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High School Transition


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#1 Coco loco

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 10:38 PM

I'm new to the forum but looking for advice. My son is 11yrs, diagnosed ASD 3 years ago, has statement and was coping well in mainstream until he moved into year 5. Things went downhill rapidly, couple of exclusions, part-time timetable before he walked out and refused to go back this time last year. After a few months out of school he was placed in an independent special school (ASD/BESD) and has settled in well. He is due to transfer to high school in September and we have had little opportunity to plan for this - no annual review in yr 5 due to emergency reviews, focus on finding suitable primary school etc.
At his last review (Nov) it was agreed that he needs to stay in a special school, however LEA have no suitable ASD provision within county and are cutting back on independent placements as they have no money! We were advised to look at LEA BESD schools which we did, found them to be inappropriate and not schools we would want him to attend. We put our views in writing to LEA and requested a place at an independent school specialising in social communication problems which is linked to his current school.
We received his amended statement naming local BESD school, very unhappy with this. We have support from parent partnership and have lodged an appeal with SENDIST.
I am interested in hearing about others experience of the appeal process and hearing. I have heard that the tribunal are unlikely to agree for a statemented child to be placed in a school in 'special measures' which the named school is, can anyone clarify if this is the case.
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#2 CarerQuie

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 07:57 AM

What you will need to demonstrate is why their named School is unsuitable and the School you want is suitable. The Code of Practice says' the nearest suitable school'.

What you may need to do is go through the Appendices to the Statement to see what the professionals have pinpointed as being his main needs and anything that suggests a way of meeting the needs.

 

It is a long gruelling process and you will probably need to take advice from an organisation like IPSEA or SOS!SEN.

 

The Tribunal will look at evidence but an unsure about whether the 'special measures' would be a deciding factor in any decision the tribunal panel make.xx


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#3 imperfect parent

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:08 AM

Good advice above.

 

Just wanted to add

  • cost - this is not a consideration unless there are 2 schools that can both meet needs, so what you need to find a a school which can meet needs and not worry about the costs. The bottom line is that costs area concern for the authority only.
  • Make sure his statement is absolutely correct.  If his statement doesn't say he needs the provision you are after you won't get it.  Have you had any advice on the content of the statement?  And have you appealed parts 2 and 3 as well as 4?
  • Remember you are looking for a place for your son who is unique. Even good school have pupils who fail, and conversely poor school have successes.  It's all about peer groups and staffing chemistry at the time.
  • Our LEA backed down before the hearing and placed our son in the school of our choice. He started the week of the hearing date.


#4 Coco loco

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 06:50 PM

Well today we have had a mediation meeting which has been the first time the LA have communicated with us following our appeal to tribunal.
We have now been told that the school they have named on his statement (maintained BESD school) have decided they cannot meet his needs and are unable to offer a place.
The hearing date is 16th June and final evidence date is later this week. I have worked hard to get up to date reports and feel I have good evidence to support our appeal for changes to parts 2 and 3 and placement in an independent special school.
LA have nothing as far as I can tell, and I am hopeful they will concede to our requests prior to tribunal date.
Does anyone know what the position is now there is effectively no named school on his statement?
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#5 apricot

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 09:26 PM

We were in a similar situation.
The LEA requested a delay to Tribunal date so they could 'urgently' approach other schools. This was granted. When they still had no place to offer as the other schools also refused to take him, they requested another delay. We were pretty fed up by this point. We requested (and got) a directions hearing. 45 minutes before the hearing was due to start, the LEA agreed to the independent special school place.



#6 Carrera74

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Posted 07 May 2014 - 10:32 AM

This happened with us, twice.  First time it was the day of the tribunal, his current school said they could no longer meet his needs.  The second time as soon as the LA's choice of school said they couldn't meet his needs (at disagreement resolution meeting) they pulled out of the tribunal.

 

I really hope they see sense and don't drag it out to Tribunal.  Whatever you do, if they do agree to your school, get it in writing ie. a final statement naming your school before you back out of the appeal.  The last time they agreed to name our independant school they were all for me withdrawing but not so quick at producing the final statement! 



#7 Coco loco

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 06:32 AM

I have now received a copy of the evidence submitted by LA - they have sent prospectus and OFSTED monitoring letter for school that cannot offer a place, and a sheet stating statement banding and transport costs to the two schools! The lack of communication between departments is unbelievable. As far as I can see LA have nothing to support their case, feeling much more optimistic.

#8 cathcart

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 06:53 AM

When you were told the school could not meet your child's needs was that at the mediation? Do you have notes of this in writing or was it verbally told to you at a different time? If it is not recorded in writing they may change what they are saying! You should put it in a letter and send it to them stating what was said otherwise. I wouldn't trust anything that was verbally said to me unless I was recording it as amazingly authorities change their mind.

 

I would look at all schools the LA suggest and others that may be appropriate (even out of county). You will have a better idea of what is on offer and available to meet your child's needs. You will also be in a better position to argue pros and cons on the schools. Has the independent school said they can meet his needs? You are in the best position with your child to know which school will be most suitable. Do not be brow beaten. Good luck.


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#9 Coco loco

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 02:25 PM

Thanks for everyone's advice, we are just back from tribunal hearing, Judge and panel members were brilliant, very critical of LA who had only named a school on Thursday last week and not informed tribunal.
Judge wouldn't allow them to submit this late information, so given that there was no objection that our preferred school could meet needs and costs ended up not being that different, they found in our favour!
So relieved that son will be going to our preferred independent specialist school!!

#10 Tangled

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 03:31 PM

Wow, what fab news!! Really pleased for you xx
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#11 imperfect parent

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Posted 16 June 2014 - 04:08 PM

Great news for you.  It never ceases to amaze me just how inept some LAs are.





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