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Anyone refused a Tribunal ordered SS placement? Tribunal looming...

(10 Posts)
goingslightlycrazy Sat 07-Oct-17 07:44:49


My DD7 is currently in mainstream but has an offer of a LA SS (mixed disability). We are going to Tribunal to get her into an independent SS (for communication difficulties).

DD has ASD, PDA, ADHD, learning disabilities.

My fear is, if the Tribunal orders the LA SS placement - we will refuse to go - WHAT THEN?
I’ve been told home schooling is the only option confused- Im the last person she would learn from! Not to mention the fact that I’m still trying to hold down a job.

Can she stay in mainstream? (as is her right I understand).

She is not disruptive there (has FT 1:1) but not able to learn is having to cope with everything that goes with being in a busy classroom (36 Kids).

We’re in Notts if it makes any difference.

Anyone had experience of this?
Thank you smile

notgivingin789 Sat 07-Oct-17 17:52:57

Hi OP,

After that, you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal or stay at her current provision and try again.

Just use this time to make your choice of your Indi SS stronger... have your experts visited the Local Authorities SS offer ? And are they going to write up some report to tell the tribunal their reasons why the Local Authorities placement is not suitable for your DS ?

goingslightlycrazy Sat 07-Oct-17 18:05:11

Thanks for yr response. The LA agree that the Independent sch is suitable but they only have to provide a school that ‘meets need’ which they say the LA school does. We argue it doesn’t.

The sticking point is cost (public purse blah blah)
- Fees (which we’re trying to show are incomparable anyway & the LA won’t meet need) &
- transport (we’ll have to offer to drive but it would be a massive sacrifice for us. I know the judge can still rule that the LA must pay)

I had some IPSEA training last week & they said that the upper tier was only for challenging points of law & very rare. Prior to this I believed I could ‘appeal the appeal’. That a ruling to go the LA school could be enforced has panicked me.

notgivingin789 Sat 07-Oct-17 20:33:53

Same here Op. I didn't ask the Local Authority (at Tribunal) to pay for DS transport costs (I think it slight went to my favour).. though later I DS travel was getting expensive. We take the train to his now the LA pays for train travel costs ( I still transport DS to school)... you can ask them if they can pay for your driving costs.

Have you spoken to SOSSEN? They run free drop in sessions in regards to SEN appeals... they also run workshops (which you do have to pay for).

Goldmandra Sat 07-Oct-17 22:26:51

This is my understanding but I am not legally qualified.

The first priority is whether the schools proposed by each party can meet the child's needs. If you are arguing that their school cannot meet needs, you need evidence for that. If you can prove that, the issue of costs becomes irrelevant.

We showed with independent EP evidence that the LA's school could not meet our DD's needs and ours, which cost more than £100,000 a year more, could.

Once that was done, there was no argument over transport as our school had been shown to be the nearest that could meet her needs.

Costs and transport only become an issue if both schools are shown to be able to meet the child's needs and efficient use of public funds comes into play.

Is the LA's choice of school saying they can meet her needs?

goingslightlycrazy Sun 08-Oct-17 16:26:27

Thanks both
My ideal is to prove that only our choice of school can meet need (& the travel will be paid for) but plan b is to offer to drive.

It would mean me having to find a new job in the area (it’s a bit of a dive too unfortunately) or finding some new income stream. It would be a massive sacrifice for both me & my other children as I won’t be available to support them.

I hadn’t thought that the LA may be able to reimburse me for some costs.

When I’m feeling positive I know it’s the only path that’s right for DD. We have a strong case & others have succeeded so we could too. In darker moments, I’m terrified that my DD will be sent somewhere totally inappropriate that she’ll be terrified of.

Obviously whatever happens, we won’t be bullied into going there (LA SS - I realise that many LA SS’s are perfect for many kids btw)

Oh for a crystal ball! Or a lottery win grin

goingslightlycrazy Sun 08-Oct-17 16:37:34

Sorry didn’t answer question!
The LA SS say they can meet need but we say no.

They are a mixed disability school with some very visual, physical disabilities. DD would be the only child who looks totally neurotypical (she’s very socially aware & highly anxious). She would be scared of the other kids.

The LA SS playgrounds are all hard landscaped yards. One looks directly over the Mainstream school where all the kids look like her, she’d be feeling like she was in a prison looking out at her friends.
Our choice SS is open and rural. All the kids look NT, no one is violent/has disturbing behaviour etc.

At the LA SS, they have only appointment based OT & SLT. Our choice SS have these services integrated into the classroom.

The ratio at our choice SS is 8 Kids/1 teacher, SLT, OT, at least 2 TAs. They also recommend keeping her 1:1 at least initially.
The LA SS is 13 Kids/1 teacher, 2 TAs & no chance of 1:1

These are the main reasons we have stated for the Tribunal

Goldmandra Sun 08-Oct-17 17:12:34

Do you have a professional's report stating that she needs things like 1:1, integrated OT and detailing the impact that feeling like she doesn't fit in could have on her?

It sounds like you have some really good arguments that were very similar to ours but our solicitor was very clear that our opinion didn't cut it - we had to have a professional say it in writing.

goingslightlycrazy Sun 08-Oct-17 23:42:18

We have a paediatrician letter backing our school choice stating those reasons.

And her SENCO will say it. Should I submit a report from her to that effect do you think first (not much time) -
Or can she just say it in the Tribunal?

Thanks for yr advice x

Goldmandra Mon 09-Oct-17 10:31:18

We were advised to get everything in writing and submitted in advance of the evidence deadline. Out solicitor said that professionals should be there on the day to answer questions that come up and give clarification.

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