school trips that are not suitable for children with SN

(130 Posts)
happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 21:39:04

I just wondered if this was normal or even allowed.

Every year the dc schools go on a three day trip in term time during school days . Its quite a big deal, they do work building up to it and afterwards, they have photos taken and these are displayed.

I've never taken much notice but last year one of boys who can walk within school and did sports day fine at his own pace but has a wheelchair for longer distance didn't go, he's a confident popular boy so I was a bit suprised but just presumed he didn't fancy it.

However we have got the leaflet home for one of dc turn and it says that any special needs much be discussed and approved before the child is accepted which is fair enough but it then goes on to say that despite this it must be accepted that the centre is not geared up to cater for SN and physical disabilities.

While I think that's the centres choice I have seen centres that do cater for SN and surely the school should look into these rather than exclude a child.

My own dc1 is sen but it not severe and will likely be allowed to go but im now worrying about it.

FeckOffCup Tue 08-Jan-13 21:43:17

YANBU if there is a choice of centres and one can accomodate SN then they should choose that one.

pigletmania Tue 08-Jan-13 21:46:46

YANBU at all. A school trip should incudeeverye. It should not go ahead. This used to happen at dd mainstream school. A boy with ASD was not allowed to go on a day trip, and was nt allowed to be at school so had to stay at home for the day

DisAstrophe Tue 08-Jan-13 21:49:21


There are plenty of places that cater for all sorts of disabilities. There's a place near me that gets people in wheelchairs or with severe autism up climbing walls and all sorts and I know it is far from unique.

Really hope there is a good explanation - why don't you ask the school? You could contact the governor who has responsibility for SEN and/or inclusion to raise the matter anonymously if you are not a gobshite like me worried about causing offence

WorraLiberty Tue 08-Jan-13 21:50:16


What did the school say when you asked why they don't use another center?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 21:51:52

I agree that if the school needs to, they should use a centre that caters for SN. I don't know if they are allowed to run a trip that can't cater for every child or not. I'd have thought they can as long as its not essential to the curriculum, and as long as they still provide an eduction while the trip is taking place.

I'd be wary of assuming that they haven't looked into the issues, and there are care needs that you are unaware of that made the trp unsuitable for the child you mentioned who uses a wheelchair. They may have looked into it and found that it wasnt going to be suitable for any nimber of reasons. Also, even if a place is accessible for a wheelchair user, there can be other factors that come into play. Special needs can vary so much that catering for absolutely everything can be very difficult.

shushpenfold Tue 08-Jan-13 21:52:48

I would direct them to The Equality Act 2010.....

EndOfTheRoad2011 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:54:07

How did the school get away with keeping him at home? I would have been on the phone to ofsted and putting in a complaint of discrimination the moment the coach left!

Ineedmorepatience Tue 08-Jan-13 21:54:17

Yadnbu! The school where Dd3 goes has specifically chosen the venue for next yrs trip as it is more suitable for Dc's who are wheelchair users.

The school has resourced provision for children with physical disabilities. I think there are about 4 or 5 children in Dd3'year who use wheelchairs and they have all been given the opportunity to go with the rest of the yr group.

Many outdoor centres cater for children with all kinds of disabilities.
It is horrible that children are being excluded sad

tethersend Tue 08-Jan-13 21:54:47

The school are acting unlawfully if they are excluding children from curriculum (term time) trips due to their SEN. They are in breach of the DDA.

Put bluntly, if the school don't find another centre, they are in deep shit.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 21:55:10

Thanks, I am going to raise it as dc1 is an so im going to have to make sure they can go but she came home so excited about it and as a child with low self esteem I can't imagine having to tell her she can't go.

Its very likely she can but its not the point, the boy in question had to spend three days doing normal work in the class below last year.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 21:56:49

Sn not an.

threesocksmorgan Tue 08-Jan-13 21:57:26

that is disgusting.

EndOfTheRoad2011 Tue 08-Jan-13 21:58:44

Also if the child is statemented or school action plus then I wouldn't hesitate in suggesting the school is taken to task at a tribunal where more than likely they will be told to book another trip which is suitable out of their own pocket! Schools can't ask for a child to be kept at home they are breaking the law!

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 21:58:48

Agree with the others that if the boy and his family wanted him to go they are in the wrong.

However, remember the school could have checked with them and they might not have been prepared to let him go to any centre.

So do ask, but ask with an open mind at least initially.

Catchingmockingbirds Tue 08-Jan-13 21:59:08

Yadnbu, the school don't have to use this centre. There are plenty of more suitable centres they could have chosen which would accommodate the variety of needs that their pupils have.

