School not providing what is on IEP.

(190 Posts)
FatherSpodoKomodo Sat 15-Jun-13 22:28:38

DS1 is year 1 and nearly 6. I was shown his IEP in October and was told he would be doing Narrative therapy (continued from Reception) and would also be doing a Motor Skills programme. I didn't see his IEP at the March parents evening.

I found out last week that he has only done one session of the Motor Skills programme.

What happens when a school doesn't give the child what they said they would on an IEP? What is my next step?

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 13:14:36

But how do they demonstrate? Currently school and myself provide evidence that the 20 hours support is working. How can an LA decide that the reports we have provided for the last four years (at her current school) are no longer sufficient evidence? They could of course send in an officer to observe but for how long, one day,one week? Dd's progress is all the LA needs to confirm at present that her statement is working. Of course school and myself could go through her statement detail exactly how it works and put on a show for whoever comes to observe because they wouldn't observe for very long and dd is making more than the required progress. It seems ridiculous to me tbh.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 13:15:53

mrz If you compared the delegated funding policy of you LA to the funding policies of other LAs, does your LA offer more delegated funds and less statemented funds comparatively?

This is where I think there is huge variation, which alters perception of severity of needs, from LA to LA.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 13:20:15

insanity I expect a form of provision mapping is used.

Some LAs do not quantify hours of support, statements may also be written in such a way that they last for years and are flexible, which means support may not have to be designated 1 to 1 for example. A (coded) banding regarding amount of funding is given - may not be disclosed on statement.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 13:22:28

Dd isn't typical of a child with a statement in her school. But she has a Mum who has an older child with a statement from three and who knew and played the system. She was also very severely delayed at two when I requested a statutory assessment (developmental age of 6 to 12 months at 24 months).
She keeps her statement because the school is happy to support me in keeping it and the LA are incompetent and inefficient and possibly wary that I would go to Tribunal if they tried to cut the statement down.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 13:33:53

insanity I think it depends on the type of needs your child has and whether you expect those needs to be permanent. If a statement no longer describes your child's needs accurately you wouldn't want there to be any hurdles changing it or ceasing it, whichever is most appropriate.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 14:40:41

Dd's needs have never been academic tbh yes she entered nursery below her peers because of the autism and the delayed development and her speech disorder but she had made amazing progress in the eight months it took to secure her statement and by the time she left reception she was the most able child in EYFS despite only attending very part time until Easter. (I did an early intervention programme with her at home).
Once the statement was amended for year one the academics were mostly removed (fine motor skills remained because she has/had low tone and poor core strength although it's pretty average now)
Dd's statement is to help her cope with everything but the academics But in her wonderfully inclusive school the strategies are there anyway. I choose dd's teacher and the ones I choose have calm, quiet, ordered classrooms with clear rules and strong routines. I work closely with school pointing out where she may have difficulties (outside providers/ activity days) and they ensure that they make provision for her needs not necessarily by having a TA shadowing her but by making adjustments to ensure she isn't stressed.
Dd will always have autism, she will always need sensitive handling, if I could find a secondary like her primary then I'd keep her in school with her statement but ultimately it's not her statement that makes her school experience a positive one its the particular school she attends. I'm under no illusion that had she been attending the OFSTED outstanding catchment school she would need ever minute of those statemented hours to cope as it is her statement gave me the choice to send her to a different over subscribed out of catchment school (only rated good hmm) that I wouldn't have got her in without her statement.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 15:04:44

insanity It is great that your daughter is receiving the right educational provision for her. However it is just not right that you have had to 'play the system' (as you yourself put it) to ensure this.

This is why reform, in my opinion is needed. Not everyone has advocates who can (or will) play the system for them. The previous system was nowhere near transparent enough, it is outrageous that dishonesty (in your case non -disclosure of TA's other classroom activities) is practically required to ensure appropriate educational provision.

I do not think the funding reform goes far enough (admissions is one grey area), but at least it is a start.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 15:10:07

insanity Added to this there are some very worthwhile strategies, classroom and school organisational policies that go a long way to help, but don't cost anything.

