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My MP is meeting Ed Timpson on my behalf -any1 have anything they want to put to him here as well

(30 Posts)
wasuup2014 Tue 13-Jan-15 20:21:52

As the title really - anything that you'd like my MP to ask him?

senvet Tue 13-Jan-15 21:25:52

Does he have any idea of the difficulty so many face trying to get the 'system' to diagnose with parents left to stumble on someone who can refer? -
Policy change needed is for ALL of GP, School, School nurse etc to be clear that they are ALL able to refer to psychiatrist for diagnosis. It may only be school that is in his remit but every little helps.

Can he issue clear guidance that, particularly mainstream statements/EHC Plans, do NOT include words like 'access to' 'regular' 'opportunities for' 'would benefit from' and so on.

All teachers are required by law to identify SEN to aid early intervention. Can he set a target for ALL teachers to have had a specific level of training in recognising difficulties, especially with invisible disabilities.

Would he pioneer training for a key member of staff to have a higher level of training toidentify certain harder-to-spot difficulties, such as ASD, hypermobillity, hearing problems, sensory issues. I ma thinking one member of staff for ASD, one for sensory issues etc etc. It would involve working with the professional bodies to identify tests that could be done to screen for some of these.

Is he prepared to operate a survey or at least some test cases to measure the extent of unmet SEN in schools, especially amongst the population which is suspended/excluded? If the prison population has such a high proportion of SEN, then logic says it is cheaper for taxpayers and better for
society if the needs are spotted and met earlier

Lordy, lordy - someone else's turn

uggerthebugger Tue 13-Jan-15 21:33:42


you rock grin

uggerthebugger Tue 13-Jan-15 21:42:00

What senvet said, plus this:

Timpson seems like an unusually decent minister who's operating in a reality distortion field. As any of us would be if we got all our information from Whitehall / Westminster / Local Government Association / Council for Disabled Children etc

He needs to shake these fuckers off and get himself down to the frontline for a bit. To see at an individual why his reforms aren't working. Do some 'mystery shopper' stuff - talk to parents, attend a Tribunal hearing, hide in the plant pot at a SEN Panel meeting.

None of that is likely to happen. But he won't understand the causes of the ongoing car crash until he does.

wasuup2014 Tue 13-Jan-15 22:10:27

Brilliant I have emailed my MP's PA with the above. If anyone else has anything to add I think the meeting could be tomorrow so please be quick. I gave my personal views re how my children and myself have been affected and more general views from others such as you two so far.

senvet Tue 13-Jan-15 22:13:11

Well said ugger
Love the idea of Timpson in a plant pot....

How about 'undercover boss' or similar. Everyone would have to sign a waiver to go on the telly, but would they dare not to?

Icimoi Tue 13-Jan-15 22:56:19

They need to allocate much more funding to LAs to deliver is SEN. As matters stand at the moment LAs are in chaos because they haven't got sufficient resources to train staff in the new system, let alone deliver it. For instance, I don't know about anyone else, but when it was pointed out to my LA that they were supposed to be arranging a multi disciplinary child centred meeting as suggested in the legislation, all that happened was a lot of hollow laughter - the reality is that busy NHS experts simply don't have time to do all this, and LAs count themselves lucky if they can get SALTs to Annual Review meetings, let alone EHC Planning meetings.

None of it is going to work without better resources in place: there is no point in the CoP saying that local offers must ensure that children can access resources at short notice when the reality is that CAMHS are so understaffed that the earliest they can offer appointments is over a year ahead.

MistleTOWIEandWine Tue 13-Jan-15 23:05:40

Can he issue clear guidance that, particularly mainstream statements/EHC Plans, do NOT include words like 'access to' 'regular' 'opportunities for' 'would benefit from' and so on.

^This - everything should be specified and quantified.

Then everything everyone has said, and also...

Why are local authorities allowed to continuously and persistently ignore Acts of Parliament and regulations such as the SEN CoP. But instead use their own rigid "policies" which are breaking the law.

2boysnamedR Tue 13-Jan-15 23:48:05

Why do schools and LA staff still get away with imposing extra rules in top of the sen cop? Like my LA - you can not get a statement unless you are two years behind or not making two sub levels progress a year. They quoted that at tribunal - judge told them it's illegal - yet they put in writing again for summing up.

