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tribunal - ive lost confidence that i can win this

(22 Posts)
bjkmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 09:44:39

maybe it was a stupid thing to do but I read lots of sendist decisions on cases similar to my daughters -dyslexia and 3 - 4 years behind = the decisions are of course pretty old - the newest one was 2002 so 12 years ago but out of all the decisions I read there wasn't a single one where a parent had won a refusal to assess as the child had made some progress that was deemed enough and so the parents all lost their tribunals - Im feeling really down about it all today what with the meeting last week and the LA response due on Thursday I just feel that I may be wasting my money trying to fight something I cant win.

she is due to see a SALT next Saturday and the OT coming in 2 weeks to look at dyspraxia - the assessments will be useful even if its just to rule things out although I suspect that more will be uncovered.

im just having my tribunal wobble so feel free to shout at me or if I really have no hope tell me that as well

maybe time to go and sing pass the funding the song to myself...........

TOWIE2014 Sat 01-Mar-14 09:55:04

Keep going bjk - don't give up. My LA conceded on refusal to assess a couple of weeks before the hearing - but only after my solicitor went for strikeout because LA hadn't read any of the indie/LA reports by the time of evidence deadline and so LA asked for a 2 week extension, despite having sat on all reports for nearly 3 weeks.

Tribunal judge for hearing in appeal against part 2, 3 and 4 found that LA school couldn't meet my DS's dyslexia needs so ordered parental preference - small indie dyslexia school. There are others in his school (various LAs-funded) who are also there purely because of their dyslexia.

Ironically because dyslexia provision is so poor and misunderstood (shove them in a class of 30 with an untrained TA), very often if the dyslexia is severe, then you will get what you want at Tribunal.

Don't forget the decisions you are reading are very old and mainly pre-internet/mumsnet/general awareness of SEN days so parents didn't know how to fight for dyslexia provision. I certainly didn't know how to fight for my DD1 who would have fallen into the 2002 dates you are looking at.

bjkmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 10:03:06

towie - when your child was originally statemented how far were they behind? had they been making (albeit ) slow progress? I can show that since year 2 her progress has been slow and therefore the gao between her and her peers has increased as each year goes by. the LA seem determined to stick with the 'not more than 6 years behind so doesn't meet the criteria for a statement' rule - shes in a class of 10 with 2 staff = shes not going to get that at secondary. my LA also seem obsessed about how the previous school didn't raise concerns or put her on the sen register - that's because she went under the radar - her levels weren't great but school didn't do anything and it erupted in our faces as she started to struggle so we moved her! the school had screened her for dyslexia as well and she had flagged up for it but because school did nothing further its somehow our fault according to the LA

TOWIE2014 Sat 01-Mar-14 10:51:58

The original refusal to assess was conceded because LA realised they were about to be struck-out (although they are now denying this to the LGO). So I can't really say whether they conceded because DS was so far behind (by then about 3 or 4 years) - but more likely they didn't want to face a Tribunal panel because of the games they'd been playing. My LA was also obsessed because although he had years of documented self-funded SALT and OT provision, I had no formal SALT reports when I first requested SA (but did have indie one by time of appeal). He too was in a small class - 15 - but still couldn't cope.

By the time of Tribunal against part 2, 3, 4 - my DS was about 4 years behind but had been making no progress at all for the last few years - despite a considerable amount of (documented) self-funded intervention from specialist dyslexia teachers. In fact he was going backwards by the time of the 2nd Tribunal.

6 years behind is an illegal blanket policy by your LA. It is not in the SEN CoP nor in the Education Act. Let 'em tell it to the judge!

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 01-Mar-14 11:38:01

tbh DS1 was not severe and I didn't appeal refusal because I knew that my case was weak and so went for a more accurate assessment of progress using objective measures that could be repeated every couple of months. DS1 was level 3c in maths from mid year 2 to the beginning of year 6 but NC progress of 2 sub levels was reported during year 6 when we applied for SA. Attainment and NC levels of progress weren't met but by that logic the LA had to assess because he met one of their other stated criteria. Once they had assessed I could appeal parts 2, 3 and 4.

No one really knows how the new expectations placed on school will impact yet. Have you spoken to IPSEA about this?

Schools are still working with the idea that DC need a statement to get provision but the LA insist that provision has to precede any statement. The right to apply for SA remains the same but the LA has a stronger case not to issue a statement even if they are ordered to assess.

