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  • Taking children out of school during term time

    I will be taking my children out of school next month for our family holiday. 2 of my children have additional needs, one is diagnosed combined adhd and one awaiting assessment for adhd/asd. Neither of them cope well in overcrowded situations with one having social anxiety and the other being liable to wonder off etc. this is the main reason for going out of term time so it will not be as busy. Is there anything I can do in order to not receive an fine from my local authorities for doing this.

  • Provision for SEN Inclusion Funding in cross-county border situation

    I could write war and peace on this so apologies in advance!

    I have a two year old son who has Down Syndrome. Attends an amazing mainstream nursery full time who are fully supportive of him. Now he is two he is due to move to the next room, but his complex needs and lack of mobility means he needs additional support, and the staffing ratios in the room will not allow for them to give him almost 1:1 care, which he gets now (more by chance). We live in Hampshire, nursery is in Berkshire. We are right on the Hampshire/Berkshire/Surrey border so it's a fairly local nursery, my daughter attends the primary school it's attached to.

    We have been trying to access Inclusion Funding since the day he started nursery and over a year later we still have none and are in a horrible gap. We have tried talking to Hampshire and Berkshire local authorities with each saying the other is responsible for the provision. My sons therapists (Physio, OT, Teacher of the Deaf, portage) are Hampshire based and cannot really go into the school to support as it's in a different county. We cannot access the Berkshire versions of these in school as we don't live in Berkshire. Can you see where i'm going with this?!

    We requested an EHC assessment from Hampshire due to the lack of any support we are receiving and this has been declined on the basis that he is well known to Hampshire Children's Services and they feel his therapies are adequate for his needs and we adopt a wait and see approach. Well, this wait and see approach is meaning he cannot proceed in his development! We are waiting on mediation although Hampshire SENDIAS have said to cancel this and go straight to tribunal given our background.

    I feel we are getting more confusion the more we investigate. Hampshire told us that there was definitely a reciprocal agreement in place with Berkshire to access Inclusion Funding, yet Berkshire deny this.

    I have called Hampshire Social Services twice to beg for a disability social worker to support us in this (as well as some other things) and to call a Team Around The Child Meeting as i feel getting everybody in the room together would be the best thing. However despite me, as a parent, sobbing and begging for support i was told we don't fit the criteria (my son is considered 'age appropriate' and must have a lifelong disability - er, he has Down Syndrome?!) and to Google parent support in our area. Considering a formal complaint to them but mentally i've had to take a break.

    I want my son to progress in nursery, to be able to move in the nursery with his peers, which is what is recommended for children with Down Syndrome (and i have this documented from a professional). However without the funding, we can't do this and I am fearful that the nursery, as amazing as they are, will not be able to support his needs.

    Any advice on where to progress from here?!

  • Can the LA refuse to make private provision part of Section F of my child's EHCP when I have evidenced the expertise does not exist locally and that it is required clinically?

    My child is unable to eat or drink after suffering trauma at birth. A specialist OT intervention has been requested by his consultant but this is not available in our locality. I have exhausted all other options and found a private provider. The intervention must become an integrated part of my son's care to be successful. It must be carried out at school in the same way as at home so I need it to become part of Section F of the EHCP. The LA have agreed to include some of the advice as part of Section G. My child already has statements on his plan in Section F endorsing the need for consistency, routine and stability in all aspects of his learning. Can I use this as legal grounds to make the private intervention part of Section F?

  • We are in the final stages of EHCP. We have requested EOTAS (to pay for online school) and a personal budget. The LA have said "County Independent panel have reviewed your request for EOTAS and personal budget to fund Kings Inter High, further information is required before EOTAS can be considered. We will be contacting F...... high school to establish if they are able to support funding Kings Inter High as E. remains on their school roll. We will also be issuing consultations to independent settings to establish suitability; these consultations will be shared with you before they are issued." My question is does the LA pay for EOTAS - why are they asking the school? The LA tried to unroll her from mainstream but we said they could not do this until they have provided alternative provision - and we request EOTAS - were we wrong to do so?

    My daughter is happy at online school. She has tried two mainstream schools and cannot manage. She will not attend school in person and the EP report is fairly conclusive with this regard.

