No High School, Total Farce & Feeling Scared for DD...

(30 Posts)
RockinHippy Thu 26-Jun-14 00:24:41

Long & drawn out back story, will post a link to the old thread for those interested, but basically DD has health problems meaning we need a close as possible school with good pastoral care & deals well with bullying.

Not enough school places & a complete & utter fuck up of a system we have here means, we didn't get allocated any of our choice of schools, but offered the worst local school, which is a long way from us, starts the day earlier than other schools too & is renown fir bad behaviour & bullying - DDs older friend went there last year, she cried on DDs shoulder over racial bullying everyday, she was thoroughly miserable until she managed to get a place elsewhere - everything about the school is wrong fir DD - she genuinely cannot travel that far.

I thought we had a strong case for appeal for our close school, well known for it's excellent pastoral care, strong anti bullying policy .& general well behaved kids - I put do much work into it, despite my own health problems, I worked like a dog, checking & rechecking to make sure I had don't everything right. I had 5 medical letter support us, consultants letter naming the school - it has the kind of sports facilities that can help DD stay well too

We lost our appeal, they agree we need a close school, but won't accept we specifically need this school - next closest school not good with bullying & behaviour, good friends had to take their DD out of there because she was self harming as a result of ongoing bullying.

Now at Ombudsman complaint stage & I just feel crushed by this whole thing - LAs response to the complaint basically says that they sympathise, but won't accept DD needs this school, despite many valid reasons - LGO has said that they accept this & won't peruse the complaint further, pending my reply - it's like some soul destroying tennis game & I'm just not well enough to cope

Disability charity lawyer has now looked at case file - said I had a very strong case & doesn't understand why we lost - yet reply to LGO paperwork that it looks likely that there's no more hope, but will read through my response.

DD has been through hell & back, years of bullying & ongoing injuries as a result of the argy bargyb& bad behaviour, sometimes out & out bullying at her old primary school, fractures, sprains dislocations etc excluded & bullied for years - she was crushed & so ill.

We finally took her out of there & she's now in a new primary - she's not had an injury since, she loves it so much I have my shiny, happy, bubbly gregarious DD back smile

We got the news if losing the appeal - it contributed to putting DD in hospital, 2 weeks of hellish pain for her, with an intestinal blockage & colitis. Followed by laryngitis, flu, & a nasty chest infection

She thinks we will win, I have told her she won't have to go to the bad school she's afraid of, we will get there in the end, I believed this, because her medical need is genuine & it's our local school & it's just what's right -

but I'm seriously losing hope, I've lost all faith in our stupid fucking system & a legal right to a suitable school place for DD

Tonight she sat & told me how happy she is, she has friends that really like her, are kind & thoughtful, support her when she's ill & aren't backstabbing bitches who bully others & try & make her be like them & hurt her when she refuses, don't push her over & tug on her arms etc & cause real injuries such as fractures & sprains, that the boys don't grope & grab & punch in the face & they listen in lessons. She said she just wants to stay with them forever - 19 of them will be going to the school we appealed for, other friends go there too

Why the fuck can't our LA see that she has a genuine medical need - why does she have no high school to go to

I just want to scream

How can I help her through this when it all goes tits up - she's putting a brave face in it, but she's really struggling with all the high school chatter sad

RockinHippy Thu 26-Jun-14 00:29:46

Back story here

Excuse typos, spent too long today typing & just rubbish as this right niw

NeedsAsockamnesty Thu 26-Jun-14 00:31:01

Why don't you just home educate?

RockinHippy Thu 26-Jun-14 00:42:49

I'm going to have no choice Needs I can't send her toner allocated school - we turned it down immediately, if we don't succeed with the complaint & win a second appeal, we have no school

but it's not what's best for either me or DD, she loves school, loves to learn & excels at it, she also wants to study medicine, so needs teaching to a level that's above me, she loves the social side of it too -

I home schooled for a term after pulling her out of her ok'd school when it got so bad - it just didn't work - my health not up to it, can't afford ongoing tutors etc & I've already had to cancel much needed surgery to get through the appeals

Trying to get DD accepted on this schools waiting list as medical need, which will put her top of the list, but even that is a farce - my point of contact, is the same person who was the LAs rep at the appeal hearing & we are complaining - so even that is looking hopeless as they won't let me send the papers direct to the medical team

sashh Thu 26-Jun-14 05:55:14

Talk to your lawyer again.

