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Parental appeals in C&F Bill

(9 Posts)
Inappropriatelyemployed Mon 15-Apr-13 17:19:52

This was mentioned yesterday.

Just to confirm:

(i) Rights of appeal are set out here

(ii) Draft Regulations setting out powers of Tribunal are set out here

HTH

Inappropriatelyemployed Mon 15-Apr-13 17:20:25

That should say:

(i) Rights of appeal are set out at clause 50

Inappropriatelyemployed Mon 15-Apr-13 17:26:04

Some of the info given at the seminar may have been wrong.

For example, the right to appeal remains for "a decision of a local authority under section 45 to cease to maintain an EHC plan for the child or young person".

However, it seems that the Ed Act 1996 required LAs to inform parents of their right to appeal and set out the powers of Tribunal on the face of the Act. This Bill removes both and puts them in Regulations. They do not cease to exist, rather they put in a different statutory form.

The importance of this is that, in future, it is much easier to change Regulations than amend an Act of Parliament.

MareeyaDolores Mon 15-Apr-13 19:59:55

The importance of this is that, in future, it is much easier to change Regulations than amend an Act of Parliament

Well that's fine then. Cos families with disabled dc can definitely trust in the goodwill of the current and all future governments, and their longterm commitment to ensuring our dc are protected despite the popular perceptions about undeserving insert vile nasy disablist term receiving costly and undeserved special treatment while we exploit taxpayers with our benefit-fuelled luxury lifestyles.

Inappropriatelyemployed Mon 15-Apr-13 21:01:27

Precisely. I trust the Gov about as much as I trust my LA!

nennypops Mon 15-Apr-13 21:36:15

Ipsea has a good summary here - www.ipsea.org.uk/AssetLibrary/News/Regs%20and%20Code%20alertFINAL.pdf
and more details here -
www.ipsea.org.uk/AssetLibrary/News/IPSEA%20RegsandCodescompared-FINAL.pdf

There are causes for concern, but the drafts are purely "indicative" and apparently produced because Parliament wanted a clearer picture of how the Act will work in practice. It's emphasised that there will be further changes after they've had reports in from the pathfinder local authorities, and there will be consultation before anything is finalised. I don't hold any brief for the DfE, in fact I think most of the Bill is pretty pointless, but I suppose we can get some reassurance from the fact that they did respond to a lot of the concerns that were raised about the Bill itself.

It does worry me that the Peach workshop seems to have given wrong information and to be unnecessarily alarmist, and I wonder whether Peach should be alerted to this.

Inappropriatelyemployed Mon 15-Apr-13 21:58:36

The Bill is a bill it is not 'indicative'. The SEN COP is an indicative draft but it is statutory guidance not legislation as the Bill will be.

There is absolutely no guarantee that the Gov will make further changes and one has to question why these changes from the Education Act were put in the bill in the first place.

I think the Bill is pernicious. The Gov said it would try as ease the 'struggle' of parents and it does nothing of the sort. It's requirements for mediation certificates and absence of time lines demonstrates how little time has been spent listening to parents and parent groups. Delay benefits only one party - LAs.

It lacks any fundamental oversight or accountability mechanisms and this Gov is all about saving money so this is worrying.

As for the Pathfinders, they are a joke. Most of them are hardly trialling DPs at all despite what the law clearly says or they are using unlawful blanket policies to prevent applications e.g. We have a block contract.

This Bill is a threat because it changes things without improving rights or attacking the real problems with statementing and the process - the LAs. This can only make things worse in practice

I have the notes. They are not alarmist. They may need to be slightly more explicit that is all.

nennypops Tue 16-Apr-13 14:24:14

I meant the draft regs and CoP are indicative. I agree the Bill is not good although the DfE has remedied some of the glaring errors in the previous draft, and as I've said I don't even see the point of having a new bill. They could have simply amended the current law to provide for things like the extension of statements to 25 and not risked the sort of stupid omissions and changes in wording that we've seen. I certainly agree with the view that I've heard being put to DfE representatives that if things are going wrong with the current system, it's mainly because LAs don't comply with the law and the machinery for enforcing it isn't adequate.

What concerns me is that it was reported that the talk was alarmist, telling people that rights of appeal would be lost etc. The speakers concerned are the ones who were, for instance, going around previously saying quite wrongly that LAs were no longer going to have a duty to provide what is in the EHC plan but will only have to use best endeavours. I think that sort of error just plays into DfE hands, because it's quite helpful for them if people's attention is directed away from the genuine defects and enables them to dismiss concerns as the product of misunderstandings.

AnotherAlias Tue 16-Apr-13 17:00:02

I know you know this Inappropriately - but it is important that others understand, so hope you don't mind if I point out that....

"statutory guidance" is as good as the law in the sense that LEAs and you and I are obliged to follow it. I take your point that it isn't legislation but I am just pointing out so that people don't allow them selves to be fobbed off with any "oh we don't have to follow it, it is only guidance" nonsense.
That is not true - only a tribunal or court can ignore or over rule it (or Parliament itself)

on that note I do like the fact that they have specified what they mean by "MUST" and "SHOULD" at the beginning of the new one as well.

Not sure if the fact that something is the law actually makes a difference if you have no power to make them follow through, but thought I'd mention it anyways.

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