School are failing DS - he's about to see Camhs and they won't even get SENCo involved - even though hes SA and has an IEP.

(47 Posts)
youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:32:21

How on earth can a school who has a child who now is seperated at break/lunch due to social communication difficulties and resulting meltdowns still not have the SENCo involved?

I've asked, I've asked for IEP for behaviour/social problems, I've asked for statement - NOTHING.

Currently he spends lunchtime with a buddy of his choice, in library or courtyard, supervised indirectly by lunchtime staff in hall which is adjacent. (not entirely appropriate I don't think considering he carries an epipen in school) This was agreed at last meeting and he was susposed to be the permanent buddy of a pupil already segregated for different reasons. I was led to believe this pupil has a 1:1 so DS would be supervised. This didn't work so we now have this situation.

Even his teacher said the other day it's not a long term solution. But she hasn't arranged a meeting like I asked. I've asked head and SENCo to call. Nothing from head and SENCo asked office to tell me no point as she doesn't deal with him. angry

Help please.

homeappliance Thu 04-Jul-13 21:34:56

Does he have my support from other agencies e.g. Speech therapy? Sensory team? that could be influential.

MerryMarigold Thu 04-Jul-13 21:37:33

Head teacher involvement asap
Doctor referral
Remove from school if nothing happens

Shellywelly1973 Thu 04-Jul-13 21:40:34

Firstly contact your local Parent Partnership. Every council or L.A has one.

Put your concerns in writing to the school. Write to the SENCO requesting her involvement.

In your letter state clearly, what the issues are, what you want/require & what you will do should the school feel they can't / won't acknowledge your requests.

Good luck.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:41:47

GP referred to CAMHS. Appointment in September - options appointment. I need top speak to school to get evidence, discuss what I need to ask CAMHS for.

Head teacher had meetings, sings the right songs, but hasn't got back to me despite me asking for another meeting.

I'm very worried that Camhs will not take this further when SENCo isn't even involved - I mean they agreed he needed to be seen as emailed clinician but when I've nothing to back it up............... (except ASC and cubs!)

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:43:54

Rang parent partnership this evening - left a message and their call back time is 2-3 days.

The school have not even told us who their teacher is next year - I will be meeting with them as soon as I know.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 04-Jul-13 21:45:53

DON'T. remove him from school...god knows i was tempted with my Ds but whilst your Ds is in the school the staff have an obligation to him.

I've met numerous families that removed or were forced to remove their dc from mainstream school...then they are nobodys problem. You've no diagnosis or Statement...make the school do their job, don't go anywhere!

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 04-Jul-13 21:45:53

I find keeping written record of everything helps.

If you have a conversation in person follow it up by a 'thank you for discussing x today. Doing y sounds like a good plan of action lets review in z weeks' kind of email.

Also contacting by email giving clear questions gives good record.

Overtime you can build up a paper trail that if frankly embarassing to the avoiders and use this a leverage for actions to happen.

You can either escalate to the head, the school governors (one of whom should have a reviewing SEN provision responsibility) or to county inclusions team.

Do you have a parenting partnership type of scheme in your area? They can be really useful with how the local system works.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:47:17

How do I email SENCo? I have heads email.

Would a simple email along the lines of..............help?

"Now we have the confirmed date for DS' options appointment with Camhs, we need to arrange a meeting with DS year 5 teacher and the SENCo to discuss how we move forward with regards to DS social diffculties and put into place an IEP for social support ready for September."

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:50:19

I cannot remove him from school - I'm a LP who works FT. Although it absolutely the only option I would.

Also DS needs school and the routine. He's not a problem child in class as routine is what he thrives on and when he's anxious he withdraws.

Sometimes I wish he was a little shit problem because then he'd get more help.

Marmalada Thu 04-Jul-13 21:56:02

ACE have some great leaflets on getting extra help and making a complaint here which include sample letters.

