FURIOUS! AIBU to not return my DTSs to school on Monday? Blood boiling!

(106 Posts)
SaggyBaggyPuss Sat 10-Sep-16 00:27:41

This is way too long but I can't make it any shorter and I've spent an inordinate amount of time trying to so apologies in advance!

DTSs have been at their current secondary since Yr7. It is an outstanding school and very highly thought of so I was delighted they got in. It is not the nearest school, about 45 mins walk away, but the closest one, 10 mins walk away, was in Special Measures when we applied for Secondary.

In the first term of Yr 7, DTS2 was diagnosed with ADHD, severe learning difficulties (mental age 4-5 years below actual age) and working memory problems. We had waited 2 years for diagnosis at that point and had pushed for an assessment since Reception Yr but Primary School labelled him as naughty and did not support my view that there was something wrong with him. I contacted the secondary school before he started there and requested a meeting to explain that we were awaiting an assessment, discussed low level 'silly' behaviour difficulties that DTS2 had, together with the fact that he was 4 years behind average attainment. I was also very anxious about the transition as I knew he would struggle.

No support was put in place from the start, they basically ignored what I told them despite him being on School Action+ all through primary school. He did not have any plan/IEP drawn up until the 2nd term of Yr7 after I pushed for it and was left in mainstream lessons until I bugged them to put him in SEN classes. Apart from a few silly incidents where he retaliated to being called 'retard' etc (he has an odd gait and other kids have picked up on his LD's), constant detentions for not doing homework (impossible for me to make him) and forgetting things, things were reasonably OK until he started Yr 9.

I had applied for a statement of SN's (EHCP) for him in Yr 7 as soon as we got diagnosis but it was denied as the school had not shown that they had offered him support. I did not know at that point that I should have appealed.

There were a few incidents of other boys challenging him to fights after school (he's over 6ft and the smaller boys wanted to 'take him down') and he did not have the maturity to ignore. The name calling started up and as he did not report it (was afraid he would be blamed), when he called names back the other kids would report him.

Anyway it all came to a head when he was threatened with permanent exclusion for persistently breaching the school's behaviour policy but a lot of it was minor - forgetting equipment, pushing the gate buzzer for too long, not going to registration because he was hiding in the toilets. He was regularly put into isolation as well and not getting lunch as he was not told to go.

At this point, I started getting angry too late and asked the school what they were doing to support his SEN and his behaviour. I had an awful meeting with the Head who denied that his LD's, ADHD and memory problems would affect his behaviour so according to them he was deliberately being 'naughty' and apparently DTS2 agreed with this, when asked hmm.

I then made a complaint against the school for discrimination of DS due to his SEN as the school said they could not make 'reasonable adjustments' for him as they had to treat ALL children exactly the same. The Chair of the Governing Body did not address my complaint at all and only discussed putting him on behaviour report. I asked for a response to my complaint in writing and it was ignored.

I asked if they could get an Educational Psychologist in to see him and they refused. I also asked for the school to apply for a statement of SEN themselves and they refused so I applied again myself in March this year and this time they agreed to assess him for one and I should find out next week if they are giving him one (looks likely). I found out when I asked the school to provide me evidence of what support he's getting I had to create a massive fuss for them to tell me and they ignored my requests that it is virtually nothing and even they said his attainment is 'worrying' from looking at his assessments but they still did nothing to support him hmm.

It is evident that they have been trying to get rid of DTS2 as he will impact on their results. They have told me that if he can't settle and learn, they would prefer to offer his place to someone on the waiting list who can. They have also blatantly lied - telling the Education Authority that they never threatened permanent exclusion when I have an email from them saying this, and I was phoned every week with the threat of it if he did not get enough points on his behaviour chart, and denying that I had given them DTS2 medical reports detailing his diagnosis so they weren't aware of it hmm. I have had to constantly fight them for support for DTS2 and was told that it was an utter nightmare with calls most days telling me he was being put in isolation.

I had decided to move schools for both DTS's as DTS1 who was in top set for everything has gone very downhill recently and has also experienced low level bullying and he said he wanted to move too, but was trying to wait until we had got confirmation that DTS2 was getting a Statement (EHCP) so support would be in place for him from the start.

The new school is our catchment school which is now out of Special Measures and has had a major turn around now, and DTS1 has friends who are already there. I applied for a transfer for both of them at the end of June hoping that there would be enough time for the school to process it before they broke up for the summer hols and the DTSs could start there when they went back this week, but I was informed on the last day of school (after constant chasing with no response) that they had not even looked at my applications as they were 'too busy' and I would have to wait until Sept for them to contact me. This week, I have been told that I will have to wait until next week for them to contact and they cannot guarantee my places for the DTS's despite them having places available! I am now getting paranoid that they don't want to take DTS2 as I had told them that he has SEN and we were awaiting a Statement and I left a message for the SENCO (in early July) to call me to discuss whether they can support DTS2. Again no response! As they are now trying to push up their results, perhaps they don't want a kid who won't pass any GCSE's, the same as his current school sad?