I have a different problem in that DS2 has had ten times the EP, salt and OT and comm paed assessment thus arguably rendering SA unnecessary. So the argument proceeds straight to a need to statement rather than to assess.

But never give up. Whatever the outcome DD will end up with more support and your case will be stronger.

bjkmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 11:39:34

I followed your advice and got her to handwrite her views. I left her to it and it was very powerful what she wrote. She also drew a picture as well. I have done a second copy where I have scribed them as very difficult to read. I did hand them over to the sen officer in the meeting last week. She wasn't very impressed that I had got my daughter to do them. I had asked her 2 weeks before to send the form through so she could do it over half term. No form arrived so with tippex etc got a blank copy of the form my son did. Sen officer wanted the class teacher to do them and no doubt class teacher would have wrote them for her plus unlikely my daughter would have been as honest as she was as she wouldn't have wanted to say anything negative to the teacher.
Sen officer is clueless and doesn't understand what our problem is as school doing lots for her plus she doesn't me the 'criteria' my next job this weekend is to write a letter of complaint about the wonderful sen panel and how poorly her case has been managed and not even to their lovely 'criteria' as published in their handbook. Interesting the LA sent me a copy of this policy document but it has someone else handwriting all over it questioning if certain parts of it are valid?! It also mentions another name of another LA so obviously my LA have nicked it from another LA and then just changed their name into it! So my LA haven't even written this wonderful policy

TOWIE2014 Sat 01-Mar-14 11:58:54

A documented chronology of failure to progress is very powerful.

By the time I got to Tribunal for parts 2, 3 and 4, I had 3 indie EP reports (inc Dyslexia Action) over a 3 to 4 year period. So I produced a '(lack of) progression table' (as opposed to an 'intervention table' grin grin ) showing how, from year-to-year, there had been no progression, but, more worrying in the year leading to Tribunal, regression (which LA couldn't blame on home ed because by then I was paying for 4 hours per week dyslexia support from a specialist teacher).

Because DS was previously in an indie mainstream school, I had absolutely no documented historical NC levels - because indie school didn't use them. But the chronology of historical EP reports showing his tested levels during their assessments was very powerful and persuasive.

Handwritten DS's views were very important in my Tribunal. Straight from the horse's mouth IYSWIM!

As Keep says, whatever the outcome, DD will end up with more support

bjkmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 11:59:27

That's it keep isn't it - no matter what happens from her we will come out at the end with her needs better understood so we can't really lose per se and at least we can say we tried our best.

La also seem to be taking issue with the fact school didn't put her on the sen register until nov after we insisted. They had her as cause for concern. LA through their logic are only looking at what's happened since nov 14. The truth is that she was flagged up the day she walked into the school a year ago and interventions were put in place for 6 months. At the end of the 6 months school wrote that the interventions had failed. So she's actually been having extra in for a year. What frustrates is that it's clear dyslexia is preventing her from reaching her potential and we could sit here for another year and she still wont be progressing. She started year 3 as a 2c and now at this mid way point in year 5 sp 2 and a half year later she is a 2a - and that's despite a year of additional help and being in a class of 10 with such a high staff ratio. The teacher wrote in sept her reading age was 6.5 years at age 10 - in fact I've just had a lightbulb moment! The LA criteria says she has to be at age 10 6 years 4 months so she's a mere 2 months over - that could be an argument I could use....

TOWIE2014 Sat 01-Mar-14 12:16:33

In my experience, it is rare that dyslexia is a need all on its own. I think more will come to light once you've gone ahead with the SALT and OT assessments. If this happens, then obviously your case will be stronger because it might not just be the dyslexia that's stopping her. Certainly my DS's dyspraxia has stopped him being able to do a lot of literacy-related tasks - eg writing!

Do you have any documented evidence of anxiety? By the time of my 2nd Tribunal, my DS's anxiety because of his poor literacy was off the scales. I had to give a lot of verbal evidence at Tribunal over this anxiety.

bjkmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 12:20:09

Yes I am going to do a lack of progression table - thanks towie , I like that title! And some super duper graphs - just need to find a super duper computer programme to do them in and I'm a bit of a techno phobe, plan is to wait till thurs and see what they chuck at me as their reasons and then will crack in getting it all together especially the photocopying of everything so I'm not leaving until the last minute to submit everything. I have until beg of April to lodge everything so will make a start now to make it easier for me.

Thanks guys, know we can't predict what the final outcome will be but my fighting spirit continues! ANd now I best go and pick her up and then endure shopping for school shoes and trainers for her. Need to find trainers with no laces in girlie colours so wish me luck!