ReallyTired Tue 08-Jan-13 22:00:09

By law children with special needs should be included on school trips. The special school I worked at used to go to great lengths to include children with severe autism on trips. Sometimes parents chose to keep their children at home as a school outing could seriously upset the routine of a severely autistic child.

"However we have got the leaflet home for one of dc turn and it says that any special needs much be discussed and approved before the child is accepted which is fair enough but it then goes on to say that despite this it must be accepted that the centre is not geared up to cater for SN and physical disabilities."

Surely the disablity discrimination act would have the schools guts for garters. Being in a wheel chair should not stop a child from attending a trip. They may well need a one to one and not be able to do all the activites, but they should be given some else nice to do while the rest of the class does rock climbing, canoing. (Realise that some disabled people do do rock climbing and canoing. It would be hard for a quadapligic child to do such activites.)

I imagine the only special need that could be discriminated against for school trips are children with with severe behavioural difficulites.

CaptChaos Tue 08-Jan-13 22:00:16

My DS2 has ASD. He was only allowed on school trips if I accompanied him, otherwise I was told that he had to stay at home. He wasn't particularly disruptive, but his 1-1 was needed to take a different group hmm

I'm sure your son will be fine, mine went to an 'outstanding' school and the head would do anything (up to and including telling me not to bring him in during inspection)

His 1-1, funded for him? hmm

PiccadillyCervix Tue 08-Jan-13 22:01:53

YANBU, that's awful

EndOfTheRoad2011 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:02:23

So he was put at a social disadvantage from his peers? WTF they may as well have labelled him and put him in the corner (sarcasm) definitely discrimination, definatley unacceptable. If u allow the school to get away with it even once they won't even bother trying to find alternative venues!

CaptChaos Tue 08-Jan-13 22:04:25

Yup. The school was state, but in a very naice area and everyone treated it like it was an indie. DS2 was definitely persona non grata, and parents complained that their children didn't get enough time with his 1-1. hmm

He wasn't there long, just long enough to get his statement sorted and go!

mercibucket Tue 08-Jan-13 22:04:32

our school either doesn't do the trips or arranges one the wholeclass can go on, surely thats the only legal option?

Eglantyne Tue 08-Jan-13 22:05:32

CaptChaos, either I know you or your ds's school behaves exactly like my friend's ds's school.

CailinDana Tue 08-Jan-13 22:07:24

YADNBU. Totally wrong. Plenty of activity centres cater for children with SN and even if there were none, it would be up to the school to then choose a different activity that was suitable. I am really surprised a school would even consider such a thing. Is it private, or state?

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 22:07:51

Is it really unlawful for the school to do this, even if its not essential to the curriculum and they still allow the child to go to school and provide suitable work while the trip is on?

I only ask because when DS was in Y6, they did cycling proficiency. DS has Aspergers and is completely uncoordinated, and despite best efforts from four family members, was not capable of riding a bike. It wasn't until I made a fuss at the school that they looked into getting him a professional instructor, which thankfully worked and he was able to get his CP at the same time as the others. I wouldn't have expected the course not to run because my child couldn't access it because of his disability, but if I hadn't complained about it the school would have allowed him to stay in lessons and would have effectively excluded him.

CailinDana Tue 08-Jan-13 22:09:23

Good lord CaptChaos, that is really awful. Is his current school better?

I am dreading cycling proficiency for the same reason, that is interesting that you got him included. I was expecting dd to sit out.

Lilka Tue 08-Jan-13 22:09:56

YANBU they need to find a centre that can cater for all children, and include the SN children in every activity they can physically manage. There are enough of those centres that the school should be able to find one, it's not like they're taking them to some remote arctic island somewhere

Vagaceratops Tue 08-Jan-13 22:10:27

CaptChaos - our school is exactly the same.

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:10:56

CaptChaos, your story is terrible.

I did go to school with a disabled girl who had severe toileting/food issues (not apparent at school, all happened at night - tube feeding, etc) so would never have gone on any residential trip.

I do think it is possible in the centre's brochure that it is trying to say it needs to assess first. For example, I know the centre my children's school use has certain additional procedures it follows for children with managed diabetes. If it were unmanaged diabetes they might say they couldn't personally manage, and then it would be for the school / parents to find a different solution, new centre, or whatever would fit the needs in that situation.

