Testimonials

 

 
Dear Fiona

We are truly grateful for your kind help and assistance in supporting our son's placement at school plus his additional support. We realise how fortunate we are to get this funding and we are very appreciative of your help and assistance in doing so.

We feel that he will be properly supported at school and, along with our help and guidance, have every opportunity to reach his potential and hopefully have a successful and happy future ahead.

With grateful thanks and kind regards

Anonymous

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for supporting us through this whole tribunal process if I hadn't have passed things over to you I think I would have no hair left ! 
You was absolutely amazing and I can't stop telling everyone how brilliant you truly are WOW wow wow you blew me away and certainly gave the other side a run for there money . Fantastic thank you so much can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate everything you did no matter what the outcome you gave it everything and more 
And for that we will always be truly grateful and we know we did everything in our power to get our daughter the school she so wants 
Mr and Mrs A 

 

 

 

As a former lawyer, I was extremely dismayed and frustrated with the solicitors, barristers and legal advisors I met with in regards to my child’s case. They all talked about the legislation and the processes, without properly explaining how it applied in our particular situation. I struggled to follow a lot of what they said and my attempts to better understand what was going on only resulted in racking up more fees in calls, letters and emails that were too convoluted to understand, or too vague to be of any use.

Fiona was quite simply a breath of fresh air. She was practical and straight talking. She is extremely knowledgeable, not just about the law and processes, but also importantly about the particular nuances of the authority we were dealing with and the persons within it. ,This is particularly important when approaches can vary according to the authority you are dealing with as well as the point in time at which you are making your case. 

It was because of Fiona that we were able to avoid tribunal. It was because of Fiona that we were able to obtain a package far in excess of what were might have hoped for. It was because of Fiona that we didn’t waste money on unnecessary legal fees; her fees were a fraction of the costs of what we might otherwise have paid.

As someone who did their research on legal advisors and met with several of the supposedly best recommended persons, I can wholeheartedly say that not one of them came close to Fiona in terms of advice, cost or results.

Anonymous

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for supporting us through this whole tribunal if I hadn't passed things over to you I think I would have no hair left!

You were absolutely amazing and I can't stop telling everyone how brilliant you truly are WOW wow wow you blew me away and certainly gave the other side a run for their money. Fantastic thank you so much can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate everything you did no matter what the outcome, you gave it everything and more.

And for that we will always be truly grateful and we know we did everything in our power to get our daughter the school she so wants.

Thank you again.

Mr & Mrs A

Our goal was simple.  We wanted to fight to get our son the best education and the best support.  He was struggling and was isolated in a special school, his behaviour had deteriorated and he was regressing in his lessons.  We were desperate.

We had to get him more support and the only way we could do it was to get legal advice and to appeal against the EHCP and to change school.   After using a solicitor who just seemed interested in making money out of us and not interested in answering the phone or emails, we were recommended Fiona Slomovic and it was the best thing we did.  Fiona was amazing!   Our case was not simple but she was determined and managed to get us everything we had hoped for. She worked hard and answered emails and it really felt like she was genuinely on our side and understood.  She didn’t “hand hold” but when we needed her she was there. 

Our son is now in an amazing school and has fantastic support and above all he now has a smile on his face.

I would highly recommend Fiona to other parents who are struggling to get the support that their children deserve.

Thanks Fiona.

Mrs C 

We won our EHC Plan Tribunal against the might of a top county council barrister and an "outstanding" special school, thanks to Fiona Slomovic and colleagues at Advocacy and Mediation Ltd.

An early briefing with Fiona, inspired me to proactively gather documented evidence of my son's profound needs. Most of that was additional to inadequate county council assessments. She also recommended engaging an independent Educational Psychologist, which was helpful.

Whilst I gathered the evidence, Fiona's staff organised reams of paperwork into a format useful for the tribunal.

We were nervous and aprehensive about our 'court' appearance but Fiona guided us through it and the judge and his two education experts were helpful and welcoming. For the first time, for more than a year, we felt listened to - in direct contrast to a combattive and distinctly unhelpful local authority.

The outcome we wanted (for an Applied Behavioural Analysis school) was much more expensive and specialised than the LA proposal of our son returning to the special school that had failed him. However, the strength of evidence that I had gathered, combined with Fiona's skilled marshalling of facts and 'killer' questions, destroyed anything that the LA case could muster. 

Our son is now attending the school that is totally appropriate to his needs, with transport.

