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Resource place rejected - what now?

(4 Posts)
SaffaQueen Tue 14-Jun-16 09:56:47

Our 4 year old was diagnosed with autism at 2.5 years (after 1.5 year process to determine what was wrong with her). Immediately post diagnosis we started her on an integrated therapy/learning programme (incorporating elements of ABA). This was done entirely at our expense as the local offering was essentially a few sessions of SALT (insufficient & not intensive enough) every 3 months and a "wait & see" attitude from the local SEN team.

Fast forward 2 years, & DD has made great progress. From avoiding eye contact and only being able to say 2 words (not used in correct context) at age 2.5 to actually being ahead of some of her peers, learning wise. BUT this has been entirely due to the intensive private programme we put her on. Social interaction and sensory regulation are still big barriers to overcome, and her speech is still more receptive than spontaneous.

DD has had an EHCP with funding approved, but we are still waiting for the plan to be finalised in terms of school setting and how the funds will be allocated to meet her needs.

We did the normal mainstream applications this year, and were told that the resource unit placements would be done as a secondary parallel process. The SEN team were very vague on this process - how it would work, what the panel would discuss, when they would meet etc.
We have a mainstream place in the school that has an attached specialised resource unit. However we know our daughter well enough to know she will struggle in a class of 30, where there are lots of distractions - hence the preference for resource unit (based on individual progress they can attend mainstream classes with eye to integrate).

Anyway, after radio silence for weeks from our EHCP/SEN contact person, we found out indirectly last week via a 3rd party that DD's resource application was rejected oveR 3 weeks ago as they thought she was "best suited" to a mainstream class. Anyone who knows DD will agree that is bollocks! Few things that have really upset uS:
1) why has no-one from SEN support team contacted us about such an important process in over 3 weeks?! We have tried to phone and email our contact and have had no response. If addition we now also want to lodge a complaint to their line manager.
2) how do you appeal the decision and what is the timeline for this? The process is flawed as we had no parental input at the panel meeting - it was apparently based on 1 assessment at nursery, where DD was playing and according to our therapist had one of her best social days at nursery ever! So hardly a balanced view!

We have been told to contact SIAS for advice, but I am still simmering about our SEN/EHCP co-ordinator thinking it's ok to just keep us in the dark about a HUGE decision like this. The wrong class setting could cause a regression of all the progress she has made! The same person also forgot to send us our draft EHCP...we had to chase that several times too!

Any advice as I find this process so infuriating and confusing!

Muddledmike Mon 20-Jun-16 18:03:23

I can only speak from personal experience with our situation, but our DD is at a special school, which also happens to be independent rather than LA maintained. The LA wanted her to go to an MS with a unit. We had to provide supporting documents and prove that she would need 1:1 in a large class setting when not in the unit (extra expense for them) and we also ended caving in regarding the transport and take her there rather than the taxi they would have needed for their choice. I guess you will need to speak to someone legally trained for your other points and whether you have any comeback against your caseworker - IPSEA?

FutureMum Thu 23-Jun-16 19:59:36

A similar thing happened to us and we had to go through a two day tribunal but we won because the law is the law. DD just completing first course there, please PM me if you'd like more information on this. Or get on the phone to Ipsea, who wee our saviours. Good luck.

SisterViktorine Wed 29-Jun-16 17:31:43

In my county there are only two routes into specialist settings at Primary level. Firstly, to be WAY behind academically- these pupils would be places at SS. Secondly, to have very dangerous behaviour that is a significant risk to other pupils in a mainstream class- these pupils are shipped around PRUs or, in they have ASC dx, placed in a Resource Base.

It doesn't sound like your DD hits either category so, should you be in my LEA or one like it, you will have to go to tribunal to get any provision other than supported MS.

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