CailinDana Tue 08-Jan-13 22:13:13

It's a grey area Clouds. Theoretically a school is required to allow a child to access all areas of the curriculum but there is some guff (can't remember the wording) about reasonable accommodation or some such bollocks. So the school could have argued that your child wasn't physically capable of accessing the curriculum and that they couldn't reasonably accommodate his abilities. Of course, once a school is pushed they almost always find a way to accommodate any child, but as with so many things relating to SN the parents have to push and push, it's never offered, and schools would rather not bother than to go the extra mile to try to think of a solution.

tethersend Tue 08-Jan-13 22:13:23

"I imagine the only special need that could be discriminated against for school trips are children with with severe behavioural difficulites."

No, children with recognised behavioural difficulties/conditions are also covered by the DDA/Equalities act.

They cannot discriminate against any recognised disability. Some info here

CaptChaos Tue 08-Jan-13 22:14:02

Eglantyne this was about 8 years ago and we have moved away from the area, but I still have friends there and the school is pretty much the same.

SW London/Surrey

Alarielle Tue 08-Jan-13 22:14:28

but the trip is for 3 days? so it is more like a holiday and i imagine that would be difficult to manage for quite a few children with sn who dont have a main carer with them or the right equipment.

Lilka Tue 08-Jan-13 22:16:04

CaptChaos - how horrid, sounds exactly like the first primary my DD2 attended with me. They were an 'outstanding' school in a posh suburb full of pushy parents, and they refused to work with me over her (emotional and behavioural) SN, in fact they were absolutely horrible. Refused to even try to understand, let alone treat her as anything other than a completely NT child. Also stayed only long enough for her to get a statement and access to a good EBD school.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 22:16:17

Toughasoldboots ds's teacher was actually really good about it when I pointed out how out of order it would be to exclude him, even tough I had discussed it with his previous teacher the year before. She contacted the LA who provided two instructors to teach him (and having an unrelated professional was all that was needed for him to learn) so it didn't even have to come out of the schools budget.

She did say that they were lucky they got the instructors as she thought it was only because they did it in February rather than the summer that they were available, so it might be with you kicking up a fuss and getting in there quick so that they can move the dates of it if they have to.

CaptChaos Tue 08-Jan-13 22:16:50

DS2 now goes to a specialist boarding school which is amazing!

I HS'd for about a year as well, he had been being taught in a corridor on his own, by an untrained member of staff, so he was about a year behind.

All's well that ends well, he's now doing brilliantly academically. (plus the whole class always wanted to be in my group on trips, because we had loads of fun!)

CailinDana Tue 08-Jan-13 22:17:27

Alarielle - in that case the trip isn't suitable for the class and an alternative should be arranged, or a parent should be asked to come along. Imagine if they did an activity that was "only for boys" or not suitable for children below a certain height - there would be uproar. Yet they are ok with a child being excluded for SN. It's totally not on.

Thanks clouds I will look in to that.

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:19:46

That is interesting, Clouds. Our kid's school now do all their trip at unpopular times of year - Year Sixes are away now, and Year Five went away on something like September 5th. Apparently it gives them much more freedom to pick and choose centres (and is cheaper for parents).

I do think school attitude is everything. The headteacher had meetings at either school or home with every family that hadn't signed their children up to try and work through the issues. Last year he got 100% going but I know even with all that focus he didn't get everyone this year.

CailinDana Tue 08-Jan-13 22:20:01

That's great CaptChaos, glad it worked out. Your DS is very lucky to have you fighting his corner.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 22:20:06

Got the leaflet now.
It says

"We are keen for as many children as possible to benefit from the adventure and team work offered but we have to acknowledge we are not specialists in the provision of activities for children with special needs or physical disabilities.

Should a group include a child with special needs this must be discussed to gauge our ability to provide a worthwhile course.

threesocksmorgan Tue 08-Jan-13 22:22:23

wow this shows how inclusion is exclusion

CailinDana Tue 08-Jan-13 22:22:37

Hmmm. It's quite ambiguous isn't it. It could be that they're just covering their arses.

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:23:00

Right, so it sounds to me like the school / parents / centre could have worked together to see if it was the right place for the boy in question.

So it is possible that:
(1) the school didn't even try
(2) the centre said no (in which case, if the parents and boy were keen the school should have tried somewhere else)
(3) the parents or the boy were reluctant for him to go anyway

I think there is no harm in your gently querying.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 22:26:11

Personally I would rather dc1 didnt go, she gets overwhelmed at school disco, has no sense of danger, no spacial awareness, bladder issues and bullying issues and will do anything other kids tell her.

