I'm a teacher and happy to answer any questions

(316 Posts)
DellaF83 Sat 21-Sep-13 02:46:47

Hi, I'm an experienced primary school teacher and happy to answer any questions anyone may have.

mykingdomforasleep Sat 21-Sep-13 02:54:04

Great - my son is 3 and interested in letters. My natural reaction is to do ABC etc how I learnt a looong time ago and 'a is for apple' etc but I am sure this is wrong, wrong, wrong due to phonics now so how should I approach this? I was a very very early reader so don't remember how I learnt at all. Thanks!

Fairyloo Sat 21-Sep-13 02:59:57

Do you enjoy working 9-3 and your long summer holidays?


Campaspe Sat 21-Sep-13 07:47:11

Hi Della, that is a kind offer. You might find you are inundated! I have a question: what should a child be able to do in terms of English and Maths to reach the expected level at the end of year 2?

Euphemia Sat 21-Sep-13 07:47:49

How do I teach ICT to a class of 23 with two ancient PCs running Windows 2003?


Pizzahutlover Sat 21-Sep-13 12:27:29

Thats nice of you della

Wellthen Sat 21-Sep-13 18:17:29

Can you think of a geunine question where the answer isn't 'google it' or 'ask your child's teacher'?

TeenAndTween Sat 21-Sep-13 18:26:25

In your experience, what percentage of just-turned-9 year olds are unable to walk down stairs 'adult style' without holding onto a bannister? (genuine question).

NationMcKinley Sat 21-Sep-13 18:30:29

Evening! What's the best way to help a 6.5 year old learn spellings? He's vg at reading - was free reading half way through year 1 - but is finding spellings quite tricky. Obv don't want him getting bored with the constant repetition. Thanks! smile

CaptainSweatPants Sat 21-Sep-13 18:33:17

Are you striking?!

insanityscratching Sat 21-Sep-13 19:02:11

Do you find the parent of a child with SEN a pita when they want to advise you on how to get the best from their child? Are you happy to work in partnership with them? Do you write SMART ieps from scratch or do you get them from the bank resources online? How often do you think ieps should be reviewed?

nextphase Sat 21-Sep-13 19:24:11

How many kids can actually read or write when they start reception?
When you send homework, how much parental involvement do you expect (again, reception)?
e.g. we've just had home write out a line of 'a's. I let him try the first few, but then started giving him dots to join, and also guiding his hand sometimes. Was I too involved? ie teacher can't actually see what he can do?

YoureBeingADick Sat 21-Sep-13 19:27:56

brave della! grin Good luck smile

ChipAndSpud Sat 21-Sep-13 19:29:18

What advice would you give to parents on how to prepare their children for starting school?

My DS is only 21 months, but school is all my friends with similar aged children talk about!

YoniMontana Sat 21-Sep-13 19:31:51

Should you teach your children to read before they begin primary school?

CPtart Sat 21-Sep-13 19:35:44

What one piece of advice would you give the parents of a child about to begin year six??

InkleWinkle Sat 21-Sep-13 19:37:11

Are you ever going to come back to this thread?

ClayDavis Sat 21-Sep-13 19:42:20

What were you thinking when you decided to start this thread?

Good luck OP.

lalalonglegs Sat 21-Sep-13 19:49:35

Della - you were up very late when you posted possibly after a enjoyable night out - are you regretting your offer now smile?

exoticfruits Sat 21-Sep-13 19:55:29

I expect OP has had second thoughts!

27cats Sat 21-Sep-13 20:01:22

How much do Reception class teachers actually use the Learning Journey type information that Early Years practitioners like myself forward onto them? My impression is that their usefulness is very limited and we are worrying ourselves over them unnecessarily, but that no-one would actually come out and admit it!

mrz Sat 21-Sep-13 20:11:53

I can answer that one 27cats ... not at all. I really don't have time to read 30 Learning Journeys I need a brief summary with any significant information clearly highlighted.

mrz Sat 21-Sep-13 20:14:22

and I don't really need to see what they were doing up to 5 terms ago just what they can do now smile

Do the children who have an statement with 1:1 specified have that person with them for all of those allocated hours, or do you utilise the extra person in your classroom to help you manage the difficult children who you believe are in more need of support or who have parents who have not shouted so loud?

