessed her son for ADHD that states, and I quote ' I believe that XXXX is currently supported at the level of school action plus . I suspect that he is likely to need a higher level of support than this to enable him to attend for a whole school day and I wonder if there are any plans in place to proceed with a statement of special educational needs ?
One instance he was excluded - the form says :
Antecedents - Refusal to co-operate or follow instructions BUT Working in a group with which he couldn't cope and Class Teacher and TA distracted by other issue.
What changes to antecedents need to occur - LEFT BLANK
Behaviour - Violent, shouting, throwing paint, water etc.
What behaviour would be preferable - left blank
Consequences - Internal exclusion (it wasn't, his mum was rung and asked to take him home)
What happened as a result - LEFT BLANK
What changes to consequences need to occur - Reaction was fine once he got to that place. Shows how if your attention drops he cannot cope. Mediates all situations through adults.
I feel this incident WOULDN'T have happened at all if the CT and TA hadn't been busy AND left him in a situation they KNEW he wouldn't cope with.
Another incident -
Antecedents - XXXX was being uncooperative and defiant, doing the opposite of what he was asked. Wanted to be in control of rubber. TA held rubber and said he must share and ask if he needed it. (should point out he has a 'thing' about rubbers - over half the incidents have been about rubbers - asd thing)
What changes to antecedents need to occur - Feel that XXXX came in in wrong frame of mind. Never settled.
Behaviour - Hit TA.
What behaviour would be preferable - ! (that's what's on the form)
Consequences - Removed to another class by teacher.
What happened as a result - Excluded for the rest of the day. (not in writing though)
What changes to consequences need to occur - No choice here really.
He has an obsession with rubbers - I feel this incident wouldn't have happened if they had just let XXXX hold the bloody rubber. The school won't let his mum send him in with any to fiddle with, so he keeps hoarding the school rubbers....and getting excluded for it.
Write to the LEA quote the law re education act. Copy to HEAD of LA, SEC of state and ombudsman. Print off SEND appeal form and fill it in and send it off.
When you say quote the law re education act - could you clarify for me please? SEND appeal form...tried googling it, and it comes up with passport stuff?
317 Duties of governing body or LEA in relation to pupils with special educational needs.E+W
(1)The governing body, in the case of [F13a community, foundation or voluntary school,] and the local education authority, in the case of a maintained nursery school, shall
(a)use their best endeavours, in exercising their functions in relation to the school, to secure that, if any registered pupil has special educational needs, the special educational provision which his learning difficulty calls for is made,
(b)secure that, where the responsible person has been informed by the local education authority that a registered pupil has special educational needs, those needs are made known to all who are likely to teach him, and
(c)secure that the teachers in the school are aware of the importance of identifying, and providing for, those registered pupils who have special educational needs.
323 Assessment of educational needs.E+W
(1)Where a local education authority are of the opinion that a child for whom they are responsible falls, or probably falls, within subsection (2), they shall serve a notice on the childs parent informing him
(a)that they [F33are considering whether] to make an assessment of the childs educational needs,
(b)of the procedure to be followed in making the assessment,
(c)of the name of the officer of the authority from whom further information may be obtained, and
(d)of the parents right to make representations, and submit written evidence, to the authority within such period (which must not be less than 29 days beginning with the date on which the notice is served) as may be specified in the notice.
(2)A child falls within this subsection if
(a)he has special educational needs, and
(b)it is necessary for the authority to determine the special educational provision which any learning difficulty he may have calls for.
(a)a local education authority have served a notice under subsection (1) and the period specified in the notice in accordance with subsection (1)(d) has expired, and
(b)the authority remain of the opinion, after taking into account any representations made and any evidence submitted to them in response to the notice, that the child falls, or probably falls, within subsection (2),
they shall make an assessment of his educational needs.
(4)Where a local education authority decide to make an assessment under this section, they shall give notice in writing to the childs parent of that decision and of their reasons for making it.
(5)Schedule 26 has effect in relation to the making of assessments under this section.
(6)Where, at any time after serving a notice under subsection (1), a local education authority decide not to assess the educational needs of the child concerned they shall give notice in writing to the childs parent of their decision.
<<Brain melting>> Thank you for links, it's going to take em a while to work out how best to help her fill in the SEND form, as it just kind of has a blank space for you to write about WHY you are appealing against the LEA's decision not to assess, and why you feel the child needs to be assessed for a statement. Not very...explanatory, is it??
There is no Parent Partnership Officer for our area. Yet again. <<Heavy sigh>> That's been ongoing for over 3 years. We had someone for 12 weeksm then she left too.
