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How long should a note in lieu be?

(27 Posts)
bjkmummy Thu 08-Jan-15 13:03:59

With all of the appendices mine is 100 pages long. The LA have included everything including IEPs. The written part of the NIL is about 10pages long. I was just chatting to someone else and they said theirs was just 2 pages long. My LA have basically written it like a statement with attached appendices.

ouryve Thu 08-Jan-15 13:08:08

240 sheets is standard for loo roll, isn't it?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 08-Jan-15 13:36:02

NIL is really not worth the paper it is written on so I hope you are appealing the NIL. Would also say that 240 sheets is standard for loo roll.

sweetteamum Thu 08-Jan-15 13:45:26

I would urge you to go on and fight for statement. It's really not enforceable as it stands.

bjkmummy Thu 08-Jan-15 13:47:23

I am appealing - tribunal is in a couple of weeks.

2boysnamedR Thu 08-Jan-15 13:47:25

Ours was four pages of tripe "ds should have assess to some sort of thing that might help his speech in some way"

No sh@t Sherlock! Who could have guessed? Lol.

bjkmummy Thu 08-Jan-15 13:49:38

One of the points of mine is 'a handwriting programme' and that's it! Not who will do it, how many times a week, how they will measure progress etc etc and lots more such rubbish as well.

Just not sure if they have done it right by putting all of the appendices on the back of it. Doesn't really matter cos any tribunal will look at it and realise that a statement is what is needed

Ineedmorepatience Thu 08-Jan-15 14:14:39

I am fairly sure we received all the reports from the SA with ours bjk I only kept the actual NIL bit though the rest is filed at the bottom of my tribunal hamper !

Ouryve that made me laugh for the first time today! My tribunal is tomorrow so not much is funny today!!

ouryve Thu 08-Jan-15 14:15:28

Draft statements usually come with some of all the appendices attached.

ouryve Thu 08-Jan-15 14:16:52

Good luck, Ineed.

You could take yours in with the corners folded over into a point like they do in hotels.

bjkmummy Thu 08-Jan-15 14:23:55

I've just had my sons draft EHCP and that had no appendices with it. Don't think my La can decide what to do........

Good luck Ineed xxxxx will keep everything crossed tomorrow for you x

Ineedmorepatience Thu 08-Jan-15 14:43:16

Thanks for the good luck wishes, I am feeling slightly sick today! hmm

2boysnamedR Thu 08-Jan-15 15:10:20

Good luck I need. Wish I could send you some virtual strength

senvet Thu 08-Jan-15 15:54:20

The logic of a NIL is that the provision to meet your dc needs is within the school budget.
So I would argue that the provision must be specific so the tribunal can be clear how much it costs and work out if it fits into the budget.

If the Tribunal permit it to be vague, then in practice there is a risk that the budget will set the provision, which may or may not then meet the needs.

Also, if it is vague, then a cut in budget, or a rise in LSA cots, or a new and significant demand in the budget (eg several children are suddenly recognised to have difficulties) what will happen?

If the provision is clear, then it will be immediately apparent whether the school's budget can no longer cope, and a statement/EHCP is needed. Clarity like this must be good for everyone, surely?

But if the provision is vague, then there is a risk that DC's provision will be delayed, or reduced. In law this implies that his difficulties have changed to fit the budget WHICH IS NOT FAIR, and is NOT how the law is supposed to work.

The law is supposed to be the other way round: you assess the needs, decide on provision and then make the provision. The needs MUST be met. That is the law.

It is NOT, start with the budget, see what you can provide, and then make the DC's needs match.

With a vague NIL, there is a severe risk that the tail will wag the dog.

Rant over

bjkmummy Thu 08-Jan-15 16:01:27

rant away senvet! they are very good and sensible arguments

my dd specialist teaching alone would cost £17k a year! we are currently paying ourselves for 90 mins a week - I even have a letter from Edward Timpson himself saying we should not be paying for it - for the school to fund what we pay would be around £4k a year before we even get onto everything else. my argument is that her needs were never fully assessed as ordered by the last tribunal and that is clear cos since the nil was issued she has been dx with ASD and duscaulicia which she didn't somehow catch once a NIL was issued - those needs were always there and apparent but the LA just chose to ignore everything. this is a child who is now years behind and further behind than when we started......

Ineedmorepatience Thu 08-Jan-15 16:14:00

That is like Dd3! Her NIL only mentions her writing once interms of her hypermobility and the pain that that causes. It does mention the severe writing difficulty which led to her scoring on the 3rd and then 2nd centile when tested independently and which has now fallen to the 1st centile in the most recent assessment! But there is no provision for it or even any mention of it in the list of provisions!

Who knows what will hapoen tomorrow, all we can do now is hope for an understanding panel!

senvet Thu 08-Jan-15 16:24:20

Oh sorry. I was supposed to say how long!

The question is: what works in the setting? Is this 10 page thing actually workable?

I don't have a major objection to the reports etc being at the end - it may stop them losing them. As long as they have not been selective with the reports and left out ones that conflict with their view.