If you have a complex case and are heading towards an EHCP tribunal, please consider this specialised service, rather than your local solicitor who may have limited SEND experience. Fiona, combines a personal and professional understanding of autism and other disability issues, together with a daily experience of advocating for families like ours - why would you want to look elsewhere?

Mr W

 

I was very impressed with the work done by Fiona on my daughter’s appeal. We were appealing for an out of county independent ASD school. Fiona grasped very quickly what were the main issues in the case and really helped to steer us the right direction, making sure that the evidence we submitted was appropriate. She is very straight forward and honest in the way she dealt with the case and I felt that I could trust her to make the right decisions and liked the way she considered both the strengths and weaknesses of our case. She is very professional in her approach and made sure that the paper work was in perfect order. She managed to get lots of provision agreed in advance of the hearing by negotiating with the LA and getting the working document in good order.  She was excellent on the day of the tribunal, negotiating with the LA representative and it was a massive relief to have someone else taking charge of the situation. We achieved a successful outcome and I would recommend her unreservedly. 

 

Ms C 

 

 

We approached Fiona when we received a Final Plan from our LA. The EHCP was completely against our thoughts and our child’s interests. We were in a situation where no one was ready to listen to our views.

On speaking to Fiona for the first time over phone, we felt so comforted and she sounded very optimistic.

It was a tough case and Fiona handled it so well. She communicated to our LA and the tribunal so well. She always made sure that right message was passed on to everyone involved.

Hearing Day is still unforgettable and we get goose bumps when  we recall it! ‘Amazing’ is just an ordinary word to describe how well she orchestrated our whole case. She hooked the right points and brought out all the truth and vital information in front of the judges panel. We literally enjoyed the way she questioned the LA witnesses and we sat like awestruck spectators. She appeared as an angel who was sent to change our child’s destiny! The outcome of our hearing was very positive!

She is extremely professional, honest and down to earth. She has profound knowledge in what she is doing. I still cannot forget the much needed advice she gave us during crucial times in our child’s case.

It was because of Fiona, our son now goes to a good school with the right support and we have started to see positive results. Thanks to her wonderful team, especially Jane and Helen for all their support!

I have already recommended Fiona to a number of families and will continue doing it as she is a human who offers such a service to parents who are undergoing extreme stress to get right support for their children.

 

Mr and Mrs H 

We wanted to thank you for your help getting our son into Abingdon House. He started this morning and our LA are providing transport so it's looking good so far...

If not for your advice, we would never have considered it possible to get our son into this school, much less for it to be funded. We are very, very grateful! 

Thank you again,


I was battling with the local authority for an out of county autism specific residential school for my daughter and was challenging parts 2, 3 and 4 of her statement.  I was advised to seek legal representation and was recommended Fiona Slomovic.  It was a smart move and a really good decision and I cannot thank her and the team that work behind the scenes enough.   

I had stacks of paperwork, and several on going arguments with the school, social care and local authority.  Fiona sifted through all the mounting evidence and carefully picked out one main thread that we needed to focus on, the winning argument, backed by law.  

Fiona quickly and very expertly knocked the statement into shape and made ground with the local authority getting changes agreed. 

At the tribunal hearing Fiona headed our team, the expert witnesses and myself were fully primed and had all the relevant data, indexed, to find key points quickly.  Fiona was very assertive and made it clear to the panel that we needed this dealt with now as this has gone on long enough.  Fiona is very eloquent, very decisive and very knowledgeable about the law, and more professional than some solicitors.  Our team honed in on the main winning argument.  The hearing went on all day.  Fiona backed up the points that were made with the law and the case was won.  My daughter is now thriving at her new school.  For me and my daughter our future is looking so much brighter now.  Thank you so much Fiona and your team for all the work you did, for your advocacy, mediation and support.  You are a legend!

With lots of gratitude and thanks

LF


I would like to thank Fiona and her team for helping us achieve a positive result for my daughter. By the time I spoke to Fiona I already had heard options and advice by a number of professionals. Talking to Fiona felt like for once I was talking to someone who knew exactly how to help me. I felt that there was someone out there who was able to take over the emotional task of having to communicate with the L.A. team and the Tribunal. My daughter has just started at the new school and every day feels like a miracle

 

Ms P 

 