SO the DSs went back to current school. On Tuesday (2nd day back at school) DTS2 got into a fight after school. Apparently a friend of DTS1, tried to push DTS2 in some bushes and chased him (off school grounds) with another boy, he then kicked him, so DTS2 thwacked him with a tree branch that he was playing with and knocked the boy's glasses off. The boy then punched DTS2 in the head and kicked him again before DTS2 ran off. DTS2 told me about this as soon as he got home and asked DTS1 why he was friends with him (this boy has called DTS2 names on Facebook previously) shortly afterwards, DTS1 got a text off the boy saying that he was sorry that he'd had to punch DTS2. He denied kicking him first though. DTS1 texted him back that what he had done was not on and that I would be making a complaint to the school in the morning. The boy then replied that DTS2 would be in more trouble than him as he had a witness - his friend who was with him at the time.

I rang the school first thing the next morning giving DTS2's side, asking for this to be investigated. I then got a call about an hour later telling me that DTS2 was being excluded for 3 days and I was to pick him up immediately for 'violent abuse' of another pupil. I was confused and asked if they had spoken to DTS2 and they said he had admitted hitting the boy with the branch but had not mentioned that he was attacked at all. They said the issue was still being investigated and they did not know who had made the complaint. I said why was DTS2 being excluded when they hadn't finished investigating and it was ME who had made the complaint. The 'pastoral care manager' would not let me speak and just said the decision had been taken by the Head, it would not be discussed further. She was extremely rude and patronising on the phone. When I got there to pick him up, the story had changed and I was told the investigation HAD been concluded and it was the other boy's mother who had made the complaint. There was no record of MY complaint apparently. I asked had they spoken to DTS1 so they could see the texts the boy had sent him. They said it didn't matter. I asked if the other boy had an invisible injuries (as DTS2 had) and was told it didn't matter. I was so furious I was shaking. DTS2 told me that he had not been given the chance to put his side across, just asked if he had hit the boy with a stick, which he said 'Yes' to.

When picking up DTS1 from school that day, I saw the other boy come out from school smirking at me so he had not been excluded. I am not aware if he has had any sanctions and I can only assume that they have accepted his story that he did not attack DTS2 at all. My complaint about him has not been responded to.

Now I would expect DTS2 to get a sanction for 'retaliation' as we have told him time and again, if someone attacks you, walk off and report it (hard enough for any teenager let alone with DTS2's ADHD impulsiveness) but I do not expect him to get a greater punishment (exclusion) than the other child who hit him first who it seems, has not had any sanctions as they have taken his account that DTS2 assaulted him only.

There was a previous incident where a boy admitted punching him first and then DTS2 pushed the boy over and DTS2 was isolated for a week while the other boy involved was not.

Today on day 3 of his exclusion I have finally received a written explanation of why DTS2 was excluded (after having to quote the education act to the Head). It should have been given to me within a school day according to guidelines. It stated that DTS2 was excluded for 'assault' against another pupil. I have to take him for a reintergration meeting on Monday and really can't trust myself not lose my rag.

Due to this, the new school may refuse to admit him as they did say if a child has had an exclusion, they can decide not to take them so when I finally hear from them, DTS2 may not get in anyway.

I am so angry at the school that I do not want to send either DTS back to current school so I don't have to deal with them ever again and want to keep them at home until I hear from the new other if they will accept them. DTS1 has been off school sick for the last two days as he did not want to go back to the school either as he is worried that this 'friend' will start trouble with him too. I don't give a fuck quite frankly about attendance. Both of them have had 100% attendance for the 3 years they have been there.

AIBU to keep them off? WWYD?

SaggyBaggyPuss Sat 10-Sep-16 00:36:59

Argh - typos!

I have had to constantly fight them for support for DTS2 and it has been an utter nightmare with calls most weeks telling me he was being put in isolation.

I asked if the other boy had any visible injuries.

And probably loads more!

SaggyBaggyPuss Sat 10-Sep-16 00:43:31

Forgot to say that I can put down the new school as the named school on DTS2's EHCP so force them to take him, but I don't want him to go to a school that doesn't want him! I am also worried that they have contacted current school and been given a bad reference for him and that is why they are delaying giving the places.

LittleDittyAbout Sat 10-Sep-16 00:43:52

YANBU.