If the 10 pages contain 50 findings on difficulties and 50 types of provision, then how will it actually work on a day to day basis?

And ask the Tribunal to sympathise with teachers and LSAs who have to wade through 10 pages each time they want to check if they are doing everything they are supposed to.

Especially, how many things will the LSA and teacher have to build into the daily routine? If they are having to implement a bunch of things like extending attention, progressing vocabulary, increasing social skills, keeping sentences short, not using metaphor etc etc, and to continue to do that in different places like out at PE, is it a realistic amount to remember?

From memory bjk you are in primary mainstream, so it is a bit more workable that secondary, but think about drilling down, exactly as you have set out with the handwriting. Who will set the programme, and who will implement it, and how will they measure progress.

And when you have added up all the things that they are meant to to, can SENCo, teacher and existing LSAs really deliver that within the working day, or realistically will they be aced with a choice of working overtime (which costs more) working overtime for free (which isn't fair or legal) or just not being able to get it all done, at least: not be able to get it all done reliably, week in, week out.

Really hope this helps
Ineed parents speaking from the heart are the most compelling witnesses. Say it exactly how it is, and you will be fine. If they are trying to rush you to answer, then feel free to say 'hang on. I haven't thought about this before'. If you feel you need a break, then ask if you can have one at the next convenient moment. Don't be afraid to say things that are true, even if it seems to harm your case - the panel can spot someone trying to spin the facts, and have huge respect for plain honesty. Above all, remember that parents speaking from the heart are the most compelling witnesses on the planet. You will be brilliant just by being the caring parent that you are.

2boysnamedR Thu 08-Jan-15 16:46:01

Senco said at my tribunal that the ta will work into the evening for free to implement ds provision.

Poor ta.....

bjkmummy Thu 08-Jan-15 16:53:47

I second the speaking from the heart part - the last tribunals that is what I did and I think the panel respect you for it as you are just a parent trying to do your best for your child, when it comes to the closing part ive just done that from the heart - had rough notes but just spoke as I went rather than doing a rigid speech

2boysnamedR Thu 08-Jan-15 16:55:04

I'm sure your panel will draw this out - but

Think about provision is in place. How much does this already cost? Are they implementing all they said they should? If not but things are planned for a later date - what's that cost? What are your key provisions you don't yet have? What's that cost?

I'm nervous re outing myself ( god knows why - I have done zero wrong and said zero lies in here) but at my hearing what they already had in place came in over 6k. They was going to start more ( in the indefinite pipeline) that put it well over 6k. Then even with my most basic provision added ( the one show stopper no one could denie he needs) that put another 4k at least on top. Figures just don't add up. Rep was saying he needed to check senco figures etc. then in summing up they said salt at £40 a hour could be found and implemented two hours a week and that would be £400 ish a year I think from memory. I like to find a slt who charges £40 a hour and who couldn't add up.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 08-Jan-15 17:43:48

When I went to tribunal for ds1 a year and a half ago, 1 hour of OT was costed by the LA at 3K per year. They argued a SALT contract and so zero cost but for tribunal this was assumed to be 3K. 400 quid for around 35 or even 70 hours therapy over a year does not add up. The LA will try to minimise costs - mine got the transport costs 'wrong' - one fifth of the actual cost. shock

Ineedmorepatience Thu 08-Jan-15 18:15:23

Thanks senvet and bjk speaking from the heart is what I do!! And for honest read "Black and white!!" Fingers crossed it will be enough!

senvet Thu 08-Jan-15 19:42:44

You two are onto a good line with omitted needs.
The tribunal must consider the child as they are on the day of the tribunal.

If there are new disgnoses then it has to be reasonable to assume that there is new provision to be considered.

Actually, I have racked (wracked?) my brain to see if I can think of a way that the LA could argue round it, in case being forewarned is forearmed (although, frankly, I expect you have probably thought of this already). The only thing I have come up with is the LA saying that the diagnosis is just a shorthand for all the needs and learning difficulties recognised before. Example: the episodes of numbness in the feet were the same before I was diagnosed with MS as they were afterwards. Fingers crossed they won't try it, and even if they do it is probably easy enough to demonstrate that it is wrong in your DC's case.

ineed Looks like you are all set.
Hypermobility - how can dc give a fair demonstration of her ability when she is distracted by the pain of producing the work?
My dd is hypermobile and the amount of writing expected just goes on rising the older they get. It is a struggle to maintain a seated posture - that alone distracts her from the work - let alone dealing with the pain of writing. Go get them!

bjkmummy Thu 08-Jan-15 20:18:28

im lucky in the sense I have an excellent indie EP who has already got the school to openly admit they can provide no more as they have no more money and also that they cannot provide everything that the NIL says - she is now further behind so all the help school have done isn't working, LA have never suggested school could be doing more. the LA are so far not calling their own EP - just the class teacher and a random senco from a random secondary school to show what a random secondary school could offer a random child with random needs because of course the secondary senco wont have seen the nil will she! (we all know she has seen it but she and the LA never going to admit it)

StarlightMcKenzee Thu 08-Jan-15 23:05:55

How long? No longer than 2 months plus appeal time!

grin

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