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Can you have AR of a proposed statement?

(29 Posts)
KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 16-Jan-15 11:23:51

DS2's final is due calculating from when I resent parental comments as the LA had 'lost' those sent originally in October.

SA was carried out April 2014 but SALT and OT reports were not requested (despite being a patient for years and visited by both termly in his previous school). To complicate matters, we then moved house, only about 15 miles but it meant DS2 changing to an in-county m/s primary (yr 4) instead of ooc m/s primary and so his care had to be transferred. LA still insisted that he was not known to services and produced a second draft rather than a final back in September but still did not include SALT and OT. He was seen in the OT and SALT clinics before christmas, they produced reports and both have done school visits to train staff to deliver recommended provision and plan to make further school visits.

I phoned to chase and was told that as DS2 was due to be assessed in school by SALT and OT next week, after which reports would be produced, (wrong on all counts) the LA thought it best to wait. They proposed that we have an Annual Review of the proposed to include SALT and OT at which it can be 'discussed' whether to produce yet another proposed or to produce a final. Promises were made (verbally) about fast tracking the paperwork (i.e. 2 weeks instead of 6) but even in the best case scenario this is further delay of weeks/months.

Can you even have an AR of a proposed?

I explained that they themselves had advised that the proposed be finalised asap as the school were not even delivering the provisions that were in the proposed but would be legally bound to do so once the statement was finalised. I was then transferred from the case worker to the manager (we are old 'friends' from DS1's tribunal and she is overseeing DS2's case) who then said that I also had the option of finalising the proposed as is, without the SALT and OT. They would then call an AR by the end of the Spring term to add SALT and OT.

I'm inclined to finalise straight away but don't know how this might impact on appeal when an AR is proposed? Also, do I have a right of appeal following an AR and can I appeal part 4 at this stage or just parts 2 and 3?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 16-Jan-15 11:31:20

I intend to appeal anyway - Christ, if NHS SALT and OT don't completely dismiss his needs, then I imagine that indi therapists would identify further need and would specify and quantify provision.

I suspect that the AR would be booked to take place after the 2 month deadline to appeal the final but I would want to appeal anyway and am concerned that it would look odd that I didn't wait for AR.

Also as DS2 is currently in year 4, I am minded that he is less likely to win part 4 if all the delay meant that tribunal hearing took place whilst he was in year 5 when an AR to discuss placement was due anyway. I know that this has meant that others have 'lost' tribunal.

ouryve Fri 16-Jan-15 11:34:21

If they don't amend the proposed statement after AR, then you can appeal the contents of parts 2 and 3, and consequently 4, yes. Even if they do amend, but not to your satisfaction you can appeal.

But since it sounds like they're trying to put you off appealing and that they've been dragging their feet with finalising, I think you should just get on and finalise what you have and appeal the statement as it is. If they want to do the assessments, they can feel free to do them as you appeal. You probably have more rights, this way and they would be under more pressure not to spin things out for another year.

ouryve Fri 16-Jan-15 11:36:08

I can see why you'd want to hold out to put the right pressure on next year, though. It depends how he's faring at the moment.

ouryve Fri 16-Jan-15 11:38:44

Also - you'd probably be converting to EHCP as part of the pre-transfer review next year. If you fought and won anything this year, I can imagine a combative LA making you do it all over again.

senvet Fri 16-Jan-15 11:44:24

The law says that your child's needs must be met.
full stop.
end of.
Nothing about a statement or anything else.

When will the SALT and OT reports actually be available?

If you don't know, you can always call the therapists directly. They are there to serve you and the DC, as well as the LA's SEN department.

Once you have that bit of the jigsaw I think it would help.

In terms of AR, you can always have a meeting whether it is strictly an AR or not, and if you can get one with school, SALT and OT, it sounds like it might be well worth doing. They could be galvanised into working towards a deadline.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 16-Jan-15 11:53:15

The OT report has been available for over a month and the SALT report for over 2 weeks. There are not due to be further assessments or reports from school visits for SALT whose visits are to train - not the TA but the CT as TA only in class in the mornings and he has no 1:1.

