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They want to Permanently Exclude My Son....

(16 Posts)
HopePeaceCalm Sat 19-Mar-16 19:07:20

I have name changed due to the nature of my problem. I thought about posting in 30 days or Chat, but decided that although Adoption does not get much traffic, I really need specialised and experienced fellow adopters (who sadly my have faced similar challenges) to advise me....

My son is 15 years old. Adopted him into our family when he was 8 months old. I have other (born to me) children. My son does not want the school to know that he is adopted. It is not obvious that my son is living outside of his family of origin, his appearance, build, complexion etc is similar to my other children. (He was adopted through and adoption agency not our LA, not sure if that is important. At the time of his adoption the LA was, I was told informed)

The school SENCO is aware that my son is adopted (one of his siblings told the school), but I don't think this information has been passed onto the SLT and HT. (My son has been given 25% extra time by the SENCO for all public exams/assessments because 'he is chaotic and the extra time will help him'. He hates this 'I am not thick!'))

Up to now, I have respected my son's wishes not to formally disclosed his adoption to the school. However my son is now at a point where permanent exclusion is a real possibility.

I have a meeting scheduled for after the Easter holidays (my son is currently excluded from attending school for a week). A managed move is likely to be offered at this meeting. We have been told that a person from the local education authority will be present at this meeting. My son wept sad when I told him it is likely he will be asked to leave his school. He wants to stay with his siblings and friends.

I don't know where to start tackling this problem.

Do you think it would it be okay to go against my son's wishes and disclose that he is an adopted person? What difference would telling make? Would it be possible to get some additional support for my son? (I am divorced, and exH, in true MN style is an absolute arse, utterly useless, he does not see any of his children. Or provide any support of any kind. But that is the subject of another thread) I would really like some help with this, I feel out of my depth and unsure of what to do for the best outcome.

HopePeaceCalm Sat 19-Mar-16 19:25:54

Please excuse typos. Also,

He is awaiting a CAMHs assessment, I think he a possible ADD and ODD. (The police have brought him home twice in the last 6 months.)

Jessica78 Sat 19-Mar-16 19:30:44

Hello, I'm a prospective adopter, but an ex SENCO...

It is very hard to permanently exclude a young person, hence managed moves etc. I wonder to what extent attachment issues are manifesting themselves in his outward behaviour at school - and if staff aren't aware of this / even aware of attachment & what that can mean at school, then it seems to me that there are many more things that the school could try to do to support if you were able to be open with them - this could delay any further moves for long enough for him to finish Year 11 there - if you think that's what you want & what is best for your son?

I'm sure someone who has more experience on the parental side will soon come along!

X

tinks269 Sat 19-Mar-16 20:14:29

I too am a prospective adopter but work in a special school for pupils with autism and when I saw that your son may possssibly be ADD or ODD I just wanted to reply and say that even with our specialism we can struggle at times with these pupils due to their needs.
I am guessing the school already knows your son is adopted as they would be receiving pupil premium plus payments for your son although how these are being spent could be something that could help your son as you could ask for an specific adult to be employed to work with your son for some sessions, have him taken out of school to go and take part in activities that he enjoys etc etc
As the previous poster has said it is not easy to permanently exclude a pupil and so I hope that you get things sorted before this becomes a reality.

HopePeaceCalm Sat 19-Mar-16 21:12:06

Thank you Jessica and Tinks. I think I will make disclose to the school and also approach his adoption agency to see if they are able to give me any guidance.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sat 19-Mar-16 22:02:23

School won't be receiving ppp for your son unless they know he is adopted so that doesn't follow.

It is hard to permanently exclude students and doubly so if they are in a vulnerable group and so his F-LAC status would, if known, probably put paid to that or the possibility of a managed move.

But your ds wants you to keep this private and he is 15, not a small child, and trust is a very easily damaged thing so this is more difficult than that.

If you spoke to ds, who doesn't want to move schools, and explained how disclosing the fact of his adoption would help his case might that move him?

fasparent Sat 19-Mar-16 23:54:15

Your son would be entitled too Pupil Premium Plus £1900 pa this could be used too help with support in and out of school, extra tuition, equipment, counselling , out of school clubs, a whole host of things. No need too disclose his status would be confidential is not open too any financial restraints all you have too do is produce adoption order too school, end of .
We home schooled our son who had similar problems for his last year with co- operation of school and set work. just went in now and then and for his GCES .