It is not always extra funding that schools need but rather a change in ethos. The only way to encourage this is to withdraw funds, take away some of the support, which only is in place to manage/police problems away from the classroom, instead of teachers and heads thinking more about how they could have prevented them occurring in the first place.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 17:02:06

Yes but the needs of the children who dd's TA supports in her class need support for academics all the structure, routine and sensitive handling won't make a difference to them. They need statements giving TA support that school can't secure because the teachers are jumping through every hoop and it's deemed that they can meet needs without a statement.
They might not have parents willing or able to take on the system (ds's tribunal cost more than £10,000) because it's a hard fight when you have to take on the LA as they ignore statutory duties and don't comply with the legislation already in place (Being granted leave for Judicial review was what forced the LA to provide the placement he needed)
Dd's school is considered outstanding in the support it gives to children with SEN so as a result they have a high proportion of pupils with SEN as parents of statemented children use their right to express a preference and it's in a high deprivation area as well. To give this support they need the highly qualified TA's they employ
I don't feel in the least bit guilty that I played the system. I'd rather the funding for dd's statement goes to the school that supports her so well rather than into the system that uses every trick in the book to evade their statutory duty depriving children, teachers and schools of much needed support.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 17:21:36

insanity I'm not saying you should feel guilty (for playing the system), just feel that the previous system was atrocious and the new one needs rolling out in order to see if children will be any better off.

The fact that you feel justified in playing the system suggests the system was not fit for purpose. If schools genuinely do get more delegated funds and these funds are managed fairly, the more borderline children (in terms of being awarded a statement) may be better off.

A child's statement should not have to finance other children's needs because this distorts the statemented child's needs and people's perception of them.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 17:34:45

But I don't think the school's perception of dd is in any way negative because she has a statement. She isn't in low ability groups she's in top groups that reflect her ability. The HT calls her exceptional so not at all negative. She represents the school in the community. School don't disclose she has a statement or a diagnosis and neither do I. She's known as her name or the little one with very long hair and glasses not the statemented autistic one. I don't think in my experience in dd's school statemented children are seen as a negative at all in fact it could be argued that the children with the statements are very much less a drain on resources than the children with needs but having no funding to support them.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 17:59:02

insanity It is good that the school's perception of your daughter is in no way negative.

However if someone has to move schools, or during transition, it is important that the statement accurately describes needs, resource requirements. Also what happens after school age if on paper someone's needs do not match their actual needs. If on paper they need support, when they don't in fact need support. Lies have a tendency of catching up with people.

I would also not want my child to be seen as a 'cash cow', have every little quirk jumped upon, as if a school sees them in terms of pound signs, no matter that each individual quirk is very minor and easily dealt with (and perhaps short lived).

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 18:05:33

^ I would not argue any child is a drain on resources. All deserve the right education for them. However monetary resources is not always what they need. A bit of sensitivity and compassion (from the professionals) goes a long way.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 18:20:04

If dd was to move school to secondary then her levels will reflect her academic ability (LA are told accurate levels each AR so they know she was 4a last AR and predicted 5b next AR), her statement describes her difficulties with stress, organisation, anxiety, sensory issues, social needs and emotional needs all very accurate. It also describes the strategies and programmes needed to manage them. All of these would be needed in a school that wasn't as sensitive to dd as her present one is. It also states the level of TA, time for report writing and consultation with me and the need for me to be fully involved and consulted when considering dd's needs. No lies at all in fact a very accurate description of dd seeing as I pretty much wrote it wink
As for having every quirk jumped on well dd doesn't really have many that marks her out certainly Autism Outreach and the SALT couldn't spot her but if she had a quirk that needed addressing then I'd want it addressed rather than ignored or dismissed because of a lack of resources or funding.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 18:35:24

insanity Again all good, but how do you tell whether it is your daughter that has progressed (in terms of her needs been less severe) or the school's sensitivity in managing those needs? Or that she may cope now without these strategies?

To be honest it does sound as if you have a very good relationship with the school, which is key. However not every school is as communicative and in the state sector, choice is a bit of an illusion.

It is a good thing that your daughter's school obviously adheres to her statement, in terms of approach (although not designated support). You must agree though there has to be this, and the flexibility to change a statement, at least at AR. With the previous legislation there was way too much scope for parents to be left in the dark.

If schools are not spending the funds on the statemented child on that child, strictly speaking, they should not receive them. Transparency and accountability cannot be a bad thing. If funds need diverting somewhere else, to someone with greater need, it is only right that they are. The welfare state simply does not have enough funds for this not to be so.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 18:36:02

If she didn't have a statement she'd still have needs but there would be very little I could do to ensure that her needs were met. So whilst the statement does secure funding etc the real reason I hang onto the statement and will continue to hang onto the statement is that it gives me the legal right to ensure dd's needs are met because I don't like having to rely on the good will or ability of others to do this.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 18:42:50

insanity See your point but it is not a statement that ensures this, at least not without a fight.