How should that section on the appeal form be worded? I know we need to include a bit about how the school are not making reasonable adjustments for her son, and how they will not be consistent in their approach to discipline with him, and how the school (and I'm quoting) 'none of us can be there for all sessions - there can be no key worker', that his 'academic attainment and rate of progress' (quoted from LEA refusal to assess letter) haven't been given reasonable consideration (as above, end of Y2 report shows he is working below NC lvl 1 in most areas - will fish out anf be more precise when DS3 finished bf).
Basically, the refusal to assess letter seems to be saying that because the school haven't followed everyone's reccomendations (i.e done bugger all to help), they won't bother to assess friends' son until school have done enough at SA+. Which isn't possible - we can't MAKE the school do the things they should, and can't make the LEA assess him for statement till the school have. Talk about passing the buck and having each others back??!! Catch 22 much?
School do nothing until statemented, LEA won't statement till school have tried (properly) everything else... <<Raaaaaaa>>
Paragraph in refusal letter I'm on about goes:
When considering the information submitted, it was noted that the relevant and purposeful interventions taken to meet the needs of XXXX were not evident. This is because the Behaviour Analysis Records did not reflect the recommendations and strategies made by the Class Teacher in his report of February 2011. In addition, the information submitted did not contain a Behaviour Support plan or evidence of how the support was being used to meet the needs of XXXX and it was not clear what the plans were for increasing his attendance to full-time.
Having given careful consideration to all of the information submitted, I regret to inform you that it has been decided not to begin a statutory assessment at the current time. As a result, XXXX's needs should continue to be met at School Action Plus for the present.
Also - my friend got no chance to fill in the parents' views part of the statement - the school decided when to apply, and while the date on the parents views form was 14th July - it reached her house when she was away over the weekend of 30th July when she was visiting her DD and DGS - which was also AFTER the date she should have posted it back (which was, apparently, the 21st July - giving her 7 days from the date it LEFT the LEA. It was on her doormat when she got home on the Sunday after having been away since Friday morning. Not much good, eh? So she didn't even get the chance to give HER opinions on it - it was all the schools' half-arsed attempt!
IPSEA have some good tips on what to write on the appeal form on their website - in general be to the point and don't waffle.
This is from the CAB website they maybe helpful if you have no parent partnership.
Duties and responsibilities of the local education authority
Local education authorities must find a free school place for all children who are of compulsory school age - see under heading Compulsory school age. It must also find a school or sixth form college place for young people aged 16 to 19 who want one. If a child of compulsory school age can't receive education at school, the local education authority has a duty to provide suitable education in some other way, for example, home tuition.
The duty of the local education authority to provide full-time education applies to all pupils including those who:
* are temporarily living in the area for long enough to attend school, for example, the child of a Traveller or a child whose parent is in the armed forces
* have come from abroad
* have special educational needs.
If a local education authority is refusing to provide full-time education for your child because of one of these reasons, you should consult an experienced adviser for example, at a Citizens Advice Bureau. To search for details of your nearest CAB, including those that can give advice by e-mail, click on (New window) nearest CAB.
Local education authorities are public bodies and have a legal responsibility not to discriminate and to promote equal opportunities. If you think that the local education authority is discriminating against your child because of race, sex, sexuality or religion, you may be able to take further action. In England and Wales, this also applies to discrimination because of disability, gender reassignment and pregnancy and maternity.
(Example box starts)
We are Travellers, based in this area for the next six months. We want our daughter to go to the local school but they say she can't go because we aren't living in the area permanently. Is there anything we can do to make them change their minds?
The local education authority has to provide a school place for your daughter. If they refuse to do so because you are a Traveller family, this might be race discrimination which is against the law. If the local school already has too many pupils, your daughter should get a school place somewhere else. You need to get expert advice about how to take this forward, for example, from your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
(Example box ends)
For more information about discrimination, see our discrimination pages.
In addition to this legal duty not to discriminate, most local education authorities have equality policies that cover other areas of discrimination. For example, many will say that they will not discriminate against pupils who are being looked after by the local authority or who have HIV. It may be helpful to get hold of a copy of your local education authority's equality policy if you are having these sorts of problems. You may be able to take action to make them keep to their
Children with special educational needs (SEN)
A pupil with special educational needs (SEN) is defined as a pupil who:
* has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of pupils of their age, or
* has a disability which means that they cannot make full use of the general educational facilities provided for pupils of their age.
In England and Wales, a pupil with SEN is entitled to receive full-time education that is appropriate to their needs. This applies to children and young people between the ages of two and 19. This may be in a special school or a mainstream school, or somewhere else. You have the right to educate your child at home subject as long as this meets your child's needs see under the heading Home education.
