Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Sent in SENDIST appeal form..(15 Posts)
So what happens next?
I'm actually worried now, I've looked through past threads and see how tough the appeal process is going to be, especially as I'm requesting a non- maintained special school to be named in part 4.
How the hell am I going to argue that this non-maintained school can meet DS needs, when there is 4 units in my LA.
I'm looking at independent assessors and I did contact Jacky Harland, but she is expensive, plus I will need an independent educational psychologist and an OT report.
I'm not sure if I'm entitled to Legal aid, but the law firm I contacted are currently assessing to see If I qualify.
Also, has anyone requested a non maintained special school without it going to tribunal?
Good luck adrianna, I'm also at the beginning of the process, although I sent in forms before Christmas. Heard back our date - 4th June, so quite a long wait! I am appealing parts 2, 3 and 4. I have heard others successfully appealing without any outside help or reports at all, so it is possible depending on the strength of your case. These boards are certainly a font of knowledge in that regard. I think you need to prove the school the LA want to name can't meet his needs and your school definitely can, so I take it you have secured a place for DS? IPSEA may be able to help you with legal representation.
DD (Y5, HFA) got her statement last October naming a non-maintained special (though the school calls itself 'specialist') school and we didn't have to go to tribunal (or appeal).
You are right that to get your LA to name the school you want, you will need to show that the units in your LA can't meet your DS's needs (unless the school you have in mind is cheaper - but that isn't usually the case for a non maintained school)
I actually do know a few families that have managed to get specialis placements for their children without going to tribunal but that maybe because the specialist provision is virtually non existent in my LA!
Keep calm, stay strong and most of all be kind to yourself! The tribunal process is not kind !
You need to build your case based on there not being any suitable settings with an appropriate peer group for your son to attend!
Labler- Thanks for replying. June seems far away, but it will fly by. Good luck with your appeal.
DS passed the first assessment at the non maintained school that I'll like him to go to but he will need to have another full assessment at the school. But in the meantime, I'm looking at other schools.
panneton your so lucky to get a non- maintained school named without going to tribunal. The non- maintained school I like DS to go to is £24 grand a year.
Thanks ineedmorepatience, I will keep strong.
Just backing up what the others have said...
- About 50% of kids at my DS's indie SS were given funded places without a fight with the LA;
- 35% of kids got places funded when the LA caved just before the SENDIST hearing;
- The remaining 15% got places funded the hard way - success at a SENDIST hearing.
- In most years, 85-90% of the appeals to Tribunal for placement at this school are successful. For those that were unsuccessful, most of them got funded places within two years of being knocked back.
Best of luck
"How the hell am I going to argue that this non-maintained school can meet DS needs, when there is 4 units in my LA."
When requesting an independent school the key is not whether or not it can meet your childs needs... It's almost a given that it will... However, the judge and panel on the day will focus on whether or not the school the LEA have named can / can not meet needs. I have recently done several ABA school appeals and have noticed that the judge / panel ask almost none, or very few questions about the independent school. The key to your success really depends on whether or not the LEA school can meet your childs needs.
The legal duty on the LEA is to meet needs, and no more... If the LEA school can meet needs then your going to struggle to win the school you want... It's key to have good experts that understand your childs needs... They should be best placed to see the school that the LEA is proposing with a view to identifying why that school can not meet needs.
If you need a list of experts then please do get in touch.
Best of luck.
My DD's school is also out of county as well as non maintained and the fact we got it without tribunal is is almost certainly because my LA (which is relatively small) doesn't have any suitable placements for DD. (All the units and special schools seem to be for children with intellectual learning disabilities with or without additional disabilities such as ASD.)
As Ineed says you should focus on why only your chosen school can meet your DS's needs including an appropriate peer group.Then the fact it costs £24 grand is 'irrelevant' if it is the only school that can do this.
adri if your chosen school will assess dc then you can use those assessments to help with the appeal. If eg the SALT at the school and the EP has done an assessment that will help. They may be more like a screening or an observation than a full assessment, but the more they can do, the better. If they have professional qualifications then they have a duty to their professional bodies to say things how they are, and not to make stuff up to suit their school.
I say this, because the LAs tend to challenge those reports on 'they would say that wouldn't they?'
Once you have those you can see where the gaps are when deciding where to spend your hard-earned cash.
I have heard Juanita Hurley is a good tribunal SALT, if Jackie Harland is looking pricey.
Keep up the good work. I'm sure you are doing the right thing
Evidence has to be submitted by a certain date - so, you need to know when that is because your reports need to be written by then.
I can recommend Juanita, too: one lovely lady and so empathetic and good at her job.
Worse case scenario is you go all the way to Tribunal, best - it is sorted before then. But, what choice do you have?
Do any of the units meet need? We were offered MLD placements or main-stream with TA support but neither were appropriate or had direct intervention by SALT or OT and to buy that in was so much more expensive.
We got a report from Juanita Hurley - we had it done when the LA had refused to assess DD for a statement and we had a tribunal date against that decision. The LA actually conceded before JH assessed DD (there was quite a wait) but the recommendations she made would have helped our case for her indi special school which we got without tribunal.
If you want legal aid you have to go through the Civil Legal Advice telephone system anyway, so you might as well contact them now and they will tell you immediately whether you qualify - phone 0345 345 4 345. There are only two organisations permitted to do education legal aid cases, Maxwell Gillott and the Coram Children's Legal Centre, so you will be allocated to one of those.
manish.. Yes your right, Part 4 of DS statement names his mainstream school (The one his currently at). There are only 3 units in my LA, but 2 more are opening up in September. My LA officer proposed that DS can go to the upcoming units, though it's hard to say whether they will suit his needs as the school won't open till September.
... and yes I will love to have a list of independent specialists.
Thanks senvet, the independent specialist school confirmed that they will come as witnesses (i.e. a teacher from the school).
TotheBarricades We were offered a MLD specialist school, I viewed the school but decided against. Until the child reaches year 1-2, ( in the MLD school) direct therapy will stop, unless of course you buy it in.
I'll look up Juanita Hurley.
Icimoi Yes I'm with Maxwell Gilliot, but they want to be sure that I qualify for legal aid, so I'm having to send loads of financial paperwork.
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