We found ourselves in the position where the secondary school named by the LA for our son in April was totally unsuitable after months of them refusing to listen to us.  We had already appealed to the tribunal on the grounds that no school had been named. We went to tribunal in July. We initially saw Fiona for advice in April and from this meeting changed our appeal from part 4 only to parts 2,3 and 4.  Fiona seamed to immediately understand what were trying to achieve.  She advised us on the type of questions to ask both schools (LA's and one we found that was suitable) and had an extensive list of other professionals that we needed in gathering our evidence.  She was able to guide us through the process and had first hand knowledge of all the people involved.  This took away a lot of the stress we were feeling from our situation. 
Initially, Fiona was unable to represent us due to other commitments for the day of the appeal but continued to provide advice.  As diaries changed, much to our relief, she was able to commit to representing us at the tribunal.
Fiona guided us through the process and tactfully helped us understand those arguments that could not be considered by the tribunal. On the day of the tribunal, it was obvious from the start that the tribunal understood the points we were trying to make .  She was far better briefed than the LA barrister and had a forensic understanding of the vulnerabilities in the LA evidence. She was able to explain the outstanding issues with the working document with far greater clarity than the LA 
We found Fiona's help invaluable and have no hesitation in recommending her to anyone in a similar situation to ourselves.Incidentally, we got the school we wanted
A and C 

 

 

 

Perhaps the most striking thing about Fiona and her excellent support team is that they put our child’s needs first and respected our opinions as his parents.  As a parent of a special needs child this is a rare and refreshing experience.  Fiona and the team of professionals she recommended to us definitely helped to  restore our faith in human nature, which had become a little jaded after our experiences with the educational bureaucracy.    If you are looking for an advocate with an outstanding legal mind, an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and above all a huge breadth of experience to draw on, then Fiona should be top of your list.   Needless to say we won our tribunal case with Fiona’s indomitable support.  She is a legend!

Ms D 

 

 

I found Fiona extremely knowledgeable and she consistently felt like a safe pair of hands through this challenging process.  I also found that she was very supportive through this  anxious and difficult time. There were many times when she felt like the only person I could speak to and this was invaluable.  Ultimately we had the perfect outcome for T- more than I ever thought was possible and I would never have achieved this without Fiona. I was really impressed with her knowledge, negotiating skills, approach with the LA and the way she guided me. 
Ms S

 

 

Our experience with Fiona was fantastic, she is really professional, always doing the right thing in the right time, and I was so pleased and relieve when I received an email from Fiona "all concluded " we get all we wanted for our son and much more that we hoped. I will definitly ask her help again if I need it.
Thank you so much to Fiona, Helen and Jane for their help.
Ms M 

 

 

After 5 long years of fighting with the school and the Local Authority, I was recommended (by chance) to speak to Fiona and her team. You know that feeling when you have exhausted every option. This is how we felt. We were feeling as though there would be no end to this awful situation. 
I found each member of staff knew exactly how I felt, they have a deep loyalty with the children they are helping, and understand exactly  how the system (schools LA etc) work.
For the first time in this long drawn out journey I was put at ease and was astonished at Fionas professionalism and patience and most of all knowledge and experience. And I stress she really knows her stuff !!! 
The staff are easily contactable, and although Fiona seems to be always busy she will make the time for you.
My son is now in the school we want him to be in and is happy and settled. This has had a dramatic impact on our son and  the whole family. We can start to concentrate on his education instead of worrying about his emotional well being, and his hideous days in mainstream school, which would have continued for all his school years.  
We are all so relieved and cant thank the team enough. 
Further more, my daughter is now struggling in the same way with very severe dyslexia,and associated issues, and I had no hesitation in contacting the team again. However, this time I know I have expert help right from square one! 

Mrs C

 

When it comes to advice on SEN matters, Fiona is the go-to person. If you speak to other parents, Fiona's name is always the one that comes up and people smile and say "oh yes, Fiona". We were extremely impressed with our dealings with Fiona, right from the initial advice on the phone through to her helping us win our tribunal. She might, at times, be difficult to get hold of, but that just shows how popular she is and she will get back to you when it counts and you have a deadline to meet. On the day of our tribunal, Fiona was very professional and remained totally focussed and on-the-ball, picking up on things immediately if they could be exploited to our advantage. We would not hesitate to recommend Fiona and would definitely use the Advocacy and Mediation service again

Ms K 

 

We hired Fiona to help us in our appeal to the SEN Tribunal regarding our son's school placement. Whilst we had done a lot of preparation ourselves, we wanted to make sure that we had a watertight case to get our son into the school he needed, an out-of-county specialist ASD school. Fiona was able to review our paperwork, identify any deficits and then prepare our submission to the Tribunal. She negotiated simultaneously with our Local Authority and we were delighted when the LA settled before the Tribunal hearing, agreeing to name our school of choice. Fiona also liaised with the Local Authority to agree the Final Statement wording. It was easy to communicate with Fiona by phone and email and she was efficient in all our dealings. It was a huge help having Fiona's knowledge and expertise to finalise matters with the Tribunal and the LA, which alleviated much of the inevitable stress involved in this process. 

