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

Should I appeal?

(38 Posts)
adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 16:20:04


Just received DS final proposed statement.

A few things are missing- or weren't agreed, in part 2 that I put down for my changes. But I can let that one slip.

Part 3- is a bit unclear- but I think this is just due to the layout which is written in.
- DS will not get a direct therapy from a speech therapist- but the speech therapist will train the LSA- so he will get an 'X' amount of time in a week with the LSA to deliver the speech therapists recommended activities.

-To have access to our local autism outreach team- Which I am very worried as they may try to implement a workstation at school- which I specifically wrote down that it would NOT be beneficial for him at the moment.

-I don't agree fully with the speech therapists recommend therapy activities.

Part 6: For some odd reason- the advice from the speech therapy is in part 6.

Should I appeal?

Is it worth it?

Oh-regarding schools- his mainstream school is written down as I haven't decided on which specialist provision he should go to.

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 16:23:15

I don't know if I have the guts- or the expertise. sad

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 16:28:05

Though this would be my ideal for now.

-DS to receive intensive speech and language therapy support.
- A dual placement between a special school and mainstream

billiejeanbob Sat 03-Jan-15 18:36:57

Is this a draft or finalised statement?
From what you have quoted from the statement and your expectations of what you feel your dc needs then yes I think you do need to appeal.

'Access to' could mean a two minute phone call once a year etc.

Don't worry about not having the expertise, keep posting on here for advice and you can always contact IPSEA. Do you know if you are entitled to legal aid?

billiejeanbob Sat 03-Jan-15 18:38:53

Oh and they have put the slt in part 5 so that they are not legally responsible to provide the LSA training. So even that provision is not enforceable.

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 18:58:48

Thanks for replying.

It's the final statement.

They put down the speech therapist in part 6.

But his speech therapy recommendations in part 3.

Is it best to wait, or should I appeal now? I just want to be sure I'm doing the right thing.

I was thinking of seeing parent partnership for advice to see if it's worth appealing.

billiejeanbob Sat 03-Jan-15 19:19:55

By all means contact parent partnership but be aware that they are often working alongside the LA so may not offer you impartial advice. IPSEA could be a more reliable option?

If you are going to appeal I think you only have 8 weeks to lodge the appeal.

So have they included the LSA training in part 3? what does part 6 state? have they directly copied the slt recomemdations from the slt report or have they missed any important info out? My NHS report stated she needed direct slt with a slt but the LA refused to include this and instead stated it was too specific! That did not go down well with the tribunal panel!

Tambaboy Sat 03-Jan-15 19:33:57

I would definitely appeal, your LA is obviously trying their luck . IPSEA are good but I've had very good advice from SOS!SEN. They are currently running workshops on how to appeal to tribunal and how to write a Working Document. Check their website for details.
I'm lodging my appeal very shortly.

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 19:41:41

Well- they put in the SLT recommended activities and environmental structures in part 3.

In part 6- they put down 'Advice from speech therapist' as an outside agency.

Yep- I am going to contact IPSEA- now since you've mentioned that.

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 19:45:25

They have literally copied and pasted from the SALT report in Part 6.

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 19:45:43

Sorry! Part 3 I mean.

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 19:46:21

Thanks Tamaboy- I'll definitely check that out

senvet Sat 03-Jan-15 20:48:12

SALT in part 6 - good grief. OK to be in Part 6 if your D has just has tongue surgery but if you need ASD-type SALT then only part 2 and 3 are acceptable (and the case that decided that is R -v- Lancashire 1984 off the top of my head) and it is stated clearly in the COP as well.

If you have any diagnosis of ASD/Aspergers etc the NAS run a helpline along the same lines as IPSEA - it was set up on the IPSEA model with IPSEA help. Autism Helpline Number: 0808 800 4104. They have trained volunteers who will help draft your appeal and gather the evidence. The main thing is to think about independent SALT evidence eg Jackie Harland at London Children's Practice. She is so expert in autism that she tends to be more persuasive than the LA's SALTs who are more general. Ideally you would have her visit the LA;s choice of school, and your choice of school. The cost is well worth it.

An appeal tends to spur the LA into agreeing stuff, which helps, too.
Good Luck

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 22:09:06

Thanks senvet!

DS also has a language disorder-this was privately diagnosed.

But I would like for him to have intensive speech support ideally.

How much do they charge at the London Children's practise?

Tambaboy Sat 03-Jan-15 22:16:02

I was quoted £800 plus expenses ,she is apparently very good.

adrianna22 Sat 03-Jan-15 22:38:28


Ohnonono!- that is way over my budget shock.

Is there anyone else you can recommend?- around the £300-400 mark.

senvet Sun 04-Jan-15 01:26:15

As you have a private qualified SALT would she be able to do an assessment and a report?

AND Do you
a) live in Kent or Sussex
b) have a low(ish) disposable income?

If yes to both then apply to the Bedgebury Foundation.

They look at your disposable income and contribute a scaled percentage of the cost.