2boysnamedR Sat 01-Mar-14 12:34:15

Don't loose faith. I paid out for for a private salt report forces refusal tribunal. A report I needed anyway.

I lost £100 and gained the schools full attention.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 01-Mar-14 13:14:05

PM your email address and I will send you the stuff I did for DS1 with charts showing progress and even standard distribution curves showing relative regression (unless I have already sent you these). Don't worry if you are a technophobe - plot on graph paper and photocopy. Blank bell curves can be downloaded and printed. Charts are great for visually showing a flat line or downward trajectory followed by shooting through the roof progress when SA is applied for.

TOWIE2014 Sat 01-Mar-14 13:27:20

downward trajectory followed by shooting through the roof progress when SA is applied for.

^^ Keep - you cynic! grin (but sadly true)

bjkmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 16:38:36

yes I have them from you keep already - I remember being sat in a café reading them on my ipad when you sent them whilst the boys were in respite! I need to go and read them again now im further into process

today agree though about the sudden progress scenario though - that is exactly what im experiencing and all the trinks being used - bloody draining trying to keep one step ahead of the whole stinking mess.

my salt report I think is £150 so not too bad although we are having to take her up to where the salt lives to cut down on the travelling time as salt would have charged us for 3 hours which would be nearly £200 alone on travel expenses - a few people have used her so wanted to use someone I knew was okay

OT nearly £700 - used her for last tribunal so know she will be good although teacher admitted she had no idea what dyspraxia was but then said she had no concerns re my daughter. the dyslexic teacher does think she has traits of dyspraxia though so it is worth getting it checked out

NHS referral for dyspraxia is yet to get even off the ground despite beginning the process on decemebr - school never did referral - so got it done myself then referral went missing so now had to have it sent through again so unlikely would be an NHS appointment before May /tribunal

bjkmummy Sat 01-Mar-14 16:41:50

no anxiety yet but then she is in a class of 10 and only 25 kids in the school. we moved her as we could see she was a pressure cooker about to explode as she was struggling being in a noisy busy classroom. she has a book where we let her write about her good/bad days which helps her and I spend an awful lot of time with her to keep her self esteem up - this is also due to her having 2 brothers with asd so she struggles to be heard at time. everyone would say she is a lovely pleasant girl but I personally think she uses this to go under the radar and not draw attention to herself so shes pretty passive.

wasuup3000 Mon 03-Mar-14 09:52:21

How many sub levels of progress are supposed to be made - I have a school report which has the same levels and sub levels in 2013 as in 2014. Therefore no progess in a full school year with loads of extra help and support. If his IQ is above or below 70 does this make a difference to the progress he should be making, he is borderline (low but not low enough to be classed as having a learning difficulty) with reading difficulties as the LA EP puts it.

ouryve Mon 03-Mar-14 10:15:07

Average progress, to stay on the 50th centile, is 2 sub levels per year. Progress would be expected to be a little slower for a child with low IQ, as the bell curve becomes wider as children progress through school. While those with solid level 3s at KS1 are likely to be level 7s by KS3, low level 1's are likely to be level 3s at that age. The differences would be more marked in children outside of that typical range of ability and progress.

bjkmummy Mon 03-Mar-14 10:15:35

It should be an average of 3 points. For the last few years my daughter has only made 1 or 2 points so the gap is growing. I think below 70 is seen as a learning disability. My daughter has an average IQ so she should be up there with her peers.. I'm guessing (and it's only a guess) that the LA could argue if they are of a lower ability then it is to be expected that progress would be slower.

wasuup3000 Mon 03-Mar-14 10:32:56

The LA are trying to argue that he is making slow but steady progress but have failed to provide any evidence of that and his SAT levels are the exactly the same as last years on his school report.

bjkmummy Mon 03-Mar-14 10:43:49

I'm in the same position wassup. Think the LA believe if they just keep saying it to us eventually we will believe them and accept what they are saying

wasuup3000 Mon 03-Mar-14 11:03:26

I know! It is annoying. My son also has other difficulties but I am still getting nowhere with the LA, just hope we get a good Judge and panal member on the day!

wasuup3000 Mon 03-Mar-14 11:26:26

Thanks ouryve - evidence of slow progress would mean that the LA had an argument then not to assess but there is no progress so wondering how the LA will argue that one and also no evidence of slow progress. Like bjkmummy says they have a broken record they try and hyptonise you with.

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