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Anyone who has been successful at Tribunal....(8 Posts)
to get an Independent Specialist School placement for their child, can you give me any tips/advice?
Posting here as it's busier than SN Education so hope that's ok.
DS1 is currently at a generic SEN school. He is doing well, but I know he is capable of so much more, which the school cannot provide. At the same time we know he wouldn't be able to access Mainstream due to his sensory issues/PDA etc.
The NHS Salt that works with the school has repeatedly tried to sign him off her books as she has too much on her workload, and in her words she only has capacity to deal with speech issues. Language issues are to be left to the teachers. (He has only been speaking for 3 years so still has a number of delays/issues with his language)
Unfortunately our Private Ed Psych, who has been to visit both schools now, has agreed that while our proposed new school is excellent, that as the current school have said they can meet need and are very happy with DS1 it will make our case more difficult.
Has anyone fought at Tribunal and won where current school say they are fine and can meet need? Any tips?
I will hopefully be using FS as my advocate after all the fab reviews on here so hopefully that will help, but obviously as she is so busy, and Tribunal won't be until early next year she is not able to hold my hand on this!
You'll have to get independent assessors (private ed psych, private speech and language therapist) who will visit both schools and if they agree with you, they basically have to write down why your proposed school is better than the other etc..
I won at tribunal but my DS's school didn't bother and didn't want to get involved.Due to this, it was a win-win argument for the LA to fund my proposed independent special school.
SOSSEN is AMAZING. Look them up. They are an independent charity who are very specialised in EHCP, tribunal, experts, reports etc. I couldn't afford a solicitor or anyone to represent me. However, I had the guidance and support from SOSSEN and just a month away from tribunal. I was able to get a volunteer to represent my case to the judge.
Is the specialist school you want a day or residential placement?
Hi Saltpans, it's a day placement, only 15 mins drive from us (a few mins from the school he is at currently).
Thanks for the reply Notgiving,
The private EP has been to both schools but he is saying the current school are happy with DS1 and they say they can meet need, which he feels weakens our case..
Private SALT is going to both soon so I'm hoping their feedback will be more helpful!!
Thanks for the mention of SOSSEN. I have contacted them months ago when I was just thinking about this (also IPSEA) but haven't contacted them since for advice so that's a good shout,
I suggest you need to work out, hopefully looking at the ed psy and SALt reports, what your choice of school can provide to meet DC's needs, which the LA can't! Frequently, LA schools seem to look at whether the DC is making average progress, rather than in line with DC's cognitive abilities - say a very bright child with dyslexia might make some progress and the LA school is happy, but you as a parent know that they are still not achieving at anything like the level they are capable of, with specialist teaching or whatever.
(I have been to tribunal where the LA's choice of school argued they were meeting the needs and we won)
That's exactly it! I know he can achieve so much more than he is.
Really good to hear that you did it saltpans. It gives me some hope
I've started a 'school comparison' spreadsheet, but I definitely need to focus it more on his Needs states in reports. Thanks again.
You need ideally to build your case so that there is provision in section F that your choice of school can supply but the LA school can't. SALT looks like a fruitful area to work on.
Talking of SOS SEN, their booklets on appeals and EHCPs are really useful - www.sossen.org/shop/index.php?cPath=22&osCsid=johd1lsguj9gogaodaqv1il931
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