The LA claim no knowledge of these reports which they say weren't sent to them. They are contacting the services for copies today.

ouryve Fri 16-Jan-15 12:12:42

They probably have 2 filing systems. One that they put the reports they receive in and one that they actually look at.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 16-Jan-15 12:15:27

There seems to be a common acceptance that placement change happens most often around transition from KS1 to KS2 and from primary to secondary. I applied for assessment when NHS behavioural nurse observed at the start of KS2. Transition had been predicted as a possible problem by LA staff. I want this appeal to be about actual failure in transition from KS1 to KS2 rather than predicted failure in transition to secondary, essentially because he is not OK now and things can only get worse.

ouryve Fri 16-Jan-15 12:35:13

Do you think he would benefit from a move, now?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 16-Jan-15 13:43:58

He has only had one term in this school so far. It has not gone well. The school are not implementing the statement. They don't have 2 adults in the classroom during all teaching sessions and the HT has refused to make any adjustment to current staffing or hire an LSA so he doesn't even have access to a TA for the specified hours. The CT clearly does not like me - amongst her gems are 'his old school may have sent his file but I don't have time to read everything' and 'I don't know how to support him, I mean I don't think he needs support so I will use my discretion as to whether he needs the provision in his statement'.

It would have been better for him if he had been placed in a setting in September but the LA refused parental preference m/s primary in next village and forced him into catchment primary. Both schools were up to their PAN and so the LA had the final say.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 16-Jan-15 13:56:19

Is there anything useful in the proposed keep?

If there is I would finalise because this would potentially hopefully force the school to act!!

Teacher sounds like a nightmare!!

AgnesDiPesto Fri 16-Jan-15 14:34:03

Yes it get finalised it sounds as though current statement better than nothing
Yes appeal it straight away - even if they say they will call a review or add in SLT / OT its worth keeping them to a timetable for that
Sometimes NHS just don't produce reports and the LA is left having to draft a statement without them or delaying.
I would appeal 2,3 & 4 - 2/3 as don't specify SLT & OT (even though this is promised….).
If you give more time now there is a chance appeal would not be heard before Sept. I would get final. Put in immediate appeal and book your tribunal slot & hope it won't be needed.
They can call a review and amend the statement during an appeal - this happened to us - we just wrote to SENDIST and made it clear the appeal should cover the original and amended statements - not start the process again.

MistleTOWIEandWine Fri 16-Jan-15 21:38:38

From what I've heard, your county is becoming trickier and trickier by the minute. I wouldn't wait any longer. Make them finalise and then appeal. You know full well that if they AR'ed the proposed Statement, you still won't get what your DS needs. It's just a delaying tactic and a denial of provision because they have been told to make massive county-wide cuts.

Sadly I think only a Tribunal will get you what your DS needs. You will probably have to go all the way (again!) to hearing, this county isn't reading any evidence bundles until the last possible second and then only with a judge breathing down their necks.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 16-Jan-15 21:58:40

Do they really do that mistle??

The hours and hours of work that us parents put into preparing our evidence and they dont even bother to read it!! sad angry

I didnt know that! I must be very naive sad

MistleTOWIEandWine Fri 16-Jan-15 22:05:34

Can't say too much without outing myself. But yes, this seems to be what's happening at the moment (at least in this particular county).

We still need to prepare cast-iron cases tho, because that's what's getting our children their desperately needed provision.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 16-Jan-15 22:18:06

Its no wonder they refuse to budge if they are not even reading our evidence before they go!!

And on and on it goes! sad

Icimoi Fri 16-Jan-15 23:40:54

Absolutely get it finalised. There is just no point in letting them pratt about any longer. If they won't, threaten them with judicial review.

senvet Sat 17-Jan-15 10:29:07

How about you say what it should say after you have added in the SALT and OT?
You don't need the LA to cut and paste with that special watering-down paste that they seem to use

Say that you have done the job for them and ask for your version to be final.
If they refuse and put their final out you can put your appeal in the next day.

