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Head claiming that provision in Statement is a 'clerical error'

(10 Posts)
KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 29-Jan-16 10:02:47

Requested a meeting as specified in Part 3 of the final Amended Statement (following tribunal hearing). The head has replied to an email sent to the CT saying that he has been notified by the LA that this reference is a clerical error on their part and that apparently the LA are writing to me and the school in order to correct this error and sending out the accurate statement.

Is this right? Can the LA do this or would the school have to request an interim review in order to further amend the final signed and dated Statement.

zzzzz Fri 29-Jan-16 10:32:51

Sounds ridiculous! Check with Ipsea or even a solicitor

Veritat Fri 29-Jan-16 10:42:29

Was it in the working document that the tribunal approved? If so, the LA can't claim it was a clerical error.

Why does the head object to a meeting anyway? I would have thought it would be useful irrespective of whether it was in the statement or not.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 29-Jan-16 10:55:25

I have spoken to his SNO at the LA. She claims to have made a mistake and not deleted text from the WD that specifies the length and frequency of the meetings and which was not agreed at tribunal. Actually the WD does not specify and the specification is an addition (not to mention legal requirement) not a failed deletion. She claimed to be working from a WD that contained specification. There is no such document.

She said she was sending out a 'corrected' Statement. I said 'I'm sorry but you can't do that, you will need to go through the proper process'. She then said that the LA would do this and to 'ignore' the final Statement that they had sent out. I don't think they can do this either.

I told her that they would need to call an interim review and the school would have the opportunity to argue that no meeting was necessary to enable 'close collaborative working between home and school' specifically in connection with a token reward system which is used in both settings and was used successfully at home 2 years before used at school. She then, huffily, said she would speak to the senior SNO who represented the LA at hearing.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 29-Jan-16 11:16:12

At the hearing, there was very little in the WD that had been agreed as it seems to be the policy of the LA to wait until the day to agree anything and so a lot of time was spent out of the room agreeing uncontentious wording from the LAs own reports.

The head does not want there to be a meeting because he has argued to the senior SNO (repeated by the SENCO at hearing) that 'parents have taken up enough staff time'.

The TRS is not being delivered properly as despite the hearing which disagreed with him due to DS2's real problems with concentration and attention - he meets the criteria for ADHD, has been diagnosed with ASD and has a current target of 5 mins - the head still wants to argue that the provision is unnecessary. He submitted a statement to hearing stating that DS2 can remain on task with the odd reminder. 4 years documented failure to meet IEP targets indicates otherwise.

It was only after nearly two months that we accidentally found out from DS2 that all reward had been removed from the TRS because the school had linked this to the school 'star' reward system (against our advice - they didn't want DS2 to 'look different') but had removed it because DS2 was getting too many stars and this was 'not fair to other DC'. Reward was removed in October. At hearing in December the SENCO admitted to the Judge that replacement reward had not been put in place. He has received no reward in school to date although he earns points that can be exchanged for rewards. Not surprisingly as behaviour is not reinforced, DS2 has made no progress and has not yet met targets set in October.

All points earned in school have to be brought home so that we can reward him. Unfortunately this means that we are unable to use the TRS at home because DS2 already has sufficient points.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 29-Jan-16 11:27:43

wrt taking enough staff time - excluding the meeting with the head when DS2 joined the school at the beginning of year 4, we have only ever attended meetings to which we have been invited (e.g. IEP reviews).

Other parents are allowed to have ad hoc conversations with the CT.

The head's comments refer to the one IEP review meeting which was not also attended by the LA as the learning support post has now been eradicated and not replaced due to cuts. At this meeting, previous targets set by the LA were deleted with no evidence of progress because DS2 did not like them/chose not to use them (prompt sheet, dictaphone, pencil case, sloping desk, handwriting sessions etc).

New, replacement targets had been added which were ridiculous - like raising his hand to ask for help, which according to the CT were a recognition that he was already doing this. He does not even know when he needs help - he was adamant that he had never asked for help and had only put his had up once the previous year when he wanted to go to the toilet!

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 29-Jan-16 11:38:00

Also, my legal rep (FS) was the only person at hearing who had an electronic copy of the WD and although she did her best to update this at hearing as we went along, it was not perfect and it was necessary for the LA to get it into final form as well as adding any insertions in the Judge's order.

I suppose I am really asking if the LA can issue a 'corrected' document when the alleged correction does not refer to an obvious error (wrong date or name or misspelling) but to remove quantification and specification, despite such Q&S not being in the WD at the end of the hearing?

Veritat Fri 29-Jan-16 14:29:33

Sorry, what's TRS?

Is the situation that the LA put this in accidentally when they issued the statement and it wasn't ordered by the tribunal or requested by you? If so, I suspect they can take it out because it doesn't comply with the tribunal's order - in the same way as you could demand that they reinstate something if they left it out accidentally. But in a way, since you seem to have got them worried, it might be worth leaving things as they are - certainly if the school is supposed to work collaboratively they should be having meetings with you anyway.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 29-Jan-16 17:01:40

Sorry - TRS = token reward system - ie a behavioural modification system. DS2 is not motivated in the same way as NT DC. Frankly he does not care whether or not the CT is proud of him or what other DC care about. He is hyper-focused wrt self-chosen activities but will not do what he does not want to do - adult directed activities.

This also causes huge problems at home as you can imagine. At home a TRS has succeeded where all else has failed e.g. wrt getting dressed/morning routine for nearly 3 years now. But he only follows the routine on school days as we never used the TRS at weekends. He therefore spends the weekend in pyjamas, won't clean his teeth etc unless rewarded to go out.

The TRS is the only intervention being delivered to enable progress from a low baseline of independent working. Lots of other techniques have been tried by the school but have not been successful. Given the failure of all other approaches and following the advice of SALT in 2014 and again in 2015, it was considered indefensible to not even try a technique recommended by SALT and used effectively at home. The LA and autism outreach are on board with this but the school don't want to do it. They vacillate between there is no problem (when DS2 is accidentally motivated) and 'what do you expect - he is autistic' (when not motivated one iota).

Like you say veritat the 30 minute meeting might be legally unforceable but why would a school whose local offer goes on about recognising the expertise of parents refuse to meet with parents - particularly since it is less than a week since autism outreach stressed the importance of communicating with parents and the Statement unequivocally states 'close collaborative working' (in WD and agreed). Logically, the school argument is that this is possible without any communication - presumably by osmosis. Any reasonable school would interpret 'close collaboration' as requiring a meeting. atm we have to send written communication asking for clarification on multiple issues each week and often never receive clarification. This is basic exchange of information - i.e. reference to 'rewards' when staff really mean 'points', stating by email that DS2 has received rewards but then a handwritten note will contradict this, saying that he is owed 'some' but not being able to say how many points have been cashed in/owed. This matters because he 'banks' any extra points and brings them home to exchange for rewards. What could be sorted out face to face leads to a week long email exchange which brings little clarity and does not lead to a clear plan of action for the following week.

As DS2 is in year 5 and is still on the old system and hence has a Statement he is due EHCP conversion as of now (January 2016 according to the LA timetable) would it be possible to reinstate quantification and specification of what 'close collaboration' looks like at conversion?

Veritat Fri 29-Jan-16 18:18:22

You could certainly ask for that to be quantified either in an amended statement or EHCP, but I wouldn't hold my breath for it to be agreed.

Are you sure your DS is due to transfer now? Most LAs are doing it in Year 6.

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