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Urgent tribunal help/ working document help needed

(27 Posts)
bjkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 12:14:01

I'm in a panic. Have to get the working document back to the LA by 5pm today.

I have my own OT report and recommendation which the LA don't accept. They have an NHS report who's recommendations they have out in part 6.

In part 3 I have put both lots of therapy recommendations from both reports.

I've made it clear to the LA I want both reports in, the LA say that I have to chose one or the other.

My report recommends 10 sessions of WEEKLY sensory integration therapy . The NHS report recommends 10 - 12 direct 1:1 sessions.

My school has an I house OT who attends the school 3- 4 times a term. The head has said that if we stick to weekly then the LA could argue school cannot meet the needs and think this is an argument the LA are gearing up. I'm happy that he gets the therapy, I am not overly concerned about twit being weekly, the school placement is the most important issues.

I am thinking about removing the part where it says weekly sessions and stick with the NHS recommendations but I'm scared that that could also go against me. My OT is attending the tribunal - I want to keep the rest of her recommendations as it has things like sensory diets etc. I spoke to my OT yesterday and she feels the most inportant part is the school placement as it can meet his needs

I just don't know what to do.

Also had an email from the LA this morning, they didn't get a salt report so have sent my independent one to the NHS salt who have said we don't know him so can't comment. They now want my permission to refer him even though they have repeatedly stated that I. Their opinion a salt report was never needed

inappropriatelyemployed Thu 07-Feb-13 12:22:21

Firstly, it is very late in the day for them to scrabbling around for a SLT. Your tribunal is very near isn't it? Has the date for late evidence passed? Unless the Tribunal gives them permission, they won't be allowed to submit a last minute report or add witnesses. I would say this.

Secondly, what do YOU want out of OT? Do you think he needs weekly sessions or do you think you could compromise on less and walk away happy. If you think he needs weekly sessions, continue with that. If you would be happy with what the amount their OT recommends ask them to confirm, on a without prejudice basis, that they are willing to fund the level of OT recommended by their OT. This is not your last chance. If that doesn't prove sufficient you can get it reviewed at the next AR.

Surely, if you agree on which OT to follow or at least on the level of provision, this does not need to go to Tribunal. You can ask to agree the rest of the recommendations between you on the basis that you are prepared to accept a lower level of provision only if recommendations, x, y and z are also accepted.

bjkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 12:32:00

Tribunal is tues. I'm asking for independent - they want mainstream so it's going to go ahead. I'm happy that he gets OT full stop. The number so sessions are the same - it's just whether weekly is needed per se. I could say I've gone with their so that they agree it but then they won't agree it as they want OT in part 6 and refuse point blank for it to go in part 3.

In part 6 he will not get the therapy if he goes to mainstream school as the NHS don't do the therapy and the LA know this so I would be relying on the LA to fund it and as we know you have no right of appeal in things in part 6 so if after tribunal they just don't do it, I'm screwed hence why I'm fighting for it. The LA are saying its non educational and therefore a mainstream school can meet his needs as its non educational which is a ridiculous argument. He cannot cope now and is completely out of school. He needs the therapy and the right school but don't want to lose the school place over the word 'weekly'

inappropriatelyemployed Thu 07-Feb-13 13:05:14

What are the sort of things he needs therapy for? Sensory processing? How ridiculous to say this is not educational provision as how can a child with sensory needs cope in school without support. What is their evidence for this?

I think you could say you will go with their recommendations but it absolutely must go in part 3 as sensory processing problems are key to how he functions from one day to the next.

bjkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 13:14:56

He has sensory processing, sensory modulation, hyper mobility, dyspraxia,asd, ADHD. In part 2 they have agreed - he has sensory modulation dysfunction. This will impact in his learning and development of fine and gross motor skills, independence skills and academic learning.

He demonstrated poor adaptive responses to individual and multi sensory stimuli. His self esteem appears affected. He has a high level of perceived anxiety and he is fully dependants on adults to enable engagement in his life skills, social interactions, school and play.

These are both from their OT reports and are agreed and yet the therapy he needs is in part 6.

inappropriatelyemployed Thu 07-Feb-13 13:24:06

"In part 2 they have agreed - he has sensory modulation dysfunction. This will impact in his learning and development of fine and gross motor skills, independence skills and academic learning."

How do they then say these needs are met in Part 3? All needs in Part 2, should be met by the provision in PART 3!!

Put it in Part 3, tell them Part 3 is like a 'prescription' to meet the 'diagnosis' of needs which has been set out in Part 2. Thus, a statement should specify the special educational provision necessary to meet the SEN of the child. It should detail appropriate provision to meet each identified need and quantify provision as necessary.

You may want to keep your powder dry for now but have you seen this summary of the Part 6 issue from IPSEA

bjkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 14:00:35

The only bits in part 3 are what I am asking to go in. They actually have no suggestions themselves so they haven't really put it in. They do not agree with my amendments but put none in themselves to meet his needs. I suspect they think by putting into part 3 he should be educated at a mainstream school with a unit covers it but he will not be in the unit - he's going into the mainstream full time. They are also trying to out - allowing for certain resources already made through the schools budget a mainstream school 'could' provide for my son 'if' allocated 32 hours of a teaching assistant.