Even if you're only getting half the story the school aren't communicating properly with you.

pontificationcentral Sat 10-Sep-16 00:53:00

oh honey. Can you speak directly to whoever looks after accessibility and inclusion on your school board/ education authority? I would also ask for an emergency meeting with the Governor who looks after special needs - email the Chair of the BoG straight away. Who are you dealing with regarding the EHCP? They will be a good way in to the EA and you can explain that the relationship with the school has broken down.

I would have been tempted to go private for a full ed psych assessment years ago, but I do understand that finances can be prohibitive.

In lieu of the fact that you are expecting EHCP news next week, I might be tempted to spend monday making telephone calls and not send them in, but I know that could be counter-productive in the long run. Don't worry about the second/ new school refusing DTS2 yet -the EA can help you negotiate that with the EHCP. If you get a space for DTS1, I would move him and allow him to settle in.

Try and let the dust settle over the weekend and be kind to yourselves x

icyfront Sat 10-Sep-16 01:08:41

It sounds horrendous. Your poor boy. He isn't being supported by the school, and it seems they're not going to be very supportive of his brother's concerns either.

Could you pull them both out (de-register) and home educate them while you sort out the new school? It sounds like you all need a bit of breathing space anyway, plus that would reassure DTS2 that he won't ever have go back into that bullying situation.

(However, I don't know how that would work in terms of getting into the new school, so you probably need more advice from people who know more than I do.)

e1y1 Sat 10-Sep-16 01:11:19

You need to raise a complaint to the department of education.

TruckersWife Sat 10-Sep-16 01:13:15

This is disgusting!!!! Completely breaching so much!! Contact your LEA, document everything, print off all correspondence, keep all future correspondence via email so you have proof, take a dictaphone with you to any meetings. Declare its there and you are recording at the start of any meeting. Demand a copy of their inclusion policy, bullying policy, Sen policy and a copy of all your sons records. They have to provide all of these on request by law. Give them a date that they need to provide them by. Contact Ofsted and lodge a complaint, if you can provide them with any evidence even better.
They should be working with you to provide a safe learning environment for your child.
I hope your son is ok, and that things get better from here. Xx

JudyCoolibar Sat 10-Sep-16 01:13:39

If the new school has vacancies and is a maintained school, it doesn't have any choice about taking your children. They should really have made a decision long ago. If you do want them to go to the new school, I would suggest writing politely asking for a decision within a week. If you don't get it, write again saying that as you've been waiting since June you can only assume they are refusing the place and you want to appeal to the independent appeal panel. There's a free information pack about admission appeals on this website which seems pretty good.

SaggyBaggyPuss Sat 10-Sep-16 01:38:47

Thanks so much for the replies, didn't think I'd get any this late! I can't sleep cos I'm constantly running it through my head to try to decide what to do. I am worried about not sending them in. The current school did say that if I kept them off before I received an offer from new school, the Welfare Officer would become involved. I am always very hot on attendance and my DCs are rarely ill (luckily) so all 4 of them have always had perfect records until now. I just cannot be dealing with that school anymore. The stress is ridiculous and I find it very hard to stand up to them. The Head has already questioned my parenting (despite DTS1 with no SN's being a perfect pupil) and Ieft that meeting in tears. I have had a permanent headache since Wednesday!

I have contacted the LEA and they said that I have to follow the school complaints procedures (they cannot help) and after that I can go the Dep. for Education which I will be doing as a follow on to my previous complaint which the Chair of the Governing body ignored. I have the email asking for a response in writing as proof they did not deal with it.

I have emailed the Welfare Officer (yesterday)to see what the repercussions would be of taking them out and they have not responded.

Ofsted only deal with inspections of schools not complaints about them apparently.

This thing with the exclusion, I will have to back to the Chair of the Governing Body with again and expect it not to be resolved again.

I am also going to look into a Disability Discrimination Tribunal after this last incident.

I will write to the new school asking for a decision.

I hate being THAT parent! I'm not, honestly!

SukiPutTheEarlGreyOn Sat 10-Sep-16 01:43:57

I'm sorry that you and your DTSs have had such an awful time, op. You have been failed on so many counts. Will be keeping fingers crossed that the news from the potential new school is good and that they both have a happier experience there. Ponti's advice is spot on. Keep copies of all communication and note date and content of any calls with their present school. The governing body should make complaints process and policy transparent (the policies should usually be available on school website) - this link might be of use ...
www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/489056/Best_Practice_Advice_for_School_Complaints_2016.pdf
Keep us posted and I hope the weekend gives you all some space away from the stress.

TheSparrowhawk Sat 10-Sep-16 07:04:55

The school has been shit, but it sounds like your son has what would be classed as moderate intellectual disability that can't be catered for in even the most supportive mainstream school.