But I can't wrap her in bubblewrap forever.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 22:28:00

I agree the schools attitude makes a huge difference. This school also tends to do trips at odd times of the year. The y6s went on their residential in October, and it was to a centre that caters for SN. It was to a place that did a lot of outdoor adventure activities, and they were great with ds. They phoned me before the trip took place to ask about him, and they managed to get him to do every activity. All it took was the right support and a little extra effort.

Happynewmind It may be that your school does have a good attitude, but they are just trying to cover themselves and acknowledge that even with the best will in the world, they may not be able to cover everything.

I expect that when there are personal care needs it can be quite difficult for them to provide appropriate care for an especially vulnerable child.

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:30:49

Awwww, you are just the kind of family that our Head would have visited and worked out what he could put in place to reassure you and also dc1 that it was worth a go. I am a little bit in love with our Head, can you tell?

I was very nervous about my son going - dyspraxic, eyesight issues, etc. They really reassured me and he had a great time, even if he never washed or changed his clothes!

I think partly we were reassured as the SENCO and deputy both went and stayed for the whole trip. They even had a phone-call text thing for the most nervous parents where they got a text after each meal to reassure them all was well!

Blu Tue 08-Jan-13 22:31:32

"While I think that's the centres choice"
But it isn't. They must comply with the DDA.

threesocksmorgan Tue 08-Jan-13 22:31:34

then they should find somewhere that all students can access.

float62 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:33:28

To the uninitiated, just flip onto some of the heart rending threads on special needs:children to see that schools get away with this (and worse) every day to some of our most vulnerable dc. I've told one HT that perhaps me and ds should just "wear a yellow star". Thankfully, like The Capt, we're good now too.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:33:33

my dd's school is not alllowing her to stay on her 2 night trip just go for one day no sleeping. i'm not happy about it.

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:37:34

So sorry to hear that mum382013. Have you complained? Is that the only alternative they have offered?

happy I feel so much for you. I think that we all want to wrap them up for ever and protect them. I worry about nothing else.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:39:32

i have had meetings with ht but they say they cant have her. i offered to stay and they said no room for me

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:40:10

That sucks. Board of Governors? Or is it just one fight too many?

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:40:41

i either have to pay loads for a hotel for us both or drive her there each day over an hour away. or take her for one day bhut i still have to be there and take her on my own penny

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:41:28

they go with another school and if i make too much fuss will they have to cancel it?

tethersend Tue 08-Jan-13 22:41:37

Paragraph 304 of the Explanatory Notes in the 2010 Equality Act gives a relevant example of how the legislation can be applied:

The governing body of a school refuses as a matter of policy to let disabled pupils participate in school trips because of the extra risk management required. The SoS (Secretary of State) could direct the governing body to change its policy so as to make reasonable adjustments to enable disabled pupils to participate

It also supersedes the DDA and redefines 'disability', so that all that needs to be established is that the person has an impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Sever asthma for example, whilst not a SEN, can be considered a disability under the act.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:41:54

worried no-one will ever talk to me again if i do that

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 22:41:59

Mum382013, that is outrageous! angry

ReallyTired Tue 08-Jan-13 22:43:23


That leaflet sounds reasonable. The term special needs can mean anything. I imagine the centre wants all the children to be happy. There is only so far that you can adapt a course without completely spoiling it for all the other children.

I think the best thing is for the parents to discuss it directly with the centre instructors. Then its possible to work out whether the problem is with the actual centre or the school making excuses.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:43:32

i think so too but the school has been ok about other stuff and she is happy there.

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:43:54

mum382013 that is very unfair pressure they are putting you under. There are zillions of these centres and they are not all doing that well in the recession. (We stayed at one, by chance, in the summer and DS got to do loads of stuff on his own as their other bookings had fallen through so I got chatting with the manager). Your school could find a suitable alternative if they wished, and they have a responsibility to do so.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 22:43:59

they go with another school and if i make too much fuss will they have to cancel it?

That's not your problem. Don't think about that. They should be making proper provision in the first place.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:44:18

its an action adventure type place so i'm guessing they are worried she will hurt herself

PandaNot Tue 08-Jan-13 22:45:46

Schools and other places are only required to make 'reasonable adjustments'. Unfortunately this term is so wishy-washy it means that they can get away with a lot.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:45:47

from their website
■NEW! Vertical Challenge Course
■All Terrain Bikes
■Assault Course
■Low Ropes Course
■High Ropes Course
■Small Zipper
■Power Fan Jump
■Super 3G Swing
■Hikes and Journeys
■Team Work Challenges
■Tree Top Trail
■Bridge Complex
■Crate Castles
■Cowtails Course
■The Big Zippers
■Trust Exercises
■Coastal Walk
■Woodland Hike
■Ball Games

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:46:21

Well, she might. They all might.