Obviously I have not agreed this and have added amendments to make it specified but this is what I'm dealing with

inappropriatelyemployed Thu 07-Feb-13 14:05:36

Crazy. You have my sympathy but they are wrong in law about it if it has been identified as an educational need.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 07-Feb-13 14:17:01

You could take weekly out and leave it vague and then deal with it via evidence on the day
Is your OT going to the hearing? She can explain the change eg that school placement is more important than weekly

The LA will concede part 3 / 6 issue on the day if not before
Don't push it too much now it will make LA look bad to have it in Part 6 so there is actually an advantage to you in the working doc going before the panel with it still in Part 6.

Or you could just leave it as it is and you can concede weekly on the day on basis school placement more important - it does not hurt to leave things in the working doc which you are happy to concede at the hearing - it makes you look super reasonable wink

you can keep working on the working doc right up to the morning of the hearing so dont be put under pressure today, you can concede something at any point even in the middle of the hearing.

If the experts disagree then its fine for you to say to the tribunal you want them to make a decision on that using their own expertise rather than you try and word everything yourself - while saying that for you the school placement is the crucial thing in that you know an ind SS will meet sensory needs well

bjkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 14:21:08

Thanks Agnes - that's what I wanted to hear. We are off to centre parcs tomorrow - a free weekend away from a local sen group so will try and enjoy it. My tribunal falls in half term which I don't know is a good or bad thing! Trying to get child are for 2 asd boys plus their sister has been fun. I've also just had a call to say my daughter is sick and I've just sent hubby out to collect her.

starlightmckenzie Thu 07-Feb-13 14:48:42

Your OT could argue that a school with the substantial training, experience and embedding of OT such as the one you are wanting, 'weekly' can be delivered within the classroom by the CT/TA under the guidance of the OT and that actually, to some extent, your ds will be receiving 'daily' basic SI provision due to their expertise!?

starlightmckenzie Thu 07-Feb-13 14:50:52

And who says you have to get WD back to LA today?

Send them something yes. Ours was going back and forth in the tribunal foyer, during lunch and even during the blimmin hearing the judge sent us out to work on it some more.

Stay calm. It is a steady climb from here, not a panic-driven scrabble.

Sadly it is no guarantee of a win, but it won't hurt that your LA are bloody fools!

cansu Thu 07-Feb-13 16:51:57

I would simply say that both reports suggest that some direct sensory OT is required and both OT agree on this. So put in that your ds needs regular direct sessions with an OT. Regular could be three or four times a term or every week. Then disengage. They are trying to put pressure on you. The working document is just that a working document. The bits that are disagreed will be decided on the day. They will look like they are nit picking and the tribunal will not want to spend three hours discussing whether weekly is necessary or not. The choice of school should come down to which school can adequately not perfectly meet your ds needs.

bjkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 19:43:23

thanks everyone - its the LA messing with my mind - the head from my school phoned me earlier in the week and told me that the LA had written to her to formally consult for a place and one of the things the LA were saying was whether they had OT available every week. they have an OT but she works across all sites of the school so my sons part get 3 - 4 days per month. the LA behind my back also wrote a letter to the judge at the tribunal just before the telephone hearing saying that my school cannot meet his OT needs on this basis. However at no point have the LA explained how they are going to meet his OT needs at their mainstream school besides I guess buying it in. the fact is this is an independent asd that will meet his needs so i guess the LA are now clutching at straws and they have got to me. They thought they had back me in a corner but then i named this school and it is clear from the email they sent to the judge they are very very upset about it.

at no point yet have the LA disclosed the letter my school have sent to them unless they try and serve it late on the day or indicated that they have formally consulted. im also sat here now worrying about what other little gems they may appear with on the day. the head has herself sent me a copy of the response and it just makes it clear they can meet his needs

AgnesDiPesto Thu 07-Feb-13 20:08:46

Yes they are clutching at straws
A tribunal is not going to decide a school, any school cannot meet need on the basis an OT comes 3-4 times a month rather than every week
And he will be getting OT weekly, just not necessarily with OT oversight, but with experienced staff that wont matter as much as it would in mainstream.
Enjoy the weekend and try and switch off. I'd say its a good sign they are focussed on such piddly points, it means they have nothing big to argue about.
The ind SS can always pick up the phone and ring the OT between visits
There is rarely a perfect solution, the tribunal are interested in a best fit / whats appropriate.
You will never be able to tick every box for every child.

I hope you are getting time in the spa! Friday evening session is usually cheap.

inappropriatelyemployed Thu 07-Feb-13 20:21:12

Agnes is right. As ever grin

Sounds like a right old mess on their side.

