The Government invited local authorities to apply for Pathfinder Status as part of the SEN Green Paper earlier this year. Pathfinder authorities will trial different aspects of the proposals set out in the paper. North Yorkshire applied and was accepted in September along with 19 other pathfinders. Its application can be found here.
We have not analysed the whole document fully, but this bit caught our eye:
Number of Tribunal cases and % successful
Financial Year 2010/11 – 20 tribunal cases lodged. 4 tribunal cases heard, all LA cases upheld; 14 resolved prior to hearing; 1 dismissed in telephone hearing; 1 waiting for hearing still
We know of at least one case that North Yorkshire lost in 2010-11. "..all LA cases upheld" - this is clearly not a typo. It is simply untrue. So, to be clear: North Yorkshire County Council has misled the Department for Education on its application form and received up to £150,000 under false pretences. Naughty.
A note for parents: pathfinder local authorities have to make clear to parents that the Code of Practice and SEN law still apply, and that they do not have to take part in this scheme. Think carefully before taking part - the current system has been around for thirty odd years and is well tried and tested, with a great deal of case law and expertise built up.