Really, really, the very next day

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sat 17-Jan-15 11:26:41

I have copies of the SALT and OT reports (they were also copied to the school). I thought I would email the LA over the weekend asking them to finalise and attach copies of the reports. They can't pretend that they have not seen them then. The reports are not show-stopping, multiple assessments have been done over the years and were not repeated. And now that care is located in his home LA, the usual provision is discharge with advice. I will appeal anyway - e.g. 5+ years of NHS SALT working on 5 speech sounds that are still not generalised is sufficient evidence of minimal progress even with termly visits. So even the best they could offer at AR would not be good enough.

If I send copies of the reports at this stage, there should be no need for AR as they can easily incorporate them into parts 2 and 3 and then finalise within a week or 2 at the max. Then its just a matter of straightforward appeal instead of being seen to wait just in case the OT and SALT provision is good enough when I already know it won't be.

MeirAyaAlibi Sat 17-Jan-15 21:57:23

1) There's no such thing as AR of a proposed.

2) The final statement was due ages ago. The SENCOP doesn't have an exclusion clause permitting extensions because "we lost the parental views so didn't bother to stick to the timeframes".

3) Lots of parents are incapable of doing the parental views- they may be dead, unwell, no English, illiterate, in denial about the SEN... Or they might've simply moved house & not received the documents. At the least, the LA ought to remind them, or offer an alternative way to gather their views. Could the LA just stick the proposed in a pending file for years? No.

4) Nor does the SENCOP have an exclusion clause for "ah, but there's an OT going in shortly, so we may as well wait even longer"

5) This is just silly games to stop you appealing. Don't fall for it.

senvet Sat 17-Jan-15 23:02:42

If you can afford your own SALT and/or OT, then get the appeal moving...

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 18-Jan-15 09:28:03

I know Meir.

The meeting to discuss the proposed at the end of July was 2 weeks after my mum's funeral and the day before we moved house. DS2 had no school place for September and I was a little distracted and did not keep my eye on the ball.

I didn't expressly request they finalise at the meeting as I never expected them to produce a second draft and I didn't follow up the meeting with a letter asking them to finalise. I didn't get proof of posting for parental views or email or phone to check comments had arrived. Of course, I shouldn't have to go to seemingly paranoid lengths just to get my son's needs met.

The conversation with the case worker was ridiculous:

Me: You want to AR a draft??
SEN: Yes.
Me: And you want to do this because you did not request SALT or OT reports in April 2014?
SEN: Yes.
Me: When do you propose to hold the AR?
SEN: Quickly.
Me: How quickly? Next week?
SEN: Quickly.
Me: Would this result in another draft or a final?
SEN: That can be discussed at the AR.

senvet Sun 18-Jan-15 23:07:44

good grief.

I helped a relative and we had a meeting directly with the LA officer and made it crystal that enough was enough, and what the timetable was going to be from here, who doing what and by when.

So I am thinking you need a letter (email and maybe recorded delivery) setting out anything you need to do and when you are doing it:-
replace parental submissons sent to LA in July 2014 - done (attached)
request immediate final statement - done (attached) etc
Provide replacement OT and SALT reports for LA - done (sent on ...)

And a list of what they are doing:-
Providing final statement including SALT and OT needs and provision - ASAP as it was due on whatever date

etc etc

Hope it will be strangely satisfying to have a document which purports to be a helpful to-do list but actually is excellent evidence of their incompetence and utterly lame performance

MeirAyaAlibi Sun 18-Jan-15 23:22:20

JR. If you don't get legal aid in DS name, call Cerebra legal project or NAS Tribunal helpline & beg for some on their scarce probono legal time.

If that fails, your local law centre, IPSEA & sossen may be worth trying.

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