Hope you manage to relax a bit!

bjkmummy Thu 07-Feb-13 21:09:59

ive not been able to book anything sadly - as its a group booking i dont have a booking ref number so cant pre book anything! i did email the organiser and ask for it but no reply at all!! hubby is taking a pot of money from his xmas work bonus so hopefully i will get the chance to book something. as i pointed out to him today by me doing the legal leg work ive saved him 15k which is what one firm of legal people charge for an appeal like this - probably more cos had 2 telephone hearings and i changed my school choice quite late in the day.

on the plus side we are in super posh lodges/villa with its own sauna so may just spend a lot of my time in there grin i also have 2 free day passes but so far have found noone who wants them! everyone is working

bjkmummy Fri 08-Feb-13 11:16:31

aaaaaaarrrrrrggggggghhhhhhh!!! sorry need to get that out - their solicitor just phoned me - accept now the date they say they got the SALt report was wrong - they got it a month earlier - the point they were making is just that they didnt have time now to get a SALT report rather than the actual date received

re part 6 - she was quizzing me why i felt that OT shouldnt be in part 6 - told her that as it details his needs in part 2, provision to meet needs to be in part 3 - she completely disagreed with this and twittered on and made no sense at all and how his ot needs were non educational???? i said to her - fine, leave it in part 6 as i dont agree and we will discuss it with the tribunal. i did say that it is a working document so movement can still happen and she made it clear she wont be speaking to me again!! in other words im guessing the file is going to the barrister today - she twittered on that their barrister can consider it so i said fine.

i cant believe that my LA are paying this woman for advice - she doesnt have a clue. was i wrong to tell her that she should read the relevant case law??? she did ask me why i felt it shouldnt be in part 6 but for goodness sake im a mum not a lawyer and i am not going to tell her the law!!! lets see if the barrister has any more idea.... im guessing not - still watching to see if he tweets about my case

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 08-Feb-13 11:33:02

She might know the law. She might just be trying to confuse the issue and check whether YOU knew the law.

bjkmummy Fri 08-Feb-13 11:40:46

maybe star - maybe i just think that as this is about a 9 year old boy who has been out of school since june last year they would be acting with more integrity then to deliberately phone up and be checking me out at this late stage. it just completely messes up your head which again i guess is what they are doing. they are going to try and discredit me - the issue of the SALT report seems to be one they are really going for and making an issue that it was served 4 weeks before the deadline. the judge has already told them over it but they keep going on and on about it. my conscience is clear - they are the ones who will have to explain why they have never even thought about a salt report for an ASD child.

anyway it is what it is now - only a few more days ago and this will be over

AgnesDiPesto Fri 08-Feb-13 11:50:12

Dont worry
The tribunal are not interested in what happened leading up to tribunal at all.
They are interested in what your son needs on the day of the tribunal and looking forward and whether one or both schools can meet need. Thats it.
They won't get any sympathy from the Panel that they do not have the right evidence when they have a huge legal budget / staff and you have none.
They often argue points of law with parents to try and throw them.
The Panel will know the Judge has already told them about SALT

Go bjk aka Erin Brockovich!

...Now go enjoy your weekend.

inappropriatelyemployed Fri 08-Feb-13 12:12:28

bjk - you handled that call brilliantly. Very well done.

Stupid woman, whether she is trying to test you or just incompetent, she is propping up a hopeless case.

Do you have anyone going with you to the hearing?

bjkmummy Fri 08-Feb-13 12:33:34

i have my hubby who is really good and supportive. i have an EP, OT and head from my school - all very very experienced in tribunals. they have a barrister who according to twitter spends most of his time doing ambulance chasing claims, the head of their school who i doubt has ever been to tribunal and the sen officer who will not be very good at all as she will just get flustered. i have a very strong team who have been amazingly supportive. im justing waiting now for their solicitor to confirm she has sent the working document through - no doubt she will do at 4pm - i will be out of here by then. have now got the reference number so booked some thing - myself and my 9 year old daughter are off down the roller disco tight!

Veritate Fri 08-Feb-13 21:34:38

Who is the barrister? If it's anyone with experience of SEN cases I suspect that most of the nonsense about putting OT in part 6 will disappear once s/he has had a look at the papers. The stupidity of that solicitor beggars belief, and what is really worrying is that if you hadn't known what you are doing she might have conned you into caving in.

bjkmummy Fri 08-Feb-13 21:56:37

The tribunal issued another order today regarding both sides confirming the witnesses. I actually did it yesterday - they ruled today that they are unhappy that the LA have left it so late for calling the sen officer but feel she could be useful - which is fine by me cos she's useless and she will have lots of uncomfortable questions to answer. Their EP is coming even though he hasn't seen him since may 2012 so quite what he will say I have no idea and of course the mainstream head - the solicitor has completely got her name wring, she couldn't even get that right so that will be interesting on Tuesday when they realise. In trying to relax but I'm just so anxious about it all cos if it goes against us I will be home educating.

Have to say my villa here at centre parcs amazing - 3 bedrooms all ensuing and the outdoor bit has a blinking sauna!! Been to the roller disco with my daughter earlier which was fun smile

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