I would start the formal complaint procedure by email and, if it is a Local Authority school, copy in the schools improvement team or inclusions team.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:59:14

Thanks marma I'll have a read of that link - looks brill. grin

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:59:47

Oh and thanks to everyone blush Some great advice here for me to follow.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 04-Jul-13 22:13:01

Some schools/ local authorities have a format for email addresses. So it might be firstname.lastname@county.gov.uk. Or sometimes head_schoolname@county.gov.uk.

If that fails then call and ask the school secretary or email the head/ admin with a bold statement at the start of the email FAO SENCO PLEASE FORWARD.

Your email looks like a good start. You don't need to over think. Just keep getting things down in writing. Periodically, say once a fortnight send the next progress/ chasing mail.

Parent partnership will help you once they're in touch. As a parent you can apply direct for a statement of educational need to show you're serious, but this might be one for after CAMH's have started assessment.

I would end what you've written by adding a line 'I am available on these dates/ times'.

insanityscratching Thu 04-Jul-13 22:14:47

Have you requested a statutory assessment by writing to the LA? It's just I'm not clear where you asked for a statement and got nothing. Have you been refused (by the LA)? Look on IPSEA here and SOSSEN here and use their helplines to get advice. Parent patnerships are very variable and some are partisan as they are employed by the LA.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 22:24:56

I asked teacher about applying for statement - to be told there's no point as they are hard to get. hmm (more than once)

DS went through a stage - before the biting and segregation of begging to move schools. I mentioned to teacher how concerned I was he was that unhappy but how it wouldn't solve 99% of problems as his difficulties would follow him. I asked for support and more involvement from SN people at school. Her helpful solution was to look into trial days at other schools to see if he preferred elsewhere - basically passing the buck.

insanityscratching Thu 04-Jul-13 22:34:57

Schools aren't always happy about statements tbh particularly when they don't bring funding because they give parents the legal right to ensure their child's needs are met.
You need to document everything, so conversations need noting who, where, what was said, and then followed up by email along the lines of further to our conversation today...... Every incident document it, every concern you put to the school do it in writing and keep a copy. The paper trail is vital to secure support for your child, if it's not documented school could deny all knowledge.
On the MN special needs board you will get brilliant advice and support from parents who have been where you are now and have fought and won so do pop in and ask for advice

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 04-Jul-13 22:38:33

They are hard to get but not impossible. Schools can apply, parents can apply or ideally both. If you're rejected you can appeal but there is a waiting period before you can reapply - Its about a year from memory but parent partnership will help you. The process of applying means he will get assessed and you can request input from people like the Ed psyc.

One more possible route to help could be the school nurse if you can find out via your GP who it is.

We got a statement for DS1 a few months ago 'by the power of mumsnet'.

Not to be discouraging but he does have an ASD diagnosis from CAMH's, many years SALT input, behavioural therapy input, occupational therapy input and lots of Ed psyc reports. He's had a 1-1 for three years and been on school action plus for the same amount of time.

Ideally you need paperwork to back up your statement application so start emailing. If you find yourself with a few spare hours, hard to come by I know, you could do a big summary bullet point email of all the meetings and events to date. You could supply this to parent partnership too to help you brief them.

I got absolutely fed up with things at one stage and a lovely lady from parent partnership came to a meeting with me. It helped my sanity.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 22:48:15

Thanks - again 2 extremely helpful and brilliant posts full of advice. I've got some paper trail - even written to confirm some discussions.
I need to email again about last meeting, what was agreed and demand Sn update and follow up meeting. Then say I want to meet SENCo.
Tbh DS could cope ATM without a statement - he's fine in class other than literacy being extremely poor.
I have his document from dst with poor working memory details so can ask for evidence in what they are doing to address this.
I would want a statement for 5 hours over lunch. Basically school say they cannot provide someone to support him so he was buddied up with the other boy - who I believe has a 1:1. That didn't work so DS has his own buddy. I am convinced I can argue my case that they need to provide 1:1 if he's segregated under medical needs ( has epipen so should be supervised) and therefore he may as we have - and should have a 1:1 at lunchtime to support him socially and help him integrate.