FrancisCrawford Sat 10-Sep-16 07:13:52

You and your don have been failed in so many ways
Just wanted to wish you both all the very best.

Levantine Sat 10-Sep-16 07:14:42

Try ringing IPSEA, they are a charity that support families with legal issues around education for kids with SEN. I would also repost or get this thread moved to children with SN section on number, where there are posters who will give vg advice.

The school should be rights be in deep s**t for the way they have treated your son, it's appalling.

StealthPolarBear Sat 10-Sep-16 07:18:03

Well if the school had engaged with her at all or made any effort to discuss things they could have worked out how best to support him
What they're doing is leaving him unsupported and allowing him to exclude himself.

Longlost10 Sat 10-Sep-16 07:28:34

Message deleted by MNHQ for being disablist. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

SlightlyCrumpled Sat 10-Sep-16 07:33:36

This is awful & you have all been very let down. Your poor boy.

My DS (year 8) has a moderate learning disability & to be honest would utterly flounder in mainstream school now. Inclusion sounds great in theory but the reality is often what your son is experiencing. Have you had an opportunity to look at any SN schools in your county?

traviata Sat 10-Sep-16 07:34:02

OP ignore the post from Longlost10 who has no understanding of the issues at all.

can you get your post moved to the SN board? Those posters really know the ins and outs of support at school and SN-related exclusions.

RunnyRattata Sat 10-Sep-16 07:36:04

Find a solicitor who deals with SEN issues. It's a very effective way to get their attention.

youarenotkiddingme Sat 10-Sep-16 07:40:15

Complain. Reference it as a safeguarding complaint about failure to keep him safe from violence and also failure to protect his wellbeing.
Look up your counties peer on peer safeguarding policy. This is fairly new thing but they should have something published by now.

I have massive empathy for you and your twins.

Ds and I have been through similar. He has has ASD. Secondary removed all support juniors gave, punished him for relatiating to children being physical with him, suggested a managed move when I asked them to out measures in place to stop other boy hurting DS and DS relatiating - they accused me of not trusting them.
A week later this boy pulled a knife on DS in class. The boy had 2 days exclusion whilst DS left too anxious to attend school had no support other than them jumping to get him moved again all dressed up as a fresh start for him. The old school kept saying DS had no behaviour problems so not support needed.

Schools are under so much pressure to get the results children like ours are being left to struggle more because they often won't meet their academic targets due to social and emotional difficulties.

Longlost10 Sat 10-Sep-16 07:41:21

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Longlost10 Sat 10-Sep-16 07:43:41

Find a solicitor who deals with SEN issues. It's a very effective way to get their attention. this child "thwacked" another pupil with the branch of a tree, (outside of school hours), if you start upping the game like this, their is the potential for criminal charges to be brought against him.

imip Sat 10-Sep-16 07:44:38

Op, your experience is appalling, both schools are disgraceful! Why the fuck would they not bring in an ed psych from the word go?

Please get this moved to the special needs boards, you'll get lots if ignorant people coming on with no idea what educating special needs are like, like long pru indeed, reasonable adjustments should have been made years ago!!!

noeuf Sat 10-Sep-16 07:49:31

Op I suspect this has been a really stressful experience for you, with little support in terms of what the law says and phone calls and snatched meetings at school over the last few years.

It sounds as though the dx came late and your ds has slipped through the net, ending up in a ms secondary where poor behaviour is not tolerated and he isn't seen as having needs causing it.

I also wonder if you should consider the two children more separately. Find a suitable placement for dt1 and work through the EHcP process for dt2. It doesn't matter if they end up at different schools and may be better for them?

I would try to get some outside support from IPSEA or IASS locally. It sounds very messy and difficult. As the exclusion is under five days (over five in a term brings more rights) you are able to contact the governors but have no right to a meeting.

You could contact the local police re the assault but obviously this could cause issues for your other son.

eviloops Sat 10-Sep-16 07:53:09

As hard as it may be to hear, it sounds like mainstream isn't the right setting for him. His high level of needs could be catered better for, as you're quite rightly expecting him to be catered for, by special needs schools.

I loathe the attitude that ppl feel that inclusive (there is a saturation point for inclusion btw) mainstream trained teachers can miraculously turn into specialist SEN teachers overnight, at the sight of an IEP or EHCP.

There's a reason why mainstream teachers choose to work in mainstream; if they were more efficient with SEN, I suppose they'd prefer to work in SEN provisions.

Do the right thing for your child and seek an appropriate SEN school to cater for his needs. He'll thank you for it in years to come. Often inclusive mainstream are the most uninclusive.....

Good luck.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now