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Final Statement issued ignoring some of my amendments....what now?

(40 Posts)
messmonster Mon 06-May-13 20:32:08

That's it really. I sent back lots of changes to my DDs proposed Statement about 2 months+ ago. Since then, I've not had any feedback from my LEA other than an email to say that most of my changes had been accepted and that they were sure everyone (meaning us, school and LEA I assume) would be happy with it.

Roll on, this weekend when the Final Statement arrives in the post. Yes, lots of my changes have been accepted but the really important ones, the ones that really mattered to my DD, have been ignored.

All the specificity that I put in the SALT programme has gone, as has the requirement for relevant staff training and worst of all, the fact that the allocated hours in the Statement are to be used exclusively for a 1:1 for my DD. Now, the wording allows for the X hours funding to be used "flexibly for resources and/or adult support". FFS angry

What are my options? I've looked at the Code of Practice and can't see anywhere where it says that the LEA must consult with parents if they don't agree with changes to the Statement suggested by the parents.

I feel totally mislead - the email I had made me relax a little and think it would be all OK - how naive am I?

I know I've got Tribunal as an option and some kind of mediation through Parent Partnership just not sure if there's any point having a dialogue with our SEN Officer who, up to now, has been helpfulness personfied - bloody snake smile.

All ideas welcome.....

p.s. have good relationship with school DD is joining in Sept and no reason to doubt they will do the right thing but really wanted it in Statement obviously.

WWYD?

Thanks v much

chocjunkie Mon 06-May-13 21:03:52

sorry they are putting you through this.

the statement must really be specified and quantified but you probably know this.

we had a similar situation last year and we did appeal. our LA finally came round to our point 2 weeks before the tribunal.

worth getting on the phone to ipsea tomorrow.

messmonster Mon 06-May-13 21:16:47

Thanks chocjunkie I'd forgotten about IPSEA even though I've used them before - not thinking straight smile.

Will talk to them and see what they say. There are also some ommissions in the Final Statement of points that the LEA had included in their proposed Statement so not only have they not accepted my changes, they've also removed some of the more useful wording from their earlier draft - surely they can't do that confused

chocjunkie Mon 06-May-13 21:35:23

is the statement for MS or SS?

messmonster Mon 06-May-13 21:40:56

MS

chocjunkie Mon 06-May-13 21:50:03

i wondered if it was for SS and therefore not specified...

messmonster Mon 06-May-13 22:02:52

No sadly not smile (we're happy with MS but obviously need the right Statement)

It's not without any specifics, it's just that the 2 things I cared most about getting right - SALT and the full-time 1:1 support - are the changes they've not accepted because I guess these are the bits where I might actually want to hold someone accountable in the future hmm

Anywhere where I've specified frequency of reviews e.g. for IEPs they've deleted and anywhere where I've tried to specify that training will be given or a certain amount of experience will be required by the members of staff - it's all gone.

Will get on to IPSEA tomorrow and see what they say. I don't feel that I have any objectivity at the moment so would appreciate their views.

beautifulgirls Mon 06-May-13 22:24:18

I would look up the appeal process to tribunal and start getting the paperwork together. There is nothing to stop the LA changing the statement for you in the mean time whilst you are waiting for a hearing, so you never know.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 07-May-13 10:07:34

mess - if you cost up provision you will almost certainly find that the f/t 1:1 is the most expensive - a bog standard level B TA will cost £16,824 a year. Plus if 1:1 the school may have to recruit. Also training (SALT etc) costs. It depends on the area how SALT is funded and how many visits etc the child gets but a ball park figure would be £1,500 - £3,000 for 1 hour per week.

The SENCO at the LA named school told me that the school had had to recruit 2 TAs to work as 1:1 for one child. They will do it if they have to.

Does the wording that was removed effect provision in Part 3?