Under the new legislation, with the support her statement says she requires, she would qualify as 'high needs' and receive top up funding beyond the 6K. The only difference is that her placement would have to demonstrate what they have done with the 6K (which is useful to know anyway). This will give the government data as to which kind of support is most effective for groups of children.

mrz Sun 16-Jun-13 18:53:39

I think the point is that the support is there for insanity's daughter if and when it is needed is important and much better for most children than having a TA sitting on the child's shoulder.
Most SEN TAs are professionals and are more than able to use their experience and judgement about when to step in and when to back off. Unfortunately in terms of a child's needs this isn't quantifiable and can vary day to day week to week so impossible to timetable. Removing support because a child doesn't need it this week doesn't mean they won't need it next week when they meet a new challenge or experience. Once removed it is very difficult to get back.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 19:04:12

Well she has certainly progressed she entered the school in yr1 after a very successful EYFS in one school was followed by a yr1 teacher that was horrendous. At the time of entry (current HT admitted her straight away without waiting for LA to amend statement such was his concern) she was school refusing, self harming, bed wetting and an emotional wreck.
Looking at photos on entry she looks like a rabbit caught in the headlights and now she is a happy and confident child fully included in all aspects of school life. School provided support on entry in addition to her statement to put her back together it's only as she gained her confidence that the TA stepped back from supporting her 1 to 1 initially for the whole of the day to where she is now.
Proof really that it's the school and more specifically the class teachers (that I choose) that are the key factors in her progress rather than the statement because the TA in her previous school was very good as well but constrained by the teacher and ultimately the school's unwillingness to address a teacher that had been through competency once already and was on the path again as we withdrew dd.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 19:10:16

Exactly mrz she doesn't need the support at present because her class teacher is brilliant and the school is exceptional But if her class teacher went off sick and dd was faced with unknown supply teachers then she would need the TA as a buffer. Little things can unnerve dd, her TA can read her because we have worked together closely so whilst she won't be near dd she will be watching her body language to intervene if needed. Heck we've even taught her to recognise when she needs help and to ask for it so she'd even do that nowadays too.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 19:23:57

insanity mrz Well it does sound like this is one good success story. smile

However not all teachers use the TAs as effectively. Too many times a designated TA is not available, when the statemented child needs them, because not providing the support has become a habit. They are in fact timetabled to take the class during PPA time / because a teacher is off sick or help set up the school fayre (not beyond my experience). Also a teacher might leave too much to the TA. Leave them to effectively teach the child, away from the classroom. When the teacher is asked about the specifics of how the child is learning they may not know, may not have consulted adequately. The TAs are not always SEN professionals either, such people are not always available, a lot of TAs do not hold the higher qualifications.

Support is not quantifiable, but the money spent on it is. Money is quantifiable. The new legislation reflects this, why be secretive about what is actually spent? How long does the support have to be held in reserve for it to be deemed as just not needed any longer?

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 19:33:59

Yes but daftdame I've fought before and I'd fight again if needs be. The LA know this and really it is enough to have the reputation of someone who will fight, who will force them to tribunal and JR to ensure that when I phone LA and give my children's names I don't need to give any more details they know who I am and they would know if I wrote to say dd's statement wasn't being met then they had better get onto it before I bring in the solicitor and barrister like last time grin In our LA the quality of the provision is directly proportional to how much work a parent is going to cause them in order to get their child's needs met.You don't give them grief then you won't get the provision.

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 19:37:29

insanity Good on you but not all have the resources, the know how or the energy. sad

For this reason I believe a change was long overdue...

daftdame Sun 16-Jun-13 19:44:41

insanity Why would the new legislation change your power to fight? Surely you'd be in a stronger position if the school had to demonstrate what had been provided (at least the initial 6K)? The paperwork would all be ready.

insanityscratching Sun 16-Jun-13 19:44:48

Dd's TA is in the class for the whole of the day apart from the last 15 minutes twice a week One of those sessions is to consult with me. Dd's support is 20 hours of that time but she may need 10 minutes here and there rather than support during literacy and numeracy (in fact she is streamed so in a different class entirely and doesn't need support then) which is more common in her school. It works not only because she has a qualified and experienced TA as her statement specifies but also because communication between school and home is excellent and we work as a team to get the best for and from dd.

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