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Is there anyone who has managed to get their child into an Independant SS without Tribunal?

(10 Posts)
mycarscallednev Tue 16-Oct-12 11:28:00

I know our chances are way beyond slim, but as much for ammunition against our LA as anything else I was wondering just how unlikely this is. A yes or no is fine - but any advise would be fantastic also. Thank you

bjkmummy Tue 16-Oct-12 11:41:44

i know quite a few friends who have but in our county there are no special schools so historically children would be sent into teh surrounding counties independant schools - however over the last couple of years there has been a definate shift of the LA making it more and more difficult - myself including - i am in teh midst of tribunal for a very cheap special school

lexy444 Tue 16-Oct-12 11:52:03

Yes. We have...our son goes to an Independant special school run by a charity which is in the adjacent county to where we live.
No tribunal was needed in his case. However I would say we live in a tiny borough which only has one generic special school and therefore the LA's in house options were limited and they were probably more open to Independant schools/Out of county placements than if it was a big council with more state options. We were told by other parents that our LA is usually very reasonable and in our case this proved to be true.

insanityscratching Tue 16-Oct-12 11:59:41

Ds is in an independent SS out of county, we didn't make it to Tribunal as they backed down when we had been granted leave for Judicial Review. There were no in house options for ds but our LA are dishonest, dishonourable lying bastards and were stalling to avoid funding his placement at the specialist school.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 16-Oct-12 12:23:18

I am in a similar situation and will try my hardest to get an indi SS place funded by the LEA without Tribunal or because they back down at the last minute. DS is unable to attend school and is 'signed off' until suitable placement is agreed. Another failed transition from primary to secondary. This entitles him to home tuition which is being arranged. Even without Tribunal I cannot see him being in school before xmas. With Tribunal we would be writing off the whole of year 7.

I am also in a small borough with very few maintained SS all of which are unsuitable. Draft statement should arrive tomorrow. Advocates for Children are meeting DS on Monday. DS has already done an evalution and been formally offered a place by the head of the school we believe to be most suitable. The school offer advice and support - eg they write a report after the draft arrives that can be used in negotiations with the LEA. We have paid for reputable independent assessments that not only diagnose but state that mainstream is unsuitable and specify and quantify support needed in SS.

So I am hoping that no alternative + good case + out of school and costing money + effective Advocate = no Tribunal. I will know more tomorrow.

mycarscallednev Tue 16-Oct-12 13:51:00

Sorry to ask for any more info - but those that have had to go as far as Tribunal - we've been quoted up to 20k for the whole thing, which will have to go on our mortgage as we don't have that sort of savings.

Our LA are known to go straight for Tribunal, but pull out a week or so before, knowing that you will already have spent a huge amount. I have written evidence that no local school - I have sought information from 10, with 9 replies - are willing/able to take our son with all his complex needs.

He is Home Ed-ed due to major failings of a local mainsteam primary school - he is 8. He has a Statement of 30hrs 1-1, Band D, but we'll need Change of School, and I think a re-write of the Statement to accomodate all his additional needs since it was first written - although I feel the re-write should be done once he is placed and he can be assessed in a school environment. With a Band D given already and his needs more complex than when this was given I will fight for this to remain.

googlyeyes Tue 16-Oct-12 14:25:46

We were fortunate enough not to get anywhere close to tribunal, even though everyone we ever spoke to thought that was impossible. I could claim the credit for my meticulously plotted strategy to prove this school was the only one that could meet ds's needs but I think in hindsight it came down to there being literally nowhere else in borough that even the LEA could claim would meet his needs. There is one very small unit for high functioning children and a few units for very severe, non verbal children, and it was undeniable that ds was in no way suited to either of those options.

As for tribunal costs, have you thought of using an advocate to save money? You may have heard of Fiona Slomovic mentioned on here (google advocacy and mediation partnership)....she is incredibly good and not only helped us but 8 other people I know from different LEAs to get into DS's 50k per annum school. And she charges a £1.5k set fee might have gone up slightly recently) for the whole tribunal process. Adding money to your mortgage must add hugely to your stress levels, and we couldn't have coped knowing the stakes were so high financially as well as on every other front

mycarscallednev Tue 16-Oct-12 14:38:37

Thanks Goo, can I ask you the area where you live, I'm just trying to get an idea of which LA are better then others [so I can say - 'hey, but if I lived .... it would be like this!!] - we are in East Sussex. Aparently we would be better of it we budged up the county and lived in West Sussex!

Badgerparade Tue 16-Oct-12 14:44:07

Watching with interest. I am waiting for the re-written sm following recent dx and have to name the next school. Have already been advised that ds is 'unique' in the county and there is very little experience of, and certainly no schools have ever had, any child with ds's needs before. They want him in mainstream as a kind of 'test case' so they can put resources in to see what does or doesn't work as they may have to manage similar children in the future hmm. I don't feel he can cope in ms and don't want him used as a 'guinea pig' in any case. There are schools elsewhere that specialise in managing children with his condition and that would be our preferred option. Think we will have a strong case at tribunal though as I don't see how they can provide what he needs - just can do without the battle and expense of it all really.

mycarscallednev Tue 16-Oct-12 16:13:51

We are in a very similar situation here 'complex' and 'unique' are both words used by GOSH, which may be also 'interesting' but we need the right school - and we have had a formal offer, which we have accepted - now we just need funding. The LA however are notorious for being as unhelpful as possible.

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