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Solicitor is advising to look for another school

(13 Posts)
claw4 Thu 25-Oct-12 09:31:31

Ds is currently off school, after emergency mental health assessment by CAMHS at A&E (self harming and thoughts of killing himself etc)

During this assessment all of his anxieties were school related, so concluded not to send him to school if its going to cause him distress.

Im in the process of appealing LA's refusal to SA and solicitor has advised me to look for another MS school. As the school ds is currently at is basically refusing to accept that ds has any difficulties or follow expert recommendations.

My GP had previously signed ds off from school for 4 weeks due to his self harming and his injuries totally cleared, he went back to school in September and not only did his self harming return, it escalated to hurting himself with objects ie scissors, hair brushes etc and him wanting to kill himself.

Ds self harms due to his 'worries' which are mainly about school, but the point that everyone ie experts seem to missing is that it is not school as such, its his difficulties or needs not being met, understood or dealt with that causes him to self harm.

No matter what school i send him too, this is his second MS school btw, they are not going to be able to deal with his difficulties or needs without the aid of a statement.

I have proved my point so many times, by sending him back to school so many times now, at ds's expense.

I feel my solicitor should not be advising me to send him back to a school without a statement. In fact i feel my solicitor should be pushing LA into SA, rather than waiting for Tribunal in Jan.

What are your thoughts please?

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 25-Oct-12 10:01:45

claw, I agree with you. How will ANOTHER school help at this point.

Is the solicitor somewhat doubting your story?

claw4 Thu 25-Oct-12 10:15:18

I dont think doubting, maybe not understanding (just like school and SW etc)
when i have questioned their advice previously, they have told me, the advice they give is based on 'legally' what my best options are. Ds being in school for assessments, is the 'best' option for obtaining a statement etc and that obviously i dont have to follow this advice and they will act as per my instructions. Just fell like i am having to keep the solicitor 'in check' and 'oversee' everything too.

I told them previously when ds was off school, that the minute he returned, he would start self harming again.

They told me find a another school, i told them CAMHS had advised in a nutshell to wait for therapy, when they can decide whether returning to school or an 'alternative' is the best option for ds. The replied yes wait for CAMHS, but look for a school, as the statementing process is long.

Maybe i need to explain and make myself crystal clear. They advised send him back to school, i did against my better judgment and it has resulted in ds's mental health detoriating and self harm escalating.

claw4 Thu 25-Oct-12 10:23:07

Also seems to me they want to do the least work possible for their ten thousand plus! They are saying just wait til Dec for EP assessment.

As far as i am concerned, ds already missed 4 weeks of school prior to summer holidays due to his self harming, he has since missed about another week since September for physical symptoms of anxiety ie not being able to breathe when arriving at school and me having to take him home or keep him off.

He has now had emergency mental health assessment and cant return to school again.

I think that is enough to force the LA to agree to SA. Although with ds's current mental state, even these assessments could be too much and cause him distress.

I think solicitor should be pushing for an emergency statement, without any more need for assessments, we have assessments coming out of our ears, albeit a year old, if there is such a thing.

coff33pot Thu 25-Oct-12 10:51:19

I am not a solicitor but I would say his advice to look for après understanding school is a good intention owing that he does not know your ds. However is the solicitor experienced in education law?

He may well be thinking that January is not far off for tribunal but remember a solicitor gives you advice and pros and cons but it is you that instructs the solicitor to act on your child's behalf.

In a nutshell lay it on the line with him and tell him what you would like to happen xx

perhaps there is a way that your solicitor can write a letter to the la plus your GP with a request for a home tutor whilst all this is sorted out x

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 25-Oct-12 10:54:47

It's not even good legal advice imo! You'll look like a loon and justify accusations of contributing to his anxieties if you pull him in and out of loads of different schools. Sadly I think you have to just stick it out with the school where you are, either in it or out of it, but not adding school 3 to the mix.

