school refuse to recognise childs ability, can't afford private Ed psych report - what to do?(26 Posts)
I am asking on behalf of a relative, who's second child is clearly gifted but the school don't have facilities to help and teacher is focussing on bad behaviour due to boredom rather than being willing to assess him.
This child is now 8 years old and still school are unwilling to see his abilities. What can be done as the parents cannot afford to get a private educational psychologist report and the school are refusing to acknowledge it to arrange an ed psyc assessment themselves?
If the child's parents earn less than around £17000 a year ie can claim free school meals, the school will be getting a nice chunk of pupil premium money for the child. If they have been on fsm any time within the last 6 years the school will get the money each year until the child leaves. The parents can ask how this money is being spent eg on extension activities.
This story is typical. I've heard it plenty of times. In my opinion if the school or individual teachers within the school refuse to differentiate work then there is nothing that you can do about it. Of course you can kick up a fuss, write to your MP, write to the governors etc. But even if they agree with you in principle they can't, in practical terms, make the teacher differentiate. Whether or not the work is suitable is a matter of opinion. And if the teacher's opinion is that it is suitable and the mum's opinion is that it isn't in the end all the mum can do is home educate.
We've gone down the extending at home route, mainly from advice gained on here in the last few years. We've also done various extracurricular, including musical instruments, only to discover DD is also gifted in music and was accepted on a programme for highly gifted musicians. The funniest thing is that in her school report she was marked as "average" for music....
However all this hasn't done anything to help her at school. She has become progressively demotivated, insular, withdrawn, socially isolated and aggressive with her siblings. The aggression is a recent thing and mainly I think caused by the bullying she has to endure with some children telling her they wish she were dead on a regular basis.
This hasn't happened overnight but over the course of many years. We have done absolutely everything in our power to reverse this for her, including many many discussions with school, but to no avail.
Extending her at home has been great from the point of view that she has some of her needs satisfied, but terrible for alienation at school. She feels that she doesn't have anything in common with any of the children and is very bored during lessons to the point now that she comes home and all she wants to do is sit in bed and cry. We are at a point of true implosion.
Enough is enough and we are now pursuing private schooling, the more academic the better. Sadly I am so disillusioned with schools in general that I have no idea whether this will help or not but I can't keep her there. I get moments where I think the school is terribly guilty for having done ZILCH to help our daughter, because even small things could have really helped her.
They could home school aspects themselves. For example hey can just pay for a load of Kumon sheets but not he program. Thy are about £20 instead of hundreds. Or get an annual membership to online program's ( about £15 the year) and work on there with him
Hi, I have a gifted dd, in truth their is generally very little that schools can do, they have no extra funding and the education system doesn't allow that amount of flexibility. In her primary school she was told she had to follow the same route as everyone else.
My dd is gifted accross all academic subjects, she has always worked about 5 years above her age. I supplied an ed psych. report to her first senior school but it didn't help them provide for her. They moved her up a year this just made her stand out more from the other children. As achild in a local governmet school being clever doesn't help.
We don't have lots of money, a private school never entered my head. in the beginning, until a friend encouraged me that they would love to have my dd, they're a business after all. Eventually I decided for the sake of her mental health that I needed to go to the private sector. I phoned up private schools and took her along, what a difference, they were excited about her abilities. Schools also offer bursaries along side schoalrships, these can be negotiated. She is now at Queen Margaret's School, Escrick, a private all girls boarding school, not far from where we live, she is in the year above for her age, has achieved A*'s in every subject from the word go, more importantly she is happy. They take excellent care of her, I couldn't wish for better. Her social skills have developed along with her confidence, she is no longer trying to disapear, the girls love it that she can help them with their studies and the teaches adore her. Class sizes are approx 12, she can ask all the questions that she wants, I miss her loads and visit every week end 'cos I'm a bit of a wuss.
ohfunnyface - could you post me a link to the ofsted differentiated learning guidelines, I can't seem to find them on the ofted website. Thankyou.
schools do not have to identify g and t pupils any longer. they do have to differentiate though.
I thought schools no longer had to identify gifted & talented, am I wrong?
I also have problems both of my children are gifted. The younger has been bullied now. I would suggest that you extend your child at home if you have difficulties with the school acceptance. My son has 1 hours work in the morning and about 1/2 hour in the evenings. He has a love of maths, to we looked at web sites which he could learn and test on, as well as books from WHSmith and the like for the older child. You will find a number of sites allow testing and these will help you establish were the child is and then buy books. We call them his puzzel books, and he gets them when he gets home. You might like to also consider creating projects e.g. stars for a month, rocks etc. This can be done with dad or mum, it does however mean that you will need to consider how much time you have to do this. Consider involving grandparents e.g gardening, measuring, and other family members.
These arrangements have made my gifted chidlren, happier, they do school and then they come home and are extended. You will find that it will only be some subjects that will annoy him and not all. I would also ring ofstead and get a complaint logged. The inspectors look at the logs before going to the school. Also consider a letter to the govenors, it might work. Watch out for the school trying to suggest that he has emotional issues, becuase he is distuptive, and wanting a PycEd report, its not necessary. About £200 will secure an education assesment, which is a clinical based test, and conclusive. The school do not have to accept an outside report, but they put themselves greatly at risk of not looking after the welfare of the child if they do not accept the strategies, they may only accept some rather than all due to resource limits etc.
I cannot believe it is the school's policy to not differentiate. It is a massive part of the ofsted criteria now.
I would write a letter, print off the ofsted guidelines regarding differentiated learning and write to the head and governors asking for an explanation.
What do you mean by minor behaviour? What does he do in class?