What's both reassuring and lovey to hear and also so compelling to prove my point is the few patents I have spoke to and explained why DS is driers red cannot believe he'd ever hurt let alone bite another child ( or 3 in 5 minutes!). Goes to show the power of anxiety when it takes hold.

OneInEight Fri 05-Jul-13 09:27:01

Just to emphasise your son has a right to a statement on the grounds of behaviour/social communication difficulties even if academically he is fine. We were in your position at the start of the year so applied as parents for statutory assessment which was accepted and we will hopefully get a finalised statement in a couple of weeks. My sons were academically above average but have very challenging behaviour at school. We were told by both school and education psychologist we would not get a statement but it went through the panel first time. Even if it is not granted it forces the school to get all their paperwork in place so is worth doing on those grounds alone.

Labro Fri 05-Jul-13 16:39:33

If he is on school action, what does his IEP say?
Only asking as when ds was in yr 3, he was moved from SA to SA+, at this point the Senco was actually asked by the Ed Psych to back off as the Ed Psych felt Senco was 'attempting to diagnose dc with a syndrome' is it possible because of the referral to CAMHS that the school Senco has been told not to cross the wires further? This effectively means that CAMHS can make valid suggestions as to what would help your ds and do their own observations rather than relying on something that isn't currently working.
An outside agency often provides a fresh pair of eyes and can be much more productive for the child.
As an example, ds yr 3 teacher 'self diagnosed' my ds with "autism and aspergers' when after intervention from ed psych and paeditrician, with extensive observations, they were able to say ds was in fact extremely bright, was being bullied by his teacher and that the Senco wasn't doing the observations she claimed! Speak to your gp, speak to camhs and parent partnership and make sure they are putting the right types of intervention in place x

mrz Fri 05-Jul-13 18:17:02

If he is SA and has an IEP the SENCO is involved

youarewinning Fri 05-Jul-13 22:28:46

mrz unfortunatly not. There have been numerous times I have asked for a meeting - it's never happened. DS has interventions twice a week for 20 minutes for literacy with a TA. (who is lovely btw!). But even when they wrote the IEP it was the teacher and not done with me and SENCo involved.

labro thats interesting about the SENCo being told to back off. We have never had SENCo involvement and my frequent questions about how long school will leave things before ed pysch involved ha never been answered. Hence why I went through GP to Camhs myself.

onein I'm going to wait until after options meeting with Camhs and then apply myself. Thankyou.

armani Fri 05-Jul-13 23:25:30

You have nothing to lose by applying for a statement, even if the LA refuse to assess you have the right to appeal and you can apply again if and when you feel appropriate. You only have to wait six months if they already assess and then decide your ds doesn't need a statement.
I would recommend giving IPSEA a call they are fab. Good luck smile

mrz Sat 06-Jul-13 06:28:47

The SENCO is responsible for maintaining the SEN register (SA, SA+ and Statments of SEN) and IEPs. In many schools the head will also be the SENCO.

mrz Sat 06-Jul-13 06:30:35

Do You mean Educational Psychologist rather than SENCO?

youarewinning Sat 06-Jul-13 20:24:01

No SENCo - I have never met her. I asked to meet her last week after many requests and office informed me message from SENCo was - there's no point as she has very little to do with DS and doesn't see him. I pointed out I wanted the call because I want to meet with her to discuss social needs of DS - especially now Camhs are involved as they'll want information from school. I asked if they could get head to ring me so I could arrange this through him. DS teacher spoke to me Tuesday and said driers toon not long term solution - I agreed and I said to arrange to meet.
DS asked his teacher about being allowed some time outside with friends and teacher told him she'd need to speak to me first. Still hasn't contacted me.
I sent s note in Friday about calling me to arrange meeting about moving forward - still nothing.

Sorry if it sounds like I'm ranting at you - I'm not (honestly!) I'm just fed up with a total lack of support.

