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rejection of request for statement, 2 month deadline for appeal, received 1 day before 7 weeks holidays!

(23 Posts)
lagaanisace Thu 16-Jul-09 17:45:45

DS2's head at nursery, his prospective school's SENCO and the head teacher all feel my son need a statement.

I'm keeping him in his excellent nursery for an extra term so we can all make sure the necessary provisions are in place before he starts.

I received a letter today rejecting the request for statement made by his head teacher at nursery because it says his needs are being well catered for there. Well, yes, it's a wonderful nursery, but he only has another term there!

The letter stated that I had just 2 months to appeal, but the 7 week holidays start tomorrow!

Thankfully, the head at nursery is furious and is even now whipping up a storm. But, seriously, could they possibly have been more obstructive?

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 16-Jul-09 18:30:07

This seems to be standard practice nowadays: reject all requests for a statement whatever the child's needs (thereby saving the council money) and bank on the fact that the vast majority won't take it any further. A tiny minority may fight, but that still means they save money if they only get a few cases against them upheld. They are rejecting it on spurious grounds as it's supposed to be about the child's needs - not whether the school is meeting those needs. You could ring the excellent IPSEA helpline and see if they think you should appeal. But don't just roll over, as that is what they expect and hope you will do!

SkyrosSister Thu 16-Jul-09 19:49:21

And so it begins - this is what you can expect at every single sodding step of the way, so just try and get used to it. They are all total bastards, and it really is down to how much you are prepared to fight and stand your ground.

Be thankful that you have people on your side eg the nursery and just keep on going. If YOU think he needs a statement then that is enough - just keep on fighting.

Their grounds for refusal is bullshit, and you just need to say that in slightly more eloquent terms!

lagaanisace Thu 16-Jul-09 19:54:49

Thanks for the pep-talk, folks! The boxing gloves are on....

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 16-Jul-09 20:00:55

Tell them you are employing a lawyer plus also keeping a day by day account of your battle for a statement for the Daily Mail Femail section - which, given particularly David Cameron's interest, is looking for a "Diary of an SEN nightmare " feature. That should refocus their thoughts!

lagaanisace Thu 16-Jul-09 21:47:52

grin I think I'm going to have to summon my inner assertive person!

The head at his nursery has been fixing up an urgent meeting for tomorrow and has spoken to the head of his prospective school who will also submit support. She does seem to be acting as an advocate, for which I'm incredibly grateful.

But, given that schools break up tomorrow, it's all a bit frantic!

sickofsocalledexperts - I'll keep that thought, thanks! grin

magso Thu 16-Jul-09 22:29:09

It may be worth checking the exact date to appeal by as I seem to remember the month of august is not included - but maybe thats only on the LEAs deadlines not parents. At least you are wised up to the 'turn them all down' philosophy!
Good luck!

misscutandstick Fri 17-Jul-09 07:47:18

unfortunately august does count in that instance. So its 2 months in calendar terms, which may only actually give you a couple of weeks in september.

I too am swimming uphill with this thing too. I was given rejection letter a couple of weeks ago, which means i have to get all reports in and appeal by 1st september... its friday and the last day of term, do I have ANY reports back??? i think not sad

But! WE WILL keep going, our children not only deserve help, but are legally entitled to it. we can do this, and WE WILL!

NotPlayingAnyMore Fri 17-Jul-09 09:59:56

Absolutely do get in touch with IPSEA. With their help, DS's application went from a refused to an LSA most of the school day and speech & language therapy hmm

Not bad for a kid with "nothing wrong with him"! grin

Nursery sounds great BTW

lagaanisace Fri 17-Jul-09 12:17:49

Yeah, thanks all. His head teacher said it wouldn't be the first time that a refusal letter was dished out the day before the school holidays! It's not very subtle, is it? hmm

My husband went into nursery for an emergency meeting today (I have a heavy cold which isn't swine flu) and the parent partnership lady is going to email a load of official stuff to include. Is that IPSEA?