A TA at DS's school damaged her knee on theirs - should they stop taking TAs?

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:46:32

their attitude is that she wont be able to do a lot so no point going for more than one day trip

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 22:48:09

What would your ideal solution be?

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:48:09

they bigged up the trip and showed the photos and video etc to the kids then the ht tells her she can only go on a day trip. cue tears

tethersend Tue 08-Jan-13 22:48:37

mum382013- the school are acting unlawfully.

Have they explicitly stated that your DD cannot go on the trip due to her needs? If so, try and get them to put it in writing and take legal advice.

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 22:48:51

They can't be that worried that your dd will hurt herself while doing the activities, otherwise they wouldn't suggest going for the day. There are adjustments that can be made to most adventure sports to make them accessible even to people with severe physical disabilities.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:49:35

i'm happy to go or for a carer to go and see what she can do on the days. not to blanket exclude her except for one day. and why should i pay loads extra to sort it out for them?

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:51:03

they have said that tethersend. will have to ask them for that in writing

tethersend Tue 08-Jan-13 22:51:20

PandaNot- I don't think excluding a child from a residential trip could be seen as a 'reasonable adjustment'.

Schools have lost legal battles for exactly this (lack of) action.

tethersend Tue 08-Jan-13 22:53:08

Send them an email if you can, asking them to confirm the reasons your DD is not allowed to take part in the trip.

Don't offer to do a thing yet- ask them what reasonable adjustments (use that exact wording) they will be making to ensure your DD is not discriminated against.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:54:44

thank you

CloudsAndTrees Tue 08-Jan-13 22:55:08

If the issue is cost, I know this charity might be able to help. It shouldn't be up to you to sort out though, the school should do it.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:56:56

i feel they should get a carer themselves sorted and sort out a timetable of stuff she can do or adapt the things they are doing so they all can do it.

manicinsomniac Tue 08-Jan-13 22:58:48


We had a little boy in a wheelchair at the school where I work a couple of years ago (sadly, he has since died). He went on both the Y4 and the Y5 residential outward bounds trips and loved them. He couldn't manage things like mountain biking and abseiling but he loved laughing at the others, being photographer and being raced up and down hills by us so that he didn't miss seeing too much. More importantly he loved joining in with the team building activities, the hot chocolate and stories, the games and the friendship making that is so important for all children.

Mind you, I work in a private school so maybe the school had to put more money into making the trip accessible, I don't know.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 22:59:31

cant they employ a carer for her? why should i have to take time off work and lose that money plus pay out for extra accommadation costs etc?

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 23:01:00

If you read this guidance document, mum, it makes their position sound pretty untenable:

(I know it is probably not the same LEA, but the examples will hold)

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:01:10

thats the kind of thing i had expected to be honest. taking part isnt just doing the activities

Chocamochalatte Tue 08-Jan-13 23:02:02

That is fucking disgusting, I can't believe schools and centres are getting away with behaving like this. I work in an outdoor watersports centre and we would never turn any child away. Yes we do risk assessments and if necessary ask additional teachers to come or put on additional instructors where 1:1 or 2:1 is needed. Programmes can be adjusted if absolutely necessary but there is always a way around any special need or disability. It's just whether people are prepared to put any effort in or 'think outside the box'.

Please make sure you take this further.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:02:55

right i'm going to go in tomorrow with that letter and make a fuss!

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 23:03:36

May the Mumsnet force be with you!

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:04:07

smile thanks

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Tue 08-Jan-13 23:06:00

Float62 A yellow star? shock

tethersend Tue 08-Jan-13 23:06:28

Let us know how you get on.

Give 'em hell wink

starfishmummy Tue 08-Jan-13 23:07:54

Felt - ......a disabled girl who had severe toileting/food issues (not apparent at school, all happened at night - tube feeding, etc) so would never have gone on any residential trip

Really? why on earth not?

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:08:47

i bet they say its because she is in nappies and doesnt sleep well. i reacon no teacher wants to be woken up 7 times a night!

HenryCrun Tue 08-Jan-13 23:09:54

Rules might be being broken here - kids with SEN can't be told 'we're not geared up for you, accept it' because that almost implies that the place isn't willing to make reasonable adjustments, which goes against the DDA. The idea of 'approving' special needs prior to a visit also implies this.