27cats Sat 21-Sep-13 20:33:45

Thanks mrz, suspected as much. smile

picnicbasketcase Sat 21-Sep-13 20:36:58

If a train travels from Carlisle at 135mph, why are sperm whales in any way relevant to my question?

Euphemia Sat 21-Sep-13 21:03:02

picnic grin

rabbitstew Sat 21-Sep-13 21:05:04

I can answer that one. Sperm whales are actually relevant to everything. The power behind the throne in this country is actually a huge sperm whale hidden in the cellars of Buckingham Palace. David Cameron visits it nightly.

ClayDavis Sat 21-Sep-13 21:27:48

I though the royal family were lizard overlords not sperm whale overlords.

<realises I may have been reading too much David Icke>

mineofuselessinformation Sat 21-Sep-13 21:40:25

Blimey, OP didn't last long, did she? grin

measuringcup Sat 21-Sep-13 21:43:33

I want to know why sats questions are designed to trick children? I have worked in many roles and my boss has never asked me if jack and How's combined ages are 61 and bob and bill's are 96 how old is the youngest brother Fred?


measuringcup Sat 21-Sep-13 21:47:24

On a more serious note can I ask for dc to be withdrawn from Sats if they aren't meeting level 3?

How do I help a child who just can't remember timetables no matter how much we practice?

How can I improve writing skills

FavoriteThings Sat 21-Sep-13 21:49:34

Maybe she lives overseas.

Would you advise parents to ask for advice about their child's education from a random stranger on the Internet -who could really just be a hairy arsed truckdriver-- or would it be better to speak to their actual teacher?

measuringcup Sat 21-Sep-13 21:58:22

I also want to know if teachers welcome parents asking question or dread when they approach in the playground.

Pizzahutlover Sat 21-Sep-13 22:33:32

Shes gone lots of laughs you all put her off smile

Euphemia Sun 22-Sep-13 07:17:23

measuring I'm always happy to have questions. Just don't take it as a personal insult when I tell you your child can't do something yet. smile I am helping him/her to attain that goal. smile

TheGerontocracy Sun 22-Sep-13 07:21:06

Why did you pick Primary instead of Secondary?

Did you think your subject knowledge wasn't good enough?


mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 07:26:05

Could it be because the OP said they are a primary teacher TheGerontocracy?

SweepTheHalls Sun 22-Sep-13 07:43:56

Primary and secondary teaching is entirely different. I couldn't teach primary as the idea of such a wide range of subjects and the same children in front of me with virtually no break for 6hours is awful, so I teach secondary!

Euphemia Sun 22-Sep-13 07:48:58

I could not, could NOT deal with teenagers every day, so I teach Primary! smile

jasminerose Sun 22-Sep-13 07:55:14

If in the pilot only 40% reached the expected levels on elgs targets what were the percentages reached in the first year? I dont know where to find the answer. Thanks

SaltySeaBird Sun 22-Sep-13 07:57:02

I've been considering a career change into teaching on and off for a number of years.

Everyone says the PGCE and NCT years are very intense, what are your experiences, either your own or that of others you've worked with (I have a 12mo so I'm not sure whether to wait a few more years).

How family friendly is the profession? Opportunities for part time work etc and are the term time working hours as hideous as most teachers I've met say?

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 07:57:25

They haven't been published yet jasminerose

jasminerose Sun 22-Sep-13 08:08:29

Thank you mrz

NewNameforNewTerm Sun 22-Sep-13 09:27:53

I can answer Starlight. These are the scenarios when a pupil's TA will not be working one-to-one with them during the school day: -
When I, as class teacher, am spending some one-to-one or small group time teaching them and the TA (HLTA) is supporting the rest of the class.
When it is an activity that requires group work, then the TA will have more children with her to create that group.
When it is not in the best interests of the child. e.g. the IEP is focusing on peer social interactions; you can't do that on your own with a TA, or if the child is becoming more dependent on that TA than is necessary or healthy. In which case I would sometimes expect the TA to start the child on the given activity, then move away for a few minutes (maybe helping other pupils within the room), returning to check at regular intervals that the child understands what is expected, is on task and coping.

