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To think that if an LA spent as much money funding as fighting SEN families our children might get a better deal - RANT WARNING

10 replies

taratill · 01/10/2018 20:17

Slightly inspired by another thread concerning Home Education I thought I'd post our situation.

Our son is 12, year 8. He has had 2 years of failed education due to his SEN needs not being met in school. He has not been supported by the LEA in any way, shape or form during this period. His anxiety has been so acute that going to school has made him suicidal and the impact of that has had an indescribable impact on our family over the last 2 years. We have cried out for help. The EHCP has been granted but ignored and requests for Emergency Reviews have also been met with derision from the LEA who haven't bothered to even send a support worker to attend.

Our child has seen CAMHS (unusual I know) who feel that the stressor is the unsuitable school. There is no other suitable school in the area.

We have agreed a situation where the LEA are funding a modest budget (certainly considerably less than the cost of SEN school which they proposed which would unsuitable anyway). However strings are attached where they are sending someone round bi-weekly basically to try to pressure us to send our child back to a school which will likely make him suicidal.

I am fairly convinced this is with a view to 'force' us to give up on the personal budget and to deregister and to home school. Part of the personal budget is to fund therapy which will eventually enable (hopefully) our child to retintergrate into mainstream education.

This 'control' of the budget is not without cost to the LEA. I have no problem with them being involved it is just the degree to which they are trying to force an unsuitable provision that I am concerned about.

Surely spending that money on support in the first place would have been more appropriate? AIBU to think if the LEA spent the equivalent budget on educating SEN children than they do on defending it and preventing appropriate education then a lot of children would not be forced to be homeschooled. AIBU to think that this is a serious issue and that every child deserves an education?

OP posts:
Allthewaves · 01/10/2018 20:46

Sadly much cheaper to make people go to appeal and/or tribuneral than pay for ehcp or statements.

oldbirdy · 01/10/2018 20:51

I hear you. However LAs are completely set up in an impossible position by the government in every way. They retain the responsibility of the ehcp but have had budgets repeatedly slashed. My own LA is something like 2 million overspent and facing still further cuts. LAs have little power over academies or freeschools who have a greater power to "deselect" certain pupils or select a proportion by intellect for example. The whole SEN system is a disaster but the blame ultimately lies with the government in my opinion.

taratill · 01/10/2018 20:54

oldbirdy and allthewaves absolutely. It's just disgraceful thought that whatever money is left is spent defending a budget rather than supporting the children who need an appropriate education.

I'm sick of fighting.

OP posts:
exLtEveDallas · 01/10/2018 21:04

I've had to go through a child's EHCP word by word to point out to the LA that they have written the words 'one to one' 22 times, the words 'specialist provision' 7 times, the words 'small group' 14 times and the words 'seriously disadvantaged' and 'specialist teaching' 10 times each - but then had to tell parents that we weren't going to receive any funding for the care their child needs.

It has taken another 9 months for them to agree to fund a 1-1 for 20 hours a week. We are still going to have to find the shortfall somehow.

This is a child that should be at a special school, but there is no place for him. How much would a full time place cost - a damn sight more than the paltry 20 hours we will get, but still they penny pinch.

It disgusts me.

HateIsNotGood · 01/10/2018 21:18

Yes OP - I regard myself as a bit of a Veteran now (10+ life-changing years) - and I do believe that some LEA workers are paid purely to shuffle paper around.

And whilst they keep doing that for months/years the dc in question is often at home waiting for some education to be provided (other than impromptu HE) at no cost to the LEA at all.

Except the Paper Shufflers, they get paid.

notmaryberry · 01/10/2018 22:09

YANBU I am disgusted by the way the LEA have treated us and other parents I know. They force you to waste time, money and emotion to fight for every little thing and end up giving in anyway. In one case I know the judge at the tribunal gave them a dressing down for wasting everyone's time and money.

Celestia26 · 01/10/2018 22:50

OP if you're in the UK, IPSEA are amazing at supporting parents who are having trouble with their LEA in getting educational support for their children.

taratill · 01/10/2018 22:57

celestia yes IPSEA are good and we have regularly used them. However knowing the legal position doesn’t always unlock funding, policy exists to deny it even where there is a clear legal right.

This is especially where the needs are very complex and there is no real suitable provision

OP posts:
Holdingonbarely · 01/10/2018 23:03

I don’t know much about this specifically. But from general issues. I would say the simple answer is budgets. It’s not about money in general terms. If A has a budget of X and B has a budget of X too then the person who manages A budget doesn’t give a flying fuck if overall they save A & B money. They just care about their budget.
This is the massive failing in the systems.

AornisHades · 01/10/2018 23:03

I hear you. Every bit of consideration we have for dd has been a battle. We have to appeal or try again and keep pushing.

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