It's inconceivable that DS2 will cope without loads of support because he has close to no sense of danger, his speech is significantly delayed and he has fixational behaviour. I just have to see this through.

sickofsocalledexperts Fri 17-Jul-09 12:29:35

I doubt the PP lady will give you IPSEA number - just put IPSEA into google and the phone number comes up (keep trying as they are always busy but are FANTASTIC when yout get through). Beware the parent partnership as for all their chat, they are still LEA employees! Hope your cold goes soon.

lagaanisace Fri 17-Jul-09 13:03:02

Thanks for that. I'll definitely try them.

lagaanisace Fri 17-Jul-09 13:38:04

The thing is, I have a supportive husband and an excellent nursery to help with this. How do mums who don't have this support and maybe have their own problems cope? There must be so many children who slip through various educational nets for want of adults who know which buttons to press. angry

TallulahToo Fri 17-Jul-09 13:58:39

Sorry that you are having to go through this at such a bad time in the year too! I heard about this happening in my LEA earlier in the week when I mentioned that we were probably going to apply in Sept. If this isn't too much of a sideways hijack.... Can I ask if there is a limit to the number of times you can make a fresh application for a statement?

misscutandstick Fri 17-Jul-09 14:09:16

tallulahtoo, i was wondering the same thing too!

lagaanisace Fri 17-Jul-09 14:14:53

I don't know personally. Maybe I should find out!

TallulahToo Fri 17-Jul-09 14:36:41

Our LA seem proud of their record of having the lowest number / percentage of SEN children with statements! FGS! Seems that the general rule for parents now is to expect rejection for first time applications. After finally getting through about DLA applications being so crappy then the LEA's take up the batton...

flyingmum Fri 17-Jul-09 16:57:40

SOS SEN are brilliant.

How to cope with the Special Needs System or How to be a Velvet Buldozer by Sandy Row is a really useful book - she has a website too.

All the best.

On the flip side, school wise - the LEA once phoned our school on the last day of term and said 'Oh we are sending you X. They can't cope in special education, the Pru can't cope, no one can have him, he's jsut been expelled from two schools so you're having him (mainstream secondary). You'll all be OK won't you. here's 20 hours of funding byeeeee. Guess who got him in her class. He used to shout random words like 'cheese!' across the classroom - he was 15 by the time he came to us. WE didn't see him again once he turned 16.

WetAugust Fri 17-Jul-09 23:12:30

Put the appeal to SENDIST in as soon as you can within their dealines. But the Tribunals do not sit during the summer holidays so it will be at least Sep, more likley Oct or Nov before the case is heard if it goes that far,

You can add additional evidence after your initial lodging of the SENDIST appeal, so you have plenty of time.

lagaanisace Fri 17-Jul-09 23:38:04

Oh, thanks. So, I can lodge an appeal, then provide evidence?

All this advice is invaluable, thanks all.

It's frustrating because naively, I'd been hoping to get this sorted before he starts school in January. Not looking likely, is it?

WetAugust Sat 18-Jul-09 00:11:09

Well - you have to provide sufficient evidence for SENDIST to determine that you do have a valid appeal but you don't have to submit your full case upfront - you can tell them you will be collating additional evidence prior to the hearing.

I was told there was a 4 month wait for an appeal, so writing off Aug as the Tribual doesn't sit then you're probably looking at Nov at the earliest.

Best wishes

sugarcandymountain Sun 19-Jul-09 01:48:49

I sent my appeal request in at the end of May and got an appeal hearing date in November, with a deadline for submitting written evidence in September. So that gave me four months to gather additional evidence.

In the end I used solicitors to help with the case - it worked as last week the LA backed down and agreed to assess without me having to go to Tribunal! I wouldn't say you need a solicitor, especially if the nursery are being supportive, but I think my LA is particularly sticky with statements.

lagaanisace Sun 19-Jul-09 22:05:27

This all makes quite scary reading. If I didn't have baby DD, I'd offer myself as constant unpaid TA for him.

Why is the system so oppositional?

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