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Statement - who legally must ensure provision?

(16 Posts)
trulymadlydeeplyunlikeable Wed 01-Jul-15 18:55:08

Hi all,

Apologies for this question but we've have had an email from the LA today making me question what I thought I knew.

Same old story - statement in place, school not delivering provision, we can prove it. We have worked for years with them, encouraging, supporting nudging in the right direction. We eventually complained to LA using IPSEA template letter. It's been passed from person to person but today the LA tell us , after 3 months, we should have complained to the Sec of State as they have no role in this regard. We've been invited to a meeting for them to explain this to us hmm.

I thought the LA had a duty to ensure provision.

Please put me right.


Ineedmorepatience Wed 01-Jul-15 19:23:19

You are right it is the responsibilty of the LA!!

They are lying to you sad

Icimoi Wed 01-Jul-15 19:34:10

Of course it's the LA!

But is your child in an academy or free school? I bet they're trying to argue it's not down to them because the academy/free school is in the DfE's control and not theirs. If they've got problems making the school deliver then it's up to them to get the DfE to apply pressure, it's not up to you. Alternatively they could of course move your child to a school which can meet his needs. You could perhaps suggest to the LA that if they can't make the support happen in this school you would like your child moved to an expensive independent school.

Don't let them mess around any more, tell them if they don't sort it out you will have to take judicial review proceedings to protect your child's right to special education provision.

trulymadlydeeplyunlikeable Wed 01-Jul-15 19:35:40

Thanks, Ineed. It's funny how something from the LA can shake your confidence in what you are sure you know!!

I knew this board would restore it. Thank you smile

Just gotta convince them now...

AgnesDiPesto Wed 01-Jul-15 19:45:04

You can go to the Local Govt Ombudsman now & show them the letter you have got - LGO will most probably tell the council to take the complaint back and deal with it properly - but at least council will take it more seriously. LGO can't look at the schools conduct (which would have to go to Sec of State & may be where Council is confused) but can look at the councils conduct e.g. if you have told the council the statement isn't being implemented and it hasn't done anything.

trulymadlydeeplyunlikeable Wed 01-Jul-15 20:02:46

Thank You Ici.

Not an academy or free school, La maintained mainstream, but that's useful info for the future with the inevitable conversion. We were looking at JR but thought we'd try to work with the LA first. Ha! It's a sign I've been away from here for too long, lost all sense of reality.

Thank you both, I can't tell you how much it means that you replied.
Of course they're lying, that's what they do sad

trulymadlydeeplyunlikeable Wed 01-Jul-15 20:50:38

Thanks Agnes.

I'll have a look at the LGO website for info. I was worried that it was a long drawn out process, but if just the email would be enough for them to give the LA a kick, great.

Thank you so much for the advice.

sazale Wed 01-Jul-15 21:29:39

I went through the schools complaints procedure as that's what the LA advised I had to do. The DfE looked at all our complaints re the school/governors and upheld lots of our complaints (failure to follow the SENCOP, answer complaints, failure to meet timescales, rubbish complaints policy etc etc) but they advised us that failure to deliver provision in the statement is the responsibility of the LA and that we may wish to go to the LGO.

trulymadlydeeplyunlikeable Wed 01-Jul-15 22:05:25

Thank you sazale.

Sorry you've had to go through it all too sad.

LGO is the way to go. I'll give them a ring tomorrow.Thank you all for your advice.
Confidence and conviction restored thanks to you all.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 01-Jul-15 22:52:23

Good luck truly flowers

Icimoi Thu 02-Jul-15 22:15:31

Don't the LGO require you to go through the council's internal complaints procedure first? If so, that could take several weeks on its own.

sazale Fri 03-Jul-15 00:06:15

I never pursued it as by the time we had gone through the whole process and the DfE advised us my DD had been at her indie school for about a year!

trulymadlydeeplyunlikeable Sat 04-Jul-15 09:21:50

We have been through the LA's complaints procedure and it's taken 3 months so far for them to tell us we should have complained to the Sec of State.
I phoned the LGO who were less than helpful and said I should have complained to the Sec of State. It was like pulling teeth trying to get a conversation and they were keen to get me off the phone.

Eventually I quoted the SENCOP re the LA's duty to ensure provision and her attitude changed completely. 'Yes, yes you're right, they do, yes of course we'll accept your complaint.'

I can lodge it by email but it'll take 20 days to go the assessment team to decide what to do with it and then the LA will just get some 'advice'.

Icimoi Sat 04-Jul-15 10:29:03

So go with the judicial review threat, it's much quicker than the LGO. I've heard that SOS SEN will deal with the initial solicitor's pre-action letter for you. If you had to go to court - which is unlikely - it would be in your child's name so you'd get legal aid.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 04-Jul-15 12:15:34

LGOs are toothless poodles. I doubt very much that you will get very far with them.

bodenbiscuit Mon 06-Jul-15 13:21:18

The buck stops with the LEA and there is case law on it.

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