 

Ms A 

When our daughter was diagnosed with ASC, we immediately put in place a home and nursery based ABA/VB programme; a significant financial strain on our family. We then approached Fiona to help us navigate the complex process of asking for support from our LA. She provided us with excellent advice at every step of the process. With Fiona’s help, and based on the strength of the arguments put forward, our application for statutory assessment was successful first time, we were offered a statement, and our appeal against the initial proposed statement requesting our LA to fund our ABA program across home and nursery was accepted in full. Our daughter is now thriving at a mainstream nursery with the full-time support of an ABA tutor, and on track to transition to a mainstream primary school. Following the statement appeal meeting, our LA not only agreed to fund our ABA program, but thanked us for the collaborative way in which we chose to work with them - a testament to Fiona’s work. Fiona has provided an outstanding service to our daughter and our family.  

Mr P 

 

 

Out of all the professionals we encountered throughout our tribunal experience Fiona stands head and shoulders above them all for her professionalism, knowledge and determination to get the best for her clients.

 

It is easily evident Fiona has developed scrupulous knowledge of the tribunal process and the regular professionals involved so can respond to personalities and dynamics on the day. She is also very reassuring and genuinely understands the predicament of families going to tribunal. We had an unhelpful deadline for evidence submission of 2nd January yet she made herself available throughout the holiday period even with a heavy cold and social commitments to family & friends. She is also very honest so will tell you how it is.

 

We recently appointed a Senior ABA Tutor. When we discussed our tribunal experience and Fiona’s name came up, he recounted a council meeting where those attending were left in awe at witnessing Fiona successfully challenge the Chief Executive’s plans to reduce the budget for special needs provision. The tutor added, ‘She is definitely on the side of families and children’.

 Ms amd Mr M

 

1 found the idea of dealing myself with my son’s appeal incredibly daunting.  As soon as my wife and I spoke to Fiona we knew we were in safe and capable hands and there was one less thing we needed to worry about. Fiona is not just knowledgeable about the law, she really understands how to deal and negotiate with Local Authorities, and I think this made a huge difference in our case. I am convinced I could never have achieved such a good outcome without Fiona, and I have no reservation in recommending her to any parent facing a Tribunal or who needs help with a Statement.  She really was excellent and I am very grateful to her.

Mr S 

 

I know these are words that have been said a thousand times before no doubt but Fiona Slomovic of Advocacy and Mediation has changed not only my son's but our whole families' lives due to the amazing work she has provided in ensuring our son was granted the right provision and support after a catalogue of failures from our Local Authority.
Our son was thriving in a part time self funded ABA program in comparison to actual regression in the so called 'specialist' provision in our borough when using their archaic education and support techniques.
We knew our son had more potential than he was being given the opportunity to show and the best thing we ever done was to get Fiona Slomovich on board as our initial appeal was lodged using charity based guidance that Fiona quickly picked apart methodically as being the wrong approach, wrong setting and wrong support package that would actually be ineffective for our son.
Fiona's knowledge of the SEN law and SENDIST process is second to none, so much so she was actually gently guiding the principal education officers of our LA through the process with the finest precision and diplomacy!
The network of independent educational and health professionals Fiona has knowledge of also ensures that the respective professionals input is concisely translated into the appeal documentation in a fair manner to ensure that the RIGHT provision is fought for, not too little nor too excessive.
Due to the sheer amount of preparation Fiona spent on our appeal case being so strong our LA agreed to fund a full time ABA support package for our son (part time home \ part school) in a mainstream setting the actual day before the hearing. 
Prior to our appeal our son had been stuck in the non aspirational SEN school system in our borough and forever would be, within just 2 weeks our son is thriving in his new setting and is constantly amazing us on what he can actually achieve now he has the right support, we cannot ever thank Fiona enough for that.
I have already recommended Fiona Slomovic to multiple parents who are in similar situations with their LA and want to fight for the right provision they know is right for their child and I will continue to do so.
In all honesty I am also proud to now say I know and have had Fiona Slomovic work on our son's case as she is indeed our hero, so much so we are overwhelmed with emotion every time we think of how much she has helped us as a family  

