Statutory Assessment Refused, going to Tribunal

Hi is there anybody out there who has been in the same situation as us? We had our son identified with dyslexia aged 8 after 2 years of being told by the school he had dyslexic tendencies. We had to pay for the assessment ourself through dyslexia action and the result was severe dyslexia and we were advised to fight any refusal to assess for a Statutory Assessment because our son requires specialist intervention. We have contacted a local private dyslexic school and we have been called for an interview which is encouraging as they have seen the Ed Psyh report and letter refusing the SA and the grounds. We are aware that our local authority do send children to this school and also pay for transport. Our son is on school action plus and the interventions that are in place at school are good but he is not progressing. We have appealed the refusal to assess and are now building are case. Has anyone been through the same process and what was the outcome. Have you any advice. Even if we do not win our case at least I know that we tried our best for our child and that the school may step up to give him the education he deserves.

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  • Hi

    I won a tribual about 14yrs ago for my son to go to a specialist dyslexic school in Lichfield. However we had a statement so we were fighting part 4, the school named. It was an horrendous day, all day in and out the conference room like yo yo's but we did it and won transport also.

    I hear now that a child has to be 3yrs behind before they will do a stat assess. My daughter has been told this for my granddaughter who is dyspraxic and has seizures. Parent partnership also backed the LA up saying this was now the case.

    You will need to prove that the gap is getting wider with little to no progress made. Pick out and highlight bits in school reports and IEP's and any other correspondences you have got. Get yourself a copy of the SEN code of practice and do the same with that quoting it in relevant area's.

    I would be willing to help you do this if you lived nearby as I don't drive. I am in Leicestershire .Good luck

    Sue

  • Hi Sue

    Thanks for your post. Congratulations on your success for your son. I dont know about being 3 yrs behind but my son is in year 4 and his writing is equivalent to a Year 1 child. The LEA refused the application because his tests say that in maths and reading a 2B and science he is predicted a 3C. However, give him a 2B level book to read and he cant read in only can pick out high frequency words. Also he told us when he got his maths result that he copied from the child sitting next to him (ie low self esteem) so I have written to the school asking him to be seated on his own for any tests so we know what his true abilities are. We currently attend an after school class ran by a qualified BDA teacher and she is also a SENCO at a secondary school who says we have a good case to go to tribunal. The school I mention is also in Lichfield and I am guessing that its the same one you mention. I am encouraged my our appointment on Wednesday this week and hope that we get some useful info from them and suggestions for our case. I live in Stoney Stanton nr Hinckley are you nearby? Thank you so much for your kind words and offer. How did your son get on at the school in Lichfield did it meet your expectations?

  • Hi

    This year our local council decided that it wanted to cease our sons statement which he has for dyslexia so we appealed to the the tribunal. We contacted ipsea, - ipsea.org.uk- which is an independent helpline and they were brilliant in helping us know if we had a case, what to expect and what reports to send with our appeal. Once the tribunal recieved our appeal and agreeded there was a case to hear the council backed down and left his provision unchanged. It does seem very daunting and time consuming when you look at doing an appeal but it is worth it - Good luck

  • Thank you. Glad you succeeded. Yes I too have had a look at their web site and downloaded lots of useful info. I have their tribunal hotline number and I am going to ring them today. Just waiting for their website to put times the lines will be manned this week. Yes it does seem if you are willing to take the LEA on they seem to back down obviously not in all cases but I know of a local girl aged 10 who has dyslexia and managed to get funding to a private school and transport so youve got to try. It seems that it depends on the LEA as to who gets a statement or not. Did you have your son assessed by an Ed Psyh and what sort of severity does he have?

