I ask because (as a lawyer myself) I have been looking at the draft Bill, as a result of hearing and reading a lot of scare stories, most of which seem to be unfounded as far as I can tell. For example, rights of appeal will be curtailed; untrue, they are the same as under the current law. Or that LAs will only be obliged to use "best endeavours" to make the specified provision - as far as I can see they remain obliged to make the provision so this is also untrue. Now, I'm pretty expereinced when it comes to statutory interpretation, but the level of fuss suggests to me I'm missing something. if there is somethingout there by someone who is a genuine authority I'd like to see it. I know there's plenty of guff written by Guardian/DM journos but as they generally have an axe to grind and wouldn't know how to interpret legislation if their little lives depended on it, I'm not hugely interested in their comment. Ta!
I'm a very regular poster on MN with a ds with ASD, since you ask. I'm not asking for access to anyone's privileged legal advice. If there's any credible practitioner or academic comment on these provisions which anyone is aware of in the public domain I'd like to see it. i'm not sure why this request is being treated as suspicious in some way.
What problems are you referring to? I see 2 main issues; first, there's no explicit provision for parents (or schools for that matter) to request an assessment. but clause 28 specifically provides for parental right of appeal against refusal to assess, which would be meaningless unless there was also to be a mechanism for parents to attempt to initiate assessment, so this looks like oversight. Second, there's no transitional provision for children with existing statements but again, unless the intention is for all statements to lapse and for their to be mass re-assessment post commencement of the legislation, which seems unlikely, this looks like oversight.
The request is suspicious, because regular poster or not, your new name and posting style is not familiar, and your request is fairly demanding, so I'm assessing whether I should put the effort into responding or if you are just a lazy journalist.
Erm, no. The point I'm making is that currently the draft legislation is very far from being of the quality of bills which are formally introduced to Parliament to start the legislative process. So a lot of fleshing out is going to have to be done on it before it can actually start that process. That may result in provisions we like or provisions we don't, but the point is that what currently exists is very very far from a finished article.
I believe the plan is to introduce the legislation in Spring 2013, which provides ample time to sort the drafting, on the assumption the policy is settled. the point from our perspective is to sort it in the right way. The other concern is that implementing regulations around mediation, which will need careful thought if this is not to become as user-unfriendly a process as tribunal.