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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.


(29 Posts)

The Local Education Authority are hiring barristers for the SENDIST Tribunal rather than assess the child. What is significant is the LEA have stated they have no public money to carry out the assessment , but as it turns out can use the public purse to hire barristers .
The costs involved for assessment minimal as the Health authority have done most of the assessments already.

We would like the family of mumsnet to help us with a petition. Anyone that can help please let me know

Ineedmorepatience Wed 05-Mar-14 08:04:29


bochead Wed 05-Mar-14 09:24:00

win at Tribunal then write to the daily fail about the wanton waste of public funds.

ouryve Wed 05-Mar-14 09:50:17

Sadly, you're not alone in this experience. I wouldn't bother taking bets on which LA, either, because most of us can probably take an educated guess and be right sad

2boysnamedR Wed 05-Mar-14 11:00:11

I was told it costs between 10-12 k to assess a child ( I can't see why as its get a ed psych in and read some reports but hay ho). Maybe this really is cheaper for the lea? Take into account that most parents would find this humiliating and hard to beat they are then unlikely to try again.

The amount of parents I have heard of who are told their child doesn't need a statement then fight to get fully funded independent placements at tribunal.

Maybe leas would be better off funding their own special schools ( rather than shutting them as they are in guildford) than paying out 18-25+ a year to independent school.

bjkmummy Wed 05-Mar-14 11:29:11

I had a solicitor and a barrister against me - I had no one - the solicitor also wanted to come to the hearing - told them to poke off!!! and tribunal agreed with me - I won an independent placement and an appeal against part 2 3 4 and full OT and salt package - the LA say the barrister cost £750 a day - not sure if I beileive them

im mid refusal to assess appeal myself and am awaiting the joy of them bringing a barrister against me as well. I think it wont go down well with the tribunal that the LA are using a barrister - don't be intimidated by the word 'barrister' they will be booked quite late on - he probably wont look at the papers until the night before and will not have the full overview that you have. you case probably has some strength to it as well if they are getting a barrister - but I agree its wrong to waste money in such a way whilst the child sits in the middle of it all

sticksandstones471 Wed 05-Mar-14 14:46:44

its bloody wrong that they would rather pay for a barrister than an assessment. my lea told me they could not put SALT into part 3 of ds statement but then proceeded to ask me who my indi salt was. when I asked why she replied that she would like to know as the lea are going to iniate a SALT assessment as evidence at tribual. so basically they were going to assess him to fight against me but not to identify his needs! shock shock

bjkmummy I would have thought a barrister would cost alot more than £750. my solicitor is charging £800 plus VAT and travel costs to attend tribunal (totalling £1200), so im assuming a barrister would be alot more.

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 05-Mar-14 20:58:38

£10-12k to assess a child?


I bet most of that is spent on 'on-costs' mostly biscuits. You know the majority of pathfinder project money has been spent on catering right?

AgnesDiPesto Wed 05-Mar-14 21:00:06

It's the secret meetings before the meetings that doubles the costs. The ones where they all get their story straight.

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 05-Mar-14 21:02:33

I would definitely like a campaign to allow SA's to be done with direct payments. Can you imagine?

It will HALVE the cost to taxpayers. £6k can do an awful lot of assessing.

sticksandstones471 Wed 05-Mar-14 21:12:49

also ROFL at 10k for SA.
when my ds was 'assessed' the LA used reports already available from SLT and OT. An EP was sent in to assess for an hour or so and that was that!

AgnesDiPesto Wed 05-Mar-14 21:29:08

Of course they have to factor in the cost of the pointless 'advisory panel'. That's 4-5 professionals on a half day rate.

ouryve Wed 05-Mar-14 21:33:48

They're probably including the cost of fighting an appeal in the assessment.

£10-12K could pay for a lot of therapy.

bochead Wed 05-Mar-14 22:09:38

£10-12K in direct therapy could totally transform many children's lives.


Hi Thanks for all you comments , I still cannot understand their views.They are going against Medical advice .

