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Tips for pending Tribunal

(66 Posts)
santaclaw1 Sat 29-Dec-12 17:40:40

Have refusal to assess tribunal very, very soon.

I have the bundle here.

Where did you start?

What did you focus on?

and any other tips?

Naelith Sat 29-Dec-12 19:17:53

Hi I have done a couple of these recently for my kids and my nephew, we went through the bundle and picked out all the areas the kids were not making progress on. I had a seperate piece of paper with the bundle page number and a quick reference comment about what that page held. It came in handy as I was able to say to the panel on page such and such of the bundle the ed psych states such and such.
I concentrated on the fact that the school had done masses to help my dd ( they hadn't done much but it showed I wasn't upset with school just wanted help for dd) but the progress was slower than that of her peers and for my dd her emotional state had actually deteriorated as she is now a school refuser.
I also found it helpful to have a pad and paper with me on the day. I made sure I didn't interrupt when someone else was talking but if there was something I wanted to say or I disagreed with someone I wrote it on my pad and brought it up when it was my turn to speak.
Good luck.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sat 29-Dec-12 19:33:16

Dress like a mum, not a business woman. Have 5 key points to get across to include in summing up. Be prepared to have the role of onlooker as you are largely ignored for the majority. Take lunch as venues can be expensive. Put your deflection shield up and don't argue back when LA witnesses attempt to rile you.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Sat 29-Dec-12 19:34:33

And take the very best wishes of us all, with you!

TheTimeTravellersWife Sat 29-Dec-12 20:51:37

Definitely take some refreshments - you don't want to find yourself queuing up at the coffee machine with the opposition!
Bach rescue remedy (or whatever works for you) for nerves.
Smart clothes, that you feel comfortable in, but agree with Star, not the place for power dressing.
Mark up the bundle with post it notes, highlighter pen important parts.
Write notes as you go along.
Don't do what I did and shout at one of the LA's witnesses! blush
You'll be fine - you have the power of MNSN behind you!

santaclaw1 Sat 29-Dec-12 21:06:03

Thanks, i was planning on

1. My main reasons ie bullet points of failed to make progress. Giving examples and referring to bundle/experts.

2. LA main points of dispute ie they are saying they can meet needs from within resources. ie The level of support ds needs is more than a school can provide own resources and he has too many areas of needs and too complex. Giving examples etc.

3. The evidence i need to give relating to how his difficulties impact on him/us at home.

Whether i am asked about 1 and 3, i dont know. Last time all i was asked about was about 3.

I really cant see this going all the way. The LA's evidence is basically 'can provide from own resources and is making progress'

They have provided unevaluated IEP's or handwriting comments in evaluation, with silly comments like achieves when he is in the mood.

The levels of attainment they provided are all over the place.

and that is all their evidence, some IEP's.

wasuup3000 Sun 30-Dec-12 00:24:51

Have all lack of progress evidence to hand to include in one of your main points. The Judge can simply take the schools word that he is making progress if he feels like it - so this is one of the main areas you need to have clear evidence on.

santaclaw1 Sun 30-Dec-12 11:02:00

Thanks Wassup, that is exactly what happened last time.

mariammama Sun 30-Dec-12 11:19:50

Make sure you stick to 'failure to make adequate progress'. I know it's just shorthand here that you're saying 'failed to make progress' but the LEA will have you by the short and curlies if you make that slip in tribunal, they're bound to have some evidence of a tiny bit of apparent progress in one or two areas. Even if it's a blatent lie, 'well, last term the head watched an assembly and thinks she came on marvellously, she didn't run out crying until almost the end'

mariammama Sun 30-Dec-12 11:21:54

I found using the terms 'inadequate progress', 'minimal progress', 'no progress' and 'loss of skills' stopped me falling into that bear trap.

AgnesDiPesto Sun 30-Dec-12 21:28:58

Or given the circumstances you could use phrases like 'regression', 'skill loss', 'gone backwards', 'loss of confidence' 'heightened anxiety, which when it went recognised by school, developed into self harm, significant mental health problems and possible school phobia', 'unmet needs' or even 'negative progress'!

Emphasise you have tried everything, you have been patient, you have given all the various 'plans' 'NILs' etc time to work but now enough time has been lost. Tribunals are quite sensitive to the idea of lost education and making up for lost time. I don't just mean when he has been out of school, I mean lost education since the last tribunal.

AgnesDiPesto Sun 30-Dec-12 21:29:19


santaclaw1 Mon 31-Dec-12 18:21:40

Thanks Guys, im writing it now, just a break for coffee.

The problem im having is more unmet needs, so progress cannot be recorded and i dont want it to look like school could do more, instead of statement.

For example LA are saying needs can be met by resources from school and external agencies (such as SALT and ASD Advisory etc)

The problem is school have NEVER called upon these resources. So im having to go for the resources ds needs could NEVER be provided without a statement.

Also i wanted to ask can a SA tribunal decide what is the best education for ds to receive NOW, while SA is taking place??

At the moment i am having to work on the 'plan' to send ds back to this school, when i dont want him to go back there.

1. Relationship has broken down.
2. How can i work on any plan, when school are witnesses for LA and are opposing my request to have ds's needs assessed.
3. They are bloody dangerous. They cannot understand his needs and have reported me to CP for bringing his needs to their attention.

