It would be very interesting to do a DPA search on both the LA and the school to see exactly the paper trail that both have left behind (and if both versions of the paper trail matches up). It will make some very enlightening reading for you.
But still do a DPA search on them both because you may find some very interesting background documents which ultimately resulted in the written response the school has shared with you. My DPA searches produced a very very interesting illegal finalising-of-the-Statement papertrail which only showed up by searching both the LA and the very-nice-and-helpful named school. I can't say exactly what we found, but hopefully you will find something that can then be used in the Tribunal to undermine the LAs case.
You might want to ask for the appeal to be expedited on basis you don't want your child to start a school and then have to move if its found unsuitable
Obviously schools do refuse children with statements on quite flimsy grounds at times, but in cases where there are genuine reasons its unlikely a LA would want to go to tribunal with a school saying it could not meet need - you could call the HT of that school as a witness.
What are you appealing for? If its another school of the same type eg a different mainstream school then LA would have a better chance than if you are appealing for a different type of school
The most friendliest and nicest of schools/teachers will suddenly decide to toe the party line once the LA has put pressure on them. My very nice smiley ever so helpful teacher from LA named school is now a witness for the LA, even though she told me that her school could not support my DC.
My HT has been publicly saying the school can't meet needs, at TACs, care review meetings, etc. Perhaps the LA needs to undergo a statutory assessment to see if there's a hearing or processing difficulty.
The school has to write a document stating why they cannot meet the child's needs and the Govenors sign it. It essentially is up to the govenors who do usually listen to the head and the Senco but I suppose there are always those who don't. The school have to make a pretty strong case as to why not. Sometimes its because there isn't an appropriate peer group, sometimes that there are physical things with the building that caould cause health and safety issues such as having a very open site with no lockable boundry fencing for a child who regularly legs it. The most common reason is that to take x child forms a substantial risk to either or both, the health and safety of other pupils or themselves. Finally, same wording but for educational reasons. Including x child would substantially impair other students' access to their education. This latter one is a bit dodgy for the school to use in my opinion as the LEA should be coughing up the money for appropriate support but if the Lea will only fund x hours and won't increase it then having a child with major needs in a classroom with 29 other students all of varying abilities means that someone is going to get ignored, in my experience, nice, quiet, mousy blonde girls called Nicola or Lucy who just get on with life and achieve level 4 aged 8 and the same level aged 14.
Leas send round bundles of files round all the schools until either someone says 'yes' or, more likely, they all say 'no'. I've read more crap statements than you can shake a stick at. Glad I wrote Flyingboy's!
my school said they couldnt meet his needs and stuck by it. the LA then just chickedmore money/hours at the school but the school still said they could not meet his needs. it would take a tribunal for the LA to see sense and i wond an independent school.
i would agree with getting the school file/file from the LA. i got to see the emails between the school and LA. school stuck by their view throughout but was interesting to see the LA response back to them. i also discovered taht the LA were deliberately editing reports from people like autism outreach to try and play down his difficulites but then gave me a different report highlighting lots of difficulites so its definately worth doing as you may discover something very helpful