My school senco has gone in mat leave. School said they advertised yet could not fill her role in a school of 500. Why can't the uk even sort out the basics like this? Are there no sencos? Or is just not enforceable for such a large school to have one? The school link worker is now the senco.

What costs more? Short period of 15 years decent education or 60+ years on the dole?

Who is going to pay the bill when my dysfunctional kids grow up and fall outside of society as they have no value in society?

Who regulates these cowboy LA reps?

I could go on. Need to get back onto my mp who is on the news a lot. He has been good in the past.

Love the under cover boss idea. Priceless. But he wouldn't do it. Shame as back to the factory floor where is plays out. I would vote for that.

senvet Wed 14-Jan-15 01:34:08

Mistle, 2boys take a look at Clare on the education tab.
Herts have inherited her statement from Hackney. It specifies 19 hours. Or it did until Herts got hold of it and removed the 19 hours. 'That;s not how we do things in Herts'

Please, pleasepleaseplease, please ask the minister to tell LAs that they cannot stamp policies onto SEN. It is the law, the whole law, and nothing but the law.

In particular there is a bit of law which says that every child must be treated as an individual, and so the moment a policy is applied the law has gone.

He may need to write to them all asking for their policies and then write publically to the ones that have them and tell them off.

ici I take your point about resources, but the law is written so that SEN must be met. The law is clear - assess the needs, use experts to decide on provision and then provide it REGARDLESS OF COST, Cost comes in only where there are several things that would meet the needs when efficient use of resources etc come in. It is even stronger in the new law.

So before an LA can bleat that they do not have funds, they will have had to cut their Christmas lights, fireworks displays, bulbs in the parks, reduced the temperature in their office buildings, replaced the light bulbs less often and so on.

In law they are not allowed to set a budget, decide what provision can be made, and then get the SEN to fit. You could halve your SEN budget if you moved half your SEN kids to another LA, but otherwise it is the last to go.

So wassup please ask the minister to make it clear that SEN budgets have to be the top priority as that is how parliament wrote it. 'My budget is empty' and 'austerity ' is not an excuse for breaking the law.

bjkmummy Wed 14-Jan-15 07:09:18

hidden in my tribunal bundle is a letter from Edward Timpson to my dd - she wrote to him asking why no one was helping her (although I also had to do a covering letter as you could read her letter due to the dyslexia etc) he wrote back to her and explained that as her parents we should not be paying for the specialist teaching that we are currently paying for so wonder if the LA will even realise the letter is in there as its hidden in the middle of the bundle.......

his letter also says how as parents we can instruct legal help for the hearing - he has no idea that many many parents simply cannot afford to pay for that - the letter was a nice letter though......... im going to get her to write to him again post tribunal with an update

Ineedmorepatience Wed 14-Jan-15 08:12:25

Sorry havent read all but can you add "Why isnt SEND funding still not ring fenced and please can he try to change this"

Ineedmorepatience Wed 14-Jan-15 08:13:58

Ooops second grammar fail in 2 days shock

" Why is SEND funding still not ring fenced!"

Ineedmorepatience Wed 14-Jan-15 08:19:37

Well said senvet!!

bjkmummy Wed 14-Jan-15 09:05:09

and also that all LA EP reports be specified and quantified!!!!!!!!!!!

just had my sons EHCP as he is transferring over and its dire - my friend in the same position - we compared our EP reports. my son very low academically and in a special school, friends son very able academically and in a mainstream school with full support.

both reports were cut and paste jobs so both their needs exactly the same but the worse part was where the EP had asked them some questions and both boys gave EXACTLY the same answers word for word........ how is that possible so clearly the boys didn't give those answers!!

nothing is specified nor quantified and every single EP report in this county is written exactly the same.

2boysnamedR Wed 14-Jan-15 09:37:16

Wow well said senvet and everyone above

Bjk - omg that is shocking and disgraceful. I would complain post tribunal about that

Icimoi Wed 14-Jan-15 10:55:46

To be fair, either Timpson or someone else at the DfE did write to LAs fairly recently to point out that EHCPs should contained specified provision, and it is being merrily ignored - which is exactly what everyone told him when the legislation was in draft form.

