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My only witness wants to pull out of tribunal

(10 Posts)
steelev48 Thu 27-Sep-12 18:50:13

My son is in y7, SA was refused and appealed against in y6. Junior school Senco chosen as my witness because she was the one who applied and has 4 years experience of my child's difficulties.

Where does this leave me? I believe the deadline for changing witnesses has past.

mariamma Thu 27-Sep-12 18:59:20

Sounds like LEA and/or HT aren't keen on her coming along. Advise call IPSEA or SOSSEN to find out how best to handle this.

You can ask the judge for a last minute summons. Trouble is, even then, someone might try to secretly nobble her...

Bigpants1 Thu 27-Sep-12 19:04:44

Is it possible to write to Tribunal Panel & explain your situation & ask for an extension of time?
What reason does the Senco give for pulling-out? It is very possible she has been " got at" by the LA. Many posters say the LA are willing to play dirty in Tribunals.
Do you have anyone else? Someone from Health maybe? Could you afford someone Independant to represent you and ds?
Starlight has experience of Tribunals, ask her for some advice.

TheTimeTravellersWife Thu 27-Sep-12 19:11:35

Sounds like they have been "got at" by the LA. It does happen. I believe that you can subpoena a witness to make them attend, but if they have been "knobbled" by the LA it may not be worth. Sorry that you are going through this.
Can you get independent reports/witnesses?

Iceflower Thu 27-Sep-12 19:12:08

I went to tribunal in December 2011, and the LA were changing witnesses right up to the week before the hearing.

There are many rules about deadlines for witnesses, further evidence, etc, but in my experience last year, tribunals are actually quite flexible about timing - it's always worth a go, just submit a change form smile

steelev48 Thu 27-Sep-12 19:32:25

The reasons are all things she must have known about when I first asked her, such as the tribunal is on a day which is usually her day off!

AgnesDiPesto Thu 27-Sep-12 19:37:08

She is employed by LA so will have been told not to come.
You could ask Tribunal to make her come but then you have a witness who is a loose cannon as you don't know what she will say / if she will backtrack.
Backing out will send a strong signal to the tribunal the LA are playing dirty which will help you
Is there anyone else you can bring as a witness eg a babysitter, anyone who knows your child's difficulties outside school. Sometimes an 'amateur' witness who is quite clearly sincere and genuine is much more convincing than anyone the LA will put up.
You can ask for witnesses to be added late in the day, given the circumstances I doubt you will be refused.
But its better to go by yourself than bring someone you cannot trust.
For SA you only need to prove your child probably needs a SA.
What you can do is list specific examples of difficulties, events, situations he finds difficult. Their witnesses do not have your inside knowledge. They will not be able to give lots of examples. If you go armed with lots of anecdotes and specific egs that really helps.

perceptionreality Fri 28-Sep-12 12:13:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

steelev48 Fri 28-Sep-12 20:33:53

Thanks for the replies. The tribunal is on 15th October. I've been advised that Monday is the latest for notifying of any changes to witnesses. Everyone that I can think of works for the LEA. May well go alone. Have spoken to SOS!SEN who have given me some pointers.

electra Fri 28-Sep-12 20:42:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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