Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
LGO the fight continues(53 Posts)
Some of you might remember my prolonged battle with the LGO - three provisional judgments and one judicial review preaction protocol later, they withdrew their final judgment.
That was in September.
Yesterday I receive an amended judgment. It's barely been altered save of course for a few comments to make me out to look worse (one outrageously uses a line from a letter sent by my MP to support me, as evidence AGAINST me).
The finding of maladministration made was first made back in July 2012 but could have been made on exactly the same evidence back in June 2011. The exoneration of the Council at that point was used as evidence of my 'vexatiousness'.
How on earth has it taken 6 months for them to alter a few words? They are truly crap. They must have thought I would have forgotten about by now.
To add insult to injury, the case went back to the same incompetent investigator who had already said in her last judgment that I must be vexatious as I had also bothered her with emails and copied other agencies in to her emails. Both accusations were entirely untrue and how could that have anything to do with the council's determination.
They have, again, used the Tribunal's determination that it was unfortunate that we removed our son from shit former school as he was doing so well as evidence that he must have been making progress. Yeah, right that's why he has 32.5 and not 20 hours on his statement now.
I am really tempted to name that crappy cow and just post a list of her lies and partiality.
Well, it beggars belief really. This body has been the subject of a Select Cttee inquiry already recently, do they really want MPs submitting evidence of their experience when the Cttee comes to do a more thorough investigation.
Legal aid forms in DS's name are about to be submitted, top barrister lined up to advise, MP about to complain.......
it ain't over til the fat lady sings.....
Another movement in the right direction today.
My MP is most displeased at the way they have handled his letter and says they have taken a partial bit of one sentence and left out the rest of the sentence which explains it. They have also modified his words!
Honestly, what are they playing at? How can you get more obvious bias? He will write to them about their handling of evidence.
Thanks. I know what you mean about the stress but at least this won't cost me anything.
We have a top man on it too.
Oh that's brillaint IE. I sometimes feel wary of spuring you on because it's not my life, stress and resources, but I honestly do appreciate what you are doing and what it means for others.
Well, things are picking up. We're applying for legal aid and papers are going to a barrister for his advice.
The fight continues!
It would be good if we could get someone to take these stories on.
I also think putting stories together might be a good way of raising it with MPs etc
Thanks star that's really helpful if you have any suggestions for what searches would work best it would be great if you could pm them.
Yes there are. Easy enough to find as the either have children with SN of their own or have written about the subject before and you can find them online if you want to.
However, it is usually better to have a bit of a relationship before hand, oh, and it always helps to have written their article for them.........
Are there sympathetic journalists out there? How do you find one?
This is despite LGO written guidance saying 'compliance with the law is a basic necessity' and I quote.
That is another question we asked them to explain. It is clear that maladministration can occur even when a Council is acting lawfully but the idea that you can act unlawfully but it still not be maladministration - for three months! -is incredible.
This is not a case where the therapist was sick, or the Council staff were on strike or there were any force of nature arguments to prevent complaince. It just took a few months and that's ok according the LGO.
I am not even sure they ever asked for the Council's file. They certainly did not ask for an explanation for the delay. They just print list of appointment dates.
Their job, they say, is not to look at whether something is unlawful.
Initially, they changed SEN COP and the law to say the duty was to 'start to arrange' provision from the issue of the statement. They have changed that position but still three months is fine.
Who gives a toss about the kid?
How is breaking the law NOT maladministration?
The JR issue is a good point Veritate although they will say that's not law yet so who cares! They don't even care about the law which currently exists.
Their reasoning is that 'these things take time' and it is not the Ombudsman's job to look at whether something was unlawful but to look at whether it was maladministration
In this case, they say, the council made appointments, and people came and eventually programmes were set up. Yes, in an ideal world, this could have been done quickly, but the Council are bloody great guys and did nothing wrong.
There is no mention of the needs of the child or reference to the impact on him save to point to a para in a Tribunal judgment in July 2011 which says 'what a shame the stupid parents took him from this loverrrrlee skool'. yes, I am sure the LA and school, who had already lied in reports, then gave clear evidence to the Tribunal that they had only had DS's provision in place for a few weeks. It was certainly part of our evidence although it was clearly never read.