Whilst I recognise the enormous value of one-to-one TAs, there are issues where I have concerns; -
That they are used to withdraw children from lessons too often. Children have a right to be taught by the teacher.
They facilitate children in avoiding thinking for themselves and developing independence at a level that they are actually capable of.
They actually prevent, rather than facilitate as some people assume, the child's integration into the class group by isolating them from their peers during group activities.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 10:49:52

But Newname if it's specified and quantified as 1 to 1 then the parent will undoubtedly have gone to Tribunal, used expert witnesses and had assessments done by specialists ( because LA's if left unchallenged will issue wishy washy statements) who have determined that 1 to 1 is what is needed. So by utilising a TA as you see fit you are in fact not meeting the statement (a legal document) and considering yourself more knowledgeable than the experts.
I speak as the parent of a ds who had a statement specifying 1 to 1 since his first days in nursery who now in an independent specialist school works happily 1 to 3 and a dd who has a statement giving her more support than she needs and so I don't mind her TA picking up other children.

NewNameforNewTerm Sun 22-Sep-13 11:09:33

That is where the letter of the law and statements fall down. How do I address the "develop social interactions with their peers" aspect of a statement or "develop self help skills", or "work independently" with the expectation of constant one-to-one? Once I sit another child with the group it is no longer one-to-one. But the statement requires developing skills to work with peers. ... Can you see what I'm frustrated by?
Following the letter of the law / statement would mean the child sitting one-to-one with the TA and no other children.

I am not considering myself "more knowledgeable" than the "experts" I am saying the statements are often contradictory.

As a parent would you rather a child with a statement has a TA who just does all the academic work with / for her or him and so the child never really integrates into a mainstream school or has an opportunity to work with friends. I realise parents do have to fight their child's corner, but as a SENCo I will also say some statements are barmy in their contradictions or lack of understanding of how children with SEN still have a right to be part of a peer group.

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 11:24:59

I agree for some children having a TA attached at the hip creates a child dependent on a single adult far better they receive support from the teacher when appropriate. Of course there will be some children whose needs are such they need that level of support I just haven't met one who needs the same person with them 24/7.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee Sun 22-Sep-13 11:30:28

I'm a TA for a child with SEN and NNNT I couldn't agree more.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 11:32:14

But in effect it is highly unlikely that any statement will specify 1 to 1 for the whole of the school day to take account of the fact that a child needs peer interaction.
I think parents experiences generally are though that teachers seem to consider a child's dedicated TA to be fair game for supporting other children/ photocopying/ wall displays etc rather than providing the support that is specified on the child's statement.
Dd is in a lovely school with a qualified and experienced TA (as stated on her statement) Because her teacher is sensitive to her needs then dd is very independent and needs minimum support from her TA and in that instance I don't care two hoots that her TA works with other children whilst dd works elsewhere but I'd say that I am in a minority because generally because of financial restraints statements cover the bare minimum of what a child needs rather than providing excessive resources to be shared out by teachers as they see fit.

NewNameforNewTerm Sun 22-Sep-13 11:38:23

I must be lucky, insanity, as in my school and all the others in my area (great SENCo support network which includes visits to each other's schools) I have only seen support as I have discussed, rather than those you have concerns about.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 11:42:10

Oh and ds did have 1 to 1 for the whole of the day (initially for the safety of the others in the class/school) but he had a team of TA's that worked with him and group work would be done with the most able who didn't require support so that the TA only had to support him rather than with other children who needed support as well.

NewNameforNewTerm Sun 22-Sep-13 11:43:55

It is not group work if they are all working independently.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 11:49:47

Well if they were playing games to aid his social skills the group would consist of those who could take turns and share without support (ds needed no academic support he'd got reading writing spelling and numeracy nailed before he started school) So in the group there wouldn't be another child who had difficulty with what the TA was supporting ds to do should I say.

