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Refusal to assess- did you have legal help or not?

(19 Posts)
Theycallmestacy Fri 07-Mar-14 19:29:17

How many of you that were refused SA and had to appeal had legal help?

did the LEA agree to assess before tribunal?

Those without Legal help, did you have support from PP or IPSEA, or go it alone. How was it? did you win?

beautifulgirls Fri 07-Mar-14 20:14:36

We appealed at that stage ourselves with no specific help. The LA backed down on the basis of the initial paperwork and carried out assessment. (We then appealed the note in lieu they issued and they again backed down - we went to hearing to appeal parts 2,3 and 4 of the statement and won with a legal advocate helping us).

At this stage it is doable by yourself. You want to use the SEN code of practice to support your reasons why you believe they should carry out an assessment. In my case I reported "DD has difficulties with x, as noted by professional/teacher y in report dated Jan 2014, she also has difficulties with a, b and c (refer to supporting material where available). I pointed out the SEN code of practice where I felt that supported our case and quoted parts of it. Section 7 is particularly relevant to you at this stage.

AgnesDiPesto Fri 07-Mar-14 20:16:35

No help
LA backed down immediately
Used IPSEA refusal to assess pack.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 07-Mar-14 20:19:58

I have had some help from an advocate but have done the bulk of it myself. I needed advise about where to start mainly and we just tidied up my evidence this week.

I would go to IPSEA and yes to the SENCOP it is very useful to be able to quote from it.

If you ask on here lots of people will help, I got some great last minute help yesterday smile

Ahhhcantthinkofagoodname Fri 07-Mar-14 20:20:19

Same as Agnes.
Highlight any areas where they have not complied with the SENCOP (read section 7 especially). with us LA didn't meet the six week deadline and didn't say how they thought DS could be supported using schools own resources...

2boysnamedR Fri 07-Mar-14 20:28:10

No, the lea told me I had better have a good solicitor then backed down! :0/

I wouldn't havd either as I knew there would be harder fights ahead and I was right. NIL issued so facing it all again

sazale Fri 07-Mar-14 23:53:57

The success rate for refusal to assess for parents is exceptionally high. Around 96% I believe.

My LA changed their decision the day before their first response was due. No extra evidence provided to what they'd already seen and no legal help.

Just wondering about this, I had a refusal this week on the basis that they think DS's needs can be met from within the school's existing resources, feeling a bit overwhelmed by the IPSEA refusal to assess info at the moment.

bjkmummy Sat 08-Mar-14 06:57:24

mine are carrying on = the la just served their case statement on me - they state she is making progress (provided no evidence of this) that her needs can be met at school action - even though school have a teeny tiny budget and she needs specialist teaching which school refuse to even consider. also with mine panel sat before the date they told me I had to have my evidence in! and it also looks like panel sat with no information from the school. my LA are just using the sen officer and class teacher - sen officer will go to pieces before tribunal as she just says the same thing again and again so if nothing else will be good to see her get an absolute grilling by tribunal.

the success rate is quite high - im personally worried that im going to be the 4% who are not successful but at least I gave it go.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 08-Mar-14 10:37:17

Are you me bjk?

Very similar story.

bjkmummy Sat 08-Mar-14 11:47:25

That's quite scary then Ineed - I think there are refusing so many now. Fr me I can't help but think there's a personal side to it - it's a little bit of payback over us winning her twins tribunal last year. That's what I find the hardest, not that i could lose but the absolute celebrations in the LA if I do but then its not about that, there is a child involved here who is struggling and needs help.

Will be interesting to see what the LA serve on you on the deadline. I'm expecting nothing more as they have nothing more.

gravyandchips Sat 08-Mar-14 14:23:20

I used a lawyer for refusal to assess. In hindsight I probably didn't need it (it's quite a straightforward appeal and there's statistically a high chance of success). But had a lot of personal issues going on at the time so I needed to delegate some of the work, I was overwhelmed. The LA backed down before the hearing. I don't using legal help though, I think the LA didn't mess me around as much as they would have otherwise and I used the same lawyer for a pt 2/3/4 appeal a year later and got a place at residential special school. I think it all went more smoothly and quickly having a lawyer deal with the process from refusal to assess to school placement.

bjkmummy Sat 08-Mar-14 14:34:22

I sat and read part 7 earlier and was shocked at how much of the code they haven't adhered to and in fact they are even (again!) manipulating it. they only quote 7.46 of the code of practice but then not even the whole paragraph - they have forgotten to quote the last sentence!!

Ineedmorepatience Sat 08-Mar-14 14:44:22

bjk I will be very surprised if they dont serve more evidence on the final day as so far what they have provided is very lame and that worries me slightly.

I am very wary of my LA SEN team they are employed for only one reason and that is to intimidate parents in to agreeing to everything the LA wants.

I am lucky to have had support from parents who have been down this road in my LA and of course everyone on here.

bjkmummy Sat 08-Mar-14 14:52:03

do you think they do have anything more? I thought mine would have served some of her work but I emailed them and said I knew that school were making her re do work to make it look better and if that work had been handed over it was without my consent - it also means that its on record what the school have been doing plus at the meeting school backtracked and said her work wasn't consistent so couldn't after all mark her up! that said I think ive got about 4 weeks until final evidence so still time yet.

its a nightmare isn't it! the bit I hate is trying to second guess the games - the only positive is the mrs 'intervention table' is doing it for the LA and she just has a habit of repeating the same thing over and over again - she will bore the panel into submission!

the peeps on here are fantastic - I would be lost without everyone holding my hand again as we go through it.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 08-Mar-14 15:05:17

I dont know tbh, there is loads more they could have accessed but it all states something about Dd3's anxiety of communication issues so I guess thats why they havent bothered with it.

Their EP hasnt sent me anything despite working with Dd3 on at least 3 ocassions. It was promised for "the middle of the week!" but didnt arrive.

Hey ho, I have worked really hard and provided loads of evidence, all I can do now is wait!!

A bit more waiting! I have done plenty of that on my journey with Dd3 grin

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 08-Mar-14 15:40:37

Different LAs behave differently according to their policies, size and existing provision. DH kept imagining an 'evil genius' but there was none - just impersonal, bureaucratic delay and focus on budget.

Icimoi Sun 09-Mar-14 20:37:55

Friend of mine is entitled to legal aid and has a solicitor for a refusal to assess appeal on behalf of her dd. dd has ASD and ADHD and the school regularly sends her home early when she has meltdowns or puts her in isolation where she does nothing. School says she shouldn't be assessed because they don't think assessment will get her any more help, and LA of course are happy to go along with that. My friend has found it a real relief handing it all over to the solicitor who seems pretty confident about the appeal, and has also sent a fantastic letter to the school pointing out extremely politely that they're breaking the law all over the place and they can't possibly say dd needs no more support when they can't keep her in school. It certainly made my friend feel a whole lot better.

babiki Sun 09-Mar-14 23:02:05

I used a lawyer and lost anyway - unlucky with judge. LA dragged on and only conceded once we applied for Second Tier Tribunal.

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