I have a child who spends half his life looking like a rabbit in the headlights imunder any social situation who cannot communicate effectively with his peers now they are maturing in their social development. He's being left behind and it seems no one gives a shit sad

youarewinning Sat 06-Jul-13 20:25:35

Driers toon?! = separated!

mrz Sat 06-Jul-13 20:38:27

I'm a SENCO and can't believe a school works this way shock Contact Parent Partnership for support in arranging a meeting.

beautifulgirls Sat 06-Jul-13 20:48:21

Why don't you pop over to special needs children as a topic and post over there. Lots of parents there who will have advice as many of us have faced issues with schools and provision for their children.

I would personally book an appointment with the head, don't let the office know why if they ask, tell them it is personal and don't be fobbed off with them telling you they can't book you an appointment. Stand firm until you get that booked and then when you have the head face to face tell them exactly how things need to be and that you are not going to stand for your child being excluded from his peers at lunch time with no efforts to support his obvious needs. In addition those days where he is not going to go out to play (and he will stay in some of the time most likely even with support in place) then he is not being effectively supervised given his known issues, and that as the school are in charge of his health and welfare you will hold them responsible for any issues resulting from him not being properly cared for. Failure to even try to support his social issues meaning that he is isolated from his peers is basically disability discrimination. Put your foot down and insist that the SENCO is involved from here in getting the appropriate support put in place now.

Don't pussy foot around, say what you want and what you expect. If the school haven't listened to tactfully put requests then it is time to get tough.

youarewinning Sat 06-Jul-13 21:12:57

Thanks mrz I called Thursday and left PP a message. Call back is 2-3 days. I can't believe they've worked like this either.

youarewinning Sat 06-Jul-13 21:14:16

beautiful Fab post> I may print that and read from it to the head!

beautifulgirls Sat 06-Jul-13 22:01:20

Feel free - you need to stand firm with some schools. We were lucky and had an infant school that supported DD well and listened. When she moved to the linked Junior school however entirely different story. You can do this and don't feel bad for standing up for your child.

sbutton Mon 08-Jul-13 20:46:49

I'm having the same issues with my sons school. He is having separated breaks/lunchtime too because he ends up fighting and getting angry.

I've asked the school to get the senco involved, emailed the head -nothing back sad spoke to teacher expressed my concerns ie dyslexia etc.

I am also at the end of my tether. These replies are very helpful.

Hope you get something sorted soon xx

popgoestheweezel Tue 09-Jul-13 12:14:20

sbutton, forward the email to the head again and politely but firmly ask for a response asap. It's shocking to not reply to a parent.

youarewinning Tue 09-Jul-13 20:50:13

Have rang school - apparently SENCo not in much so they haven't had a chance to catch her yet. hmm

Re iterated how important it is with Camhs appointment coming up - did point out Camhs will come in and want to see what strategies are in place and how they work wink

Parent partnership rang Monday - they were shock at the fact SENCo not already involved. Case worker is ringing me soon.

Good luck sbutton hope this thread helps. Stick around - ak any questions you want.

MisForMumNotMaid Tue 09-Jul-13 22:59:12

It is a school based thing but at my DH's school you can't have a responsibility point i.e. be SENCO unless you work full time.

Keep going. Some times it doesn't feel like it but you are making progress.

Not trying to bang on but did you follow the call with an email?

I.e. just to confirm what we discussed at x time on y day. School have been unable to communicate with SENCO.

Please could you confirm that these questions are passed to SENCO and a response is made by the end of this school week due to the approaching summer break.

We wish to ensure we start the new academic year with a clear plan with targets identified.

mrz Wed 10-Jul-13 17:30:21

Is it a state school?

youarewinning Wed 10-Jul-13 20:58:42

yes state school.