Look at this from another angle, under the equality act what are the LA doing about their equality duty?

The Duty has three aims. When developing or implementing policy, it requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:

eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Equality Act 2010
advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups
foster good relations between people from different groups.

I have not read your other thread but from what you have posted here they are missing the first one by a mile.

the difference between this bit of the act and others is that 'public bodies' have to go out of their way to prove they are 'eliminating discrimination etc' not wait for it to happen and then let you complain about it.

BucksKid Thu 26-Jun-14 06:12:21

Instead if home schooling could you try an internet school like interhigh?

Might be very good for her health in the interim....

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Thu 26-Jun-14 06:19:26

I agree with sashh, this is not right.
Is the closest school (the one you want a place at) selective in some way? I don't understand why you didn't get offerred a place there. Most secondary schools offer places to children in their catchment.

Madrigals Thu 26-Jun-14 08:00:34

Because sometimes the offer areas have shrunk due to numbers of pupils applying/siblings - the primary we wanted is now an 800m offer area eg!

Madrigals Thu 26-Jun-14 08:01:54

I'm so sorry Rockin thanks

heather1 Thu 26-Jun-14 08:04:39

Hi Op, I'm sure you have but do you know about online schools? My friends son goes to one. He really likes it. I think it's called interhigh. My friends is a facilitator rather than teaching him. He is getting really grat results too as he can work in his own time.

Your issue is so bad I'd either move right next to the chosen school, home educate, or pay for private.

So sorry for you all.

ikeaismylocal Thu 26-Jun-14 08:26:27

Just because your friend's child was bullied at the school you have been offered doesn't mean that your dd will be bullied, I don't think any school can guarantee no bullying.

Could you try out the school you have been offered and pull her out at the first sign of problems rather than not send her unless you are offered your first choice school?

Her friends sound lovely but I think you need to be opento there being other lovely, supportive and respectful children at the other schools.

Hakluyt Thu 26-Jun-14 08:29:20

What are the police doing about the children who broke your child's bones at her previous school?

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Thu 26-Jun-14 08:30:28

Thanks Madrigals yes, can see that happening with so many new housing estates and no new schools.
Have read your other thread now rockin and see that allocations are not straight forward. How did so many parents know to only put the 2 catchment schools down, and not you? If you had put the 2 chatchment schools down, would you have been offered a place that you wanted? Am thinking that this information should have been available to everyone.

Is there any chance of getting a place in that school now?

You have done so well, all you could, for your DD. It does seem most unfair. Does the LA say they will provide transport to the school they have offered (and so using that to rule out distance being a problem?)

Would you be able to manage home schooling?

RockinHippy Thu 26-Jun-14 09:08:10

Thanks everyone,

Really sorry for my rant, I was going over & over the LAs reply to the complaint & a copy of the minutes from our hearing last night - much of which I can't read as it's hand written & written at speed, so a lot is illegible & some of what I can read is missing key bits of my argument, or is just plain incorrect - eg, they've written DD has been ill for 3 years, when I actually said she had, had back to back injuries over almost the last 3 years, all of these happened in her old school, 90% due to the behaviour of other kids! often bullying -

but I'm feeling it's my word against theirs & I've already had issue with them not being honest to cover their arse, but I feel I have to be professional in what I write in my reply, but it's so bloody demoralising, so unfair & it's like Groundhog Day, I put so much work into the appeal itself & yet here I am again having to justify my case, when the LA just aren't playing fair -

for example I still believe our original application was messed up, as the online form wouldn't work for our computer - it only accepted an incorrect version of DDs name, didn't have 3 school choice slots & you couldn't attach medical evidence ec - so I gave up, asked for paper forms - we got DDs school offer in an incorrect version of her name, thanking us for the online application - when I rang up, first person I spoke with agreed that something had gone wrong, then I get an email in DDs correct name, denying this - found out 2 friends had had this same problem in other years - one her MP had sorted out for her - speaking to friend who works withi the system - this is a known issue, due to the department not checking computer software before it goes live, so their cock up & they are ass covering as a result.

