PLEASE HELP,

helpneeded!
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:33 am

Re: PLEASE HELP,

Postby helpneeded! » Tue May 16, 2017 11:03 pm

Hi Suzie,

Many thanks for your help.

Quick update. They have set a date to reconvene the panel. However, I am disappointed that they have only retained one of the original panel members, with two new panel members sitting.

I will let you know what happens, if anything!

Thanks again

helpneeded!
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:33 am

Re: PLEASE HELP,

Postby helpneeded! » Wed Jun 07, 2017 7:46 am

Hi Suzie, not great news I'm afraid. It seems as though the LA have not spent the past 2 + months reinvestigating, merely using that time to come up with more ways to deflect blame. The 'amended' Stage 2 report was received yesterday afternoon, which hardly leaves us any time to prepare, as the reconvened stage 3 panel meeting is on Monday!
This report, is worse than it's previous version. Full of avoidance, misquotes and 2 pages of what can only be described, as a 'witch hunt' with myself tied to the stake! I fear that the LA are going to make life very difficult for me professionally.
May I ask a question? As part of the second attempt at Stage 2, the LA interviewed a work colleague of mine. She has contacted me since, to ask if she may see any reference made to her, or any comments they have attributed to her. She stated that this was due to her reading through the document, "How to get the best from complaints" , on the gov.uk website. She does not believe that the LA have followed due process, as she was not advised that she was entitled to take a union representative with her, nor has she been given a copy of her statement to read, never mind amend and sign as accurate, (she has requested a copy, to an avail). She left her interview feeling that the interviewer had tried to manipulate her and had the uncomfortable feeling that she may be misquoted. From reading the amended Stage 2 report, it is clear to me that her fears have been recognised. Extracts from her 'interview', form most of the basis of the 'witch hunt' against myself. My query is this, she has asked to see what is written about her in the report, are we able legally, to allow her to read the references to herself?
Kind regards,

X

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP,

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:29 pm

Dear Helpneeded,

The report will be part of the children’s file, so the Data Protection Act will apply, if your friend was to apply to see any of it.

There is also likely to be a proviso on the report about confidentiality and prohibiting circulation of the report as well. So my advice would be against disclosure to your friend, without the consent of the local authority.

Instead, your friend could pursue disclosure of her statement to her, via the complaints team. If it is not forthcoming, she could then write a letter to say that she is concerned about its accuracy and so does not want it to be used.
You could also ask (in writing) whether an extract of the report can be disclosed to your friend. If this is not allowed, ask for reasons.

Please also consider speaking to the advice service at the Information Commissioners office . They can offer specialist advice about the Data protection Act.

I hope this helps.

Best wishes,

Suzie

helpneeded!
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 10:33 am

Re: PLEASE HELP,

Postby helpneeded! » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:34 am

Hi Suzie,
Still no good news I'm afraid. We attended the reconvened panel hearing earlier this month. I did not feel the Panel were particularly impartial. The Chair actually answered some of our concerns on behalf of the LA! He stated that the Statutory Guidance 'Getting the Best From Complaints', from which I had quoted, as "guidance only". Indeed, this proved to be the case, with most of my evidence. I was informed that no statements had been signed by any of the interviewees. I had been assured that the new panel member, had been given the whole pack of evidence, which I provided to the original panel members, however, this became apparent that this was not the case.
We have received the Panel's report. It does not reflect the hearing accurately, the main point of complaint, has not even received the a mention, nor does most of the copious amount of evidence I provided and which was discussed at length during the panel hearing.
I am bitterly disappointed, I assumed that the 'Independent Panel',would be just that, independent. What makes this even more frightening, is that the replacement panel member, is a long standing Ofsted inspector! During the meeting, she seemed to be asking pertinent questions of the LA, it felt that she was very much 'onside'. The report is signed by the panel Chair only. Is this normal practice?
It feels very much as though the 'cover up' continues.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 1734
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: PLEASE HELP,

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Mon Jul 03, 2017 5:03 pm

Dear help needed

Thank you for your further post. Once again, I am sorry to hear that the process has been so difficult and that you are very disappointed at the result. It is also very disheartening that the new panel member does not appear to have been given all the evidence when you had been assured they would.

In relation to the Panel Chair signing the report that would not appear to be unusual as their role is to manage the panel and their discussions and ensure that a report is drafted and finalised; it would seem appropriate that a Chair would take responsibility for this. However, if unhappy with this of course you can seek clarification from them.

You should receive a final written decision from Children’s Services about your complaint within 15 days of receiving the panel’s report.

If you remain dissatisfied you will need to decide if you want to complain to the Local Government Ombudsman.

I hope that this difficult process is resolved or comes to an end soon for you.

With best wishes.

Suzie


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