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LEA - no negotiation prior to tribunal?

(14 Posts)
bochead Tue 18-Oct-11 17:13:17

Is it normal for an LEA to point blank refuse to TRY and negotiate a working document prior to tribunal?

Does this point to any particular tactic on their part (they are keen on the old crap Mum the route of all kids problems in my area but surely Tribunal are wise to this sort of nonsense).

Starting to get worried cos I was hoping it could be sorted without having to go to tribunal really as i'll have to do the talking myself for financial reasons (can't afford a swanky barrister lol!).

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 18-Oct-11 17:16:39

I don't know about normal, but that is what they did with us.

10 days prior to tribunal is probably when the negotiation starts if it is going to happen.

If their case is weak, they might just not bother at all and try to waste and confuse the tribunal time with negotiating the niggling detail without spending much time on the actual point.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 18-Oct-11 17:17:52

Have the LA got legal representation?

And, have you produced a working document?

bochead Tue 18-Oct-11 17:35:28

They got the working doc about a month ago. It wasn't that complex just "specifying and quantifying" their own wooly waffle from -

"monitor and advise" to "direct X therapy with Child for Y no of hours per term by a therapist with R quals and G expertise & experience ,
"visual aids" became - using the formal TEACCH methodology to provide access to learning b via the use of Y.
correcting grammer and spelling errors that bugged me in the final statement that they hadn't corrected before when I asked at the proposed stage,(hellooo it's a legal document not a text message to your bruvva re fri night luv!)

e.g turning it from something as useful as a chocolate tea pot in defining what help DS needs to something that everyone can measure. (Ok I'll wait a longish while then yet, if they don't bother to read it till 10 days before. It might yet get through if they are as sloppy reading my version as they were writing their own ; )

Yup lea have a barrister, a senior EP who has never met DS so presumably has tribunal experience etc - hence me bricking it ; )

AgnesDiPesto Tue 18-Oct-11 17:39:27

Ours kicked up a big fuss about working doc being late and then refused to agree a single word

What will happen is on the day of the tribunal you will be called in and if there has been no negotiation on the working doc you and the SEN officer will be sent out to do it there and then and it will delay the start of the tribunal

So plan to get there early and insist on going through it before you go in if you haven't persuaded them before then

Make sure you have filed your suggested amendments whether the LA have or not

When you go in the Tribunal will go through the Statement and for each bit where there is disagreement each side has to say why they disagree and the tribunal will then make a decision (after the hearing) which wording to put in. Sometimes as you go through it they concede things - because usually it would be ridiculous not to. For Part 2 you can write a 'Parents Views' section if they refuse to put your stuff in and then if they disagree with it you can say well its our view and we want it in - that way its not as though they are agreeing your description but you still get your version in.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 18-Oct-11 17:39:41

Hmmmm. A bit ott for simply specifying, quantifying and grammar.

It is probably a case of taking it to tribunal to save the 5 months of funding up until tribunal thing that loads of LA's are doing atm.

tiredoffightingwithjelly Tue 18-Oct-11 18:27:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheTimeTravellersWife Tue 18-Oct-11 21:37:13

My LA told me that they had no intention negotiating with us prior to Tribunal. They held meetings at school with the Head Teacher, which we were told about but it was made clear that we were "persona non grata" and not welcome and not invited. Their attitude towards us can only be described as bullying.

Working document was not received until the day before the Tribunal. Their barrister was a complete @rse but he made us look better!

ArthurPewty Tue 18-Oct-11 21:49:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

wasuup3000 Tue 18-Oct-11 23:01:32

We got an amended working document on the Friday evening before the tribunal the next Monday. LA got a telling off, we went through part 2 and LA agreed to ALL the changes we wanted. The tribunal wanted the LA to get fresh reports in regard to a new dx before going through part 3 and set out a timescale for this to happen. If we don't come to agreements with the LA then we have another tribunal date very soon. No representation, panel were experienced a doctor and a SEN expert and the judge was up to date on educational law.

wasuup3000 Tue 18-Oct-11 23:09:31

Bochead they want you to "brick it", that's their game.

Remember you are taking them to court, to tribunal , they are the ones that have to answer to the judge.

Legally they have to specify.

It's nothing to "brick" at all. The panel try to support you and put you at your ease. You will be fine. smile

bochead Wed 19-Oct-11 18:49:34

wassup - I get their tactic (eg get me scared etc) intellectually - it's just emotionally getting harder to keep going as the years pass iykwim.

Thanks for your comments guys - guess I'll just have to play Tom Petty's "No I won't back down" through my mp3 on the tube there to give myself a mental boost ; )

wasuup3000 Wed 19-Oct-11 19:35:26

bochead I know what you mean I have 3 with SEN x

ArthurPewty Wed 19-Oct-11 19:40:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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