Monday, April 03, 2006

Email #38

Dear Mrs New-caseworker

I want to thank you again for the honesty and helpfulness you have personally shown to me through all of this. It seems that I will almost certainly appeal the decision.

I do have to make one correction to your email - R was my second choice school at the point in time when application for statement had failed and a note in lieu was to be issued - way back at the beginning of what has been a huge learning curve for me. I was then much less informed and taking account of the advice of available experts - to be specific the three schools that we visited were recommended as possibilities by the ESCC Educational Psychologist.

When the admissions procedure was (due to be) clawed back from general admissions and given to your department, owing to the decision to statement after all, I was sent a new schools application form to fill in and I understood that it entirely superseded the earlier one. On that one I listed P only, and P is the only mainstream school that I asked to have named on the statement, so I am a little confused whether I have a second choice in R, or whether that ought to be 'had', past tense.

It is rather a turn of events that, owing to timings, the general admissions department could not be stopped from allocating my son a place as a non-statemented child, after the decision to statement had been made; that they allocated R, a school which, now in full possession of the facts owing to your letter to the Governors and the legally required attendant paperwork, feels as I do that Son's needs are not matched by the provision offered and that their school may not in any case be the best equipped to meet his needs.

I am very concerned and confused that S has, according to your email below, become the allocated school. It is the one school that I have constantly cited as being perfectly unsuitable to my son's condition at a design level - a main road between buildings, lots of build-ons, pressure points and small corridors, every possible design flaw that seems purpose built to trigger 'stimming' in a child on the autistic spectrum, including the use of a bell. I appreciate that you wrote to their governors of your own volition (presumably?) because we fall within that catchment area, but am incredibly concerned that R can envisage problems which Seaford can not.

It seems I am caught between the devil and the deep blue sea here, not least because of timings. It is such a shame that the junior school has now applied for assessment for my son on two occasions; both times the County appeared to have lost or not received an item of paperwork just at the end of a school year - both times reproduction of such took us about a week into the school summer holidays and I was then, each time, informed that this negated the ten week response time which was instead re-set at 12 weeks after the schools reopened, ie 18+ weeks in total from application to decision each time. This, with the change of decision this time round, has meant that the two applications have ended up stretching over almost two years. We have run out of negotiating time - I wish it wasn't so but feel I have done everything possible and stated my case clearly.

Again I really appreciate your help, I acknowledge your honest and genuine attempts to accomodate my requests within the remit given to you by your department and/or employers, but I feel I have made my requests clear - for unambiguous provision laid out to match and provide for my son's established needs, for unhindered access to the national curriculum and for a school environment condusive to peace and order for an aspergers mind, as a provision which not only allows him to access his education but also to access any other provision once eventually clearly established.

I look forward to receiving the final statement as previously requested, within this Easter break, please.

Best regards

Cheryl

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