Can an SA rule that the LA has to find another form of education for ds?

(i am assuming tribunal will agree SA of course)

wasuup3000 Mon 31-Dec-12 18:34:57

One step at a time - the first step is to convince the tribunal judge to order the LA to assess? That is the only matter that the tribunal will deal with at this time.
The LA's angle is over anxious parent, likes attention of professionals, said ds is actually OK in school because school say so, parent is making situation worse.
Your angle son has significant difficulties, is regressing when at school and self harming and not making adequate progress. Son not presently able to access education at all due to school and LA failures to address his needs, hence they need reassessing to ensure needs are met.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Mon 31-Dec-12 18:58:54

Claw, if you have to appeal an NIL or statement contents then there will be plenty to present at that time plus you will have additional evidence in the time that it takes.

At the moment you have to show that he 'probably' needs a statement and that the LA do not yet possess the information they need to be certain he does not, or that they do possess enough information to suggest that he 'probably' needs a statement but are not doing their duty of assessing.

When you and your parenting is brought up, be sure to remind the panel that this is about the child and his rights. Children of unreasonable parents can still need statements after all.

santaclaw1 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:14:37

Thanks Wassup, thats true i need to focus on SA. But they keep throwing in meetings with SW and school inbetween.

I have to attend a meeting with school and SW etc the day before Tribunal, to report on how the 'plan' is going to get ds into school. I think it is totally unreasonable to expect me to work with a school, who despite being told the day before Tribunal that ds's anxiety is school related and he now requires therapy from CAMHS to 'reduce his self harming' and 'work on getting him back to education' and address 'school related anxieties' and being told by CAMHS his worries are very big and very real and relate to school and ds has told them he never wants to go back there.

Will turn up at Tribunal next day and report 'ds is happy in school and is making pleasing progress'

StarOfLightMcKings3 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:20:51

Write to the SW and request that this meeting of the day before, is postponed until after the tribunal as with tribunal pending you won't be able to give the matter your full attention.

Regardless of whether they agree, Take a copy of this letter with you to tribunal and refer to it/read from it at some point. I think it is important that the tribunal panel are aware that they have done this.

santaclaw1 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:38:48

Star, SW will not postpone and will just conclude im 'disengaging' and being 'obstructive'.

The meeting is totally pointless, CAMHS have already told them its a gradual process and will require tiny steps to get him back to school. So new term starts on the 7th, we have a meeting on the 10th to see how 'plan' is going after 3 days!

Sw is recommending that school need to start gathering evidence for a statement to met ds's needs. Yet school are opposing my request to do exactly that.

Sw doesnt know what the hell she is doing, she hasnt got a clue.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:46:11

It doesn't matter if she doesn't postpone, the point is that you have evidence of her unreasonableness.

Tbh, I would be inclined to cancel on the day and let the LA tell the tribunal that you didn't attend said stupid and stressful meeting the day before. I imagine it will raise eyebrows, especially if you have letter requesting a 2 day postponement in your clutches. You can simply say that you need to put your chikd's needs before their policy and you are therefore prioritising getting rested and prepared for the tribunal.

mariammama Mon 31-Dec-12 19:53:25

SW is recommending school crack on with getting DS a statement, and recommending you 'work with' school to get him back into education. Well, they're going to fail completely to do the first bit, whilst any attempt you make to 'work with' them ticks your box. Methinks the HT and LEA might soon rue the day they tried to involve SS in this charade, even if it feels bad now.

To 'work with' the school you need 1. to be satisfied with their risk assessment 2. to have a mutually agreed set of baby-steps towards reattendance and 3. For them to demonstrate enough trustworthiness for you to take the risk of your DS deteriorating. You can ask SW to help you draw up a plan (SMaRT etc) towards these aims. Eventually the penny will drop that you're right fully engaged and school are lying mistaken.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Mon 31-Dec-12 19:55:57

Have you this SWs recommendation of a statement in writing?

mariammama Mon 31-Dec-12 20:00:37

You can ask SW to meet with you first to go through your pre-agenda. If you do end up missing or rearranging the meeting, but it goes ahead anyway, you've met her half-way.

SW might end up at school alone with the HT, but well enough informed to be DS's advocate, which is part of her job.

santaclaw1 Mon 31-Dec-12 20:11:02

Yep Star in writing, part of her core assessment, she slags me off totally in the report about 'disengaging' and 'not following professional advice', which isnt true, but anyhow her 'suggested plan'

Category of need "ds to be back in full time education. Difficulties id high levels of anxiety about school and how he copes with the work and his peers. What needs to happen - assessment from CAMHS and school to gather evidence for statement in order for support in school to be put in place"

santaclaw1 Mon 31-Dec-12 20:14:43

BUT her idea of how this should be done, which she has stated verbally is that ds MUST attend school in order for school to gather evidence!

I have told her this isnt how school gather evidence to GET a statement, they complete an SA. But as i said she doesnt have a clue, what she is talking about.

StarOfLightMcKings3 Mon 31-Dec-12 20:17:21

Oh. Blimey.

Just hang in there.

Does your prep point to SW rec for statement?

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