HopePeaceCalm Sun 20-Mar-16 05:33:38

Thank you for your reply My pockets, what is F-LAC?

I have spoken to my son, he said that I may inform the school of him having been adopted. (Which is a major change).

Would it be best to tell them before the return to school meeting (planned for after the Easter hols)? Or wait for the meeting? Or does it not matter when, as long as they are made aware?

HopePeaceCalm Sun 20-Mar-16 05:38:25

Didn't see your reply for some unknown reason, fasparent, thank you so much.

So I just need to present the adoption order (to whom do I present it?) and ask for extra support, counselling, etc?

Would the local authority fostering and adoption team be able to help me?

Jessica78 Sun 20-Mar-16 08:13:28

I wonder whether it might be best to ring before the return to school meeting to establish exactly who will be there, and ensure the relevant people are in attendance. SENCO, head of year, headteacher, if there is a separate person who has knowledge & responsibility for looked after / former looked after children. Does he have a teacher he really likes who is a 'go-to' person for him at school? An appropriate attachment figure?
You might want to think about informing them before the meeting, rather than what might seem to DS a 'dramatic' revelation at the meeting?

tinks269 Sun 20-Mar-16 09:39:01

My pockets his banding should have been on his paperwork when he moved schools.

MypocketsarelikeNarnia Sun 20-Mar-16 09:56:59

But if his primary school also didn't know then where would the information have come from?

Don't tell them at the meeting. They'll need to prepare for the meeting and if he's a Former Looked After Child that'll be different preparation. You'll just be wasting their time.

tethersend Sun 20-Mar-16 11:12:45

I should caution you, the school may not change tack even if they know he is adopted. They should, but they may not. Despite statutory guidelines, schools continue to exclude LAC and former LAC as they mistakenly believe that they are not able to offer them the support they need. Occasionally, there is an irrefutable case for permanent exclusion.

Are you able to say what your son did to warrant the fixed term exclusion and discussion of a managed move? It may make a difference as to how you approach the meeting. Feel free to PM me if you'd rather not say on the thread.

fasparent Sun 20-Mar-16 15:20:57

Suggest you contact school head, arrange a meeting with SENCO. Head and Pupil Premium co-ordinator

poppystellar Sun 20-Mar-16 20:44:12

Hi, I work with schools on permanent exclusion cases as part of my day job. Am also an adoptive parent. Definitely speak to the school about your son being adopted before the next meeting, because when it comes to excluding pupils being LAC or previously LAC does make a difference. Do this sooner rather than later.

I would also suggest phoning the LA exclusions team (every LA has one, their phone number should be on the notification of exclusion letter you had from the school, even if your son goes to an academy the LA are responsible for providing alternative education if exclusion is permanent, and are required to advise you on all exclusion issues). If you don't have the phone number ask the school for it. They will definitely have it, don't be fobbed off. If the LA team are aware of his adopted status before the meeting they can begin to explore alternative provision options should it get to the permanent exclusion stage. There is often huge pressure on alternative provision at KS4 and his former LAC status makes him a 'vulnerable' pupil which may help him move up any waiting list quicker and/or make the school reconsider whether to permanently exclude him. Schools should (I say should because I am aware that many don't) do absolutely everything they can to avoid permanent exclusion for LAC pupils. If it gets to the point of permanent exclusion be prepared to argue this point thoroughly. However, you may find that just disclosing his adopted status at this stage to school may be enough to galvanise them into pulling out all the stops to help him manage his behaviour.

Also be aware (apologies if you already are) that pupils can only be excluded for breaking a school's behaviour policy (persistent cumulative 'minor' breaches or serious one off incident). A school's behaviour policy should give some indication of the type of support the school can provide to pupils who are struggling. Ask the school for a copy if you don't have one.

Having said all of that, I would say that IME, the school looking to do a managed move is a sign that they are willing to explore all the possibilities before permanent exclusion. This is a good thing. As a previous poster said talk to the school about alternative ways for him to stay at school such as reduced timetable, work or college placement.

Best of luck.

HopePeaceCalm Sun 20-Mar-16 21:33:27

Thank you all for such useful and detailed responses. I have had quite a day.

I have some hope. Lots to do in a short space of time. Thank you.

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