What he needs to be asked is what he is going to do about enforcing this: it absolutely shouldn't just be left to individual parents to take to tribunal - apart from anything else, it's a waste of expensive tribunal time. He needs to be taking steps to monitor EHCPs and to put in place further regulations or legislation that enables the DfE to take appropriate action in that event - e.g. a requirement that a defaulting LA amend all EHCPs to comply or the DfE will do it for them and will charge them for all the costs associated with that, including obtaining appropriate specialist advice.

wasuup2014 Wed 14-Jan-15 10:57:53

I have passed everything on to my MPs PA. I will let you know when I hear any news back.

bjkmummy Wed 14-Jan-15 11:11:48

im going to write to Edward post tribunal and give him an update on my dd - will also enclose to him a copy of the letter from the LA where they refuse to specify and quantify the EP report......

Madcatgirl Wed 14-Jan-15 13:42:49

It's all well and good saying provision must be met and paid for, but when you're met with such attitudes as 'ed. Psych. What the hell does he know?" And "well he's academically ok, so what is you actually want?" And ignoring the all round provision requirements my son needs and I'm fucking sick of battling for. If your local lea decides it's easier to carry on regardless and I was told my son has a snowballs chance in hell in getting the ehcp he needs. So yes provision must be met, but first these people who decide need to realise that all the professionals involved know more than they bloody well do!

MistleTOWIEandWine Wed 14-Jan-15 16:55:40

I am tempted to say that the entire "system" needs an overhaul.

Oh no, wait. Haven't we just done that?

senvet Wed 14-Jan-15 21:28:15

wassup well done

madcat If you need an ECHP then apply for one yourself. I remember a SENCo telling me that a lad whose family I was helping would never get assessed. He got assessed, a statement and a special school (and is now working full time unlike half the youth his age). Your school clearly knows less than newt about SEN. Get IPSEA on your side or NAS if you have an ASD/Asperger's diagnosis. Everytime they say something make a note and follow it up by email (but be very nice - you will get more off-their-guard remarks to help your case if you are nice). So in the situation above 'thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. It is great news to hear that DC is doing well academically. I note that your view is quite different from that of the educational psychologist, and that you do not yet recognise DC in their findings'. It means that they have an opportunity to respond if you are not reflecting their position accurately, and that you are giving them enough rope...

bjk is your friend's ep statement part of your extensive evidence? Would they release it with the name redacted?
Also is the other report the same/similar date or reasonably far apart? I'm just wondering if there is a computer glitch explanation

It would just be an interesting line of questions...
So do you take notes at the assessment as you go? on a laptop or a pad?
Do you prepare a list of questions in advance?
Do you tailor the list of questions to the child?
And you note the answer down as you go?
In their own words?

Do you start a new page/open a new document each time you start an assessment/
When you wirute up your notes, you go back to the notes you took at the time?

Can you explain how these two children came to give identical answers?

Then in summoning up, how can we rely on someone who cannot take reliable notes of her assessments?

Sorry, getting carried away

Madcatgirl Wed 14-Jan-15 21:32:44

I have applied for it. Those quotes were from the panel. Head teacher and I are now working towards accessing one spring 2016.

Today we filled out the CAF form and have the actual meeting early feb.

senvet Wed 14-Jan-15 22:04:15

great stuff madcat. Once ECHP application is filed then the LA is on a set timetable to respond, I think.

bjkmummy Thu 15-Jan-15 07:13:19

my elder son isn't the one who is before the tribunal this time - it is my daughter - my friend is today meeting with the school and LA as it is her transfer to EHCP meeting and knowing my friend I expect she wont be able to stop herself mentioning it..........

once I get this tribunal out of the way I will take this on. interestingly as part of my DD appeal there were no handwritten notes from when the EP saw her so I asked for them to be told that the EP doesn't hold a sen file??? again this is in my pending box for post tribunal as the LA have failed to release everything under a data request - they always do hold stuff back so find myself having to ask for each and every single document

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