  • Hi

    My son was originally assessed by and ed psyc when he was just 8 years at the suggestion of the school but privately as the council wouldn't. They found that he had sever dyslexia. The school put into place the whole school action, school action plus thing and several literacy interventions but not specific dyslexlic interventions which helped a little. At the same time we got him a private specialist tutor once a week. When he moved to secondary school (not a specialist one but in a different borough with a different attitude) they saw the issue immediatley and he was reassessed then by thier ed psych who recommended that his dyslexia was sever enough for a statement. Even with her report and the support of the school behind us it took 2 attempts to get a statement. We had him assessed this year as part of our evidence to appeal at dyslexia action - he is now 16 and was changing schools for A levels - The reality is that he is still severly dyslexic...he is functionally illiterate according to the latest tests despite years of interventions. However that doesn't tell the whole story as phonics and spelling may be a mystery to him he has developed a level of reading and strategies in all things so he can make sense of reading most of what he needs to. He has just done really well in his GCSE's and is progressing with his A levels using dictation software. He has to work very hard and is often angery and frustrated, but he has suceeded. I think the hardest thing for us has been dealing with his frustrations and keeping his confidence up in himself and his abilities and not letting him give up. This would have definitly been easier with a specialist school as they are much more aware of whole issues. It can be difficult and hard and sometimes it does involve waiting for things to happen but Keep trying and keep fighting for what is best for your child, it is worth it in the end!!

  • Thanks for your post. Sounds similar to us. We had Tom assessed at 8 with the schools support but we had to pay and we pay for private lessons with a BDA teacher after school. So wrong you had to fight twice to get a statement even with an LEA Ed Psyh report. Good luck with your sons future schooling. I spoke to IPSEA today their tribunal helpline she was really good. She said I had pretty much got everything covered. However, she did ask me about a witness and said that it was important to either take Toms class teacher or the BDA teacher with me to trial for them to give the panel of how he is in the school environment. Obviously his teacher may be reluctant too attend because a conflict of interest but I can summons her to court if I want her there. I agree the hardest thing is the self esteem and their frustrations. We have a younger daughter who is 6 and has overtaken Tom at school and this has had a big impact on him and his self esteem. IPSEA said this tribunal would be to get LEA to assess then the tribunal can make them assess but still might not get a statement and have to try again. Just hope a bit of luck falls my way also! Onwards and upwards

  • I would just like to say that if the level of Dyslexia has been found to be 'severe' then you are right to try to obtain a statement. Good luck! Keep strong!

  • Thank you and definately feeling strong and ready to fight to get it. Will keep the thread posted with where we are at.

  • Hi,

    best of luck with your case. We too had to take our child's case to the SEN panel to obtain a statutory assessment. This was 8 years ago - we won and got an assessment. Be aware of dirty tricks, especially if the school are not supporting your case. The LEA and schools tend to stay very close. We had evidence put forward by the school of our childs standard of work that was fabricated. Fortunatley the SEN panel spotted this and were not impressed by the school bringing in a specialist tutor for the child on the very day on the Panel hearing either. Remember that the Stat. Assessment is only the first step and does not guarantee that appropriate support will be offered.

  • Hi and thanks for the advice. Yes we have been advised of "dirty tricks" hence I have sent a letter to the headteacher stating that they are not to assess my child without my expressed permission" so the LEA cant send in their Ed Psych and have him assessed without my knowlegde and invalidate any forthcoming results from our own private assessments. I know schools have been known to fabricate evidence too obviously for their records school say Tom is level 2B for reading but if I took him to tribunal and gave him a 2B book to read at the trial he wouldnt be able to read it. Evidence in itself. We have been advised that if we win to get him assessed we still may not get the statement then have to go to tribunal again etc a process that takes about 2 yrs in all I heard but at least it will be before he changes schools. Quite enjoying the collating of evidence and being a virgo Im blessed with being very organised thank goodness you def need to have your wits about you. Thks for the comment

  • Just to update my blog we have now received communication from the LA that they are going to assess our son and they have cancelled the tribunal. Great News

  • Again just to update my blog we are now in receipt of a proposed statement which is great news to all those out there who are told you cannot get a statement for Dyslexia. However, the statement is not sufficient to meet our sons needs and we are not going to enter into negotiations with the LA when our goals are so far apart so back we go to tribunal set for FEB/MAR 2014. We have now had to use the services of a Solicitor specialising in SEN but we feel that the expense is worth it whatever the outcome.

    So to any parents out there who are embarking on this long and daunting process their is light at the end of the tunnel. Good luck to everyone else who finds themselves in similar circumstances.

  • Update -further to asking the LEA to finalise the statement we were asked to send r son by the Lea to a specialist independant school for a weeks trial. He passed the criteria for entry and has now continued there with the LEA agreeing to fund his fees. Great news all the struggles tears and persistance has paid off.

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