Hi everybody, I really need your help to those who have had the make the homeschooling choice at some point. I am going to tribunal in the coming few days, and I have advised I would homeschool if we lost (they want special school, I want special arrangement to be made in mainstream). The LA's lawyer is saying I can't just make my own arrangement if we lose. I know I need permission but can they really say no in spite of having no more cost (they know I am very involved in my son's education anyway)? My son is going to be 5 next month so it is a bit contencious.....
Thank you, I feel sick that they could potentially force me to put him in a special school.
Yes, technically if tribunal agrees with the LA and orders the special school placement, then you have to ask permission to withdraw (unlike mainstream, where you can simply write a dereg letter).
Having said that, if your DS is unsuitable for SS, the SS will have him out of there within a year, seriously. I know a set of parents whose child was in MS after two terms, despite their fighting it. Incidentally, he's doing fabulously well there.
The issue of cost won't be what it comes down to in that event. The issue will be whether the LA believe that your own arrangements will meet your DS's needs, which they deem to be complex because of their intention to place him in SS.
If your child has a statement then the LA carries responsibility for their educational provision. That means that they are legally obliged to educate and you as the parent are not. The LA can therefore deem home-schooling as inappropriate and block your attempts.
In reality, very few LA's will stop you as it saves them money. However, if you are homeschooling but in fact doing ABA with the hopes of gathering evidence for a future tribunal, they might be more forceful in their insistance that your child attends SS.
To make your child attend school they would have to get the EWO invoved and also social services, and ulitimately the battle to get him into the SS will be costly for the LA and probably, be unsuccessful because they'd have to have grounds that involve demonstrating that you are unable to meet his needs, which will be very hard for them to prove.
I know I may be teaching my grandmother to suck eggs here, but are you quoting s316 of the Education Act in your appeal? Normally there's a strong presumption in favour of a mainstream placement if the parent wants it, unless it's incompatible with the efficient education of other children - and the tribunal usually expects the LA to put in place whatever it takes to make the placement work.
If the statement (following tribunal) names a special school in part 4 you need the consent of the lea to remove the child's name from the register. If the lea refuse you can apply to the Secretary of State for Education to direct that the child's name is removed.
I think it is a good thing overall zzzzz. It ensures protection for state funded provision. It's all to do with the LA HAVING to provide what the child is identified as needing, and not puting the onus on parents to deliver it iyswim.
I think in reality, no LA will stop a parent from HEing if they want unless there are CP reasons.
I think the situation is: if you are in mainstream, you an withdraw your child for HE and you take over meeting the child's needs and providing an adequate education.
If your child is in mainstream with a statement, the LA is responsible for meeting the needs in the statement and providing the child with an 'adequate education'. This is a statutory duty to assess and provide the support required to meet the SEN.
If however, your child is in a special school, you cannot just withdraw without permission. Presumbably this is on the basis that an 'adequate education' for a child with complex needs in a special school is much more difficult to ensure.
However, permission may not be unreasonably withheld. Parents may challenge a refusal to deregister with the secretary of state and the courts.
Special units in 'normal' schools are not the same as special schools. Therefore no permission is required to deregister from a special unit at a 'normal' school.
Thanks for all your responses. I am appealing for part-time unit/part time ABA with the aim to intergate school full time. I had not understood that otherwise I would not have gone to tribunal....I guess we will just have to hope that if we loose we will not be forced....