And good news grin

After ringing again yesterday and following up with an email - school rang me today to make an appointment for tomorrow after school with current and future teacher and SENCo. I may have mentioned in call and reiterated in email that Camhs would want to know what school are doing - as he's segregated- and so far we have nothing documented. wink grin

So points for discussion:

DS entered year 3 a 2b writer, ended year 3 a 2b writer. Still 2b in year 4 midyear. I pushed for IEP and SA (SEN register). DS still 2b writer.
So, school disputed his level when he entered (this was after 18 months at school on same level and me asking why). I agree he wasn't even a level 2 - more a 1a but............. why has he made only 2 sublevels in 2 year3 (if you use a 1a) instead of expected 3 and why hasn't anything been done as he should be making accelerated progress.

What support, what IEP will be drawn up for social needs, how will they ensure he is adequetly supervised if he' segregated due to his medical needs?

I'm going to be firm - I am not going to accept no problems at school when he has them everywhere else, even his cubs group are aware of how socially unable he is.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 11-Jul-13 21:06:22

Good news.

I find it helps my train of thought if I make simple notes before meetings. Sometimes with several others (on the defensive) in the room, I get a little flustered. After I leave I go through all the things I planned to say or how I could have answered back with witty retourts.

Having bullet point notes gives me the guidance to keep things on my track.

If the cubs leader is up for it, getting a few lines written of unusual or different behaviour in comparisson to observations of peers behaviour could be beneficial with CAMH's building a picture.

Sounds like you've really got the bit between your teeth now. Good for you.

youarewinning Thu 11-Jul-13 22:00:21

Meeting went fairly well I thought.

Agreed plan of action including getting DS on PAVES again, regular intervention by ELSA (who apparently already pops in to see him when she has time hmm - first I've heard of it). I suggested red/green card for getting help when he couldn't communicate, he's going to have phased and supported inclusion back into the playground with his peers. I suggested a visual timetable and timer so DS knows what he has to do and can see the time pass, then he gets adult support and then has to work alone again. His teacher then mentioned how he needs to know exactly how much he has to do, eg how many sentences he has to write, or how many lines, or how many questions he has to answer. (again first this has been mentioned). I did say he likes a challenge so if they wanted him to do 15 questions, tell him 10, if he's got them right give him a reward and offer him further reward for doing 5 more. His new teacher does raffle tickets for a raffle at the end of the week. I said this would work, however if a week is too long for him as turns out its not tangable enough could we agree a number of tickets he has to get daily and he can have a daily reward - eg 5 minutes computer time at end of day? DS does not handle verbal praise very well at all. confused.
Teacher agreed when I suggested his literacy skills being poor due to the fact he lacks the social and emotional language, she mentioned (again) the fact he does not read fiction - but did admit they have tried at school too and it's been a failure - for the first time I didn't feel like they blamed this on me. I even told the SENCo how I had got beast quest etc - she said that's usually the one that encourage boys! It was agreed it seems he doesn't get interested in fiction and he doesn't get the characters, and even when reading fiction text for comprehension his answers are more factual than feeling. Teacher agreed with me that his imagination is limited to what he knows as fact.
I asked that any work they do with him at school on social skills, and they are going to do work on how to ask children if he can play, I get a copy for home. I said it would help if we all did the same things and would be easier for DS as transference of skills and linked up thinking is really poor in him.

Interestingly enough his teacher totally sees and agrees with me about what I see in him, the anxiousness. I asked if she has observed how his eyes dart around everyone in a group, how his twiddles his hands or fiddles, how he plays alongside but not with people, how his facial expressions don't always match what he's saying and his tone of voice. We did say how we find it interesting how he doesn't read social clues off other children but seems to get adults. She also mentioned about hi wide eyed shocked look he does at times - often when he's spoken to and seems to correspond with him not knowing how to translate what been said and answer.

