Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Our LEA is now no longer issuing statements(57 Posts)
Anyone else being told the same? What does this mean for children who already have one?
Absolutely Nenny. Agnes is very wise about these things and I know she would entirely agree hut what she says demonstrates how 'routine' and ingrained these practices are.
The only valid reason for removing a statement is that the child no longer needs it. If any council is removing them solely because of an internal policy, that is illegal and could be challenged through the courts. I think any case would be in the name of the child so legal aid would be available.
Agnes - please can you explain your comment Here they use a standard formula of about £490 which they times by weekly hours to get to £6000 which is supposed to cover TA cost. The figure used to be £530 but over past few years they have reduced the rate schools get for TAs so each year too.
I am really confused by the way LAs cost placings. For my DS's Tribunal, the cost of a place at the LA's named school is very very important (it doesn't matter where the money comes from, just the actual hard cash "cost". So I'm trying to get my head around the LAs costings. They say a year's place at a mainstream school with a SPL Unit is £575 per year - this is for the teaching, the unit and for the SALT. So what do you mean by "£490 which they times..".
There is a difference between delegating the funds and refusing to write statements.
I know a lot of LAs have argued that if funds are delegated to schools, children don't need statements and David Wolfe did a piece on the legal position for IPSEA which is on the net somewhere because who funds the statements should never been the issue.
Different LAs have always had different approaches about funding and this was something the new rules aimed to tackle. But it seems to me that this doesn't change the position as regard whether, in law, a child needs a statement. Similarly the new school funding changes should have no impact on statementing, just the funding of it.
However, delegation arguments aside, it seems LMB is saying something quite different, namely that LAs may now be directly linking the arrival of the CFB (and not just the 6000 delegatiion of funds) and possible future changes with EHCs to the removal of children's statements and I think that is very worrying.
To see children have their statement taken from them on the basis of a proposed future change in the law suggests that LAs may be using these changes as an opportunity not only to reduce statements but to remove them.
And the idea there is a target figure from Government for the number of children to receive support is very concerning
Our LA has delegated 20 hours for several years and reduced number of statements. It objected to new school funding changes on basis that here the £6000 would only cover 12 hours and so it would actually have to start writing statements again for children between 12-20 hours when it had not written statements for these children for years. They made out this would be a huge admin burden but when questioned did not actually know how many children were on between 12 and 20 hours or how many statements they would need to write. Its interesting some LAs have calculated it as 20 hours when our LA (rural county council) says £6000 does not cover 20 hours. Be worth finding out what formula they are applying to get to £6000. Here they use a standard formula of about £490 which they times by weekly hours to get to £6000 which is supposed to cover TA cost. The figure used to be £530 but over past few years they have reduced the rate schools get for TAs so each year too.
LAs are not impotent victims.
I agree. Having seen the DPA material just in my son's case, they are far from being the victims. They are antagonistic and deploy tactics to wear down parents so that parents give up (parents=me). LAs also employ tactics to make schools suddenly tow the party line despite schools saying for months that they can't support certain children (children=my son).
And the LAs do have powers over their delegated funding and could be more thorough in ensuring the funds were used accountably.
The reality is that most LAs don't bemoan, they rejoice in this delegation as a way of side-stepping legal responsibility. Parents are consistently told they don't 'do' statements as schools have all the money but it is the LA and not the school that chooses how much to delegate - or it has been.
LAs are not impotent victims. Most heads are desperate to toe the LA line as the career prospects often depend on it. I know a head who had to move out of county because he didn't do what the LA wanted on SEN.
Heads who stand up for children against LA bullying that the child doesn't need help are few and far between.
I agree. But they need to be vocal and open about this and not employ underhand tactics as a way of avoiding the issue.
Non-dodgy-LAs (if there are any left!) are between a rock and a hard place. Not an excuse for illegal and underhand tactics, but still a problem.
The law as it stands obliges them to assess properly, and then arrange suitable provision for our dc. But most of the funds they used to allocate for this, are totally out of their control in academies' budgets, or else in the iron grip of their mainstream HTs. So the LAs retain the responsibility, but lack authority to make schools spend delegated £££ on SEN.
It is on there now. If you are tweeting - do give it a re-tweet
Thanks you - thank you - thank you for sharing this LuvmyBoyz. It really helps.
I am going to do a post; a SENCO speaks...
LMB - can I put your piece on my blog and describe you as a SENCO??
I'm worried about teaching for the following reasons:-
1. Free schools have no requirement to employ qualified teachers (this is already true in the private sector but public funding requires quality control).
2. Troops now surplus to requirements in the armed services are to be employed in schools with reduced training compared to the standard BEd or PGCE route.
3. Employment rights in academies and free schools are being eroded.
4. Staff training generally once in post is being reduced to the bone (& I'll be the first to admit my kid requires significant expertise to teach!).
5. Teaching assistant posts are being reduced - we are already seeing "protected posts" such as 1:1 's for statemented children being spread like marmite across the whole class with increasing regularity. TA's for those children on school action and school action plus are becoming eroded.
6. Curriculum rate of change is getting silly - I wouldn't teach year 10 & 11 for all the tea in China right now, as the goal posts change faster than anyone can monitor currently.
7. The conflict of interests between league tables for SATS and GCSE's and the penalty regime imposed upon schools means that "delegated" SN funds will inevitably be focused on attracting those children that will push a school's results over the golden line. This can either be at admission, or in focusing on those children at the border of grades. What happens to those kids at the extremes of the grade levels? (I've noticed this gov has gone quiet on G&T, so it's not just the previously statemented children will suffer).
8. The pace of special school closures continues apace - meaning mainstream schools will continue to receive children for whom they have NO expertise in how to include and teach.
9. Schools teachers continue to be expected to actively participate in the diagnostic process, act as social workers, run activities for the wider community, act as surrogate parents (healthy eating takes over KS1) and involve themselves in numerous activities other than their core function - education.
10. The detachment of the SN officer from the day to day hullaboo of school meant that she or she could objectively focus on analysing the support required by an individual child without distraction. The SENCO does not have that luxury, and already has a very demanding day job.
Saw your post on the blog, IE...knew you'd make a good job of it.
Yes, a big step back. As a SENCO the weight on my shoulders has reached new levels. Now I have to decide how much support to give where the LA used to assess and then put their wise heads together to make the decision. And I am an experienced teacher and SENCO. What decisions will al the new younger SENCOs still gaining experience decide? Apparently this was what SENCOs said they wanted from the government consultation...I certainly did not.
On thread below. I know, you fight for a statement to avoid this battle with schools over provision and then find its all getting punted back to schools.
If you mean me that's no problem. Do you have a link to where you are posting? Would like to book mark it. Thanks.
Have posted something using what you have said on the CDC site. Hope that's ok.
I've just had a light bulb moment as to why superb provision has turned rotten from one year to the next . (My school has a new vegetable patch).
It's very frightening. I feel luckier than most DS is doing well, school are good, we are able to fund therapies where provision is lacking and if it all goes tits up we'll whip him out and home school him but there are so many vulnerable children and families out there who have no choices and will slip through the net.
It's all so short sighted. Do they not think if they cut provision and early intervention down to the bare bones that it's going to cost them dearly in the long term?
God, it all becomes clear doesn't it.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.