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I need some advice about questions I should ask please

(18 Posts)
2shoes Sat 13-Jun-09 20:43:23

on monday I am going to look round a college,
it is the one that is local and cheaper and that the LEA will push for dd to go to.
her school has it's own 6th form provision, we will fight to the death to get her to stay there.
if she stays where she is, she will continue to get SALT/phisio/ot/swimming/ oh everthing she needs.

so what can I ask the college, I need to focus mainly on education, but I feel things like will she get to stand in her stander daily, go in her walker, use the toilet, be fed, have peers like her, ????????????(any more??

one thing that concerns me is that the college is linked tyo a local nt college(ds goes there) so students from that college volonteer to help!! I am not keen, will the have police checks, dd is very vunerable.

oh heck please help
(good thing is a friend is coming with me, she is a govenor at dd's school and also has a "child" in the 6th form at dd's school)

WetAugust Sat 13-Jun-09 22:43:59

The key question is: Does she have a Statement?

If so, the Statement will remain in force as long as she remains in school , i.e. if she moves up to the 6th form provision.

If she has a Statement and the LEA want to cease that Statement by refusing to make special provision after the age of statutory education then the LEA has to assure themselves that the FE College placement can provide for her needs.

Sorry - don't know enough about your actual situation - presume her current school is special school????

2shoes Sun 14-Jun-09 07:50:54

she has a statement and the other college is an sn college.

WetAugust Sun 14-Jun-09 13:48:14

My son went to a SN FE College, but it was in the independant sector so funded by the Learning & Skills Council. His Statement ceased when he started attending FE College. I would expect that your DD's Statement would alos cease if she went to SN Fe College.
I found the whole post-16 Statement provision to be a very 'grey area'. The L&SC guidance states that if a child is in school and has a Statement and wishes to continue at school post-16 then they remain the resposnsibiity of the LEA and the Statement should remain in force.
However, the LEA will say that they have no responsbility post-16 as the LEA is only statutorily obliged to provide education up to age 16.

The SEN COP is also quite vague on the subject. See sections 8:120.

the LEA can cease the Statement but you have the right to appeal and in doing so the current provision must be maintained - but whether that would include allowing her to move up to the 6th form in her current school is debatable - although once she's started there in the 6th form a Tribunal would be unlikely to reverse the status quo.

probably section 8:123 applies: "Where parents want their child to reamin at school post 16, but the LEA considers that the young peroson's SENs would be better met in a FE instituion the LEA cannot know whether the child still requires a Statement until it has contacted the FE institution and confirmed that it is both able to meet the young person's needs and has offered a place".

Also 8:124 "Where a young person's present school does not cater for children aged 16 plus, the LEA should consider whether to amend teh Statement to name another school or cease the Statement if an appropraite FE course is identified"

So, if the LEA will not allow her to continue to the 6th form they must cease the Statement. You have the right of appeal to SENDIST and while that laborious process is ongoing current provision should be maintaned. You woudl have to argue that the LEA's porposed FE placement cannot meet her needs - but that her current 6th form could. The LEA would have to argue the reverse.

I woudl ceratinly push for her to go into the 6th form and would also enlist my Local Councillor's support - I found that very effective in getting what I wanted for my son. Also, tell the LEA that if they try to move her you will go to SENDIST - as they may not want the hassle & cost of that.

I certainly found the whole situation to be ver 'grey' and even IPSEA were not able to state definitely what would happen.

Best wishes.

2shoes Sun 14-Jun-09 17:49:28

sorry I think I missed a point out.
the LEA are not against her going on to 6th form, they just want her to go to the local sn college, rather than the 16 plus at her present school, it is all about money.
the local college will be cheaper for them, as the school she is at is out of area and independant.
she has been there since nursery and worked her way through the school.
I am sure we can win(well I will as no way will I move her) but I have to jump through their hoops.
she is happy there, everything is on site, and the support we get is second to none(which Is why I rarely need to post in sn)

WetAugust Sun 14-Jun-09 18:30:38

In the year of 'transition' i.e. that in which the young person will transfer to post-16 transition the LEA is supposed to amend the Statement by 14th February that year to show the new placement at post-16. Has yours done that?

I suppose the questions to ask the FE College is 'can you provide everything that her current Statement says she must have?" and to make notes of althe negative points you can about the Colege that would help you shoud you need to appeal.

However it is implied in the SENCOP that if your school has a 6th form you can reamin at your current school and also in the L&SC Guidance.

I absolutely loathe penny-pinching scum-bag LEAs.