SENCo said "It'll be interesting to see what Camhs say" confused

MisForMumNotMaid Fri 12-Jul-13 22:39:47

It will be interesting to see what CAMHS say. Just a quiet, hopefully friendly word of warning about CAMHS, it isn't a one appointment then recommendation kind of place. I had one meeting with a lovely lady, who then allocated the case to another lady. She then met with me, me and DS, DS at school, me several more times getting the history, got reports from all professionals involved with DS then proceeded with recommendations that were agreed at whatever the meeting is they have and then we got a thick draft report to review make comment on, then a diagnosis report. In our case ASD, ADHD, Dyspraxia and Meares Irlen.

Today was good progress. Its always nice when the topic gets beyond politics and everyone actually talks about the childs needs.

Does he have the same teacher in September?

Do you feel good about it?

You're defiantly the one in control now. Hopefully you can wind down a little now and enjoy some of the sunshine over the weekend.

BackforGood Sat 13-Jul-13 16:20:31

Glad to hear you've made some progress.
What I would do in future though, is make a point of recording the time and date and name of person who is telling you things, like "SENCo isn't in much so haven't had time to catch up with her" and "there's no point as she has very little to do with DS and doesn't see him", and let them know (if it's by phone) that you would like their name as you are making a note of the message, as you do with all messages and replies form the school. I find it tends to focus the mind.
I also find it helps if you arrange the next meeting whilst you are all in the room at the first one..... so I would have said "Can we all meet up on 19th Sept then to check he's settled in OK, that x and y are running and see if there have been any issues with his transition that we can iron out then, once his new teacher has got to know him".

youarewinning Sat 13-Jul-13 20:05:22

Great advice back but SENCo is retiring at end of term. She is going to pass this in to her successor. He also has a different teacher (which is a good thing as current ones a drip!)

misfor it will be interesting. I suspect well end up heading down the asd route. DS is a carbon copy of my brothers mate who has AS. The pair of them together are hysterical - it's like the enter some parallel universe!!!!
I'm aiming for support most and formost but understand that there's sometimes a dx at the end of it. I reckoned the process would be at least a year? I'm hoping the fact I have to apply for secondary school place next year means they'll sort it before then. There are some fab schools with attached units round here but in not sure if I would have to apply for one when normal applications ate out through or if he's statemented during that year he can still get a place? I know it sounds like I'm jumping the gun but ill do everything I can to get what's right for my boy!

youarewinning Sat 13-Jul-13 20:07:41

I did get his school report yesterday. Was quite interesting!!!

2a - writing
3c - reading
4c - maths.

Achieving in other subjects and exceeding in ICT!

BackforGood Sat 13-Jul-13 22:38:39

If I've read it right, your ds is just finishing Yr4 ?

If it were my child, and I thought he might need specialist provision, I would be applying for Statutory Assessment NOW. (Parents can apply to the LA, it doesn't have to come from the school).
In my Authority, parents of children who have a Statement are asked about secondary provision in the Yr5 review. All other children need to apply for secondary schools by the beginning of October in Yr 6. You can't get into a Resources Base, or any sort of specialist provision without a Statement. Here (although there are a couple of excellent advisors on here who say there can be exceptions - I've never come across it) you can't leap to the top of priority admissions without a Statement.... you will end up in the queue on siblings, then distance, etc., rather than being able to select a more suitable school.
Getting a medical diagnosis will not = getting a Statement, that will have to be applied for as a separate thing.
It takes 26 weeks from when SA starts, until it is complete, but if you are waiting for the school to have a new SENCo start, and then wait for an EP referral (who may well say they'd like to see the IEPs running for a bit before taking any further action), you are risking your Statement not being in place in time to get any priority choice of secondary.

You're certainly not jumping the gun, it sounds as if things should have been moving a long time since, if you feel he needs speicalist help for secondary.
Apologies if I've mis read anything - it's just I know parents are often surprised how long all this stuff takes, and how far ahead you need to be making sure things are moving in the right direction.

youarewinning Sat 13-Jul-13 22:44:02

I've been asking about statement all year - apparently they are hard to get. He is finishing year 4.

I have options appointment with camhs in sept and definitely going to apply for statement as soon as we have a plan of what they are going to do. At least then ill have back up. Thankyou

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