Mr 1 

Words cannot express how grateful we are to Fiona. She guided us step by step through the whole process. We were lucky enough with Fiona's help not to end up at a hearing. Our son has now been at Priors Court for five months and the transformation is unreal. We now have our boy back!! He is calmer, the self harming has gone and every weekend we see him he has gained new language. Thank you Fiona '
Mr and Mrs X Feb 2015 

Fiona brought clarity and the knowledge of a genuine expert. During  
what can be an overwhelming procedure, we felt like we could not have  
been in better hands!!! 
Mrs F                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

Fiona a very passionate and sound professional who not only has a lovely team who work well with her but also have the necessary and required knowledge base which result in cases being dealt with the utmost painstaking care and professionalism expected .

Their Website is of high standard easy to navigate, thoroughly laid out, very explicit and full of necessary and valuable information, a worthwhile expenditure of any individual’s time.

Apart from Fiona’s level of expertise and experience her main strength is her passion  and enthusiasm for the very Special child or individual at the centre of it all – the voice unheard, being a loving parent herself .This passion combined with her skilled input and professionalism makes her a formidable force to deal with.

Our experience working with Fiona was positive, highly impressive, commendable and such a pleasure.

I will highly recommended her to anyone being confronted with intricacies and challenges they face while seeking the best possible support and help for their disabled child.

Mr & Mrs z for our child x                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          'We are a family blessed with a little girl with complex needs who happen (in the post code lottery) to live in a borough that doesn't recognise those needs.
We desperately needed help in forcing that borough to address the needs of our little girl.
Fiona Slomovic was the answer.
In 20 years of professional work and numerous litigations, I can genuinely say that I have never engaged or had an adversary who was superior, (and that includes £600 an hour QCs)
From first briefing her grasp of our needs as parents and their prioritisation was intuitive. Her formulation of strategy, sharp and her execution in both mediation and in court was clinical and effective without losing the sympatico needed to win over the panel.
She is exceptional. 
Thank you Fiona.'Mr I Jan 2015 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       'We have a daughter of 5 years old with ASD and felt we needed some support and advice in regards to our daughters education and statement process. Fiona Slomovic's understanding and experience is unparalleled and we were really glad to have her work with us over the last year, giving us advice and attending a school and borough meeting with us to make sure we achieved what our daughter requires. We couldn't have done it without her and we wouldn't hesitate to use her services again in the the near future.
Ms S Jan 2015 '
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
What can I say, Fiona is fantastic. Very professional, get's to the point and really knows the system.
We would never have won our appeal without her
To anyone going through this I would 100% recommend
Mrs L Jan 2015
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        "We cannot thank Fiona and her team enough for all their help and support in securing a successful outcome for our son.  He is now settled and thriving in the school that we wanted for him.  They worked tirelessly on our behalf, were reassuring and very professional.  We would have no hesitation in recommending them to others and would use them again should the need arise.  They were absolutely amazing."
Mr and Mrs L Jan 2015 
                                                                                                                                                                            
                                                                                                                                                                            
" Our son is now thriving in his new school thanks to the support of Fiona. Throughout our struggle with our local council we knew we were in the most expert hands. We even met people who have been on opposite sides to Fiona in court who told us that we could not have  better represented. 
Thanks Fiona! With heartfelt gratitude and appreciation."
Mr T Jan 2015 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
"i used the services of Advocacy and Mediation recently to help us navigate a potentially very difficult and sensitive issue relating to the long-term educational needs of a family member with severe learning disabilities.

At all times the company acted with absolute discretion, compassion, understanding and integrity.  Their representatives quickly assessed our situation and requirements and rapidly assimilated a robust legal argument in support of our claim.  Thanks to their tenacious and committed efforts on our behalf we secured a successful outcome.  I cannot praise them highly enough and would strongly recommend their services to anybody. " 
Mrs F January 2015 


"Our experience with Fiona was positive and reassuring. She is direct, authoritative and sure-footed while empathising with the emotional roller coaster endured by parents, who just want the best for their child, but instead face the task of navigating a complex web of hearings, decisions and commitments required from health, education and social care. I would not hesitate to recommend her
Mr H Jan 2015 


