Basis of the Claim
I have a daughter with a Moderate Learning Difficulty and secondary speech, language and communication problems as a result of an immature brain. Lucy is in Year 7 at a mainstream school. She is happy at school and has many friends. However, she requires close assessment and monitoring of her NC progress. Due to her cognitive profile and slow progress it has become clear that upon leaving primary school her KS2 grades were way over inflated and so the problems begin – there is a conflict of school performance v school inclusion policies and a brick wall of trying to get answers on the anomaly’s in my daughters progress. In order to get answers and to plan appropriate provision, historical records are crucial. I need access to full transferred school records and am being denied.
I made two unfavourable treatment claims against the school and one of not anticipating necessary reasonable adjustment to her assessment method. I have received a Tribunal Order proposing to strike out the claim with reference to the two unfavourable treatment claims only. It made no reference to the reasonable adjustment claim so I don’t know if that still stands or not. These were:
- Refusing access to transferred primary school records. The school is doing everything it can to block me from getting my hands on any kind of teacher or TA monitoring records, standardised tests scores etc a long list of things. They are doing the same thing with some of their own records. I have said it is unfavourable treatment as we can’t attend planning meetings and plan adequate SEN provision for Lucy without the historical data to refer to. It is impossible for a child like Lucy not to refer to past learning patterns or records to help determine future planning strategies. The judge claims there is no evidence of unfavourable treatment to the child. I don’t know how to link what I believe should be a reasonable analysis of school records to Lucy’s disability and show how that impacts on her daily life to demonstrate unfavourable treatment. Her statement provision not only aims to help integrate lucy into school life but also focuses on her everyday functional living skills like understanding money, helping her develop her linguistic concepts and help her understand time. Without reviewing historical records it is difficult to determine the effectiveness of her intervention strategies or project future performance expectations. I won’t get these records because I will be able to prove grade inflation. There is an unfavourable treatment to lucy – I don’t know how to present it.
- OT & Speech and Language Therapies. I thought speech and language therapy and OT therapy’s were in Lucy’s statement as they should be as supporting expert advice was submitted to the LA upon the statement submission but the vague terminology used by the LA has meant that there is no obligation to provide these through her statement provision. School have been implementing a whole school approach to Lucy’s speech and language needs by providing TA assistants in class to cover the strategies required for Lucy to learn. However, Lucy is bombarded with a load of different types of strategies in class, none of which are measured or monitored against her communication objectives in her statement. I asked for TA monitoring records and was told they only keep notes for their own personal use. I do not know who has overall responsibility for scoring Lucy’s speaking and listening PIVAT scores (PIVAT’s is the small steps assessment method). So there really is no program as such to meet her needs. The judge claims that I have appealed parts 2 & 3 of the statement and there are no specific reference to Lucy’s therapies in her statement and no disadvantage identified or failure to make a reasonable adjustment identified so has proposed to strike out the claim.
Lucy’s needs are specific educational. There should be some way to say that a robust S&L plan including monitoring arrangements should have been accommodated in some way surely? If so, how would I show disadvantage to Lucy?
- Reasonable Adjustment Claim
The judge has made no comment to this claim. Lucy’s grades are a mess at school as they are not able to track her progress properly. They are using PIVATS which has not been updated to meet the needs of the new curriculum and won’t be until September 2015 and it only covers core subjects and so history, geography, ICT and are struggling to score her as they do not have the tools to do so. BSquared covers these areas, is updated to meet the needs of the curriculum but the school have chosen not to use it. I don’t believe the school has anticipated reasonable adjustments to Lucys assessment, monitoring or reporting methods. I don’t know if this part of the claim still stands or not – I’ve sought clarity from the judge.
Clare, would you be able to provide some basic advice so that I can go away think about it and draft a tribunal response to keep the claim being heard? I just need some basic direction to have a go at trying to re-present my case. Can you help?