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Tribunal - what are the LA up to?

(45 Posts)
inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 09:39:00

OK, LA supposed to file their response to our appeal today and we have heard nothing.

This was an appeal from an AR in March which the LA did not make a decision on until July so we have already lost time.

Our head got a call to ask him for his views and he made it clear he agrees with the increase in hours we are asking for.

The LA said they want to send the EP in as they will need to get more evidence as it will have to go back to 'panel'.

He also asked about having the next AR in January (we were going to list it for March as that is when the last one was but the statement was issued in January).

What happens if they don't file a response by today or if they ask for more time? I am assuming they are going to try and use the next AR as a way of delaying things further.

An added complication is that our head leaves in April.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 16-Nov-12 09:55:18

Well the rules say they have to request more time and explain why late, but potentially they could be prevented from taking part in proceedings or putting any evidence in if the Judge doesn't accept the late response.

It does sound like they might issue a new statement in January - perhaps which will be slightly different than the one you are appealing?

I am not sure what happens if they do nothing - can you ask the Tribunal to decide the case on the papers you have provided only and issue a new statement? Its really not clear what the Tribunal can do.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 10:05:39

Thanks. I have asked the Tribunal if they have received anything. They haven't bothered contacting us to explain their late response but are clearly panicking now they know the head will be a hostile witness.

If the AR is brought forward to January, then it means the last AR and the appeal from that is a total farce as we will have to go through the whole process again.

alison222 Fri 16-Nov-12 10:10:55

FWIW, at an IPSEA course, they said that strictly speaking the AR should be at the same time each year as when the VERY ORIGINAL statement was issued unless you call an AR. If it helped you could get them to stick to March - assuming they have all been previously in March.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 10:12:20

Statement issued January 2011 - first AR March 2011. SEN COP says time runs from the date of the last AR.

Just trying to work out if January helps us or them. If they are asking for a review in Jan, I suspect it won't help us.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 16-Nov-12 10:34:01

I don't know AE. We got a second final statement after we had appealed and we just wrote to SENDIST and clarified we were appealing this and the original one and the original appeal should include both statements. So we kept the original appeal.

In normal court cases (and I agree SENDIST always seems very complicated) if one party does not reply the other wins. so the Tribunal should be deciding the case in your favour otherwise as you say its a total farce.

Could you claim costs if they have not even bothered to concede the appeal but just ignored it?

What does solicitor say process is - surely you can ask Tribunal to decide the case on papers they have now before Jan? No need for a hearing. And Tribunal should issue a new statement with your changes. I can't find anything which says this but 10 years litigating other types of civil cases would suggest this should be the process!

Maybe you need to look at Civil Procedure Rules? Don't they cover tribunals?

bjkmummy Fri 16-Nov-12 10:35:02

im about 2 weeks ahead of you in the tribunal stakes. i received their response on the deadline - was sent to me special delivery - all it said was - we need more time to consider things which is pretty frustrating as they have been saying that since march! i submitted my witnesses and my school is appearing for me - i spoke to the tribunal about 10 mins ago and they said this was very unusual - heres hoping when the LA find out they start doings omething!

anyway - the LA can apply for more time - i have been busy reading teh rules on tribunal and have ordered the book!!! i think they can have up to 15 days but they have to give reasons why and of course it will be whether the tribunal agree- i would have thought if they ask for more time you willbe able to respond and object

with the annual review in january - if they offer that you are taking a gamble as there is nothing at this stage to guarantee that they will change the statement and you could be back on here next year going to tribunal again.

i should have been having an annual review next week but have put it back as teh statement that was issued in july says 12 months from this date so ive requested they do that and they have agreed that - my head is on maternity leave but the vice principal from teh college is coming now and she is feroucious!!!

i just wonder if there is time for the document to appear yet if the have sent it special delivery - mine didnt come until early afternoon

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 11:40:37

Arrived by email. Deals with only part of appeal. Pile of generic cut and paste crap trying to pass for evidence.

Still, it drags things out and saves a few more months of money.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 16-Nov-12 16:28:54

Our ex LA did this and then the tribunal told them they could not attend the hearing if they could not give a good explanation.

The submitted an explanation which said they'd misunderstood something and were very sorry and the misunderstanding of what they were required to do was all because the parents were unresonable.

I don't know what would have happened next because we fled.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 17:58:05

How did you get the Tribunal to do that Star?

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 16-Nov-12 18:03:42

I didn't do anything. Tribunal decided off their own back which surprised me hugely.

