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Tribunal stress

(17 Posts)
bjkmummy Wed 30-Jan-13 16:31:19

Im struggling - today i feel like its us against the world and the prospect of losing sends me in a deep spiral of worry.

now have to face the LA across the table on friday and try and agree the working document - its me dh against two sen officers and their solcitor. theri solicitor made it clear that they LA will nver agree to our school placement - granted its 70k as its independent school against there 20k mainstream school.

please reassure me that a child who has been out of school since june due to high anxiety etc and clearly can no longer cope with the mainstream who has reports that say he needs small classroom sizes etc and has been in 4 mainstream schools already isnt going to be sent to another mainstream school twice the size of his current school. i knwo the head of the mainstream school LA trying to name will just tell the tribunal she can give joe every single thing she thinks the tribunal wants to hear.

my stress levels today have reached sky high and i just dont know if ic an do this but what alternative do i have?? i have to prove that NO mainstream school is suitable for him - do i have evidence - i hope i do but is it good enough for the tribunal - what if i say the wrong thing on the day, they ahve a barrister so i know they are going to go on the unreasonable use of resources, what if he does run rings round me, what if my witnesses say the wrong things - im just full of dread and self doubt today and feel physicaly sick - i have lost 4 and half stone since this started.

can i really win this? are the odds in my favour?

cansu Wed 30-Jan-13 17:06:04

Everyone told me I wouldn't win my tribunal which was for an independent school for ds costing 80 k against cost of la special school at around 22k. We did win and it did make we sick with stress and worry. I think tbh it could go either way. You have come this far so stay positive. Bear in mind that you have put everything into this case. La in my experience do not prepare well as they have lots of other cases and statements etc plus the people handling the case have no emotional investment in the result. They may surprise you by how crap they are on the day. The judge will keep the barrister in line on the day and the barrister does not know your ds and can only comment on the paperwork. as far as the working document is concerned. Be ruthlessly cold about it. Don't get into debates as they like this as it muddies the waters. The la in my case started arguing about changes to the wording in part 2 when we all knew the stumbling blocks were in part3 and 4. In the end I said very briskly each time " do you agree with this amendment which is taken from x report. If they said no I then just moved on. It isn't worth getting bogged down in it. Its a time wasting tactic so they can then use up tribunal time on it. The tribunal likes to spend the time discussing the main issue ie why is x school inadequate and y school necessary. What are the initials of the judge? I have done two tribunals and had the same one in both cases.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 30-Jan-13 17:12:27

bjk I know how you feel. I remember it more than anything. You have every chance of winning and you are well prepared. You deserve to win. You have no choice but to do this, and to do it to the best of your ability. And you absolutely will.

But you know what? If you win, that won't be an end to the worry and stress. That is for life. And if you lose, you will survive it.

I've done both. I still stand.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 30-Jan-13 17:14:45

'do you agree with this amendment which is taken from x report. If they said no I then just moved on'.

THIS.

Don't make your arguments, even if they ask. You need to save them for tribunal. The meeting with the LA should be about you saying what you want, and that you believe the evidence supports it. On the other hand feel free to ask them for their arguments why not, as it will help you prepare for the day.

bjkmummy Wed 30-Jan-13 17:44:58

there case is weak and i know that - im just having a wobble so bare with me. a friend said to me to believe that a tribunal is not going to place him yet again into another mainstream school when he has failed so much to date.

they are only calling the head of the mainstream primary and tahts it - she is the kind of head who will say that she can give my son everything blah blah when the truth is hes been to her school andlasted 6 weeks.

i have the head of the independent school, OT and ed psych - i have good strong witnesses but its the cost difference that frightens the pants of me. the LA case is that he is a 'mainstream' kid - they will not accept he has complex needs which every single report says he has.

thanks everyone for listening - deep breath time. what has also surprised me is just how rubbish the LA solicitor is and the lies she is telling shock me. I have no doubt she will ask again on Friday if she can attend the tribunal and for the 3rd time i will say absolutely not!

the barrister they are using has a twitter account which has been fun reading!! especially how he talks about his cases/clients. The LA have no evidence which does make me smile and i really should stop worrying.

i have 2 sons with ASD so I have been battling full on for the last 2 years - 2 years of summer holidays worried due to stress - I want a break but i know that there will be a battle just around the corner i am sure.

