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Bloody LEA and 15 February deadline.(9 Posts)
So I emailed the LA earlier this week because I hadn't heard anything from them about dd's move to secondary school. I finally got a reply this afternoon saying that he had written to our choice of special school and also 2 other special schools, but hadn't heard anything back yet. And that there were very limited places at our choice of special school and she probably wouldn't get in there. (So no decision by the 15 February then).
Then today's post has come and dd's final statement after her annual review in December has come. (I asked for it that early due to the February deadline). And the named school is...continued attendance at her current primary school. So where is she going in September then?
WTF? I'm so pissed off and actually have no idea what to do? I'll phone Parent Partnerships on Monday ( no one answering the phone now), and ask. But where does this leave dd now? They're supposed to have had the named school in the bloody statement by tomorrow!
The statement can still be changed. It's just that the LEA like to be seen to be following the letter of the law and hence issue a 'final' statement by feb 15 (even when they know it will be imminently changed).
This has happened to me. We are still thrashing out part 3 but the LA insisted on issuing the statement and then returning it to being a proposed amended statement next week.
PP are not always the best people to speak to about such matters because they are not always impartial or independent to their LEA employers.
You should try to speak to IPSEA instead [www.ipsea.org.uk]]
I would put in a formal complaint about the delay. They know they have to name special schools by 15 Feb to allow you time to appeal so usually they write to schools in Nov / Dec. If you start formal complaint then you can go to Ombudsman if its not sorted soon.
Special schools have (I think) 4 weeks to reply so I would ask what date the LA wrote to the special schools. If you don't know which ones they are looking at ask and go visit because you need to won't have much time to decide if they offer a place at one.
This isn't following the letter of the law, they're breaking it. I suggest you contact them on Monday pointing that out and saying that you need the finalised statement naming the secondary school by, say, the end of the week, and if they don't you will be consulting a solicitor about a judicial review claim.
Thank you all for replying and the advice.
I was going to send an email tomorrow about the deadline being missed and how we need time to be able to appeal. I don't suppose anyone could help me with the wording at all please? I want to be assertive and get my point across without being confrontational.
Also I've looked up the other 2 schools that they've written to (that aren't our choice) and 1 of them has a god awful Ofsted and is in special measures! I really don't want her going there, so definately will need time to appeal. (Although the other one looks great).
Sorry can't help on your email. But just wanted to give you my view on Ofsted reports.
My DS previously went to an Ofsted Outstanding School - including outstanding SEN. But I had to withdrew him and I home ed'ed him in preference to leaving him in this school. They were hopeless (and that's me being polite).
I have a friend with a (NT) child in Y1 of a "special measures" school. Because the school is in "special measures" the LA is throwing absolutely everything at it - money, resources, everything - to bring it out of special measures. Child is thriving.
From my experience, Ofsted reports don't mean anything. I would rather go visit the schools and talk to existing parents and the staff so that I can form my own opinion.
Thank you for your letter of X February enclosing a final amended statement for DD.
However, I note that part 4 continues to name DD's primary school although she is due to move to secondary school in September. You no doubt know that under Regulation 19 (3) of the Education (Special Educational Needs) (England) (Consolidation) Regulations 2001 you were required to ensure that DD's statement was amended before 15th February to name the school she will be attending in September. I am aware that you informed me last week that you had not had responses from the schools you consulted, but I assume that you consulted them in good time to enable you to meet the deadline, and of course they have a duty to reply within 15 school days. I therefore assume that you duly chased this up last week and have responses by now.
Please would you ensure that the amended statement naming DD's secondary school is sent to me by 10 a.m. on X date. If I do not receive it I will be instructing solicitors on DD's behalf to enter a judicial review application.
One further point: if you push them, they may issue a statement issuing simply a type of school rather than a specific school, and they are entitled to do this. If you are sure you are going to have to appeal anyway, that doesn't really matter, and you could amend that last paragraph to say "... naming DD's secondary school or type of school..."
Thank you nennypops. That email is brilliant! I'll be copying and pasting.
I think I'll wait until the end of this week before sending though, because as you say they may just name any school.
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