I'd finalise and appeal.

messmonster Tue 07-May-13 13:27:29

Thanks Keep you have the nail on the head - it's all the things that they'd left vague that I then tried to specify that will cost money that they haven't accepted.

So e.g. she's getting X hours SALT a term - I tried to say this was X hours direct SALT per term to deliver programmes to tackle X,Y,Z where I specified the SALT programmes my DD needs e.g. something specific for expressive language, signing, receptive language - not too specific as to be inappropriate (and more at home in an IEP) but specific enough for me to be able to ask the SALT in the future,"have you got a programme for this, this and this?".

I did the same for OT X hours of direct OT provision.

With regard to 1:1 I specified need for prior experience - gone. I specified the need for training - gone. Now the Statement is contradictory - it does state that DD will get "full-time" 1:1 but then later goes on to say that the hours in her Statement can be used flexibly by the school for resources and/or adult support.

References I'd made to multi-media resources, the possible future need for communication device - all gone or watered down so as to be meaningless.

Final Statement has already been issued so whilst I can go back to our LEA SEN team I think realistically my only options are Tribunal or dispute resolution.

Thing is it's quite subtle in some ways - I made loads and loads of changes - because the draft was rubbish and the majority of changes have been accepted but it's the key ones in the provision in Part 3 that haven't made it into the Final version - just feel so naive, really thought we were all working together for my DD - I can hear the hollow laughs from all you seasoned MNSNers grin

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 07-May-13 13:33:52

Not atypical LEA shenanigans I am sorry to say. The only interests the LEA serve are their own.

IPSEA is certainly worth speaking to; they also now have a callback service.

If IPSEA agree, I'd tell the LEA to finalise it and then immediately appeal to SEND.

BTW SALT should be in Part 2 as well as 3.

Ilisten2theradio Tue 07-May-13 18:35:15

It all sounds very familiar.
I had similar problems. They accepted the small changes and issued a statement without it being properly quantified or specified.
I appealed. It took until just before the appeal before they capitulated.
The SENCOP and case law states that provision should be specifed and quantified - there is some useful information on the IPSEA website.
If they have issued the final statement you will have to put in the papers for an appeal now though.

messmonster Tue 07-May-13 21:15:20

Thanks all. I need to get my head around what the key omissions are and what still needs greater specification. I'll then contact IPSEA and see what they advise.

Seems I'm now on the well-travelled path smile

chocjunkie Tue 07-May-13 21:50:30

Just see it as part of the process wink

And keep in mind the timescale for an appeal. iirc, you only have 8 weeks. Sometimes, just putting in an appeal does the trick as you let the LA know that you mean business.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 07-May-13 21:52:50

Aw, sorry Mess. You know it isn't personal just the LA following their secret policy of making parents jump through as many hoops as possible right!?

Good luck with the appeal.

messmonster Tue 07-May-13 22:06:11

Thanks guys. I was so proud of myself when I'd written up all the amendments - using past MN threads and the collective wisdom on here to get things just right.

Will no doubt be back for more advice.

Thanks again

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 08-May-13 09:10:29

You should still be proud of yourself. Knowing WHAT to fight for is a major issue for so many of us. We are NOT professionals, don't know what things are available, are being encouraged to have low expectations of both our children and provision.

To get to the bottom of that and have the confidence to then ask for it is a major major acheivement.

What comes next is a whole bunch of people telling you that you are being OTT, and that there are far worse children than yours that do not get anywhere near the provision that you are asking for. Just state that it would be inappropriate for you (and them for that matter) to have what other children have or have not got as a part of the decision-making process for THIS child.

Also, though you have a good relationship with school, expect them to prefer the wording to be about them using the resources as they wish, rather than exclusively for your dd. They may well go to tribunal over it.

theDudesmummy Wed 08-May-13 09:54:46

We had this too, made me really stressed and cross. I spent a long time making amendments and clarifications on the proposed statement, and even had a meeting with then, and they still ignored absolutely everything I said. It is very disheartening.

