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LEA asked if I want to make my complaint about non provision of statement a formal complaint. Ehh?

(13 Posts)
alison222 Sat 03-Nov-12 17:12:00

I wrote to the head of school and the director of children's services at the LEA to formally complain that they were breaking their statutory duty to provide what is in DC's statement.
It was passed on to the "customer services" who have passed it on again, and asked if I want it to be logged as a formal stage 1 complaint.

I did look at the complaints procedure on the LEA website, but decided to ask them what difference it would make to how they handled it, time-frames etc. if I said either yes or no.

So far deadly silence.....

Has anyone else come across this?

badgerparade Sat 03-Nov-12 17:27:49

Well I have a similar complaint that has been ongoing since July. I was not happy with their response that everything that had been done with my son's 'best interests at heart' and asked for it to be escalated to stage 2 in September. I received no response after a month so then had to chase. Eventually was told that they had now 'found' my complaint but the person dealing with it had been on holiday - for a whole month,of course they had.
It is now 3 weeks on and I have still had no acknowledgement or response.
Good luck with your complaint is all I can say.

alison222 Sat 03-Nov-12 17:31:38

I am beginning to think that I should say that I do want it logged as a complaint, but the cynical part of me wonders if I will have to go through all 3 stages before I get a response from them.......

badgerparade Sat 03-Nov-12 17:43:33

I think that they are meant to reply at every stage. When they first replied I wrote back contradicting various points they had raised. They then wrote back with a further response and ended with ' I know this is not the response you were hoping to receive'. Basically tried to blame a lot on the school and said that I should contact the governor's but I wasn't going to be fobbed off by that! I then pointed out again that it was their statutory duty and then it all went quiet....
When I first wrote I had 'complaint' as a heading in case of any misunderstandings. Stick with it and complain. If it causes them a little bit of the stress and inconvenience they've put you through then that's not a bad thing.

alison222 Sat 03-Nov-12 17:46:29

Yes, my e-mailed letter had "complaint" in the title.
Hard not to see really.
I guess that is what prompted the question do I want it formally logged as a complaint.
Do you think they do it on purpose to be annoying?

badgerparade Sat 03-Nov-12 17:52:45

Quite possibly - maybe they think that you'll give up if they mess you about. I got the impression when I chased them up that all the complaints are in a huge pile and they only progress it if the complainant keeps making a fuss (a bit like getting a statement really).

Delalakis Sat 03-Nov-12 18:12:03

Not sure I'd go through the complaints process if I were you. A threat of judicial review would get a much quicker result, provided that the statement is reasonably specific.

inappropriatelyemployed Sat 03-Nov-12 18:16:08

I agree with Delalakis. Complaints and the Ombudsman are a waste of space.

You can get legal aid in the child's name for a judicial review. Instruct a solicitor to do this.

alison222 Mon 12-Nov-12 22:07:52

Sorry - need to rant a bit.
Well, the LEA have written back to me and told me that they have spoken to the school and that DS is settling very well, and that as we have a meeting this week they will discuss the rest of the provision still to be implemented then and to go back to them if we have any further concerns.
So that will be virtually all of the statement then - line by line. It will make for an interesting meeting.
I WILL be taking minutes to go back to the LEA. The LEA had the cheek to say that the school will be discussing the impact of the provision on DS. How can you discuss the impact of something they bloody well haven't provided.
Fuming is how I am at the moment.
I guess I have to have the meeting before I can wade in at them again.
I hope ( although not much TBH) that I am being unduly pessamistic and the school will get their act together.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 12-Nov-12 22:21:59

What is the meeting supposed to be about?

alison222 Mon 12-Nov-12 22:23:59

A general review meeting - So we will hijack - the school have said that they will discuss the statement provisions but I hold out little hope of them actually doing the stuff in it without a lot of persuasion

Delalakis Mon 12-Nov-12 22:36:17

You need to go to the meeting and take notes, and I would suggest you write to all concerned afterwards with your notes of what precisely has been agreed, if anything. But really you shouldn't need to "persuade" anyone: you should simply point out to the school and the LA that your son has a legal entitlement to what is in the statement, and say that unless it is provided you will have to see a solicitor about applying for judicial review. And if that doesn't work, put your threat into action!

alison222 Tue 13-Nov-12 10:04:40

I think that the school are having a panic about trying to get their house in order. I have had 2 postcards in the last weeks or so to tell me how well DS is doing (academically - not that that bit was ever in any doubt - so nice to hear - but totally useless) and a call from the school nurse about the care plan for his allergies - and it seems she can't locate his epi-pen. Tried to tell me I hadn't sent one in and as I put it into her hands myself that wasn't going to work.
I get the distinct impression they are trying to prove how wonderful they are and how they have everything in place.
Should be interesting tomorrow.....

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