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workingmum

What If LEA and Perental choice not suitable as reported by Independent Ed Pysch

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Whats happens in th e case where an independent Ed. Psych report suggests that LEA choice and Parental chioce of school are not suitable. Where does that leave everyone ? :unsure:

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caci   

I don't know the answer, but I am intrigued by the situation.

 

Are you saying there are 3 possible schools ? One chosen by LEA, one by yourselves, and now another chosen by EP ?

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KezT   

At thne end of the day, unless someone challenges it the LEA choice will be the one that is followed. I'm not sure that any specialist CAN challenge a statement unless they are intrinsically nvolved in delivering it. Otherwise the EP is just making a suggestion, which can be taken in the same way as everything else suggested in the report - ie: either acepted by parents and/or LEA or not :whistle:

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Sally44   

What did the Ed Psych say?

She must have given her reasons.

She should have identified all his needs, made recommendations to meet those needs, and then may have described the type of school environment he needed.

If they have visited the schools recommended by the LA and yourself and found that both were unsuitable, then she should have given her reasons why and what type of school she did recommend.

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Sally44   

At thne end of the day, unless someone challenges it the LEA choice will be the one that is followed. I'm not sure that any specialist CAN challenge a statement unless they are intrinsically nvolved in delivering it. Otherwise the EP is just making a suggestion, which can be taken in the same way as everything else suggested in the report - ie: either acepted by parents and/or LEA or not :whistle:

 

I think how it works is that if an LA says a certain school is suitable, an independent EP can go into that school and see if they find that the provision and environment is suitable. If it isn't they say so. Then it is down to a Tribunal to decide which view is the right one. It would go on all the evidence including the placement suggested by the LA and disputed by the Independent EP.

 

In my own case I have made a parental choice and asked for an independent specialist placement. SEND have directed the LA to prove that either my choice cannot meet my sons needs, or to detail how they will provide the provision within his current placement - and they also have to consider all the evidence from NHS and LA professionals and independent reports that do detail the level of provision he needs. So they have to quantify and specify that level of provision in the LA's suggested placement. If they cannot do that the Tribunal will find in my favour.

 

There is equal weight given to each view. The LA's, or independent reports are not better or worse than anyone elses. It is a case of laying all the cards on the table (as Kathryn posted from a Case Law), even if those opinions do not agree and the LA should provide all information even if that information is in the parents favour and against the LA. It is about giving the Tribunal panel and true and honest picture of the severity and complexity of the child and what their needs are, what is the level of provision needed to meet those needs, and which placement can provide that.

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Sally44   

Just wanted to add, that the above only happens if you appeal and go to Tribunal.

You can discuss with the LA about the placement options. But I would seriously think about what the EP has said and why. There is no point settling for the LA or your preferred placement if the EP has a good reason as to why both are not suitable.

If the LA name the placement, and it is not what you want, then you would need to appeal. But the evidence you have now points to your choice not being suitable. Is that something that your choice of school could rectify?

If not I would have a good think and look around the type of school the EP has recommended.

 

The last time I went to Tribunal the maintained school promised to put everything my son needed (in the Statement) into his placement. My independent professionals said that "if that happened and if xxxx makes good progress then this placement will be suitable." However it didn't happen and he's not currently in school. So I had to go along with the most the LA were prepared to put in place.

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Kathryn   

Do you want to give us a bit more background to this? Are your preference and the LEA preference one and the same or are they two different schools?

The LEA would be more likely to go with their own EP recommendations although as Kez has said they are not bound to follow any particular professional's advice.

 

K x

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I'd be straight on the phone to ask the EP what school they thought was suitable. They do generally know what they're talking about.

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puffin   

OP is this an EP who you have paid for a private/independent report?

 

In this case surely the EP will explain the reasoning behind their choice and why they disagree with the school that you had chosen?

 

Sounds a complicated situation though with 3 conflicting choices

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hello all - thks for your response - i have been on holiday and so much has happened as i have been glued to the pc whilst on hols.

 

anyways, independent ed pysch suggesting smaller classes and other specifc provisons, meeting held with LA including their lawyer - all suggesting that our parental choice - mainstream is inadequate and theirs as well - closest school to us in not suitable - our child needs a smaller class and a large school not suitable. all these are due to recent dx and school reports/medical as well.

 

LA has taken this situation back to their boss i guess and we await their response. our tribunal date is due soon. LA have suggested not directly that we should look at other schools - we are now looking into special as well as independent schools.

 

? wonder if once we get to tribunal if LA might decide to go with our earlier mainstream choice and say they will force school to take our child. the school has refused - too full and will disrupt other pupils, they say. this might be driven by cost.

 

? wonder if we offer to cover transport- they will ok with our choice of/special independent school we suggest - one next to where a neighbour son goes - who travels with his father to and fro - our child could go with them. will LA consider/agree ?

 

? LA seems defeated though - however as they have not placed our child at a suitable school, however i suspect a fight at the tribunal - all guns blazing as cost is involved.

 

? will you consider a special school of a HFA child that takes all ranges of SEN or an independent - non selective that also provides adequately for HFA. they both cost the same - class size differs, SEN school - about 10 or less, independent 15 - 17 max

 

 

sorry all for the long reply.

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caci   

I don't know the legal position, but if a school had said they couldn't meet our son's needs, then the LEA "forced" that school to create space, I wouldn't be happy.

 

I know you are in a really difficult situation, but I don't think forcing a school to take a child would help anyone.

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Sally44   

I presume you have reports on your son's diagnoses and the provision he needs?

 

You can send a Request Form to SEND and ask for a Direction for the LEA to provide detailed costings for the provison your child needs, including therapies. You can quote case law (Coventry Vs Browne). We've said we need this so that we can establish if the LEAs provision is realistic.

 

I've used it in my Tribunal and the Judge has agreed and Directed the LEA to provide those costings within 14 days.

 

We wanted this so that they did not turn up at Tribunal and we had no idea what they were going to suggest.

 

If your child has an official diagnosis eg. Dyslexia, then the LEA has to quantify provision for a suitably qualified specialist teacher. It should be a teacher qualified to level 7 because they have to be able to teach and assess. That is what the Panel will rule. It isn't sufficient for the LEA to say they have a teacher who has experience of teaching children with dyslexia. That isn't meeting the need.

 

Who is helping you for the Tribunal? I thought you had someone? They should know about Coventry Vs Browne. In this case the parents wanted an independent school and had to provide costings for an additional specialist teacher. The LEA said they could provide the same service from within their SEN department. The Tribunal ruled that the additional cost had to be applied to both the independent, and the LEA choice of placement because they said "nothing is for free". Many times LEAs say they can fulfill the Statement from within their own departments and it will not cost them any additional money. That is untrue and unfair. Costs have to apply to both sides.

 

Regarding transport. When you have decided on your parental choice of placement, ask the school if they have any other children travelling from your area.

 

I think you can offer transport. But I would leave that as a last option and not even let on that it is an option at the moment. The LEA should also have a policy for paying mileage for parents that transport their own children. If your choice of placement is the only one that can meet your child's needs, then the LEA will have to fund the transport. It is only IF the LEA also comes up with a placement that could meet those needs at a cheaper cost that transport may become an issue.

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