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LA sent off details to neighbouring specialist provisions

(11 Posts)
adrianna22 Sat 17-Jan-15 23:01:37


I am currently in a process of appealing DS, 5, ASD, severe language delay final statement.

A few months ago I spoke to my LA officer about DS being placed in a non-maintained specialist provision. The LA said that they will not fund an independent school, but will refer DS statement to other neighbouring specialists provisions.

I've just got a confirmation letter that they have refereed DS details to neighbouring special units. Does this matter? Even though I would like DS to attend an independent specialist provision?

ohnoalfie Sun 18-Jan-15 01:15:25

Has the indi school confirmed they have a place for your ds and the fees? Are you able to transport him there yourself?

How far away are the neighbouring schools they are referring to? Would your la have to provide transport? What is the cost of these schools?

It could be the indi school comes out as a similar cost in which case you could negotiate with the la to cover the fees.

Have you seen the schools they are suggesting? If not, then do, just so you can say why you think the settings aren't appropriate. Why do they not have any schools in their own la to refer to? If they don't have any it's not unreasonable for you to look at indi settings. Also, you can find out cost of schools in the other area by making a freedom of information request to the la that run the school. Hope this helps.

adrianna22 Sun 18-Jan-15 01:43:34

Thanks Ohno...

Well no, the independent special school hasn't confirmed a place for DS as of yet- he is having an assessment in a few weeks to see if the placement would be right for him.

The schools that the LA are proposing having opened yet- they officially open in September, this year.

I will provide transport to DS independent school ( if he gets in) as it's only a 20 min bus ride.

The independent school is £8000 a term.

I'm not entirely sure how much the LA's specialist units cost.

adrianna22 Sun 18-Jan-15 01:44:10

All the schools in my LA are full.

senvet Sun 18-Jan-15 01:45:19

I fear it is inevitable that they will try to find something cheaper than the indie special school.
First will be a mainstream, maybe with a bit more ASD experience

If they agree that dc needs a special school, they will choose one of their own special schools, and the next in terms of costing them more is a special school maintained by a neighbouring LA.

If none of those schools agree to take DC then their last option to save money is to look for cheaper indie schools in terms of cost of fees and transport.

It is WELL worth checking what documents they have sent to the other schools, as it may be a small selection that minimises DC's needs (yes, really). You could ask the LA, but better to contact the schools direct and see if there is anything additional that they need to see (eg any indie reports you might have).

adrianna22 Sun 18-Jan-15 02:39:50

Hi Senvet

So am I out of depth for requesting a non maintained special school?

The non-maintained special school told me that if DS is accepted into the school, then a representative from the school would come to the tribunal for free to fight my case.

I guess that's why independent reports are really important as I do not want the hassle to put DS into school after school.

fairgame Sun 18-Jan-15 10:37:06

They will share details with other schools as part of the cconsultation process. Ask them to send off the paperwork for the school you want, my LA agreed when asked. Schools then have 15 days to respond to let the LA know if they can meet the childs needs.
You have a right to request a non-maintained school but obviously the LA will have to prove that your child's needs can be met elsewhere if they don't want to fund it. Therefore you really need to get evidence to suggest that your choice is the only one that can meet all of your child's needs.

ohnoalfie Sun 18-Jan-15 11:30:04

Agree with senvet and fairgame. The neighbouring la could say no. I assume they are opening new schools because they are low on space and might want to save the space for children in that la.

You need to get all the costs together, make sure the neighbouring school include the cost of any therapies that might be on the statement that are in addition to the cost and your la would have to pick up.

Have you got a prospectus for the new school, how does it compare to the indie school. It's difficult to compare if it's not yet open.

Write or email to your la and ask them to keep you informed of progress with the other la and their decision and yes to seeing what they've been sent.

I don't think you should assume it won't happen but think you should prepare to push very hard for this.

Sorry on phone so bit messy, also once you have all the costs, fees, transport, therapies you could say it's an efficient use of funds.

Also might be worth asking the neighbouring la for their admissions policy to special schools to see if your son meets the criteria.

You need

fairgame Sun 18-Jan-15 13:01:55

Oh and just to add that a special school being full is not a good enough reason to refuse admission (the ipsea training is paying off wink). If you want a ss that is full then push for it as the LA would have to prove that admitting just one extra child would be an inefficient use of resources (it wouldn't).

adrianna22 Sun 18-Jan-15 13:49:06

Thanks Fairgame

To be honest. I have viewed all the SS in my borough and I don't think many of them could meet DS needs.

I really do think the non- maintained school could meet his needs. I had that gut feeling.

Most of the ASD units implement the TEACCH approach/workstation quite young- regardless of ability, I don't think this approach would be beneficial for my DS at all!

I recently went to view a VBA school, it was exactly what I was looking for, but the head of the school strongly recommend that if your DC are high-functioning, then this would not be a suitable place for them.

Also, most of the speech and language units focus on the structural of language, rather than communication.

The non-maintained school I viewed works on speech and language as well as communication needs. Half of the kids have ASD- it's a total communication environment. It was perfect.

senvet Sun 18-Jan-15 22:53:41

Sorry about the long delay and...
NO! You are absolutely NOT wrong or out of depth to go for indie special school.

If is seems right to you it almost undoubtedly is right.

It will definitely help to have indie reports to get an indie special school, but the indie expert should also comment on the suitability of what the LA proposes.

And you need to be able to take a view as well.

So how will you do that if neither school is open? Well, think 'equality of arms'. Anything that the LA can find out about the schools, any one that they can speak to, you and your expert should be able to access.

So sure - speak to anyone involved with the project, and scrutinise the arrangements for recruiting SEN staff. Look at the documents about job descriptions and calss sizes, and projections for admissions etc etc

If the environment is still a mainstream class of 30 kids, then whatever claims they make, eg that there will be fewer pupils on the roll on day 1, are irrelevant as it may quickly fill up, and you will be back to a mainstream environment again.

I hope I am helping here

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