Before working with Fiona, I had heard her name recommended on a number of occasions in relation to her advocacy and mediation services.  I was not disappointed.  She understands the law and how it plays out, she knew how my borough thought and worked and she was always positive and optimistic without over promising.  She has a great strength in her ability to cut through lengthy documentation and years of individual history to identify the pertinent issues and her advice and recommendations were easy to understand and always pragmatic.  On this occasion, we didn’t have to go to tribunal, but we knew we were in safe hands and had we had to proceed, we would have had the best and most impactful representation possible

Ms B 
Fiona of Advocacy and Mediation partnership acted for us for around 2 years in our discussion with the LEA regarding provision for our eldest son and specifically regarding the provision of applied behavioural analysis therapy in the school setting. Overall Fiona was excellent to work with and led us very effectively through the process. Throughout Fiona always provided us with sound, appropriate and practical advice. She was readily available both by phone and e-mail as well as being extremely proactive. Fiona was great at understanding the issues and our wishes and then in setting these out clearly in the documentation. We were very pleased indeed with the end result and certainly could not have achieved this without Fiona’s input. I have absolutely no hesitation at all in recommending Fiona.
Mr J 
As a family we had managed to navigate through the early stages of the SEND process ourselves, however as we moved to the more advanced (and gladiatorial) stages of the tribunal, it became clear that we needed quite specific legal help. After approaching several firms we were given a very strong recommendation and urged to contact Fiona. I have to say that was the best advice I'd received in quite a while. Fiona pulled together the various strands of our appeal, managed our educational witnesses, met with schools and negotiated with the Local Authority. We really couldn't of been happier with the leadership, enthusiasm and level of professionalism that she displayed during the appeal. A comprehensive defeat of the Local Authority was a well deserved result of this effort and she thoroughly deserves this recommendation.
Mr G

I can not thank Fiona enough for the advise and help she provided through out. She was simply amazing! We went from our request of statutory assessment refused twice to full time ABA support with our therapist to be employed by the school! I was told by so many that my son wouldn't even get a statement so for us to achieve what we actually wanted for him is just a dream made true! I actually recommend Fiona's services to few parents already. 
Ms K 


We had an amazing experience working with Fiona Slomovic on the recent SENDIST Appeal for our daughter. 
Fiona was able to help us navigate the complexities of our case with assurance and in-depth knowledge. 
We have been so impressed by her commitment and dedication, she not only has a detailed experience of this difficult area of the law but was also highly effective; making the process as smooth as possible. 
She supported us every step of the way with calm, level-headed empathy, which made all the difference to us during an extremely stressful six months.We have recommended her to a number of parents since and feel she offers an invaluable service.

 

Mr and Mrs P

  

I have had the pleasure of knowing Fiona in a professional manner for quite a few years. I have always found her extremely knowledgeable and helpful with a willingness to share her knowledge in the field of SEN. More recently, I appointed her as my advocate in trying to secure funding from our Lea for a home ABA programme for my son, Daniel. This was my second attempt at securing funding and I knew Fiona was the only one who I could employ at an affordable price to successfully negotiate with our Lea. I was right as my son now has ABA tuition at home with gradual integration accompanied by ABA tutors into our local mainstream. My son also has weekly SALT and OT. In my dealings with Fiona, I have always found her to be professional, punctual and thorough in every stage of the appeal process. She managed to coordinate with all the expert witnesses involved with our case to make sure all evidence being submitted was accurate and consistent. Basically she left no stone unturned which involved working on our case many a time throughout the weekend. As a result of all the background work she did, she managed to successfully negotiate with the Lea which resulted in us being presented with a package without going through an arduous tribunal process. I will forever be grateful to Fiona for the work she put into our case and the result she achieved. Prior to this I self-funded my son's ABA programme for 3 years and the financial anguish I faced on a daily basis was simply beyond description.
A( mother of D ) 
We were very pleased that Fiona Slomovic at Advocacy and Mediation Consultants was recommended to us when we needed to correct an inappropriate placement of our son by the Local Education Authority. We found Fiona amicable, knowledgeable, efficient and understanding. We have already recommended Advocacy and Mediation Consultants to others and we would certainly use them again should the need arise.