If you are on benefits it is a high percentage.

Also try Juanita Hurley - do not know how much she costs.

And try asking the London Childrens' Practice. I understand that they are training up a new SALT to do Tribunals. The new one has been a Salt for quite a while I think, but is a bit new to Tribunals This is not a major disadvantage in my view, as long as the new person is clear about why they are recommending the provision in their report. I don't have a feel for the new SALTs rate, but my impression is that Jackie would have some oversight of the work, you would have to check.

Also, if you get an NAS volunteer, then in really difficult situations the case gets referred into giant legal firm Clifford Chance. It is things like
-more than one disabled child in the family
- disability in one or more parent
- particularly complex case.

And the law firm has very limited access to some funding.

Reading the brief details above, I would be concerned that the Tribunal would struggle to order a special school/unit without compelling EXPERT evidence to back it up. It may be, however, that if your funds are limited you would be better to use them towards a good independent ed psych instead. They would have more clout in saying 'special school not mainstream' than a SALT.

I can recommend David Urani - pricey unless you are eg on benefits, and Tony Mackin. The best EP I know is really pricey unless you happen to live in the west country - Bristol way I think. He is Peter Parkhouse.

OH, and if you are poor enough to qualify for Legal Aid it is just about possible that you could get funding for reports through that, but austerity may have done for legal aid (?called legal help now)

Sorry not to bring better news.

I always advise that parents spend money on a good expert rather than a lawyer as IPSEA/NAS are good enough on the law etc. I usually say that it will be the best money you spend - forget the holiday, car, extension etc.

But then I usually know the cases and the people better than I know yours, so I am saying it to you with a big MAYBE.

adrianna22 Sun 04-Jan-15 01:48:00

Hi Senvent

Great advice.

I already have a private speech report and a private educational psychologist report.

But I'm not happy with the speech therapists report- but looking into DS getting assessed by a new speech therapist again.

I sadly don't live in Kent- but I am poor enough to qualify for legal aid and things grin.

adrianna22 Sun 04-Jan-15 01:49:55

But what about a dual setting? DS attends mainstream part time and at a special school for the rest of the days. Is this possible that the Tribunal will allow this?

senvet Sun 04-Jan-15 02:01:37

Tribunal do allow split placement. Sorry, I thought that you were applying for special school for the first time.

Glad you have some indie reports already. All the difficulties (Needs) named in the Ed Psych Report should be covered in Part 2 and all the Provision inserted in Part 3.

So getting a tighter SALT report is the gap in the evidence. Maybe asking your own SALT to do a full assessment (if it isn't too soon after the last one to test again) and to visit the school to see what they are doing there, and then do a report that would be good. Not as good as Jackie Harland I am afraid.

adrianna22 Sun 04-Jan-15 02:26:03

Thanks fore replying.

I have emailed Jackie Harland and see what she says regarding the costs- I do hope it's not £800.confused

fairgame Sun 04-Jan-15 11:16:28

Legal aid will fund independent Salt, Ot and Ep assessments as they did for me last year. However they have a cap on how much they will pay for an assessment. The ep I originally wanted wouldn't lower her quote and legal aid refused to agree to pay so I had to find a cheaper ep.
If you go through legal aid you don't get to choose your solicitor you get assigned whoever they choose. I live in Yorkshire and was assigned a solicitor at Tower Hamlets but she was brilliant. Totally honest and told me the truth rather than what I wanted to hear. I couldn't have done it without her she was fab.

adrianna22 Sun 04-Jan-15 11:20:16

Fairgame- Really!! I didn't know legal aid fund assessments! How do I go about asking that?

fairgame Sun 04-Jan-15 11:31:12

They fund them as part of your case not as standalone assessments, sorry I should have made that clear. So if the solicitor feels that a new ep etc report is needed then they will ask legal aid to fund it.
I got the whole ball rolling by calling the coram legal centre and they put me through the legal aid people who then went through my financial details to see if I qualified. After they decided I qualified they put me through to a solicitor to discuss whether I had a case and it all carried on from there.

billiejeanbob Sun 04-Jan-15 11:42:43

fab that you are entitled to legal aid! If you contact the civil legal advice line they can put you in contact with a solicitor. I had maxwell gillot and they were fantastic! they funded independent slt, OT and EP assessments and reports. The legal aid covered all fees including travel and they travelled from the other end of the country to see my dd in school and at home!
I also recieved top up funding for additional short reports which allowed the indie experts to comment on the LA's evidence.
The solicitor from MG was fantastic she pushed and pushed with the LA to negotiate with us. When they refused and eventually admitted that they were not willing to negotiate in writing (email) my solicitor included this within our evidence bundle. This went in our favour and was even mentioned in the decision from the Judge.
MG are also fantastic at recommending tribunal experienced experts. Our experts were fantastic and very experienced with fighting against LAs.
The only costs I had to pay were for all 3 experts to attend the hearing. This was a lot (3k) but due to having recieved legal funding for the rest I could just afford it.

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