TBH it was a good outcome for me mentally. I didn't continue with it THERE, but knowing that they'd been banned just before I left was very cathartic.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 18:07:49

I should add that the idiots have listed as their witness our head! The very head who is asking for the increase in hours!

Surely this is vexatious?

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 16-Nov-12 18:09:18


Does that give you space for an additional witness if you wanted one?

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 18:09:55

Was this after they had received the papers? They looked at them and did this themselves? Wow.

How can you call as a witness the very person whose evidence your case statement is intended to dispute?

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 16-Nov-12 18:14:51

Perhaps to make her attend pre-tribunal prep meetings where they convince her she is utterly misguided and wrong?

yes the tribunal did this all by themselves. At the time I suspected the tribunal was only doing it to look fair when they found in the LA's favour, such am I affected by the first poor ruling of the first.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 19:17:47

Interesting! I don't hold any hope but this really does make me despair. How can it be about meeting the needs of the child when these LAs routinely rely on heads to give evidence to support then unless the head doesn't say what they want them to.

But then still to call the head as their witness just makes a mockery of the process.

Thing is they have quoted all these research papers about TA provision which would be very intimidating to many parents.

Sadly, they have just forgotten they need evidence too.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 16-Nov-12 19:43:37

Are they saying that TAs don't make any difference to the outcomes for our kids?

Because if that is what they are saying then the response is that you are not asking for a TA specifically, but a 1:1 who is highly trained in the needs of your child and the method of tuition/instruction/therapy that meets his needs.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 19:51:54

They're talking all that usual crap about 'velcro' TA'ing reducing independence in the classroom.

Got to get the child in the classroom first though!

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 19:54:12

And what happens when he just can't work in the classroom.

It concentrates on the SpLD and not the AS/anxiety.

They are just a bunch of low lifes, they really are.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 16-Nov-12 19:55:52

Just say Good, you hate velcro TAing too, so you need a TA who has been highly trained to be supportive and vigilant wallpaper. You need expert endorsement though.

This is why ABA often fits the bill here. If the target is independence, then an ABA tutor will TEACH independenet 100% of the time. Independence is not learned incidentally, nor from modelling by a child who has limited social interest.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 16-Nov-12 20:00:37

For example, if you are teaching a child who has no motivation or desire to learn how to get dressed, you cannot withdraw all support and expect the child to just do it for fear he'll never learn. He'll simply just never learn.

Nor can you limit support to doing just his socks for him or to doing it for him every 3rd time.

A child will need 100% support to begin with and that support has to be from someone that not only knows how to dress a small boy themselves, but has the skills to TEACH and MOTIVATE a small boy to go through small steps and gains in a systematic way and to ensure that ALL opportunities to teach the skill are utilised.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 20:17:26

You are so right. Who is the best person to say all this though? Surely the head?

AgnesDiPesto Fri 16-Nov-12 20:40:01

Use data to defeat this

Get school to keep data to show for eg how many minutes your DS can direct his own learning independently

So what is current mastered amount of time he can stay 'on task' and his next target?
And is it different in different lessons? (It will be)
eg more motivating activities 1:1 may be able to fade back for longer
Having data shows independence is an aim you are working towards (so looks good) and current position which may for eg be 30 seconds!

You may be able to get evidence from school that says 1:1 is able to fade back in PE lessons to say 5 min intervals, in x lesson at 2 min intervals but in y needs to be constant.

Also evidence of what happens when your DS does not have 1:1 - what is consequence - school will be able to document this eg he tunes out, disrupts, leaves room, engages in stim etc

Then you say given DS current ability to stay on task is x minutes, why does LA think it is acceptable for him to be unable to access learning for longer than this? What percentage of the week does LA think it is acceptable for your DS to be excluded from learning?

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 16-Nov-12 20:48:46

Thanks Agnes - that is really helpful. One of the biggest problems is that he sometimes can't be in the class at all. One unexpected small thing like not getting to school before the other children will mean he can't go in ALL DAY!!!

This variability is very hard for a school to plan for too - real life is very difficult to cope with and you can't do anything if you can't even get into school.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 16-Nov-12 21:16:19

If its unpredictable thats just another reason why needs 1:1 on hand in case

school cannot plan for the unpredictable - they have to employ a TA on a contract not hour by hour if that means sometimes there is over provision then so be it

You could maybe ask school to do a diary for a few weeks and present that as evidence of days when need support all day eg good days and bad days

Also its not as though TA will even be sat with nothing to do there will always be prep, data keeping etc

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