Kind regards,
 
Mr and Mrs S-W

 

 

“The battle to get my 14-year-old son R into an autism specific environment was long, hard and harrowing. Within two weeks of engaging Fiona Slomovic of The Advocacy & Mediation Consultants Ltd she took all of the case history and independent evidence which I had compiled over many years and put it into a powerful, legal framework ready for First Tier SEN Tribunal. My Local Authority conceded my appeal within thirty minutes of the Tribunal submission deadline and awarded my son a place in the special autism school we were appealing for without going to a hearing. Just two weeks later, my son started the school that will undoubtedly change his life. I cannot recommend or thank Fiona and her team highly enough for securing an educational future for a boy who had never, ever smiled at school. Today, he is smiling and cannot wait to start each day…”

 

Fiona has been amazing. Her calmness and professionalism has carried us through a lot of stressful preparation for Tribunal, on the day she was fantastic, and we won absolutely everything we argued for, largely thanks to her. 

Thank you

 

 

"I cannot recommend Fiona enough; She worked tirelessly to negotiate an excellent outcome in our case.
She is very knowledgeable, and  understands the relevant laws. Fiona is very approachable and listened to what I had to say at every point in the process. The best part is that her ‘heart’ is in the right place; she genuinely wants to help.  Her involvement meant that a potentially very stressful experience was not so stressful. Thank you very much Fiona!"

Ms S

I first asked for help from Fiona when our local authority refused to assess my autistic son for a statement of educational needs. With her input, they quickly changed their minds. She then helped, guided and supported us during the whole statementing process. She also represented us at an educational tribunal, and was instrumental in securing our desired outcome. She is a formidable force when dealing with other professionals and has an amazing knowledge of the system. Without Fiona’s help I believe my son would have dropped out of education altogether. Her insight, tenacity and expertise forced the local authority to keep the doors open for him. She is definitely someone you would like to have on your side!"

Ms Pt 
We reached out to Fiona for help based on a glowing recommendation for a fellow NAS parent.  We went from feeling stressed and somewhat out of control of our situation, to feeling virtually the opposite.  We found Fiona to be immensely experienced and knowledgeable, and she took control of everything. We wpild have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending her to anyone who wants to ensure their child's SEN needs are met.
Mr and Mrs J 

Fiona Slomovic was recommended to me by the Headteacher of the primary school where I work.  My grandson, who technically would fall into the ‘vulnerable child’ category, had been permanently excluded during his first term at secondary school.  We were looking for assistance with the appeal against this decision and representation at the Governing Body Student Disciplinary Committee.  These meetings are arranged within a two week time frame, so speed is of the essence.

 

Initially it was quite hard to make contact with Fiona via the Advocacy and Mediation Partnership website and it was several days before I got a response.  However, once I had actually spoken to her, things moved quite quickly.  Because she has many useful contacts in the borough, she was able to recommend that we try for a managed move to another school, rather than going through with the appeal, and, in fact, was able to arrange this literally over a weekend.  She kept in constant contact with myself and my son-in-law by email and phone and arranged an appointment in the new school (where my grandson was accepted), the day before the Disciplinary Committee was due to meet.  This meant that the local education authority was able to agree the move in time to cancel the meeting and my grandson does not have an exclusion on his record.

 

This had been a very stressful few weeks and having someone with expertise in the education field to advise us and facilitate matters was a huge relief and we would not have achieved this satisfactory result without Fiona’s help.  This is the best possible solution and I am extremely grateful.  I would not hesitate to recommend her services to any parent or carer with an educational problem. 

 

Mrs S 

 

 

Having Fiona assist us, alleviated a huge amount of stress from the difficulties that we experienced when getting our LA to agree to assess our son’s special needs and then further down the line, making the statement specific to his needs. Her expertise, skill and knowledge helped us to get the right level and type of provision that our son needed. 

We will not hesitate to use her services again in the future and believe that having her support throughout this process was absolutely essential in getting the right outcome for our child.

Mr & Mrs A.

 

We contacted Fiona because we were struggling to navigate the legal process after we had applied for a Statutory Assessment for our son and been refused. 


Fiona supported us through the process. She was impressive at the tribunal hearing and her in depth knowledge and experience of the SEN legal system led to a successful outcome. The County Council was ordered to carry out a Statutory Assessment, which has helped our son get his difficulties recognised and support he needs at school.
We are now being represented by Fiona to get more specific support for him on his Statement, and are confident we have the best person advocating for our son.
Our family cannot thank Fiona enough for all her dedication and hard work. We would not hesitate to recommend her.

 

Mrs P 

 

 

 

Dear Fiona

Thank you, thank you! That's twice in 3 years you've helped me secure a place at an independent specialist school, the first for my daughter in 2011, and the second last month for my son!