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:10:53

they have gone to this place for years its a tradition now so not chosen for sn kids in mind

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:11:59

rigtht must go to bed and get soem sleep before she wakes up!

5madthings Tue 08-Jan-13 23:12:12

Yanbu that is fucking crap!

Its discriminatory and not OK at all.

mum38 I am glad this thread has given you the info you need to complain, kick up a stink, you have the force of mnet behind you!

mum382013 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:12:44

she will be worse on a trip, our last holiday she got up at 3am and never went back to sleep at all!

ReallyTired Tue 08-Jan-13 23:13:40

"Felt - ......a disabled girl who had severe toileting/food issues (not apparent at school, all happened at night - tube feeding, etc) so would never have gone on any residential trip"

Nappies should not be an issue on a school residental trip. A TA could be trained up to deal with the feeding tube. My son had NT children with bed wetting problems go on a year 4 trip.

Its a matter of where there is a will there is a way.

happynewmind Tue 08-Jan-13 23:17:22

Good luck mum38!

HenryCrun Tue 08-Jan-13 23:22:20

By the way, I've been on residential holidays - even residential holidays abroad - where about 50% of the kids have had moderate to severe physical or learning disabilities. Finding a place that works is not a massive stretch.

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 23:23:32

This was me: ""Felt - ......a disabled girl who had severe toileting/food issues (not apparent at school, all happened at night - tube feeding, etc) so would never have gone on any residential trip"

ReallyTired, you are absolutely 100% right. It could have all been resolved but she and the parents did not want it to be. She liked to keep it private at home. I should have made that clear.

Long story but mum had denial issues, I think. She made a lot of things harder for her DD. We kids could get her to do some (looking, back rather hair-raising) things as we believed in her more than her mum sometimes.

FeltOverlooked Tue 08-Jan-13 23:24:53

she = mum

The daughter was much more game for anything!

At our high school reunion we got in massive trouble with the mum for taking her out clubbing after dinner. There was no reason for her not to come dancing with us, just mum had funny ideas... she had a ball.

float62 Tue 08-Jan-13 23:26:40

Yes weewee - if your ds has sn and been excluded (fixed and permanent) believe me no one wants to know you or acknowledge you in your community - you are less than human; you have a label; you may as well wear it. I don't want to offend anyone more by explaining what the yellow star represented in WW2.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Tue 08-Jan-13 23:35:49

Sorry, I've just re-read your post and seen that I got it wrong. I thought you meant that the HT suggested you wear a yellow star, hence my shock.

I'm sorry that people are so shit; it's hard to believe attitudes like that still exist, even though sadly experience shows it to be the case far too often sad

MummytoKatie Tue 08-Jan-13 23:44:32

When I was in guides (so about 20 years ago(!!!) ) we had three guides with sn - one with downs syndrome, one with a fairly severe form of spina bifida and one who had quite severe sen. They all came on camp with us. It wasn't seen as a big deal at all.

From what I remember the girl who had spina bifida's mum came with us (but as she carried on as a guider after her daughter got too old I'm not sure that she was required to or if she just wanted to). But the other two just came as part of the pack.

Really shocked that something that was done without fanfare in the early 90s is not seen as just a matter of course now.

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 07:55:51

Capt its disgusting that schools still do this in this day an age. About 27 years ago there was a school trip that I could not go to beause of my sn (developmental delay) and had to stay behind for a week as it was a residential sad. Ff to today last year dd went to a mainstream primary, there was a trip to the zoo, dd (ASD) coud not go as I could not accompany her, so had to stay at school. Another boy in her year was nt allowed to go or stay at school so had to be at home sad. I believe he was a runner and would just bolt. They did work leading up to the trip and the little boy was sad that he could not go on te trip with his friends ( I know his mum). He saw te bus when the mum ad to take his sister to school and started crying that he wanted to go with his friends sad

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 07:56:26

He by had ASD too

cory Wed 09-Jan-13 08:10:16

Ime children with SN will end up feeling they want to keep their needs private if they sense the school doesn't want to know.

Dd went to such a primary school. Whenever she or we expressed a need or explained a problem, the school loudly claimed that they had never seen any evidence that dd couldn't do X or struggled with Y. They repeatedly told her to her face that they didn't believe her. This despite plenty of medical evidence.

When they organised a school trip, they simply didn't "remember" to order the minibus that could take a wheelchair and only told dd she wasn't going the day before the trip- and then they got a supply teacher to break the news. (I got her on that trip <grim emoticon>).

In the end, dd's sole ambition was to keep her head down. And the school the felt that their non-involvement was justified, as corydd clearly wanted it that way.