Our pre-action protocol letter specifically drew their attention to the fact that these legal duties are not a surprise to Councils who should be making efforts in the run up to the issue of the statement to get provision into place. They shouldn't be sitting there and waiting and then decide to do something only after the issue of the statement. They haven't even commented on that.
School and the LA said the TA had been appropriately trained so that is ok. This is despite the fact she had had no training and despite the fact that I asked the LGO to ask for details of any training she had been on. They have just ducked out of that too.
Are they seriously saying it's OK to take 5 months to put statement support in place? How can that possibly square with the fact that the law says the LA has a duty to supply what's in part 3 - it doesn't say the LA can do it when it gets around to it? And I wonder how they also square that with the suggestion in the proposals for JR reform that the time limit for starting proceedings is 3 months from when the LA's breach of duty begins?
I think you are right about this being 'our' camapaign. I think, if nothing else, we would be sharing our stories and highlighting common systematic problems and I think this is helpful to us and others.
I will post and see if we have any website gurus and I will also post to our campaign group and see what their response is.
It doesn't mean we can't do anything else (like respond to Bills) but we can set out some of the horrendous problems we face and that can be a useful campaign tool e.g. we could ask MPs to look at the website and raise questions, we can approach journos, we can contact sympathetic organisations.
But it would be OUR site and OUR stories.
I remember, in the evidence given the Parliamentary Select Cttee on the SEN proposals, a director of education said 'we tell parents we don't do statements' or words to that effect. He was sat with other education organisations and in front of MP. No one even raised an eyebrow yet this is entirely unlawful This mindset needs challenging.
I could publish the quote from LA Head of Education stating that 'the school is as inclusive as you can get' next to the letter from school showing that he was then permanently excluded for reasons relating to his disability.
Yes, there are as this has been spoken about a bit before.
I think momentum could be gathered if there was a website, because I might be motivated to put in a complaint that I know would be pointless, as my 'reward' would be publishing the stupid answer.
We really must collate these emails and get a website together. The form you have written your story in there is first. Short punchy and with just enough detail to show how crap they are.
We could have a page for LAs, LGO, NHS, other shit ombudsmen.
Any website gurus out there?
The York school team is just as bad!
I have had 2 complaints with the LGO:
1) That the LA had messed up my son's statementing process and various amendments of the Statement, including breaking the law on how changes were made and communicated...the investigator's provisional view was 100% uncritical of the LA; I complained vociferously and it was then 90% uncritical. A weak apology was ordered and grudgingly given. It was reviewed and nothing changed.
2) The most recent one, that my son had had OT in his Statement that had not been provided...for 3 years. Also, that the same mistakes they'd apologised for in point 1), were made again. And that the amended Statement for secondary transfer was late. LA went into massive lie overdrive and claimed OT had happened, in the form of asking the teacher how ds was and teachers (allegedly) said he was fine. Therefore, he didn't need the OT in his Statement . Also claimed that it was my fault that the Statement was late because I 'kept' asking for amendments (because they'd taken all his OT and SALT out of the Statement without any recommendations that they do so and they wouldn't put him back in until I went to Tribunal application...they backed down a few weeks before). Also claimed his was the only late amended Statement - well, a close friend's son's was 6 months late - I provided that and the LA's own figures, obtained through the FOI Act.
Investigator doesn't care and openly says it doesn't matter if councils don't stick to 'the letter of the law'.
They're shockingly bad.
But those expectations are clearly unrealistic as we now know!
But expectations are only that they do what they are paid to do, nothing more.
It's outrageous isn't it.
I'm a grown woman, a mother, and a lawyer, yet they make you sound like some toddler who thought he was getting ice cream after tea but got a biscuit instead.
I had a 'sorry we failed to meet your expectations'.
No you didn't. By the time I'd put in the compaint I had very realistic expectations that you were going to fail my ds.
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