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Tribunal evidence - can this be used?

(16 Posts)
schoolexpelliarmus Sun 28-Apr-13 10:46:31

I am debating whether to pursue a case of discrimination.
Following a FOI request there is a lot of useful info from within the LA paperwork and I also have e-mails from various professionals which would strengthen my case.
Can this all be used for tribunal or would you have to request the permission of the e-mail providers?
Any advice would be appreciated.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 28-Apr-13 11:31:50

You don't need to seek permission to use them, but you do have to consider to what purpose?

schoolexpelliarmus Sun 28-Apr-13 12:09:54

Thanks Star. The purpose would be to show that they had already admitted that they couldn't meet needs and were considering exclusion several weeks before they actually did so. Also notes showing that there was a discussion around the DDA implications and an admission that all bases were being covered in case of any claim.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 28-Apr-13 12:26:41

Yes. You can use that for tribunal but you can't do DDA and tribunal appeal for part 2,3 and 4 in the same hearing iirc.

You can't accuse DDA in a statement challenge though you can allude to it and let the evidence point to it. However you can 'additionally' register a DDA case.

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 28-Apr-13 12:35:08

As Star says, you would have to lodge a separate challenge under the Equality Act.

I assume your argument is that his exclusion was discriminatory because it was on account of his disability, e.g. failure to make reasonable adjustments etc?

There is some useful stuff on this on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website

schoolexpelliarmus Sun 28-Apr-13 12:46:38

Sorry, not made myself very clear. Statement has been issued and all of my amendments were agreed and a new placement agreed at an independent school. The tribunal would relate to a discrimination claim only. If we were to go ahead, it would be for failure to make reasonable adjustments. The child was also removed from the school register before any disciplinary hearing could take place and before the issuing of the statement so they clearly had no intention of having the child return there.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 28-Apr-13 12:49:10

Okay so WHY do you want to persue a DDA?

(not saying you shouldn't btw, but you do need to be clear what you want out of it)

schoolexpelliarmus Sun 28-Apr-13 12:57:12

Because they excluded due to disability and I wouldn't wish other families to go through the distress we've had to. As I say, it's only a consideration at the moment - have several months left to think about it all.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 28-Apr-13 12:58:48

So what remedy would you chose?

Financial compensation? Ofsted investigation? Basic disability training for the HT? School to fund SEN coffee group for parents to steer school direction?

DailyNameChanger Sun 28-Apr-13 13:13:20

I have some negative feelings towards the school that my child is in and currently going through the statement process and looking to move them to special school. For the sake of my older child, my health and our family wellbeing as a whole, I am going to walk away. I admire anyone who has the guts to see it through and I think you have a point about making a stand for all other families. I would love to change the world too.

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 28-Apr-13 13:22:23

I think the system so often relies on us walking away but then it is so hard to stand and fight when we have so many other pressing issues to deal with.

Have a chat with one of the big legal firms who will often offer free phone advice - Maxwell Gillott, Levenes, Irwin Mitchell.

schoolexpelliarmus Sun 28-Apr-13 13:41:46

Well, any apology would probably be given so grudgingly that it wouldn't be worth having.
The other issue is that we still have to work with the LA so any action against one of their highly rated schools would probably lead to some kind of backlash in the future. Maybe I should hold on to what I know has happened so I can't be screwed over again so easily.

dailynamechanger - I am also mindful of the risk on the family by trying to fight for any sense of justice which may never be achieved.
It's all so hard but I know that everyone on this board has had a rough time and many have gone through a lot worse than we've had to endure.

MareeyaDolores Sun 28-Apr-13 17:02:57

Is it an academy, or a LA school? Could you meet with the county's director of education (or head of the council's equalities section)?

Point out that you have a good case in law, but that you would rather they spent m

MareeyaDolores Sun 28-Apr-13 17:08:18

Sorry. Phone

spent money on training / SEN coffee mornings / an equalities audit (or whatever) rather than on legal fees and compensation.

The head office bod won't admit to you that school was wrong, but they may well put a rocket up the HT's a***. Especially when they realise that reasonable adjustments are (by definition) cost effective, wheras the discrimination is now costing them £50k+ every year in special school fees for your dc.

schoolexpelliarmus Sun 28-Apr-13 18:04:18

Nice idea Mareeya but the LA know I have a strong case and will defend the school to the hilt. They asked if I really wanted to waste months of my time by going to court hmm. I pointed out that as other battles have taken years a few months is nothing in the scheme of things.

MareeyaDolores Sun 28-Apr-13 22:09:10

Oh, I know. To your face anyway.

But people who backstab parents are usually none-too-reliable to their colleagues either. Funny handshakes and corporate friendships notwithstanding wink. So pointing out how the budget got blown whilst stirring some sh*t at the top of an organisation sometimes results in trickle-down grin.

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