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HELP Not happy with statement funding and school's big idea .....

(15 Posts)
Flocci Tue 16-Sep-08 22:44:04

DD will start mainstream school in January and LA have offered funding for a carer for 18 hours. We are going to tribunal as we know, and everyone including the school also knows that really she needs fulltime 121 support. Obviously that won't be resolved by january though.

So, the school have said that the answer is to share one support worker between 2 children. Last year they had children in Y1 and Reception ( they are a mixed class ) who shared a worker. Since the Y1 child is now in Y2 they are left with a child in Y1 who has funding for 50% of the week, so it works out great for them to now have my dd starting so they can carry on the same arrangement.

But the point is I am not happy with that - I think she needs her own fulltime 121 worker, and sharing is not the answer - I don't care if it worked for them last year, this is my dd and I don't want it.

Can I insist that they use dd's funding to provide her with a fulltime carer for the 18 hours they are being given money for, and then we will pay someone for the remaining hours, or more likely I would go in and do it myself?

Apart from anything else I am convinced that a tribunal will just say, well, look, the sharing thing is underway and working so there you go then, you don't need anymore.

But also I feel like we have fought to get 18 hours funded, and that is what I want her to have. I know this makes things hard for the school and the other child, but right now that is not my concern.

But can I insist or can the school just say that the money is ours and we will spend it as we see fit, and we think sharing is the best option.

I don't really want to fall out with the school over this, but I feel a bit like this situation has worked out very neatly for them and the other child, and we are being shoe-horned to suit them.

Any thought please?

moondog Tue 16-Sep-08 22:55:16

If you are not happy then that is reason enough but ask the school to give you (written) reasonss why they think it will work.
1:1 work is very draining (I know, I am a salt and see a lot of 1:1 assitants) and the variety might keep the support worker motivated and fresh.

It's impossible to know really without being in the class though. Have yuo a salt? Ask her opinion.

moondog Tue 16-Sep-08 22:55:20

If you are not happy then that is reason enough but ask the school to give you (written) reasonss why they think it will work.
1:1 work is very draining (I know, I am a salt and see a lot of 1:1 assitants) and the variety might keep the support worker motivated and fresh.

It's impossible to know really without being in the class though. Have yuo a salt? Ask her opinion.

Candlewax Tue 16-Sep-08 22:56:53

Flocci I think you are totally right to resist what school have said. Schools are notorious for not implementing Statements correctly anyway. They of course will bite your hand off to get your DD's 18 hours and her money as it means that the other child is supported too. It sounds like they cannot support the other child without full time 1-1 and would use your DD's funding and hours to do so.

I am off to Tribunal in November and my way of thinking is NOT to give in to anything that I feel would be detrimental to my DS. I am NOT willing to compromise because once you have, the LEA will always think that you will. We have to think of our child's futures.

Contact IPSEA or SOS!SEN to get some brilliant legal advice from them.

Flocci Tue 16-Sep-08 23:03:08

Candlewax that is exactly what I think - the minute I appear to say OK let's try and make it work then that is it they will just stop listening - I need to keep shouting that NO this is not right for us.

The school are really supportive and helpful but I am really cross that they are using us to work out their own problem.

As a side issue her support worker at preschool wants to apply to be her support worker at school and the school are saying that acually they aren't planning to recruit someone new because they already have someone there for the other child who will then be split to cover my dd - so again they are using my dd and her funding to resolve theire own issue, regardlesss of what is actually best for my dd.

vjg13 Wed 17-Sep-08 08:26:26

The school don't legally have to provide what is 'best' for your child just what is appropriate.

Candlewax Wed 17-Sep-08 10:36:03

vjg13 - If a child has a Statement then that IS a legal document and schools have to adhere to it. If a Statement says 25 hours of 1-1, then a child HAS to have that. That is the reason why it is so important to get the Statement right in the first place and why so many parents end up going to Tribunal to dot the i's and cross the t's. If there is a loophole anywhere in a Statement, you can bet your bottom dollar that the LEA or school will exploit that. For example, small group work - is that 3 pupils or 30 pupils? Everyone's definititon of a small group is different. Believe you me, it is worth making a fuss and getting the Statement absolutely watertight.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 17-Sep-08 10:48:17

A Statement is a legally binding document that the school has to stick to to the letter.

School cannot be sharing provision like this, infact they are not permitted to.

Flocci - do seek advice from IPSEA asap; they can advise you further on this point.

Flocci Wed 17-Sep-08 11:13:36

I think we have made a massive mistake because when we got the proposed statement we just threw it back on the basis of funding and never bothred to comment on what it actually said. The wordy bit about what dd actually needs is so vague it is totally meaningless. We just figured to push for full time 121 and then it effectively didn't matter what it said so much.

So now we have received what the LA are calling a final statement. When I respond and say it is still not on because 18 hours is not enough should I also be spelling out what the wordy bit should say? Foe example they have one line saying "appropriate strategies to be implemented to ensure she is supported at mealtimes" Do I need to say, er no, this must say, DD needs someone to help her into a chair, collect her lunch, cut it up for her, sit with her whilst she tries and feeds herself, assists her head position while she is eating etc etc - should I go into that much detail?

vjg13 Wed 17-Sep-08 11:49:06

Sorry, I just meant it can be dangerous using words like 'best' with school as we have had that one thrown back at us.

Flocci, you need some expert advice over the final statement, they like it to be vague and will try to get away with that.

vjg13 Wed 17-Sep-08 14:10:37

IMHO, part 2 needs to contain a really detailed description of the child's needs because this directly leads to the level of support offered in part 3 which also needs to be as detailed as poss.

Flocci Wed 17-Sep-08 19:51:01

School have just come back to us today and said "OOOOOOh we didn't realise dd was in nappies - we don't have any facilities, so we might not be able to take her. Even if we get something sorted we can't possibly accept her without fulltime 121 support" BASTARDS They did know that, so I don't know why they are doing this now. I am sure the facilities can be arranged even though it is a tiny school with very limited space, so we are then back to this issue of making sure dd has full time support - what we have wanted from the start anyway.

They are also now agreeing that sharing a support worker won't work and saying that if the statement won't offer fulltime 121 then they won't have her at all.

So now I am trying to establish whether we can force them to use dd's funding just for dd ( 18 hours ) and I will go in and support her the rest of the time until the tribunal is established.

Nat1H Wed 17-Sep-08 20:24:15

I wrote a letter of complaint to our LEA when they didn't provide enough funding for full time support for my DS. They have upped it, without having to go to tribunal so that he is supported ALL the time he is in school, including lunch and playtimes.
have you got a copy of the banding document? If so, compare the band they have allocated, to the one you think you child should fit into and state your reasons. It takes ages to do, but was worth it in my case.
My LEA have also provided a disabled toilet and changing bed in a portacabin for my son. They have agreed to build an appropriate extension as well. I had to fight hard for all this, but it is possible to win!
If you would like a copy of my letter (just to give you an idea), then let me know and I will email it to you.

Flocci Thu 18-Sep-08 10:31:09

Really interesting that they provided a portacabin - that would certainly get around the limited space / listed building problem!

I would love to see a copy of your letter NAT1H ( my email address is bacon dot rolls @ talktalk dot net ). I have written something and rewritten it a hundred times and just don't know how to pitch it. We have supplied so much info already and the truth is I don't think they are really reading it, so any pointers would be great.

Nat1H Thu 18-Sep-08 14:41:14

have emailed them to you.
Good luck!

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