From the sound of things, I doubt that they would take any notice of an EP report. I had a similar experience and school actually dismissed report from CP and the EP refused to even look at it, even though it was her comments that made us go. You could try contacting the NAGC and ask them for advice. How old is the child? I am sure that Secondary School will be way better.
That makes it harder. Ds's school is a 15-20 minute drive, double the distance of his old school. He boards a few nights a week which makes the journey on the couple of days I do it bearable. I'm surprised at the difference the new school has made. I knew he was very able as that is what his old school said in pre-prep but then he had a really awful teacher in year 3. It was a nightmare that I never want repeated as long as ds is in any form of educational establishment. It was appalling at the time but the full awfulness only became apparent after ds moved schools and we could see the hugely detrimental effect this teacher had had on him.
At my first meeting with his new teacher the first thing she said was how very very bright he is. His previous teacher had said that he was near the bottom of the class but did exceptionally well in tests (and made a derogatory comment) and how irritating and annoying he was (he misbehaved). It was impossible to tell the teacher that she had completely failed to engage him and he was bored.
I really feel for your relative to be in the position they are in without any easy solution.
perhaps they should be looking for a different school - some state primaries are simply not interested I am afraid.
bisjo - unfortunately changing schools is not an option, due to the location of the next nearest school and the financial implications of travel. They had thought about it.
LittleFreda - This is not my child.... I am not saying is from a sense of pride, it is a desperation to get his needs met in school. He is learning very well outside of school and this is without much help. Your suggestions of "tutors, music lessons, Kumon, extra curric languages, chess club, apps, Rossetta Stone, junior anthropologist weekly subscription, " all cost money.... this is the issue, they cannot afford these extras.
I think that your post is insulting to the issue. Just because your children are "a little above average" does not mean that there are not children in the world that are clearly above average and come from poverty with little choices of how to help their child. Again I repeat this is not my child, I have a children with special needs at both ends of the intelligence spectrum, but do not have the school issues that these parents have to deal with.
I love this thread. I have four children. I have felt exactly like this about all of them. Buty I've come to realise that Lynne next door and Heather over the road felt the same about their children too. They were all gifted at school and it all went unrecognised.
If your children are really gifted, you don't actually need to do anything as the giftedness will compel the child to find a way to learn all sorts of shit, they will learn the piano by first tackling Schubert's Impromptus. If they are just a leeetle bit above average, like my children , there are lots of opportunities to extend their understanding of things: tutors, music lessons, Kumon, extra curric languages, chess club, apps, Rossetta Stone, junior anthropologist weekly subscription, Learn every poem in Palgrave's by heart.com etc.
Maybe your relative should be looking for another school.
Ds changed schools this year having got a non-academic scholarship. His new school said early on how very bright he is and give him extension work. He has hugely improved the work he produces since the start of term as he now realises he has a teacher who cares about how he does and really encourages him. At his previous school his lack of interest/focus was put down to being a trouble maker rather than acknowledging he was bored witless.
Thank you for your replies. In answer to the question in what way is he gifted, his is extremely good at non-verbal reasoning, also his language skills are very good for his age.
The teachers are not wanting to differentiate the work, and so are making him do work that is well below his abilities in all subjects and he is getting bored and then becoming (mildly) disruptive. He is able to complete the work is brother brings home, his brother is 4 years older in the same school.
All they want for him is for the teacher to do some differentiated work for him. They are not looking for him to be put on the gifted and talented list, as it would appear the school don't recognise any need for these children to be treated in anyway differently anyway.
They have taken in work that he has done at home, and the school don't want to know. The teacher says "what do you want me to do" and when they say "give him work that is at the level at which he is able to work" the reply is "we don't do that". Ironically they "recognised" his older brother as gifted and talented, though that meant nothing at all in terms of how he was taught.
I wish we were all in a position to be able to help finacially to get the private assessment done. But also I am now wondering if even if we did get an assessment for him and it showed his educational needs, whether the school would even bother doing anything then.
If a school refuses to differentiate any child, would they even bother to change if an ed psyc report showed a need?
Ed psych report should not necessarily be needed...
The parent needs to communicate with the school maybe showing work that the child has done at home and addressing the bad behaviour first because as others have said if the child is not showing it at school by behaving badly,then they will not see that the child is very bright iyswim.
In which way is he gifted??
I imagine the school are focussing on bad behaviour, as unless the child behaves, how can they teach and stretch them?
It isn't enough to be intelligent, you must also be able to apply that intelligence in a classroom and use your 'gifts and talents' otherwise, what does it mean?
And I agree, there is nothing the school will provide that will be any different to what they're doing now. Especially if the behaviour doesn't change.
in what area is the child G&T?
i wonder if the child has demonstrated his talent so that it is clear enough for a referral... TBH if it is the case that the school havent seen the talent but are being asked to refer for an assessment i am not surprised they refuse to recognise it. (i would imagine there are cost implications involved in an EdPsych referral for the school...)
Can family help out at all. An ed psych report was hugely important to us because our LEA used the report to issue DD with a statement of educational needs because her level of learning was so much higher than her peers (her IQ is in the 99th percentile) she has a 1-1 tutor for 10 hours a week now (reception age) which will increase as she gets older. The report was £300 but money well spent IMO.
What does your relative want the school to do? In practical terms, I mean.
What do you mean by "clearly gifted"?
TBH if he is not demonstrating his abilities at school how are they supposed to identify him as G&T?
What facilities are you actually expecting? Because a piece of paper saying he is G&T means nothing. Schools are expected to identify all G&T children (usually around 8-10%). They should have a policy on G&T, but in effect it usually means very little on a day to day basis.
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