In her last year, after a change of regime at the school, she did go on the residential- but she needed a lot of support from home to cope with the idea of trusting the school staff with her needs.

elliejjtiny Wed 09-Jan-13 12:50:01

That's awful but sadly I'm not surprised.

DS2 (age 4) has EDS hypermobility and uses a wheelchair for anything other than very short distances. He also gets very tired which usually results in screaming (think overtired toddler x10).

Normally, if a child has SN then the school say the parents have to come on school trips if the child will struggle to cope but aren't severe enough to be on school action plus and entitled to a 1-1 carer. I've made it clear that I can't do this as I have nobody to leave my DS3 with. The school have said that was fine as it's only someone to push his wheelchair that ne needs, not a lot of extra care. However on the one school trip he has been on (to the theatre) the wheelchair was left at school as it was only 5 min walk from the coach to the theatre. This was too much for DS2 though and by the time he came back (late) he was screaming. I was meant to pick him up at 1pm which gives us enough time for an hours rest at home before picking up DS1 at 3.15pm but because it was so late I had to hang around in town for an hour with a screaming 4 year old and DS3 who was 22 months old and fed up with waiting around by this point.

I'm determined this will not be happening again but not sure how I can prevent it.

DeWe Wed 09-Jan-13 14:20:49

In all honesty you don't know that he didn't have a good reason for not going, do you? I know for the residential dd1 went on one child decided not to go, definitely her decision, which was really surprising as you'd have thought it was just what she would have loved.

But I don't think a school should organise a trip for a year that a child will not be allowed to go on. Ever. There are enough places that take sn now that shouldn't be too difficult to organise, if they use their imaginations. And I think OFSTED would look very poorly on that too. And, as a genral rule they should not be expecting the parent to go on the trip to look after them. That child has just as much right to a school trip as any other child, and, as much as possible, the same experience as the other children, which includes going on the coach, sitting with friends etc.

CaptChaos Wed 09-Jan-13 14:35:29

Piglet I honestly think that for some schools this attitude will never change, and for some parents also. I think what saddens me most about your post is that you remember this 27 years on. My 'D'M told me at the time that DS would never remember not going, but he does and he wonders why he was being left out of things.

Until the majority of people understand that just because a child has SN or AN, it doesn't mean that their little darling is going to lose out in some way. Until the majority of people see children with SN as actual people, nothing is going to change.

Just one thing about OfSTED. When you have schools like this asking parents of children with SN to keep their children at home during inspections, how are they to know what goes on?

ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 14:42:51

I think these stories of stopping children with special needs going on trips is terrible.

I realise that everything needs a risk assement. If you have a child who is a runner and the one to one can't cope then the school is fully entitled to call the local police for help.

"I'm determined this will not be happening again but not sure how I can prevent it. "

I think that not bringing the wheelchair was an over sight rather than being discriminatory. Teachers are human and do make mistakes.

You need to see the risk assessment. (VO5 form I think its called, it's form your child's teacher will have to fill out.) Does your son's wheelchair fold up? Most coaches do have a lugage compartment. Sometimes parents have ideas on how to the school outing easier.

"But I don't think a school should organise a trip for a year that a child will not be allowed to go on. Ever."

Just curious do you think its reasonable to punish a child by not letting them on a school trip? (Assuming the child has no diagnosed special needs and no IEP) Ie. Would you ban a persistant bully from going on a school trip because he/she made the life of another child hell. (Assuming that the school had tried other measures first and the the parents of the child have been warned that if the bullying continued then the child would not be allowed on the trip.)

I think that a school should have the right to veto a child going on a trip, but the parents need to be allowed to appeal to the governors. Such a veto should only be used in very extreme circumstances.

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 14:44:06

Yes captain chaos I do. At the time my dad ( terminal cancer) drove me from London to York and we stayed at my half brothers, he took me to all te sights. The school residential was in york. My dad bought me a badge of yorvik Viking centre which I wore at school the next week and a chid accused me of stealing it as I did not come to te residential. Soon after dad died but I will never forget tat trip with dad sad

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 14:46:13

It's disgusting tat children are asked to stay at home at inspections, my dd was never asked and the school would not do that. If they did I would take my child to school,

ReallyTired Wed 09-Jan-13 15:33:48

Surely its about time that OFSTED wised up to schools asking children with behavioural problems to stay at home or hiding them in other ways. Prehaps the OFSTED inspector should phone up the families of EBD children and ask them for opinons on the school.