Ass covering over how my paperwork was printed off for the appeal panel too - my copy was a mess - ringing to have this put right ahead of the appeal, instead of an apology & let's put this right, I had this guy basically telling me a long convoluted story as to why it wasn't his fault - I had to stop him, tell him it's okay, mistakes happen, I don't need to know the whys & where fors, but can we please put it right & is what can I do to help - I have no idea if this was put right, wouldn't trust them to be honest about it anyway, but would certainly explain why they don't seem to understand the medical evidence

School isn't selective - ironically our closest school which is out of catchment is, & was our 2nd choice, but massively oversubscribed with people that fit the criteria this year, besides DD doesn't want to go there now.

We have a stupid lottery system - due to boundaries been moved on this & another school this year, there was never going to be enough places for all in catchment kids - yet LA bowed down to pressure from a press article & gave away spaces ahead of the appeals to DCs who only applied in catchment - they reckon they promise this, so had to - but the booklet is very confusing & doesn't guarantee an in catchment place if you only put in catchment schools - so this caused a big stink at the Plenal hearing & it did affect the outcome of appeals

The LA argue that pastoral care is the same at all schools, that bullying is dealt with at all schools, that OT support is the same at all schools - which is complete bloody bollocks - why the fuck did I have to make the awful decision to remove DD from school part way through yr 6 - & had to cancel much needed surgery for me & homeschool her for a term

They actually made a space for DD in her current lovely oversubscribed primary school, told me the school we had applied for wasn't suitable as had similar issues to the one we took her out of - because of her health issues & the bullying she had experienced & that she's easy to teach, they made a space for her where there was none - it's the same fucking department, yet suddenly they don't understand her diagnosis & all schools are equalangry

I'm still plodding on with it, just felt overwhelmed last night, feel like I'm fighting Goliath & Goliath is a lying dirty cheating bastard hmm

Because it's a charity that's helping me with the legal stuff, I don't actually get to speak to the lawyer,though the legal person I do speak with is helpful & they are going to look over my reply to the LGO - DH is just about to be made redundant, so we daren't spend money on a lawyer, so this is the only route we have fir support.

Thank you to those who mention online schooling - I didn't know about this per se - I will look into it, just hope its something we can afford - I did use some online resources for the term I home schooled, but more curriculum linked websites, than online school, we used a online tutor a little too, but just can't afford that again, wish we could as they were great & really boosted DS tattered confidence

I think my post was more a scream into cyberspace over the bloody unfairness of all of this

& my not knowing how best to deal with this as far as DD goes - it's not over yet, we have a good case for complaint, but they are not playing fair & as such I am losing hope

All the other kids are now at the stage where they know their school, know their classes

& are learning the route & buses to get themselves to school

Do I do this with DD in the hope that we get there in the end, she's so happy right now, but the stress has affected her health too - she suffers badly with anxiety as a symptom of Ehlers Danlos & I just don't know what to do fir the best - she's suffered so much & gets so ill when stressed sad

Thanks for all of your replies

goats Thu 26-Jun-14 09:21:58

I would get on waiting lists and home educate , if there is no chance of a place then inter high is good and she will have structured lessons and peers to chat to.

Places DO come up on waiting lists, dds was oversubscribed but someone has moved and dds new friend was offered a place yesterday morning on the morning of the taster days.

I applied to for dds school on the social needs category with similar issues and got in on that. I really looked into how school a could offer what school b didnt rather than concentrating on the bullying aspect.

AgaPanthers Thu 26-Jun-14 09:28:20

Have you tried applying for bursaries at private schools?

RockinHippy Thu 26-Jun-14 09:36:01

Sorry criss post with a few if you

To answer questions...

LA will provide bus pass as it's over 3 miles away, DD can't take the long bus ride to the allocated school, travel sickness is a symptom of her condition as is IBS - also no amount if my telling DD that this school will be fine will work, her anxiety will take over & the worry will make her physically very ill - she's under the hospital for anxiety related to her EDS - she's also vulnerable to injury, long bus journeys on a crowded bus on crutches, or sling isn't safe for her as she also suffers with balance issues - school is notorious & now an academy, so no real complaints procedure above schools head - I can really see Gove getting involved to tell off his mates school hmm

She/we know that bullying happens everywhere, we also know it's how it's dealt with that's the key - pretending it doesn't happen & supporting the victim doesn't work - her current school tackles bullying well - as a result, behaviour there is exceptional & kids move around with care & treat others with respect - no accidents since starting - the HS we want is known to be the same, even recognised by the LA as most effective in the county at dealing with bullying

The info booklet on applying for schools here is confusing, even looked at by a lovely helpful MNer who works in admissions & they agreed -