In England and Wales, it may be against the law for a local education authority to discriminate against a pupil with SEN. This is because a child with SEN would usually be counted as a disabled pupil and disability discrimination is against the law. For example, a school must make reasonable adjustments to allow for a pupil's disability. However, not all pupils with SEN count as disabled pupils.
For information about disability discrimination in England and Wales, see Disability discrimination.
For more information about SEN in England and Wales, see Special educational needs.
In Northern Ireland, the local education authority doesn't have to provide full-time education to children with SEN until the age of five. If they think it would be appropriate, they can place children with statements of SEN in pre-school education which meets their needs. However, not all children with a statement will get a free school place. Local education authorities have a duty to promote the education of children over five with SEN in mainstream schools alongside other children.
We are in England. Our local CAB is
chronically understaffed a place where you have to wait 10-12 weeks for an appointment with anyone. (No walk in here). They have no disability trained advisor, nor anyone who knows anything about education (tis all about debts and benefits at the CAB here). No PPo, am at a loss as to where else to go to get help for my friend - hence turning to the power of MN!
I know they no longer have a disability trained advisor, I needed one to help me with my own personal DLA form - lady had left, not being replaced. I also know they don't know their arse from their elbow when it comes to education law - THEY told ME to go to a solicitors (in relation to my own DD).
Basically by not providing a full time education for the child then the LEA are breaking the law.
Quote the law, tell them it's their responsibility to ensure the child is recieving an full time education as per the law, that the child is presently being discriminated against as it is being unlawfully excluded for half the school day sue to the school failing to meets the child's educational needs.
Tell the LEA to amend this and to agree to statutory assess or as well as appealing you will also put a formal complaint in. Copy this into the HEAD of the LA and to the secretary of state and to the Local Ombudsman and to the MP that is for your area.
Weeelll - What my friend is adamant she is going to do, is on the first day of term, she will drop him off at 8.55am - NOT 1pm. The school have given HER nothing in writing stating he can't attend full-time (because, obviously, THAT'D be breaking the law....), so, the way she sees it, she is bloody well going to drop him off when school starts, instead of waiting until 1pm. She has to bring his twin sister to school anyway!
She said if the school ring her and ask her to pick him up - she's going to refuse until they put in writing there and then why her son is not allowed to be attending the school full time...
What is the WORST thing that could happen if she does this? She's just getting fed up - she will have a Y6 child in a DIFFERENT local primary, plus this boy's twin to drop off at the school - PLUS a pre-school run starting Sept for her 3yo DD. How is she meant to pick her 3yo up from pre-school at one end of the estate at 12.45pm, and be at the other end of the estate by 1pm to drop her son off at school. It's a 25 min walk as an adult never mind with a tired 3yo. I can't physically help with that - I live off the estate, but my dc were sent to this school as only LEA one (accepts overflow via bulge classes). I have to travel to the school by bus - paying myself. Neither of us drive.
And the school know this. By the way - my friend ISN'T the only person I know that has had extreme difficulty getting the school to provide what it says it will at SA+. I know my DS1's stepbrother is in exactly the same boat as my friends' son (just been dxd ADD, on wait list to do ados, keeps getting excluded, no real help etc). And MY own DD, dxd asd when 4yo - SA+, school kept blocking my statement apps by HIDING evidence. My own DS2 (dxd asd at 5yo, also has chronic asthma AND other muscle probs) - as he has caught up 'academically' (with reading and maths ONLY), they have taken him from SA+ down to SA down to nothing in 1 yr. Yet his handwriting is at a 4yo lvl, school won't even do the physio exercises that physio and OT discharged him 'to the care of the school' with. Gee, thanks, OT/Physio - the school realllllly GIS?!
School is locally known as 'the one you don't want your dc at if they have SN'. I can count at LEAST 40 people in the last 6 years that have MOVED in order to get their SN dc out of this school. <<Nnnnnngggghhhh>>
I think the first thing I would do is write to the headteacher stating that your friends ds must be admitted to the school full time. I think she also needs to ask for a letter from school clarifying what support has been put in place for her ds. I would actually quote what the LEA have said about him not receiving the support / interventions recommended on school action plus. She needs to remind them of his diagnosis from the paed and reattach that diagnosis in writing from the paed. She also needs to highlight that thus far the school have been unable to manage his behaviour and help her ds to make progress considering the number of times she has been asked to take him home during the school day and the number of times he has had to be removed from his classroom. I also think that she needs to be clear with them in this letter that she will not be picking him up for unofficial exclusions in the future. I would get some advice on the procedure for exclusions from IPSEA. I would copy this to the head, the head of children and young people's services at the LEA and the paed. I would also go with all the paperwork to my MP and ask for their help. Thank god she has you helping her loudlass, it is absolutely unbelievable what they try and get away with.
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