The ONLY school that this might work with is the one you ultimately want your ds to go to, but I am assuming that would be fee-paying and therefore a costly as well as risky option. Do consider this though. If you can show/demonstrate progress and reduced self-harm it could help, but I understand you can't just keep throwing money down a black hole with no guarantees.

coff33pot Thu 25-Oct-12 11:00:29

Après ??? Don know where that come from lol

an EP can assess at home also and the hospital report would surely suffice to prove he needs emergency support.

They should still be educating him though so I would hassle for a tutor which might make the la get a move on and give the boy his statement.

Bless him I am sorry to read he is so anxious sad

pinkorkid Thu 25-Oct-12 11:02:13

Claw, what you are saying makes complete sense to me. You shouldn't have to keep proving ds can't cope with school when his needs are not being met when that is clearly damaging to his health and well-being. It sounds as if camhs are backing you up saying he is not well enough to attend school.

Have you approached the la to ask what they can do to enable him to access an education while he is out of school. They keep changing the name of the relevant people but will be something like access to education (medical).
They are meant to be a short term service and to help with reintegration. Also, not to be cynical or anything, but while they are having to pay out for one service they might be more focused on sorting out alternative appropriate provision.

Don't forget the solicitor works for you. He can advise but you can also direct him/her to find most appropriate help for what you want.

claw4 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:39:20

I think i might be onto something and im quite excited about this, been reading COP section 8.23, i cant copy and paste for some reason, but an emergency placement.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 25-Oct-12 12:27:03

Please to hear it Claw. But don't get side-tracked. Don't make the issue more complicated or involve more agencies unless you absolutely HAVE to.

If your ds appears to those without the time to delve, to be exhibiting anxiety as a result of parenting, you don't need new people to agree.

School isn't all that. Your child can learn without it, certainly for now.

Veritate Thu 25-Oct-12 12:37:22

The solicitor is charging £10K plus for an appeal against statutory assessment? That sounds an awful lot, particularly as that sort of appeal requires less work than most. I agree that putting the child in another school would be silly, and really it seems to me tha he should be asking for the hearing date to be brought forward. If the EP can't assess your child till December, perhaps he should be looking for one that can do it more quickly. The tribunal is quite keen on getting appeals through quickly and would probably be sympathetic.

Also, and I may have asked about this before, is the solicitor doing anything about getting home tuition whilst your child is medically unable to attend? I think you said previously that the LA had refused this, but you shouldn't be taking no for an answer, and you might be able to enforce it by judicial review with the help of legal aid in your child's name. If your solicitor doesn't do legal aid, that aspect could perhaps be dealt with by a firm which does.

claw4 Thu 25-Oct-12 13:09:39

My idea was Star, let me know what you think. CAMHS have already hinted at an 'alternative'. I have meeting with them tomorrow.

Ds is very vulnerable and in a fragile state and as far as im concerned returning to his previous school or another MS school is dangerous. I have already taken this route twice now and it has failed.

The statement is a long way off, so he needs an education in the meantime.

He needs a specialist school who will be able to understand and take care of him emotionally and understand his needs ie indp school i have already looked at.

Assessment and emergency placements

8.23 in exceptional cases it may be necessary to make an emergency placement for a child for example where

The childs medical circumstances have changed suddenly causing a rapid and serious deterioriation in the childs health or development.

The parents, school and relevant professionals and the LA agree that a suddent and serious deteriorations in childs behaviour make the childs current placement untenable or unsafe.

8.25 when emergency placement is made the LA should immediately initiate a SA or ressessment etc.

What do you think?

claw4 Thu 25-Oct-12 13:14:18

Vert, that is a fixed fee, taking me all the way to Statement etc.

We are currently waiting on CAMHS advice in writing, I have confirmed CAMHS advice in writing to them, as my back up for now, but i asked they put it writing to me, which i should get tomorrow, before i do anything, but i think my solicitor will need a push in the right direction, rather than the easiest direction for them.

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