  • My son's ehcp was granted but the council have refused to write 1:1 support in section F, despite their Educational Pyschologists specifying that he needs this. Instead they have written 'individualised' which does not constitute the same thing. The case officer stated in email that they are not allowed to write 1:1 support. What legislation applies to provide the right and specified provision - along with the quantity of how often they should receive this? They also finalised section J, despite providing a personal budget as requested which is to be used for OT services. Any advice would be kindly appreciated. thanks
  • where the Parents and the LA have been in Sendist Tribunal for nearly two years , the reports are outdated . The LA have had over 7 extensions of time , Can I appeal this with a JR ?

    first tier tribunal but reports outdated by 2 years , no support from health or education during that time

    Kerry Lough
    Parent

    10 May 2024

  • Phase transfer - negative consultation mainstream

    Our preferred mainstream has responded to say unsuitable due to aptitude, ability. The reasons they have provided are nothing that can’t be overcome and would be applicable to the school the LA have named too although their school responded to say “may” be able to meet need. What I’m struggling to understand looking at sections 33 & 39 is how parental preference & mainstream school being made suitable doesn’t support our choice for a particular mainstream.

    ER H

    28 Feb 2024

  • Does anyone know what the legal position is in relation to costs in the SEND Tribunal?

    Just spoken to the officer at the LGO who made the decision referred to in this question: https://supportsendkids.org/question/1681234603118

    He said one of the reasons the LGO doesn't have jurisdiction is because the SEND Tribunal has the power to award costs. He said he doesn't recognise my assertion that the general rule in the SEND Tribunal is not to award costs. He said this would surprise him if it was indeed the case.

    Does anyone know what the legal position is in relation to costs in the SEND Tribunal? Has the SEND Tribunal issued any guidance on this point? I was advised by our solicitors when appealing our child's EHCP that the general rule in the SEND Tribunal is that there should be no order for costs. We therefore made no such application. The officer from the LGO said he believed the SEND Tribunal did make orders for costs and that therefore the LGO couldn't look into recompense of legal fees because it would involve stepping on the toes of another body. My point is that if the other body - i.e. the SEND Tribunal - isn't using its powers and is in fact actively encouraging claimants not to - then where does that leave claimants - other than in debt if they've had to instruct a solicitor to try and obtain justice?

    I asked the LGO officer if he knew what proportion of cases that came before the SEND Tribunal resulted in a costs order being made. He said he had no idea. Obviously, it his not for him to know this but I just left wondering if this information is readily available or if it's worth me making a FOI request? The officer did say there is lacuna in the law in relation the LGO's jurisdiction ending when appeal rights become available, but he assured me the LGO had fully and properly considered R (ER) v Commissioner for Local Administration & Anor [2014] EWCA Civ 1407 (Hillingdon) and applied it correctly in my case. Have I reached a dead end with this or are there cases pending that might make me making an application for judical review (to be put on hold pending such a decision) worth while? Many thanks.

    SEND Kids
    Support SEND Kids

    03 May 2024

  • Can the LA refuse to attend a dissagreement resolution meeting and / or mediation prior to Tribunal?

    I'm working with a family who were thinking of cancelling their Tribunal (luckily they haven't). They have been offered a Disagreement Resolution meeting by the mediation service. I am unsure if this is the same as formal mediation? Having waited 4 weeks for a meeting date the mediation service has responded as per below. I am at a loss as to what to advise further to the family now. Is there no statutory duty for the LA to attend either disagreement resolution and / or mediation?

    After contacting your Local Authority, we have now received a response from them to your voluntary Disagreement Resolution request. On this occasion, your LA has, unfortunately, declined to participate in this meeting.

    We are therefore closing this case. This does not preclude the possibility of the LA contacting you directly to attempt to resolve the problem. If we subsequently receive a response from your Local Authority, we will contact you to discuss further.

    You may wish to consult your SEND Tribunal about your alternative options for proceeding with your Disagreement Resolution request.

    Kate Walton
    Ruskin Mill Trust

    10 Jan 2024

  • A school complaints panel has ruled that the Head teacher can deviate from providing what is well stated in section F of the EHCP, is this lawful?

    I made a complaint to the LA and the mainstream primary school that my daughter was not receiving her education in line with section F of the EHCP which was very clearly and precisely stated following Tribunal.
    The LA refused to address my complaint telling me that the school must consider it. The complaint went to Stage 2 at the school and the panel ruled it was reasonable and defensible for the Head not to provide SaLT, now and next trays, noise cancelling headphones etc to my child and dismissed my complaint. I am within 12 weeks of their decision, can I challenge this decision at Judicial Review or by other means? Much of the provision is now being made ironically, although some elements are outstanding.
    I have written evidence directly from the Head refusing my child the provision because it was his opinion that she did not need it.

    Amina Tayiba
    Parent

    02 Mar 2024