We’re heading to tribunal about section B and F of my sons EHCP. A lot of it is because the OT and S< is pitiful. The LA response has come back with a load of case law basically saying they only have to provide what is reasonably required and what we’ve asked for are beneficial but not required to meet by sons SEN. Has anyone come across this type of LA response before? And do I need to find a load of case law to back up what we’re saying or just hope the independent reports we have speak for themselves? It’s all been v adversarial so far and now dreading the actual tribunal. Would be so grateful for any advice
Tribunals really aren't impressed by this: it's essentially padding and/or designed to frighten parents. The tribunal doesn't need all that law spelt out to it, it knows the law already. Is the LA represented by an outside firm of solicitors?
For what it's worth, it's correct that provision (including the school placement) only has to be sufficient to meet identified needs, i.e. you don't get provision over and above what the child needs. But I take it you're not asking for that? In which case it's irrelevant.
LAs will say anything to not have to spend any money. This isn’t really new. There is the age old story about a LA staff member who reportedly said to a parent in a tribunal ‘we don’t have to give your child Rolls Royce provision’
My advice to you would be to ignore everything the LA say and focus only on your own case, your own evidence and don’t allow them to drain your emotional energy with their shit. You are right - you will show that your child needs this provision. Don’t let them rattle you
Thanks so much everyone for the helpful advice and moral support. The LA have already used the "rolls royce" terminology! My son has quite a complex set of needs and all we're asking for is the basics to help him learn. We had a meeting last week to try and resolve some of the issues and they just kept referring back to the money and to the fact that their therapists may suggest alternative approaches.
The school have suggested instead of tribunal we have an interim annual review. I'm very cynical and think that if we did this they just would refuse all the therapy provision our son needs and so we'd end up at tribunal anyway. So why wait...he needs the provision as soon as possible as we've got a school failing to meet his needs and a poor boy struggling but thats a whole other story. Has anyone else been tempted to go down the interim annual review route or would you also be cynical?
I don't think they have lawyers involved but wouldn't be surprised if we find that out late...like the late EHCP, the late evidence etc etc!
Have an interim annual review by all means, but don’t withdraw your appeal until all the provision he needs is in his EHCP. If they want to use the AR to head off the tribunal then that’s great, but a final quantified and specified EHCP is the only trigger I’d recommend you used to withdraw your appeal.