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Help! 8 days to the end of the year and told there is NO educational provision for my son going into Year 2.

(7 Posts)
Butterflyface Fri 10-Jul-15 17:26:39

Last September, after his annual review being delayed from the previous July, DH, his SENCO and I jointly decided that DS3 then DESPERATELY needed to transfer to special school. DS4 is also on the spectrum, but has a more severe SAL delay, so he is due to start at the special school in September in Reception.
But on Monday, Children's "Services" informed us that, there is currently no plan for ANY kind of provision for DS3 in Sep. He's struggled in mainstream for two years with a FT INA, who is leaving, and the school, thinking that DS3's transfer was all in process, have not replaced her.
Now, here comes the real reason as to why this monumental fuck-up has occurred - although we submitted the forms in September, the school and we were asked to resubmit the forms in April/May, apparently as they needed more information. The school and we knew that they had obviously lost the original paperwork.
The panel was in June, and it was decided that DS3 needs specialist provision, backed up by school, his EP, the Outreach SALT who says out of ALL of her outreach children, he's the one most in need.
But naturally the special school no longer have any places available, as they've already been allocated.
ALL of the communication we've had with Children's Services, bar the phone call I had today with them, has been initiated by us. The only way we've known anything about what has been going on is because we've tried to keep in touch with mainstream school, but even that's been hard going.

To say I'm stressed about this is a VAST understatement - we have two other DCs (so 4 altogether) who this will also impact on -
I know they're going to say keep him in mainstream with a recruited-at-the-last-minute INA, but his SENCO and we know that this year his frustration has escalated to the point where he's violent, kicking, hitting, pinching, swearing, head butting etc because he can't deal with being there and being forced to be in an environment with NT children.

SO, the SW said to me today that:
a) She can't talk to anyone until Wednesday, as she only works part-time (which is why I can never get hold of her on a Thursday or a Friday either)
b) the best she can do is take it to the complex case panel - which is 10 days away on the 20th.
c) the likelihood is that his mainstream school will have to get an INA.

And yes, I went to see my GP and get some anti-depressants today because with all the other changed I've had this year, this is proving to be the camel's back-breaking straw!

Icimoi Fri 10-Jul-15 17:39:08

Hi. You might like to re-post in the SN Children section, just because there's more traffic there.

This situation is appalling and your local authority clearly need some heavy duty pressure applied. If the special school no longer has any places, I would strongly advise you to look immediately at independent schools - if the mainstream school isn't meeting his needs then they need to place him urgently somewhere that can, and if it's expensive, tough.

If at all possible it would be worth getting some legal advice, because it seems to me that the LA is acting totally unlawfully. They have a duty to meet your son's needs and, by keeping him in the mainstream school, they know perfectly well they are failing to meet that duty. It may well be that a well-phrased solicitor's letter threatening court proceedings will give them the kick up the backside that they need. You need a solicitor who specialises in education law, and also one that does legal aid because, if you did have to take court action, it would be in DS's name and he would presumably be eligible. If you also are eligible for legal aid, that would cover the costs of preliminary work. Maxwell Gillott are probably your best bet.

If you don't qualify for legal aid and can't afford a solicitor, try SOS SEN. They might be able to help at least with initial legal advice and sending a preliminary official letter.

Butterflyface Fri 10-Jul-15 17:45:55

Wow, thanks - our SENCO secretly advised us to write to the Secretary of State, so that's what I'll be doing this weekend, and copying in the complaints division, the relevant Head of Service and AD - I work in Adult Social Care, so I know the problems they're facing at the moment all too well, but I would be shocked to see this amount of negligence arise in ASC. Thank you so much for the tips though - any assistance will help, I think!

Butterflyface Fri 10-Jul-15 17:46:20

Oh, and I will repost over in SN Children!

SensAbility Mon 13-Jul-15 22:07:28

I would send an email stating all you've said on here to;

Director of childrens services at your local authority
Assistant director of children's services ( look online for info)

The Manager of the Disabled Childrens Team at your local authority.

Find out who the councillors are that sit on the Children's and family's select committee, at your local authority.

Find out who the Manager is for the SEND department at your local authority.

Your local Parent Partnership if you have one ( phone your local authority)

If you copy in as many people as possible with the same email and put the heading as; URGENT DISABLED CHILD WITH NO SCHOOL

Someone will pick this up believe me and if you say that your only option is to 'home school' and this would put health risks on your family unit, partner, siblings and you as the main carer, who is likely to go under, with all this stress and then continued educating of your disabled child. State that your Doctor has put you on medication as a result of the Council not meeting the needs of your disabled child.

I am using the word Disabled because if that is seen in the title of the email they dare not ignore it.

Good luck, try and do this tomorrow, look online tonight and see if you can find the names of the different people and their emails. It pisses off the Director of Children's Services when they get emails like this but they can't ignore them and they will pass it on to one of their colleagues................
Do you have a local radio phone in? They are a good place to vent and ask for help, sometimes local authorities listen in to the complaints etc, or the support team working with the radio presenter at the radio station can get the council to comment!! might be worth a try.

I know it's the 11th hour and I feel for you. I was in a similar position many years ago and I was tearing my hair out, so now I email like mad whenever I have a problem and someone picks it up.. I've ruffled feathers and rocked the boat so many times that I think they all hate me now, but let's face it you are your child's voice and you must push like mad even when you feel like giving in, don't let them get away with it.

Good luck hun (((XXX)))

Bigbird69 Wed 15-Jul-15 16:14:40

We had a similar situation a while back when DS wasn't coping in ms school and LA were basically in denial and just thought the ms school could carry on "coping". We were in touch in November looking for a change of school the following autumn. I ended up saying to LA that he wouldn't be going back to school in September until they provided him with an appropriate place and td them I was copying all his paperwork to local MP etc (they had lost paperwork etc) they came up with a school place in August at an independent special school which until then I was told I didn't stand a chance in getting.

Riv Thu 23-Jul-15 20:53:20

Hope things are getting better for you and things are being sorted now. Do look at the IPEA web site for support and model letters
Their advice is invaluable. They can also advise on the legalities and support you with solicitors etc. They have been so helpful to me and my family I can't recommend them highly enough. Just checking things out on there.
Good Luck.

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