Just adding a few FACTS

1) We ( the parents ) have paid for an Educational psychologist
2) The health authority are concluding their findings which support our diagnosis, paediatric 's diagnosis.

3) THE LEA have not spend a penny!!!!

4) The department of education say we object to the "inefficient use of resource's" by filing out another form for the national audit commission.

5) The advisory panel do seem to understand the 'needs of the child'
6) The Barrister would costs thousands £ as he is coming to the tribunal on the day.
7) Did anyone read BBC website "Some special needs pupils denied education - ombudsman" POINT IN FACT

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 06-Mar-14 14:14:57

You DO understand it. What you don't understand is WHY?

And that will eat you if you don't dismiss the injustice and horror of it all and simply get on with your appeal and work through the corrupt system the best way you can.

When you're done you can join this lot: or volunteer for SOSSEN or IPSEA to help those behind you.


sorry part 5 do not understand the needs of the child

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 06-Mar-14 14:20:58

You're cross and upset because you can't believe the injustice and the corruption.

If you read enough posts on here you will see that it happens ALL THE TIME and it isn't personal to you or your child's case.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 06-Mar-14 14:22:07

You could do a freedom of information request as to the fees they are paying the barrister, and the details of the contract.

NoRunAround Thu 06-Mar-14 16:54:00

Completely agree with Star. It is commonplace and not personal. The best thing you can do now is get on with your appeal. I know it is not fair and wrong.

And if you can afterwards, help others fight.

nennypops Thu 06-Mar-14 18:26:31

For what it's worth, they won't be spending thousands on the barrister. At a guess, it's probably around a thousand at most. I know that's not much comfort to you, and it does seem daft not to just agree to assess if the medical evidence support it. However, one plus is that maybe when the barrister looks at it he'll advise the council to give in.

If it goes to a hearing and you don't have a barrister, the tribunal probably won't be that impressed that the LA does.


We feel like we should sell a vital organ of our body to try and get funding for equal representation .

AgnesDiPesto Thu 06-Mar-14 19:28:16

My LA were advised by their own EP my son needed special school or ABA. The issued a statement for mainstream then decided to withhold 25% of 1:1 listed on the statement because the nursery hadn't moved a door handle (and doing so would teach them a lesson) even though the fire officer told them they couldn't move it. We went to tribunal with two 'opposing' EPs saying the same thing. They said a paediatrician comment my son needed to be statemented in future meant he didn't need to be statemented now. Why do they do it? To slow things down and save money. I applied for a statement when my son was 2.5. I got one with the right provision two appeals and one tribunal later when he was 4. In that 18 months I had to pay for private provision to stop him going backwards. They lost eventually but that for that 18 months they were quids in.

beautifulgirls Thu 06-Mar-14 20:20:08

We had a barrister against us for the LA at our tribunal when we appealed parts 2, 3, & 4. He clearly didn't know the case well and presumably had been presented with the tribunal pack a short while before tribunal. He made up all sorts of rubbish and even tried to claim that our offer to fund transport was an empty promise as we were too busy to arrange this ourselves. Clearly his approach was to throw anything he could into the discussion to try and avoid the LA having to provide for our daughter. We won our tribunal (including all transport!)

LaSpooney Sat 08-Mar-14 19:19:11

The cost of the barrister will be around £1,000 for the day, give or take. As someone on here has already said, the waste of space advisory panel will probably cost more. If the tribunal panel is anything like a mental health tribunal panel where a very good friend often sits, it is beyond scandalous that said friend and others on panel have absolutely no expertise or knowledge of mental health yet they can "advise the consultant in mental health" whether someone who has been sectioned can be discharged. I know. Words fail me. The so-called systems are seriously flawed.
It is the attitude of the LEA that is the biggest problem. They would rather show you that they are "right" rather than consider what is best for your child.
You will know your case better than the barrister. You will speak with passion and conviction. Just do the very best you can - keep up the good fight xx

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