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Appealing refusal to assess

(17 Posts)

Get the forms in straight away and follow up with professional reports, or a wait and submit the reports with the appeal?

I have got a SALT assessment lined up for next week, EP provisionally for the week after, OT also available to assess this month. I submitted a very detailed set of my views with the SA application and feel that there is very little I can add at this point - do I need to just winkle out the main points and put them as the reasons for appeal?

I can't help worrying that perhaps DS's case isn't very good and I could be throwing an awful lot of money at this. Feeling very wobbly.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 10:09:20

straight away.

tbh, I would hold off professional reports until close to any tribunal and maybe not even get them then.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 10:12:30

The case to prove is that your child's needs are complex enough to mean that he 'probably' needs a statement. You must not say that he does however, just that he probably does and this merits further detailed assessment.

SO you don't actually need to fund the assessment at this stage, just collect evidence from professionals to show that he needs one.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 10:14:24

If you have plenty of money, by all means get as many reports and assessments as you like.

If you want to be ultra safe, you can rebook your professional assessments for about 5-6 months time so that they will come in immediately before the tribunal date, - as you can always cancel a month or so before.

Thanks - I suppose I am just feeling that I have submitted a great deal of evidence to show that he does need assessment and it hasn't been enough so isn't it likely the appeal will fail too?

I will write to school and ask for all their data on DS, see if that throws any further light on things.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 10:29:09

But your LA hasn't refused you because of lack of evidence. They have refused you on lack of funds (though they have to say it is because of lack of evidence because the latter is illegal).

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 10:30:19

The last time I checked around 90% of appeals for refusal to assess were won.

With that kind of statistic it is worth pursuing even if you don't have a case at all, because there is always a rogue judge (both ways).

Yes and they are probably doing the same to 99% of other applicants on the same In the hopes that most of them will go quietly away, probably a lot of people do.

So, if I get the forms, pick out the most telling points of DS's difficulties and send them in.

I think the problem is that I'm just not that confident of how good a case he has myself. He's managing OK, but things could be so much better and I am worried about secondary transition (he's Year 5). I think I will go ahead with the SALT assessment but hold off on the others - it's not just about the statement, it's about identifying things we (and hopefully the school) can be doing in the meantime. That's the angle I came to this from to be honest, he has AS and phonological and coordination difficulties, has been discharged by OT, gets minimal SALT input and has not had an Ed.Psych assessment - with more support from these agencies we may have been able to support him adequately on SA+. So I have felt that if I'm going to have to look at getting these privately it may as well be in support of trying to get a statement too.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 10:45:38

Of course. It is important not to get so lost in the fight that experts are hired only to win a case and not especially to help your child.

Go through the code of practice and use the wording that is in there exactly as it is written, then back up your use of that wording.

If he will probably need a statement in the future (i.e. secondary), that is also good enough. If his needs are 'complex' you increase your chances, and contradictory statements from professionals can help this as well as inconsistencies.

Another question - the letter from the LA says they will not be assessing because they feel DS's needs can be met from within existing provision (obviously a stock answer), but that I can phone them to discuss in detail, am I within my rights to ask them to put in writing the specific reasons in DS's case? The SEN COP says they have to state the reason, it looks to me as though they are doing the minimum they can get away with.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 11:50:20

TBH, I wouldn't bother until you have submitted an appeal.

Appeal first. Then inform them out of courtesy that you have done so, stating your reasons as efficiency and ensuring the minimum time passes before your child can be adequately supported, and then ask them politely if they would put in writing their clear reasons for refusal as you will need that to make your case.

I'll get cracking on the appeal paperwork tonight. I may be back with more questions, I will use the IPSEA guidance. Actually that was what triggered my initial question as their guidance suggests getting all your evidence in with the appeal forms, that's why I was thinking professional reports, as I have already submitted my other evidence to the LA. I suppose the SENDIST will need it all anyway.

Starlight - was it you who was also doing the Understanding Autism OU course? How are you finding it? I have lost momentum but have to say I have found it frustrating on SO many levels.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 12:49:34

Yes. I'm doing it. I'm not enjoying it much either. My lowest mark was for the intervention module which I should have really got my highest mark for.

The statement stuff (and my other, more interesting module) has got in the way a bit. I can't get the DVD to work any more, I don't think the ICMA scores reflect how much effort I have put in (not a lot but passed them all so far) and want to get it finished but can't till they release the EMA.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 04-Mar-14 12:57:50

I think the assessment is a very crude way of marking tbh. I'm lucky because I'm quite good at those kinds of assessments but my scores have nothing at all in common with my knowledge. I get the same mark for the ones I barely read about as I do for those I know inside out, - with the exception of intervention.

Same here, my job requires me to look hard at the exact meaning of words and to find answers by scanning through a lot of info and homing in on then so they suit me but I don't think the knowledge is really embedding itself. Oh well, not long to go now.

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