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South London till I die
May 13, 2021
In SENDIST
I've been to SENDIST a good few times and I'm going to try and make this an overall review and not base it on my last experience which was a bit of a shocker frankly. I will say that though I think many of them REALLY try hard it's not mega parent friendly and is very legal beagal when you are new to it. Some people who work there make that a bit better than others. I think ideally they should have 'support through court' for families who are unrepresented. It would be great if trainee or freshly qualified solicitors perhaps spent some time there clocking up some experience hours on a rota or something. On the whole. If I took 95% of my cases I think decisions have been really fair. I do have a disability and I didn't find it mega accessible though the truth is that depended on who you were dealing with at any one time. My first experience was absolutely amazing but I had a really decent LA barrister who was opposing me who had a lot of integrity and a REALLY amazing case management experience. Since Corona Virus kicked in there's been a lot of issues speaking for myself personally but most of those have been around access which was tied into the pandemic and the biggest difference this time round has been with the opposition who are NOTHING like my previous experience so that's made it MUCH worse. It is a bit disappointing how little power SENDIST actually have. Though they can't really help that to be honest. I think so long as you go there only expecting it to solve 'some' of your problems and that it won't be the 'final solution to ALL of your problems" (for most of us) then you will be in the right headspace. Expectations are the mother of all . . . .
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South London till I die
May 13, 2021
In Wandsworth
I lived in Wandsworth for 42 years and I only left in 2018. So I can only speak up until then. I had my fair share of battles over the years but my experience always was that once you got to someone more senior that 'common sense, logic and reason' kicked in and you could sort problems out. I found it quite fair in that way and I didn't have to go to tribunal as most things you could sort out without needing to. While I lived there I moaned about it a lot but now I've moved away and now live in the Fires of SEND hell I realise that actually it wasn't really that bad. Or maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder! What I will say is that there are some really GOOD quality specialist schools in Wandsworth and there's quite a few of them. I think their transport policy is something that should be rolled out nationally to be honest (assuming it's not changed since 2018). Again like anywhere EHCPs can be a bit non specific and that's not great. I think their actual procedure for EHC assessments is a really good inclusive co-productive one but it's not always actually followed. If it was followed it would be REALLY good. Nothing's perfect of course. My kids were all late to be diagnosed by the NHS and hopefully that has now improved because that caused a lot of pain and agony for all of us. The Consultants covering Autistic and ADHD I think are REALLY good (when you do finally get to see one). In terms of professionals there are some real gems and some I can't remember what their names were. That's about the size of it really. On the whole not too bad (but only saying that because I've now seen MUCH worse).
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South London till I die

South London till I die

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