Before the two day notice inspections EBD children used to be taken out on a lovely school trip.

tethersend Wed 09-Jan-13 16:37:32

ReallyTired, a school could bar a child from a trip for bullying behaviour if the trip was a reward and not part of the curriculum; a trip to Thorpe Park as a reward could legitimately exclude a child for bullying (NOT for recognised behavioural difficulties), but a geography field trip couldn't.

tethersend Wed 09-Jan-13 16:41:33

Which leads me to wonder if trips which are rewards for 100% attendance could be challenged under the Equality act, as they exclude children whose disability impacts on their attendance.

Eglantyne Wed 09-Jan-13 16:43:38

CaptChaos So I don't know you then grin. My friend's ds was excluded from all school trips, swimming lessons etc for a year. He was suspected ASD but waiting for a statement at the time. My friend was also telephoned by the school and told to keep her ds at home the next day, because Ofsted were coming. This was last year. Finally the school excluded him. A few weeks later his statement finally came through. The school were found to have acted illegally and fined. But even with the statement she is having trouble getting him back into a local school. Two have said they can't take another SEN child, and if she applies they'll appeal...

mrsjay Wed 09-Jan-13 16:44:20

yanbu and i shocked it is still the same, I am disabled although I walk but not long distances I remember my primary 7 trip and I wasn't 'allowed' to go I was devastated and really upset by it, they all went to belguim and it was all they could talk about all year, it isn't fair on the children way back then they said it was insurance but today i would have thought that wouldve changed

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Wed 09-Jan-13 17:07:26

There's plenty of centres that cater for sn. They need to change centres

moisturiser Wed 09-Jan-13 17:16:21

I would really hope children aren't being excluded in this way.

I can remember the upset of being 13, being taken to one of these outdoors centres where I couldn't take part in a single thing. I stood on watching all my friends having fun all day in the water and the teacher got cross saying, 'you might as well look happy and get pleasure out of your friends having fun. I don't understand why you look so miserable.' It was devastating. I was still adjusting to being disabled so the whole missing out thing hurt even more.

mrsjay Wed 09-Jan-13 17:22:25

reading about peoples memories of being excluded from activities even as adults it can stay with you and isn't it angering that in 20 13 children are still being excluded from things sad

pigletmania Wed 09-Jan-13 17:41:12

Moisturiser shock what a nasty piece of work that teacher

AndABigBirdInaPearTree Wed 09-Jan-13 18:15:32

but as with so many things relating to SN the parents have to push and push, it's never offered, and schools would rather not bother than to go the extra mile to try to think of a solution.

We have been very lucky for this not to be the case.

DS went on a residential trip with his old school last year. He ended up coming home early because he caused a problem that neither the teacher or I anticipated. His new school does a residential camp later this year too. I spoke to the special needs teacher about the camp and how we needed to put plans in place so he could be successful and that it doesn't happen again and he said they were already on it and had started to figure it all out.

They have been very helpful so far, offering plenty without being asked and if I ask for something they take it seriously. I have friends who have not had this experience so I feel lucky.

tethersend Wed 09-Jan-13 18:31:08

"Two have said they can't take another SEN child, and if she applies they'll appeal..."

Schools are not allowed to do this. Either they have a place or they don't. They don't get to refuse a place on the grounds of SEN. See here.

The borough's SEN panel will decide whether the proposed school can meet the child's needs, and the school will be named on their statement. If the school is full, they can be directed to take a child by the LEA, but this is usually in exceptional circumstances.

13Iggis Wed 09-Jan-13 18:46:08

I have only read one page so far so it has probably already been pointed out that this would be discrimination - assuming reasonable adjustments would enable a wheelchair user to attend (eg different centre with better facilities) then school has to do it.
In fact that very scenario was used on a training session about the equality act which I attended.

Inaflap Wed 09-Jan-13 18:51:34

A school has to make a case if they refuse a child with a statement. They have to prove that they can't meet that child's needs and/or acceptance would be to the detriment of other students health, welfare and education.

I haven't read all of this thread but I think it is a shame that the school isn't choosing a centre which is more inclusive. My son's school included him on everything. However, th OP does not know the full story. It is possible that the boy didn't want to go, or he may have some complex medical needs particularly at night,which could not be met by working teacher supervision. I still think it poor that SEN and disability is rather obviously discriminated against. I think the paraolympics showed us all that many things can be overcome and loads of outdoor centres cater for all sorts of needs now so perhaps the school needs to look elsewhere

mum382013 Wed 09-Jan-13 19:14:36

update got all worked up ready to sort it out. Then she was in too much pain to go in.

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