Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.
Looking for refusal to assess stats(39 Posts)
I seem to remember that someone had done a FOI request to LAs and collated the results which showed a huge disparity between LAs and their treatment of requests for assessment. I think Warrington carried out assessment in response to almost all requests whereas Southampton refused to access in response to nearly all requests. Have I imagined this or does anyone else remember this and can provide a link? I can't find anything. TIA
I don't know the link but I remember someone quoting a stat that was something like 87% of refusal to assess tribunals are won by parents.
We were refused assessment twice and ds is CLEARLY severely disabled, full time 1:1 in school, constant supervision at home, can't ask for or follow directions if lost or understand danger.
When they DID assess he got a place in SS and an EHCP. I don't understand it really but in the end it hasn't been much of a barrier.
The problem is zzzz, while a refusal to assess hasn't been a barrier to your son because he has the enormous advantage of having you as a parent, 90% of the parents of the children I see would not know how to begin to even ask for an assessment, let alone appeal a refusal. Many themselves have additional needs, are traumatised from domestic abuse or have arrived here as refugees. My DS was assessed like a rocket , I presume partly because the LA didn't much fancy a fight with a couple of parents who in their day jobs are a solicitor and an EP. But it did throw in to stark relief the extent to which class and educational privilege interact with a child's additional needs to confer further disadvantage. And don't even get me started on the treatment of children in care with SEN.
That's so true BoogleMcGroogle. I would love to see a study of the demographic of the families that go to (and win) at Tribunal - I bet it would show shocking systemic bias against families with less education and less money. In Hertfordshire they automatically so NO to everything and then only the families who go to Tribunal receive adequate support.
Perhaps I wasn't quite accurate. It's not so much that refusal to assess wasn't a barrier, more that it pales into insignificance compared to the other barriers to him receiving an education.
For assessment to be of any tangible use to anyone there must be provision at the end of it. There isn't.
I think people's perception of my competency/class/economic health often puts ds at the back of the queue for support. It helps in other ways but not all. Ultimately because the end offering is so poor, the children with able parents will do better, I think, not because they are able to negotiate the system but because they are able to provide the education themselves.
The sensible approach would be to improve the specialist provision, THEN, improve the access to it.
That's a good point zzzz. Ds was assessed and received no support, without Tribunal. You hear NAS talking about the need for early diagnosis. What's the rush if there's no provision.
Zzzzzz - my recent experience in m/s has been the non-delivery of Provision. So the need to go to tribunal is to get a document that specifies and quantifies so that you can go to JR. what's the point of a water tight EHCP if Provision is not delivered - this happened last year with DS2 and I fear it will happen again next year. His new secondary named on his EHCP keep insisting that they don't do 1:1 even though they know f/t 1:1 is specified and quantified on his EHCP.
Another LA tactic recently seems to be non-delivery or delay and then LA want to reassess because the person delivering the Provision is not the same one that advised for EHCP. Have that with DS1. Only got EHCP conversion and finalised through start of JR proceedings. No SALT delivered for first 5 months now the LA want to assess to see what if any Provision is needed 'going forward'. SALT says Provision to meet outcomes (rather than need) and her checklist assumes DC is in school and asks things like listening in class, asking for help in class etc. He has been out of school for the last 2.5 years and is very unlikely to return.
Tribunal have an increase in appeals but seem to see this as an inevitable consequence of the change from Statement to EHCP. Most appeals are against refusal to assess. Disparity in rates of refusal 'proves' the increase in appeals is not inevitable iyswim.
I got refusal to request twice too. I appealed second time and it went to tribunal despite ds not having a named school at the time.
4 hours of la and home school saying they could meet need, doesn't need an EHCP - 4 hours of sitting there thinking if you can meet need how come ds has been too anxious to attend your school for 5 months.
Assessment over ran but ds got a draft issued with 20 hours support. I often wonder what difference it would have made if he'd had that support during the 2 years I fought the system.
I remember those stats, but wouldn't know where to find them. But I can confirm they did exist.
