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Parents' response to Tribunal - what does it look like?(14 Posts)
Have been distracted by EOTAS dramas (4th tutor since November but new one seems a keeper) and went off half-cocked focusing on the working document thinking it had to form part of the parental response .
LA have issued their Response to the Appeal and it is now my turn to respond. wtf am I responding to??
I have the SEN14 so I know what the tribunal need to know about my choice of school.
I am not clear about when I have to finally inform them which witnesses I have named. On the one hand the form warns that it has to be submitted around 11 weeks before the hearing date but then says in bold print to submit another form if there are any changes in attendance.
The LA seem to have a pro forma Grounds of Response, is there a parents' one? Do I respond to the Response or do I just ignore it?
What pisses me off about the Tribunal is that they don't give you all the information that you need in one place - most of the detail seems to be hidden on their website in forms or leaflets that you don't even know exist or you have to phone to get DVD.
You don't have to respond to the LA's response.
You file your appeal.They file a case response. Then there are other directions given you need to be aware of.
Did you get the automatic directions form from the Tribunal? A 3-4 page letter with dates on it.
After you file your appeal, they usually acknowledge this with this letter setting out all the dates for:
You telling them who your witnesses are
Date for the Trial bundle
Final date for evidence
So, the letter will tell you when you have to fill in your form confirming your witnesses
we had a tribunal pending (but reached agreement with the LA just before) so only limited experience.
I wasn't sure which witnesses we were going to take in to I rang the tribunal helpline as we had to return the form with the witnesses.. They told me to complete the witness form and just put our (parents names) and then just put in 'TBC' for the other witnesses and to update them when we know whom we bring along
IE - I did not know that My letter says
LA Response Due
Parents Response Due
16 Week evidence deadline
Final Hearing Date.
Hence my confusion - I couldn't find reference to a Parents Response in the Directions and so wondered wtf it was.
choc - of course - what is wrong with my brain!
Am I missing the bleedin' obvious elsewhere?
I would submit a response if the letter has it mentioned.
However, I would match it in detail to the LA's and not be especially forthcoming.
Just a summary of your reasons for appeal (already submitted), with a note that you have read the LA response and you
think they are fuckwits are certain that the evidence goes against them. You may also want to refute any nonsense that you know you'll never agree with, but as an opinion rather than by providing evidence. You don't want anyone to say 'well you were happy with it then....'.
i.e. LA says 'x child's needs can be met in local sink school with no SEN training', you can say in your reponse 'Local sink school cannot meet needs'. and leave it at that iyswim.
star that's what I have been doing - I have cut and paste the LA response and wrote my own accordingly changing 'can' to 'cannot' but not going into detail. And also briefly recording the actual course of events (with dates) as opposed to the one that makes it appear that the LA have acted reasonably (chiefly refusing to assess and then changing their minds 2 weeks later with no further submissions).
Apart from the usual 'unreasonable public expenditure' argument the LA are arguing that the evidence (GOSH APD clinic, Daphne Keen and Margo Sharp) don't support the amendments to parts 2 and 3. I am also going to submit private EP and OT reports before the final deadline. LA have not commissioned SALT or OT. The private EP is going to attend tribunal. Is it worth having Margo as well? She is keeping the date free but at this rate I am going to end up paying thousands more for witnesses on the day.
I thought it was best to invest in the educational advice to parts 2, 3 and 4 and tribunal rather than arguing the toss over medical diagnoses?
Tribunal letters used to include a timetable with a date for the parents' response. That was a mistake on their part - the date they give is just the date for filing the attendance form. I'm not sure whether they've corrected it yet, but they said they were going to. There isn't any right of response for parents, but sometimes it's useful to put something in with your final evidence that updates the tribunal and makes comments on the LA reply.
KeepOn, I wouldn't necessarily submit EP and OT reports too far before the final deadline, the LA will just send it to their experts and file something trying to trash your reports.
I filed my EP and salt reports about a month before the final deadline - LA now throwing their toys out of the pram as they say they didn't have enough time to get a report to counter balance it - they did have time but they chose not to and now they realised that they have very little in evidence on their side.
My salt said that I shouldn't disclose the report too early as she had seen tribunals lost before by parents who had done this.
Also I filed the appeal and gave my reason then. I just sent my witness list in when I needed to. I did a further update to my case statement for final submissions and responded to their case statement then. The LA filed nothing like a case statement for the final submissions - all they filed was his statement ?? Which I had already sent when I lodged the appeal.
I'm away at the moment but back on Monday - give me a nudge and if you want to look at my case statement you can. Another friend let me read the one her solicitor had prepared and I used that as a template
bjk, - EVERYONE files their key witness reports a month before.
FFS, you are a parent. The LA have at their disposal people who are paid to know how it works.
They have no business getting a SALT report to 'counter' yours anyway. SALTs code of practice states that their contact should be for the benefit of the child, and a tribunal evidence-gathering exercise to go against the child's parents is not ethical.
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