Friday, 17 March 2017

ENGLAND: SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE

For deciding CE provision

I have had passed on to me yet another of those requests. Specifically this one asks about–

'..scientific report/documentation or other objective information to support reports on the importance of carrying on with CE to support a more independent, dignified and healthier life leading to the possibility of employment.'

That is very nicely put and deserves better that the only reply that I can offer:
  1. There is NO such scientific report/documentation.
  2. Neither will there EVER be in the sense that I suspect that the word 'scientific' is used here.
  3. Remember that under English law the relevant legislation is about 'needs'. When it comes to the crunch, needs cannot be dependent only upon facts, they are ultimately a statement of values.
  4. Even if there were such documentation, there would be no point in either side's submitting this as evidence in a Tribunal about SEN, since such a Tribunal is not competent under law to decide on the relative merits of scientific evidence.
  5. Consideration of such evidence by a Tribunal would be immediate grounds for Appeal to the High Court on a point of law. The appeal to dismiss such evidence would almost certainly be upheld, and the LA is very likely already well aware of this.
  6. Anyone entering such formal proceedings MUST be aware that this is a legal process with a lot of money at stake, in which the opposing side is determined to have its way and has its own legal department sharing the experience of similar legal department of every local authority in the land. In no other walk of life would citizens take up such an important and unequal contest without competent LEGAL advice of their own.
  7. Not just any old lawyer. The Education Law Society can advise: http://www.educationlawassociation.org.uk/
  8. If not yet at the stage of Tribunal, families should make it very clear to their LA that they are taking proper legal advice on their rights (and on the (LA's obligations), and will be prepared to contest any lapses on the apart of the LA' and any other bodies involved, whatever it takes
  9. Wasps and hornets are rarely attacked by bigger, more powerful animals. They wear yellow and black stripes as a warning. Only on 8 March I put a reminder on Facebook,  reference to an account of one parent's (successful) struggle, and her recommendation:
  10. When dealing with public servants, remember what the term means and act accordingly. Be courteous, be helpful, answer any reasonable question, but display those warning stripes boldly and with pride.
None of this is nice. it is not what people expected and hoped for when they began bringing up their disabled child. It is not what they deserve and not what gthey wish. That, however, is how it is and no services, conductive or otherwise, should allow its families to go into such a situation without knowing this and without having the know-how to guide them through it.
 
On Facebook

DON'T JUST FIGHT, PUNISH
Dealing with Local Authorities
Read one mother's experience:
https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/how-does-a-parent-hold-their-council-to-account-for-send-failures/

Health warning

I no longer work day to day in this sordid jungle. I have deliberately averted my gaze from how it has developed since I walked away. It might be that the legal situation has changed, perhaps even the intention of Parliament. So check on what I say, by consulting the competent literature and by going to someone capable of an informed professional opinion.

Vital issues for the future of a child and a family may be decided in such situations. The Golden Rule? Always check. Then if possible check again.

1 comment:

  1. Just briefly: I was intrigued by the reason given by your correspondent for the importance of carrying on with CE - "to support a more independent, dignified and healthier life leading to the possibility of employment." Independence; Dignity; Health >> Employment. An interesting proposition worthy of considerable discussion, whether for those making the transition from children's to adults' services, or adults themselves - what elsewhere I have thought of as 'adult continuing conductive education'. What is adult continuing conductive education for? Orthofunction? Yes - but how? One area of enquiry that has of late intrigued me is that of Dr Simon Duffy at the Centre for Welfare Reform on Citizenship. See, The 7 Keys to Citizenship http://www.centreforwelfarereform.org/library/by-az/keys-to-citizenship2.html

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