Also at the time of application everything was tits up here - my DM was seriously ill, bed side vigil at the other end of the country, running up & down on trains to get DD to important hospital appointment, my health was bad, we lost my DM - so hellish time & I took advice if others as I just couldn't view all schools as wasn't here for many open nights - did view our 2 in catchment schools - chosen school lovely, respectful DCs, very lime current school - other running around, swearing pushing shoving etc - just like DDs old school - we know they ignore bullying as friends kids go there

Will I manage home school - no, not really - academically I can to a point, but it was hell - think full days homework attitude - it wore me out & was awful - it also means I can't gave 2 lots of surgery I need, as long recovery, longer due to my own health problems - DH just not academic

Only chance of getting place now is...

LGO do accept my complaint & push a rehearing - this will be based my response to their response to the complaint - so I have to get this right

DD is accepted on the schools waiting list as a "medical need" which will make her top of waiting list - waiting list otherwise is also a lottery system & 140 DCs in that allocation pool, so no chance otherwise - I don't trust the LA to be fair here, as accepting her as medical need, blows a hole in their argument as to why she lost our appeal - same people dealing with this too & I've already had to have words about them prejudicing our chances of this as they submitted my request for information as to how I go about this - as an application for a medical need waiting list place - they won't let me send paperwork directly to the person who assesses this & I just don't trust them - lawyer looking into this for me though

Hope I've covered everything

RockinHippy Thu 26-Jun-14 09:41:31

There are lots if other reasons why chosen school is right for DD - right type of excellent sports facilities, not just bullying - LA just don't seem to get that some sports are high rush for her - despite medical letters

I did think of trying for bursaries for DD for very near good private school, DD didn't want to go, partly as one of her bullies was meant to go, but didn't get in, partly because they have a longer school day & lot of homework everyday - I felt this too much for DD who gets exhausted easily & hormones making thus all worse for the next few years

With hindsight I am kicking myself that I didn't try - she would pass entrance exam easily & school is a short walk

Think it's too late now though,

RockinHippy Thu 26-Jun-14 09:43:18

High risk for her, not rush - allocated school is sports academy, but specialising in sports that are bad for DD - chosen school all so sports specialists, but have fully equipment state if art gym & own pool, study Pilates, yoga etc

Hakluyt Thu 26-Jun-14 09:46:17

What are the police doing about the children who broke your child's bones at the pervious school? Would the crime report or whatever it's called help at all?

RockinHippy Thu 26-Jun-14 09:56:59

It's not that straight forward Haklyut

DDs condition makes her vulnerable to more serious injury from minor accidents - things like, boys tugging on her arm & not stopping when she screamed caused dislocations, but wouldn't for another DC, swinging i her around til she spun off & smashed into a fence, fracturing ankle when she fell & hit ground - moving her chair so when she sat down she fell on floor, fracturing hand - running around breaking school rules, flinging door open with force, trapping DD behind it, fracturing her elbow & so on & so forth - only possible one the police might take interest in was the full on punch in the face by big boy, who denied it - this damaged her sinuses - school also denied it but hospital said damage was blunt force trauma

At moment I've a lot on my plate, it's been ongoing since getting her out of that school, & I'm still undecided as to what to do about it, but know from friends experience with same school, I'd be wasting my time with the police

AndHarry Thu 26-Jun-14 10:05:48

This must be incredibly upsetting and frustrating. My friend has just lost her final appeal on her DD's school place and I saw how upset she was, even though it was a matter of pure preference.

I really hope that everything is sorted out fairly with a good outcome for you and your DD.

I have to say though, I'd be starting to very gently prepare your DD to consider other career moves that she might be interested in if she truly has had her heart set on medicine for a long time. It sounds as though her medical conditions are unlikely to be curable and unless the case is otherwise she wouldn't pass the medical requirements to study medicine. Sorry sad I've been there myself and know how gut-wrenching that disappointment can be.

livelablove Thu 26-Jun-14 10:07:40

Wow that all sounds terrible. I do wonder if you have a case to sue the first school for neglecting her needs once they knew she was a high risk of injury due to her health condition, this might put some pressure on them to ensure she is taken care of in future.

TillyTellTale Thu 26-Jun-14 10:14:39

No, no, no! It should be straight forward. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eggshell_skull

UK has Eggshell Skull rules, and you are not supposed to escape responsibility for severe injury just because your victim is vulnerable.

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