Facist Britian?

14 Jul

Watch Channel 4 news tonight at 7pm (for non UK-ers you may be able to watch here. There is apparently a horrific (if true) autism related story on tonight.

According to an email circulating:

…a special report regarding a disabled child taken into care through the back door by Bedfordshire, following the parents successful appeal to SENDIST and a High Court decision, which is irrational but dangerous. It is important piece especially for parents whose children are in boarding schools as it is enabling LEAs to place children in local provision and care, if the cost is cheaper than the child’s current provision.

Basically, what this report is claiming is that a couple tried to get their child into a particular school. The LEA protested their choice (far from uncommon). SENDIST supported the parents decision which meant the child would go to the school of the parents choosing. At this point, the LEA had the child taken into care. This would mean they would have control of where the child was schooled.

If this is true this is beyond appalling. The only reason I can possibly think of for the LEA to initiate such a despicable action is to save money. It sounds like the parents wanted a school that the LEA felt was too pricey. Thing is, for LEA’s (and I speak from experience) ‘too pricey’ is comparable to a bag of chips.

Worryingly, IPSEA (Independent Panel for Special Education Advice) seem to have experience of this very thing:

We have received some reports of parents being threatened with the removal of their child (or actual removal taking place) because the approach those parents have taken towards their child’s education is alleged by their LA to constitute “child abuse”. An example of such “abuse” has been a parental request for special school placement rather than mainstream placement.

Amazing. I can’t imagine anything more terrifying then some jumped up suit wearing bureaucrat telling you to agree with them or they’ll remove your child. How do the people who do this sleep at night?

UPDATE. Below is the Channel 4 report.


8 Responses to “Facist Britian?”

  1. farmwifetwo July 14, 2008 at 13:54 #

    I have heard rumours of parents trying to get their children out of our ABA/IBI program here and having FACS called. I deliberately had my FSW at my meeting at HER office. They sent the Lead T, Sr. T, Their Boss and the Dr in charge of the program to the meeting.

    I shook the entire time… and then the Sr T had the balls to ask to come to my home after the meeting and talk to me. The answer was NO and all communication had to be via email for a paper trail.

    So, No. Nothing surprises me anymore.


  2. Kev July 14, 2008 at 14:43 #

    Damn. That sounds pretty…intense…

  3. Regan July 14, 2008 at 19:44 #

    Amazing. I can’t imagine anything more terrifying then some jumped up suit wearing bureaucrat telling you to agree with them or they’ll remove your child. How do the people who do this sleep at night?

    Check your law, because it is often laid out there in bureaucratic powers and mandatory reporting for abuse or neglect. This could potentially happen to those who homeschool or those who are troublesome to a district (see Nate Tseglin, who was removed from his home to a psychiatric program because his parents advocated for an alternative instructional strategy. After considerable wrangling and appeal to/by the public, he is back home).

    I believe the laws were originally meant to good intent for the protection of children; it’s the interpretation and possibility of retaliation (something that’s not entirely unheard of) that’s nerve-racking. If this is becomes routinely used as a threat in order to save a system money or strong-arm parents into a placement–that is disturbing.

  4. Maddy July 14, 2008 at 22:34 #

    Thanks for the link – I wouldn’t have bothered navigating to it directly if only I’d bothered to scroll down a little further to see you had it here anyway! Duh!


    I think I heard something like this a while back for children with other disabilities. I thought at the time that it was the start of a dreadful trend.

    I’m sure we all wish them well and thank Sarah Spiller for her sterling work.


  5. Anne July 15, 2008 at 02:29 #

    You make a good point, Regan. In Nate Tseglin’s case, as in others like it, the law provides that the court act in the “best interest” of a child or developmentally disabled adult. There’s lots of room for interpretation there. In some cases, it’s the family’s reluctance to agree to the use of psychiatric drugs that results in a child being removed from custody, or a family member being removed as an adult’s guardian or conservator.

  6. Casdok July 15, 2008 at 10:27 #

    What this case could mean for Ben and future children is frightening.
    Deciding to send your child to boarding school is not an easy decision. You then have a battle on your hands and you are very much made to feel it is all about money and not your child’s best interest at heart.
    Some children need a specialist 24 hour curriculum which a local care home can not provide.
    I was offered this option when I asked for a residential specialist school for my son. So I went to look at the care home, but it was obvious to me that they were not equipped to support my sons needs. Thankfully I was lucky enough to win my battle and did not need to go to a tribunal.
    I sincerely hope someone will intervene in Bens case before a precedent is set.

  7. mommy~dearest July 17, 2008 at 17:25 #

    Wow- I’m having trouble wrapping my head around this. I would like to follow up on how this is going to unravel. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.


  1. Whitterer on Autism » Blog Archive » Pause for thought - July 14, 2008

    […] read an educated opinion on this trend go “here” on “Left Brain Right […]

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