AuntStressie Wed 30-Jan-13 18:11:33

Just keep emphasising the complexity and that placing him in ms will be setting him up to fail. If he can't cope now and has been out for so long it should be pretty obvious to the tribunal hopefully. I know that cost is the main issue here but you have enough arguments I think to convince the panel. We've 'chatted' before (I'm a regular name-changer here) and your ds is fairly similar to mine. We now have an independent place costing over £120k plus transport on top and didn't even need to go to tribunal although I told the LA that I was quite happy to do so if necessary.
Hope all goes well.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 30-Jan-13 18:24:10

Right. Well at the very least you have GOT to PM me the blog!!!!
grin

AgnesDiPesto Wed 30-Jan-13 18:47:31

Yes DS was a ma

AgnesDiPesto Wed 30-Jan-13 18:51:07

Yes DS was a mainstream kid valued at being worth £7500 pa apparently we won Indep provision at age 3 of £50k pa. he didn't progress at mainstream nursery but we didn't have to endure too much failure to win that.

AgnesDiPesto Wed 30-Jan-13 19:01:55

And as I told the LA at the 4 hour annual review after we won when they complained how unfair it was, it's not my fault the LA 'forgot' to make provision for children too able for LD school and too autistic for mainstream. If they had there would be no need to go into the private sector.

2tirednot2fight Wed 30-Jan-13 21:13:45

Agnes, mine are forgetful too, often they don't seem to remember to take their heads out of their backsides {smile} and when they do they promptly stick them into the sand......very long necks they must have.

AuntStressie Wed 30-Jan-13 21:29:10

Yes,they're known as arsetriches grin

2tirednot2fight Wed 30-Jan-13 21:34:52

Lol AuntStressie, that's the first time I have properly laughed today. grin.

AuntStressie Wed 30-Jan-13 21:37:15

smile

MumuDeLulu Wed 05-Jun-13 00:38:50

Bump for the arstriches

bjkmummy Wed 05-Jun-13 07:18:02

seen that this is my post from my tribunal days - just to say we won the tribunal and got an independent placement. we had to go through the tribunal as well.

the meeting was pretty horrible - there was two LA officers and their solicitor. meeting started with them giving me another working document which had been done completely wrong. cue 45 mins of messing around whilst their solicitor tried to contact the barrister and the LA hissing at me this was the way they had always done it to it ending with the solicitor saying yes we have done it wrong, lets us the parents version. no apology - would later discover the LA had sent an email earlier to the tribunal slating me for doing the working document wrong and 'confusing' things . never did get that the apology.

i just sat there with hubby and was firm what i wanted in. if they tried to 'persaude' me i just looked straight at them and said no i want it in and the tribunal can decide. i was very 'computer says no' i had had enough so was after the advice above went in with my poker face on. it really really got to them as they realised i was not going to be pushed around, may be why they took it all the way to remind me that they were in charge - that approach worked well for them - not - all we had wanted was a 20k placement but due to their games we got a 70k placement

Naelith Thu 06-Jun-13 09:59:05

I have had 3 tribunals in the last year and a half and am waiting for my 4th later this month, two of those were against parts 2, 3 and 4.
My ds was out of school for 6 months but had started going to their choice of ms as interim education while we waited for tribunal, the la were adamant he was a ms child and that I was over medicalising him lol. The tribunal decision notice was a pleasure to read as it ripped them apart and yes we did get my independent placement costing 120 k a year plus transport.
The school they wanted kept saying yes we can do that that and that but the tribunal wanted to know how when and where and there witnesses kept tripping themselves up and proving they were lying because there answers kept changing, for example they were asked if they could educate ds in a class of six and they said yes then when asked how they would do that they said well we might be able to do it for English and maths if we get the kids who are struggling together (my ds has no learning difficulties so I pointed out at this point that this was an unsuitable peer group of very different ability)
Stick to your guns on the working document and I agree that if they try and get into discussions of why you want it just say do you agree or not and move on
Good luck it's hard work but remember the tribunal panel don't agree with the la just because the la think they do, and you have as much chance as them and probably more chance as you know your child best x

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