Goblinchild Sun 14-Jun-09 18:56:34

I knew I'd find you here wetaugust, doling out excellent ammunition and robust advice. smile
Looks like G is going to get to do all his GCSE choices, including being allowed to drop all foreign languages and do two Humanities subjects.
I've found a college he can do his A level choices at as well. In two years time, but planning ahead.
Hope you are enjoying the sunshine. grin

WetAugust Sun 14-Jun-09 19:31:12

Hi GB - yep, it's hard to drag myself off the terrace to the ironing!

Brilliant news about G's future plans. It sounds as though 'they' are being eminently sensible - which echos the advice we had from dx-ing Paed - don't waste time on subjects they cannot deal with and concentrate on those they can.

It's all down to planning ahead grin

2shoes Mon 15-Jun-09 12:02:54

well that was interesting, I went and looked and the words I have to say are "over my dead body"
lovely college and the students were lovely, but dd would not fit there.
the toilets for uses the acccesible ones she(situated upstairs betweenn 2 classrooms) she would have to go int the PLMD classroom to access!!
they had a bout2 or 3 students in wheelchairs, and they were PLMD(dd is not)

LollipopViolet Mon 15-Jun-09 15:36:03

Fight it 2shoes. I had an issue with FE, because the course I wanted was at 1 college, but it was miles away, and trying to get council transport was a nightmare. We got it, AND, the college had a lovely mobility specialist who got me using buses independently (at 17!). And, you may remember my friend H who has CP? She has to have a lift to the same college from her mum, even though the council funded transport to her SN school, even when she lived further away. Money-saving so-and-so's. *shakes fist*

2shoes Mon 15-Jun-09 15:56:58

that worries me as well. the college is local, and I am not sure if dd will get transport. no way do I want to be tied to that(and what 16yr old would want mum picking her up?)
if she stays where she is she will get transport and respite.
she will stay......

springlamb Mon 15-Jun-09 19:11:49

Somehow I knew that would be your reaction 2shoes, and I fully agree with you.
Interested to know, aside from the practical issues, whether your dd would feel isolated there.
I have this vision that were ds to go to local day college (which as you know HE WILL NOT BE) that I would drop him off to spend six hours feeling isolated and lonely and then I would pick him up. And this would be his life and our lives.
I have told 'them' all that at some point a person has to make a choice as to whether they are living in the mainstream world or the disabled world, and I believe ds is happier in the disabled (although I haven't asked him directly). I love all the theory of inclusion and one world, but I am a coward - ds is not going to be a guinea pig for the theory.

WetAugust Mon 15-Jun-09 22:29:24

Well you've got evidence now as to why the College is not suitable.

If she's going into post-16 education thsi year then the LEA should have amended the Statement already. I think you need to push the LEA to make a decision one way or another in order to give yourself time for SENDIST, if required.

I had difficulties over the transport issue when son attended SN FE College. LEA refused to pay as it wasn't on his Statement. It wasn't on his Statement because he didn't need it while he was at schol, only when he had to atend FE College 30 miles away!

The LEA said the L&SC should pay as at 16 he was post statutory education age so no longer the responsibility of the LEA. The L&SC refused to pay because they said the cost of transport should be included in the fees the (independant) SN FE College charged as they should have assessed his transport needs and costs as part of the fee-setting.

It's this type of petty buck-passing that really grinds you down angry

springlamb Tue 16-Jun-09 11:25:50

When I visited a well known college a few weeks ago looking at their post-16, they said that funding was a mess as the LSC was being disbanded and control passed back to LEAs for next year.
Anyone have any background?

WetAugust Tue 16-Jun-09 17:36:25

Yep springlamd - it's trye. Funding for post-16 is being passed back to LEAs who will then decide what services (e.g. Connexions) to spend it on.

One thing you can be damn sure of that anyone wanting a specilaist (expensive) independant FE College to be funded by the LEA will have exactly the battle as they currently do with the LEA for pre-16 specilaist placments. That was the beauty of the L&SC - you didn't have to deal with your local tossers LEA.

And so far i haven't seen an appeals route shoudl the LEA refuse to fund post-16. Anyone know of SENDIST's remit is to be extended to cover that?

2shoes Fri 19-Jun-09 22:27:47

well what a coincidence
ds(nt) was taking his last exam today at the college next door to the one the LEA want me to send dd too...
in the middle of the exam a student from the sn college burst in and ran up and down, everytime someone tried to stop him(staff) he hit them(imagine this is a near adult)
this is where they want me to send my vunerable wheelchair bound non verbal dd!!

do you think if i Contacted ds's college they would fill me in ?

stleger Fri 19-Jun-09 22:46:15

Fingers crossed for you, I hope you get dd what she needs!

LollipopViolet Sat 20-Jun-09 10:45:25

Tis a sign 2shoes, a sign that that college is not right. Go forth and fight!

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