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How does LA pressurise schools not to support request for funding?(9 Posts)
I want funding for ABA provision included on the EHCP - unlikely I know, but what I don't understand is what does a school/HT have to lose by supporting you in the request. I read over and over that when it comes to Tribunal, the school stuffs you and says, no everything is fine. What is the consequence for them if they say, 'actually, his needs are pretty complex and he'd make much better progress if he has this intervention'?
I know I'm terribly green, so forgive if it's a silly question.
I think some of it is about losing face! Teachers/Head teachers/ sencos, seem to find it very difficult to put their hands up and admit that they cant meet a childs needs, in my experience!
Some of it is that they believe the LA when they spout LA policy that doesnt even come close to the law!
At tribunal the LA will call them as a witness and will convince them that the parents are needy and have munchausens by proxy!
All is from personal experience but hopefully your LA will be different!
We werent trying to get ABA, just a statement!
Thanks Ineedmorepatience, that's interesting. Unfortunately ours is about the worst LA I think.
It may well be because they are aware that the first £6K of the costs will come out of their budget. LAs may also make it clear that if they won't play ball they'll have trouble accessing help for all their other pupils with SEN.
Was talking about this today. Theroy was that provision costs the LA, LA is the boss of the school so they will put pressure on. So even if the school would be better off and more more funds the money comes from the LA so there's no chance they will support unless they have the balls to stand up and go against theirs bosses.
I could go on all day about how my LA sent me a copy of their pre tribunal meeting minutes asking each individaul for examples of my bad parenting.
School put in statement saying how I was often late ( the six weeks after I gave birth). FIVE minutes late..... Talk about desperate. I'm suprise they didn't mention how i don't iron his shirts either.
It's also a ego thing. Parents can't know more than school staff
Back in the day, schools will tell you that Statements used to come with funding.
This was changed so that the first 6K of need additional to the 4K AWP (which is funding received by all DC) has to be met by the school from a non-ringfenced delegated SEN budget. Schools only received one pot of money each financial year and so the amount of the delegated budget was used to fund what is now called the school Local Offer. This is the provision that is made available to all children who at the discretion of the school are on the SEN/AN register. This would include all the resources for providing additional support and also all the resources for supporting the gifted and talented (additional needs) and may even include the cost of TAs as they are running out of class interventions and nurture/extension groups.
This amount is seen to be equal to the delegated budget leaving no funding for DC who need support just for them and which is not covered by the LO, or join the school, or receive a statement during the financial year. Hence the school's use their discretion and only give what they see as 'extra' funding if the child disrupts the education of others/is a 'chair-chucker' and does not give funding for the benefit of DC. As they are not spending anywhere near 6K on an individual child they do not want the child to have an EHCP as this
should may force them to fund provision additional to the LO.
The cost of delivering (some of) DS2's statement was nil (additional cost) as all interventions received were already in existence. The school was expected to fund the first 6K of provision and apply for top-up funding from the LA (my LA has three funding bands from about £800 per year to a maximum of 6K per year)
So without an EHCP, an individual child will not cost any extra (the LO is already funded by the delegated SEN budget). A child with an EHCP will cost extra to the LO (but the school will already have allocated the SEN budget and so say they can't afford it) and the school will be expected to spend 6K on that individual child before they are able to access LA funding which at best will only match what the school is already paying.
I hope this makes sense.
The LA will tell the school that other schools support children with similar needs from their own budget and so the school must be failing in some way if it cannot. LAs can send in monitoring teams etc and make schools life difficult
Many schools won't want to spend £6k on one child - which is necessary to justify that more is needed - so will support the LA saying the child has much lower needs than parents say - so they can get away with spending £1k instead of £6k
Often schools don't have £6k - it is a notional amount and they would have to take it from other things e.g. cut the class TA in reception to give one child 1:1. They don't want to do this not least because the TA is their friend & colleague
Teachers are employed by the LA and don't want to go against their employer
My LA threatened to take staff who supported ABA for my son to tribunal as witnesses to make them justify why their own provision was not good enough - the staff felt they would be on trial if they didn't support LA
Schools work with LA staff for long periods and develop friendships
School buy in to the idea there is a limited pool of money and that giving a lot to one child will deprive others - sharp elbow middle class parent syndrome - you are greedy rather than your child being needy.
Historically there is a lot of parent blaming for SEN - there must be something wrong with the parenting etc
They tell myths about ABA - its a cult, fake promises, rigid, cruel, abusive etc etc. LAs are terrified of the truth that there is better provision out there getting out as they fear it would open the floodgates to all parents and schools requesting it
Some schools don't want outside staff coming in telling them what to do
But yes in practice if you win ABA its a win:win situation. Ours is funded direct to an outside provider so the school does not pay a penny let alone £6k - the school was cautious initially but now have a great working relationship with ABA staff - they felt it sounded very complicated on paper having outsiders come in but have been reassured that it can and does blend in seamlessly to the classroom. It takes away a lot of responsibility for school who only have to do academics with DS - ABA cover all his behaviour, language, social, life skills needs etc - a much smaller workload from school (and they don't have me on their back moaning when they don't do it)
My LA threatened the private nursery who supported us at tribunal with disability discrimination case - they alleged the nursery was not following advice given by their autism teacher but only the ABA supervisor - it wasn't true but as you will find out LAs are happy to lie to support their budget.
They also told the Tribunal I was a bully and the nursery staff were terrified of me and that this influenced the evidence the staff gave
They also told the nursery they would remove their under 5's funding for every single child if they supported me (which would put the nursery out of business).
The LA made the nursery witnesses go to a secret meeting apparently to review DS IEP 2 weeks before tribunal and when they got there there was a panel of 5 LA staff who grilled the nursery staff on their evidence for 2 hours - this was 2 frightened 20 year olds. The LA then wrote up a very biased and twisted account of what the staff said - all negative to ABA
The LA brings in outreach and SLT to support them - who also want to protect their jobs and services rather than parents having ABA - the SLT told us that using outside therapists with DS was abuse and we were depriving him of parental love and time at a crucial stage in his development - this wasn't true - we had given up work and were the therapists!!!
Usually its ignorance of ABA - try and get a Head to speak to another Head who has ABA in their school already.
Chilling to hear what happens to other posters!
You realise that both teachers, the school, the LA, do NOT have your child's best interests at heart.
It's a conflict of interest. Rare, for an EP, or any professional to claim 'this child needs tonnes of support'. They'd be crucified by their boss and all senior people involved in the case.
It all comes down to money.
Definitely chilling Obs2016
Thank you AgnesDiPesto and KeepOnKeepingOn1 for fantastically informative replies. I'll now be posting to see if there is anyone near me with ABA in place at school for my HT/senco to see.
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