Keeping the child at the centre

To update readers on here, I have copied a post that I have just shared on the PDA Parenting Facebook page, as I’m struggling to find the time to give this blog the care that it needs.

As many will know, I am currently disputing all sections of my daughter’s EHCP, and last week I was told to keep the child at the centre of the process.

This was my response:

It was quite a shock to be ‘reminded’ by the local authority’s legal representative that I should be keeping the child at the centre of the process. It if wasn’t so serious then I think I would be crying with laughter.

Once again, with selected details for reasons not to jeopardise the tribunal, it came about after I sent many emails to the SEND manager to highlight their discrepancies. I kindly ‘reminded’ them that they were not following the SEND Code of Practice, to which the manager responded that they knew the code very well, but that they were guidelines and not the law.

Back and forth with a further heated discussion when I questioned why they were continuing to withhold information?

Serious information.

An offer from a school that no matter how much we were asking we were not being given the answers. The manager was coming unstuck with the lies they had given which obviously sent them into uncharted waters.

Our first choice of placement was sabotaged by the LA early this year – the chance to be assessed for a school was missed because they claimed that the paperwork was sent. Emailed dates confirming it too. Time passes and the school confirmed it was never sent. The space is filled and we are back on the treadmill trying to find a suitable school.

Following guidelines are there for that reason, so that the child IS kept at the centre of the process.

So after calling this into question I have been in effect silenced by their solicitor and asked for only the legal teams to talk.

The LA also sent a document to the tribunal quoting mum as saying if she can’t find a suitable school then she is happy to home educate. An independent professional from that meeting documented mum’s words as ‘mum reports daughter expressing the wish to be in full time school.’ The report is supposed to be rectified and re-sent to the courts but I won’t hold my breath.

Apparently, I send inflammatory emails.

Is this really keeping the child at the centre of the process?!

I’ve included a picture of what my daughter wants, could it be any clearer?

This is a bigger picture than what one SEND team are doing to avoid paying for a specialist school, it is a national shame. Children not having appropriate access to education because of the SEND cuts.

My daughter put her school uniform on in that picture to join her siblings, she wanted to be the same for their school photo. It’s hanging on the wall with pride, even if it is a false reality, we can’t give up hope. She deserves a chance for an education too in the right school that can meet her needs.

She is very much at ‘my’ centre – I just wish her needs were being kept at the centre by all parties involved when disputing her future.


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