In 2010 I was a stranger to the world of Special Educational Needs; my daughter had just been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and stopped attending school. There was no help post-diagnosis apart from being handed leaflets and advised to go to support groups.

I applied for a statutory assessment which was agreed, but the proposed statement was vague and offered nothing which would help my daughter return to school. My response to the statement was wholly ignored and I appealed to SEND tribunal on my own. When the LA's response to my appeal arrived, it became apparent that I was out of my depth. Parent Partnership were of little help and I knew I needed expert help. I'd heard many good reports about you and decided to complete the Enquiry Form on your website.  When we spoke on the phone, you immediately grasped the issues and offered practical advice. I felt in safe hands and when I decided to instruct you, the relief was enormous! 

On the morning of the appeal, the LA appeared in force with assistant education officer, trainee sen officer, barrister, 2 Educational Psychologists, ASD consultant and social worker in tow; on our side, you, me and the head of the proposed school. Due to your groundwork, negotiation skills and sense of timing , we settled the case in our favour on the morning of the hearing and my appeal for Parts 2, 3 and 4 was accepted in full. 

In 2012 I needed help for my son who was beginning to school refuse and I had no hesitation in turning to you again. Your expertise in the field and negotiating skills resulted in all parts of my appeal, Parts 2, 3 and 4 being agreed without a tribunal hearing. My son will start at his new school next Spring. 
 
I can honestly say that I couldn't have done it without you, and have recommended you to many families. 

With gratitude and warm regards,


Mrs P 

Nov 2013

 

We worked with Fiona Slomovic in 2012 – 2013 when we were trying to get a specialist placement for our son.    We were incredibly fortunate to have Fiona representing us throughout the long process and at the tribunal.   Not only is Fiona incredibly informed and skilled at what she does, but she is also very supportive of parents and understands the emotional stress we face.  Throughout the entire process, she provided extremely helpful guidance, advice and support.  Moreover, she always made an effort to listen to us and to answer our questions. 

 

We would not have achieved the successful outcome in our tribunal without Fiona.  We cannot thank her enough for what she has done for our son and our family.  Her dedication to her clients is amazing and when you have Fiona in your corner, you feel confident and empowered because you know she will fight for you and defend your interests.  We will always be grateful to her! Thank you Fiona!!

 

 Dr I

 

Having Fiona help me with my sons case made everything easier for me. Fiona dealt with things in an efficient and professional manner, but she also took the time to explain things I did not understand - without making me feel
useless. Her friendly approach made the whole ordeal bearable.

 

"When our daughter was diagnosed with ASC, we immediately put in place a home and nursery based ABA/VB programme; a significant financial strain on our family. We then approached Fiona to help us navigate the complex process of asking for support from our LA. She provided us with excellent advice at every step of the process. With Fiona’s help, and based on the strength of the arguments put forward, our application for statutory assessment was successful first time, we were offered a statement, and our appeal against the initial proposed statement requesting our LA to fund our ABA program across home and nursery was accepted in full. Our daughter is now thriving at a mainstream nursery with the full-time support of an ABA tutor, and on track to transition to a mainstream primary school. Following the statement appeal meeting, our LA not only agreed to fund our ABA program, but thanked us for the collaborative way in which we chose to work with them - a testament to Fiona’s work. Fiona has provided an outstanding service to our daughter and our family."

    Mr P
    I would like to take this opportunity to thank you very much for all your hard work, support and help you have given us through this difficult and stressful time, it was very much appreciated.  We had a excellent team working for us and we certainly would have never got the result we wanted without you all and of course a really big thank you again to FIONA
    Mrs E
    Dear Fiona

    Last year you wrote two responses to draft EHCPs for us asking for ABA to be included in my son's provision. I wanted to write and let you know that we have just received his final EHCP which includes every last detail that you requested for us without the need for tribunal. 
     
    Thank you so much for your help in getting this resolved for us. The LA made me fight very hard for this but I'm sure having you behind us made the world of difference.

    Thank you! This means so much and you have helped to give my son the best possible chance of a fulfilling life!
    SB
    Thank you so much for your support and guidance through the awful EHCP appeal process. You have made an enormous difference thought-out the process. I had complete confidence in your guidance. I could not have done the appeal without you. In addition, thank you for what you did on Tuesday. You single-handedly saved everything and your amazing mediation work has meant that finally I can put this awful battle behind me and begin to recover. I had huge confidence in you and you were as great as I had hoped - more so even! You helped me protect my son's chance in life. I cannot thank you enough.