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Tribunal against decision not to assess looming - any tips?

(23 Posts)
steelev48 Wed 10-Oct-12 19:29:29

Hi,

Our tribunal hearing is on Monday. Me, DH, no witnesses, no representative. Do any of you who have first hand experience of attending one of these have any useful tips or information please?

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 10-Oct-12 19:31:47

Dress like parents. Have your top 5 points written down and make sure they get into the summary.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 10-Oct-12 19:31:57

Good luck

Iceflower Wed 10-Oct-12 19:57:55

Another clothing tip - wear layers, some of these venues can be stifling.

Bring snacks/drink as the hearing might drag on and there might not be any refreshments/vending machines available.

Good luck.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 10-Oct-12 20:37:29

Take your time, don't be rushed and ask for things to be explained if they are not clear.

The Tribunal has a legal duty to act inquisitorially and not just sit and decide whose evidence they believe.

The LA has a legal duty to lay all its cards on the table and not just the ones that suit it.

Leading education QC, David Wolfe, did a handy legal summary here in case it helps.

Handywoman Wed 10-Oct-12 22:28:58

No advice, just lots of wishes of good luck.
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

mariamma Wed 10-Oct-12 23:06:51

We're off to tribunal for NIL very soon. LEA backed down just before failure to assess. Yours might yet!

bochead Thu 11-Oct-12 00:17:22

Where possible quote from their OWN LA reports to back up your 5 points, and then add a comment from your indy reports if applicable. It makes you look very reasonable.

hoxtonbabe Thu 11-Oct-12 09:23:27

Write down everything you want to say...to everyone around me beforehand I made a bloody good argument but on the day itself I totally crumbled, mostly due to the lies told by the LEA and what I found to be a not particularly parent friendly forum, had I written everything down then I or my EP who was sat with me could have read it out without a thought.

Inappropriate: : that link is fantastic! Why couldn't you have posted it 4 weeks ago :-)

wasuup3000 Thu 11-Oct-12 10:42:26

Write down 5 main points that you want to make - for each point link them to evidence in the bundle - write down bundle page numbers and highlight the sections that are relevant, also handy to have case law/education law and code of practice comments that relate to hand.

2 files - 1 for your part of the bundle. 1 for the LA's.

Post it note the reports from the specialists so they are easy to find as the tribunal may want to rfer to them.

Any points/evidence and your summary keep at the front of your file with references as to were it is.

Bring a photo of your child in case the tribunal want to know what they look like.

Dress smart but comfortably and not over smart.

At breaks - have a break, food or snack, you need to keep your energy up and there is nothing else you can do know except make your points.

Stick to your guns.

Veritate Thu 11-Oct-12 11:47:40

Slight divergence from what hoxtonbabe says. If you or anyone else just reads out something you have written down, it is I am afraid only to easy for panel members to lose concentration. It comes over much better if you have just done a bullet point list for yourself (to ensure that you don't forget everything) but speak spontaneously. But it is reassuring to have that list, because otherwise you will be worrying that you have forgotten something that you really needed to say.

The tribunal will focus on the CoP paragraphs relating to the criteria for assessments, so make sure your points also focus on those criteria, and that you do so again when summing up at the end.

hoxtonbabe Thu 11-Oct-12 12:28:30

Why I say someone else to read out was because personally i totally broke down and it was towards the end of the day..we wouldn't realistically have time to stop for a short break to give me time to compose myself where as someone like your partner or rep could read it out on your behalf...its better than not getting it out at all.

In the case of my youngest sons appeal when They asked a particular trigger question I crumbled and they just basically rushed me through it and didn't offer a comfort break.,.thankfully because they all acted unlawfully anyway, we were going to JR the whole matter and all of a sudden the LEA school gave me everything (sods!) Either way good luck, and I hope it goes really well :-)

Veritate Thu 11-Oct-12 13:11:12

Another point - don't worry if you do break down. They're quite used to it!

steelev48 Thu 11-Oct-12 14:09:09

Thank you very much for the advice so far. Lots to be thinking about.

steelev48 Thu 11-Oct-12 15:14:34

They've just called to say they are pulling out!!!

inappropriatelyemployed Thu 11-Oct-12 15:31:15

I am soooooooo pleased for you!!!!!

What a relief!

Just thought I would add in case it helps anyone else, that I would challenge slightly the advice to speak spontaneously. I would say, as a former criminal lawyer myself, that I think it is very hard indeed to speak spontaneously in legal proceedings unless you are a very confident person or have experience as an advocate. Even then, speaking like this is usually based on substantial preparation.

If people feel happy and confident enough to talk spontaneously - do so. But don't put pressure on yourself that anyone is expecting a Perry Mason performance. Do what makes you comfortable as it will take the pressure off and give you more time to listen to what is going on.

Read your notes if it makes you feel more comfortable. But I would say, if you do this, be straightforward and direct too. Say I am nervous so I am going to read from some notes, I hope you can follow me but stop me if you can't. Take copies of the bullet points and hand them to the panel so that they can follow what you are saying - you know then that they will have your submissions before them.

Indeed, there is nothing to stop you preparing a brief summary of your key points with references to the documents which you can hand in. It is not new evidence. You can then speak to each point.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 11-Oct-12 15:34:16

Yay - party time!!! wine

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 11-Oct-12 15:34:38

That was really brave of you steel, well done!!!

steelev48 Thu 11-Oct-12 15:59:30

Thank you. I am in a state of shock really. One minute I want to cry with relief the next I want to scream with excitement then I'm really angry that they've put us through this and then I'm back to disbelieving that they really have backed down.

I have printed out the advice given here and filed it in case I have to appeal against a note in lieu!

Thanks again for the advice and support (throughout the whole process as well as in this thread).

xx

Iceflower Thu 11-Oct-12 16:21:20

That is great news! A bit of an anticlimax and will take time to sink in, but have a wine tonight smile

hoxtonbabe Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:46

That's fab news :-)

mariamma Thu 11-Oct-12 18:48:18

Maybe there's a parallel universe with an equivalent forum for LEA officers, where they swap notes and advise each other. And someone told the case officers for OP and me that "It's only a job, don't stress too much over saving the council's budget, leave at 5 on the dot cos they'll be out of work soon anyway".

And then they decide to pull out at the last minute, and catch up on their backlog of emails from irate parents instead.

Or maybe they heard about the lucky mascot

wasuup3000 Thu 11-Oct-12 22:21:06

Brilliant news!!

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