The governmrnt publish statistics, if you search around here you can find quarterly data by local authority
I'm sure it was around the time the baker small scandal came out? You might be able to AS? (Unless it was in chat!)
Good idea youare.
I've looked on gov.uk for dfe stats and tribunal (but that only captures refusals that are appealed) but they don't do this breakdown. I have also looked at the ofsted/cqc reports of specific LAs but they are not combined. Google just gets loads of individual LA policies. Can anyone remember if an organisation was behind it - like SOS!SEN or special needs jungle or IPSEA? In future I will save to my own computer or even print out this stuff. Glad to hear others also remember it
Rather than improving service from LAs the tribunal service seems to be narrowly focusing on (inevitable) increase of appeals - hence paper hearings for refusal tribunals and arguing for increase in funding/staffing due to the increase. Plus appeals for 16-25 which was not a factor with statements.
It would also be interesting to see if there was a link between initial refusal and appeal of content (often following appeal of refusal).
Have a look on special needs jungle, the stats might be on there. Or IPSEA.
The brilliant June Goh from SOSSEN is a mine of information on this sort of thing.
I recently went to a presentation for parents of SEN children. A council official presented the ECHP stats for my county there - many in the audience expressed surprise that the most affluent area of the county had a far greater number of ECHPs than the most deprived. The speaker said he thought that it could possibly be due to population distribution (but I think the number of people in each area is similar). When I suggested that it was probably due to the parents in the affluent area being better placed to advocate for their children he tried to twist what I was saying to imply that I was looking down on other families rather than being enraged by the injustices. I too saw the stats but I can't place them.
I wonder if it might have been the BBC or the NAS? When I was appealing two years ago I was on a phone in on Radio 5Live breakfast show with Nicky Campbell which was about this, a report had been issued by the NAS, they had a representative on plus several of us parents. I'd forgotten about it but it was ringing a bell with me when you posted last week. I'll have a dig.
Our LA have started refusing to let a request go to panel. They keep asking school for further information. Delayed our request by 20 weeks. We had to force them either way.
Dh and I have post grad qualifications, it's not beyond us to appeal this (and we have), but it's still made me question everything we've said and done.
Our school is in a very diverse socio-economic area, very trendy and sought-after, yet high levels of poverty. I feel so emotional over the parents that are unable to advocate for their kids. I've handed SOSSEN and IPSEA details to the SENCO and encouraged him to pass them on.
I'd also love to see a socio-economic breakdown of appeals, though the only data they collect is ethnicity, iirc.
I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the LA realised the parents were a solicitor and an EP!!!
Agree, it's one of the hardest things I've ever done and I'm literate, articulate, computer-savvy, with a sympathetic employer and sufficient money to fund private reports. I also have a child who sleeps through the night and behaves fairly normally at home. Many parents in this situation have far more difficult circumstances than me and the odds are highly stacked against them. It's totally wrong.
Gosh this so rings true, taken the words out of my mouth. I have never researched or written so much in my entire life. And yes, I am fortunate enough to have the skills and resources to put up a fight. We were refused assessment initially too, I actually think it's standard practice to "weed out"parents who aren't strong enough - I mean fancy it being about the child?
I've often thought this is an angle that the press ought to use (they need an angle to talk about children being cheated out of basic support that legislation is supposed to guarantee). If there were a survey and breakdown of the socio economic background of those who do not get an EHCP or get one with no funding obligations, I'm sure it would be scandalously unfair.
The thing that really gets me is that when you first go into the system you have no idea that the professionals you think are going to help you are actually just a firewall around access to proper support. Our lead autism advisor has repeatedly lied and gave very misleading info at Tribunal, as did the EP.
When they do cover this angle it tends to be in terms of "entitled middle class parents trying to get more than their fair share of the resources when their DCs are just badly behaved/not trying at school".
Thank you youare - I did an advanced search and found it!
bjk originally shared the link.
Wh0Knows - you were right too - it was BBC live 5
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