Star I really do agree with you about the major issue often being knowing what it is you want to fight for. We were all prepared to start fighting for the non-maintained special ABA school we wanted, where DS has been accepted, but we had a meeting with our legal advocate (FS) yesterday and she basically said that we won't have a hope of getting it now (DS only starts school in September at the earliest, and they will just say that he should go to their special school, and we can't prove that won't meet his needs). So we are now thinking, as we wnat to carry on the ABA programme at all costs, of asking for part time mainstream with ABA programme continuing at home and school. It is so hard to know what to do...

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 08-May-13 10:08:30

It is hard to get preventative provision because we all have to cross our fingers and hope that everything will be OK without (otherwise we're being negative and underestimating our DC). From their pov they will want to be absolutely sure (ie school provided evidence) that DD cannot cope without f/t 1:1 rather than provide it just in case.

In terms of timing, even if you appealed immediately, you will not have f/t 1:1 at the start of the academic year. Unfortunately delay saves money. TAs only work for 39 weeks per year so each month 'saves' about £1.5K if the provision cannot be met by existing staff. Not having specified 1:1 means that provision can be 'met' with existing staff.

Plus you have the prospect of the school saying that she is coping without f/t 1:1 and so the LA would have a stronger case.

ilikemysleep Wed 08-May-13 11:17:00

Have you considered that having the TA able to use some of the funded time to make and use resources or liaise with the class teacher for your DD is possibly sensible? For example - and I don't know what your DD's issues are exactly - a recent review of TAs found that they spent a lot of time translating insufficiently differentiated work on the hoof because they had no time for liaison or prior preparation or meeting time with the class teacher, because the hours specified were all for 1:1. This then meant that whilst children's task completion went up (and their books looked better) and the teacher's stress went down (so they reported very positively about the effects of TA support) in fact the children's learning and understanding did not improve at all, and in fact children with high levels of 1:1 actually did comparatively worse than those with similar difficulties but less 1:1. Similarly, as children get older they usually need to be taught strategies to develop independence such as how to refer to a list or use colour coded resources and TAs need time to make these resources - again, time that is denied if all TA time is specified as exclusively for 1:1.

I absolutely understand the desire for quantified provision and I wonder if a sensible compromise might be something like '25 hours TA support (or however much it is) to be split between 22 hours direct in class support and 3 hours weekly to include a weekly planning meeting with class teacher and time to pre-prepare relevant resources' or something similar?

This is the executive summary from the recent paper about TAs.
www.schoolsupportstaff.net/mastsummary.pdf

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 08-May-13 11:46:21

The argument should be that the TA cost is not calculated as a hourly rate but as an annual pro rata salary with the number of hours always five hours more than the direct 1:1 needed to allow time to prepare.

Quite frankly mess your final statement is similar to worse than the provision my year 2 DS2 gets on SA+ (termly visits by specialist SL teacher and by the SL therapist plus SALT training of staff and measurement of progress plus termly visit by OT and EP).

messmonster Wed 08-May-13 12:54:33

Thanks for the posts today everyone and for the soothe Star. I'm at work today and reading on the hoof so need to come back and read properly. Will be back...

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 08-May-13 14:29:58

ilike, why should the 1:1 TA be differentiating and making resources. I would have thought that was the job of the teacher?

In the majority of cases the TA is in no way qualified to do that if the intention is that the child will LEARN.

Also, it is perfectly possible to have written into a statement time for resource making IN ADDITION to the 1:1 hours rather than as a part of them.

Also, I'd much rather my ASD child was dependent on PEOPLE to progress, than colour-coded resources. He's not a robot and needs to learn and practice social interaction to meet his needs not artificially-created blobs that aren't in the real world.

MareeyaDolores Wed 08-May-13 16:28:41

I colour code my RL resources <dons flak jacket>

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 08-May-13 16:55:19

Yo Sushi anyone?

grin

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