DameDeepRedBetty Sun 22-Sep-13 11:53:45

OP never posted under this nn before. And it was in the middle of the night. Just sayin...

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 11:59:53

I don't know any school that doesn't use SEN TA's to support other children besides the child the support is attached to tbh But schools, SENcos and SEN TA's themselves are hardly going to be open about the fact that they aren't necessarily meeting the statement and are short changing the statemented child are they? Even dd's teacher squirmed initially when she let slip that her TA is doing a reading recovery programme with children not in dd's class and does nurture group with other children when her twenty hours worked are on dd's statement.As I say dd is thriving so for me it's not a problem but most statemented children aren't so fortunate to have excessive support that can be shared out.

NewNameforNewTerm Sun 22-Sep-13 12:01:53

I think we are both getting bogged down in our differing views on when social learning take place, what group work means and how often it takes place, etc, insanity. I feel we are both coming from very different experiences so don't think our discussion is actually productive to this thread.
My year 2 lessons often have short teacher input (whole class, TA supporting named child), then tasks that continue and extend that area of learning (all differentiated depending on children's needs), but often the academic learning also has an additional learning objective or delivery method that requires group or collaborative learning. This addresses both moving the maths (or whatever) forward but also facilitates the social aspect of some of the IEPs and statements (and other children who need to work on cooperation) I have in my class. I don't just facilitate social skills at breaktime or when playing games. Team work, talk partner, reciprocal teaching, all extend each child's academic learning at the same time.
It is difficult for us not to get bogged down in semantics but your example of the child playing a game with peers is in a group so not pure 1:1 TA support, even if the others don't need reminders to wait their turn. The TA will still be discussing the game with the other children, extending their language, thinking skills, academic learning that is intrinsic to the game given.
It is really hard to try and put this learning into a vacuum of the child with SEN being in a busy, dynamic classroom with their TA and not expect the adult to interact (and as a result support) other children.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 12:03:58

It's such a shame that statements still suggest a specific number of 'hours' which is widely interpreted as time that a child should have an adult velcroed to them.

I hope the new breed of plans will clearly outline the type of support and arrangements that would benefit a child and provide a block of funding for it.

NewNameforNewTerm Sun 22-Sep-13 12:13:15

Completely agree Inclusionist. Hours on statements and the insistence that the child has exactly as written can lead to the worst possible practice in weak schools that won't fight for those children. Stick little Johnny (apologies to any parents of a Johnny!) in the corner on a table by himself with his TA (or worst outside the classroom) so he gets his legal 25 hours support from his TA, without interruption by other children or it being diluted by group work when other children are on the table.
Exactly the practise I saw when newly qualified nearly 20 years ago. Thank goodness it has changed and pray it changes further.

NewNameforNewTerm Sun 22-Sep-13 12:15:21

Whoops ... sorry... my turn to get a bit ranty! Home alone as DH taken children to church, then out to family as I recover from last week's D&V. Too befuddled to do school work, but feeling passionate about a little chap I am fighting to support in my school.
I'll bow out of this thread now blush

As there are now a number of teachers on this post (just apparently not the op) can I ask would any of you at any point say to a parent that school is just not working for their child and they should consider home schooling or would you continue to put up with the limitations of legislation and funding and try to support that child in a school environment even though it is obvious that without some fundamental unachievable changes the child is not going to be adequately educated in the current school environment.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 12:28:14

Ds and dd have been well served by the statemented system , nether spent time outside the classroom to be fair (well apart from when ds bolted) But they had statements from three, I chose schools that suited them (not the OFSTED outstanding catchment one) and I worked hard to build good relationships with their teachers and statements here bring full funding so schools see it as worth their while having statemented children I suppose.
It's my last year of it all anyway ds is 19 soon and I'm taking dd out after y6 as there isn't anywhere for her to go next year because I am realistic in what support I can expect for dd.
I don't expect the new system to be better, just cheaper with fewer resources and more children failed.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 12:38:06

yawning I am taking dd out from July, her teacher whilst not saying that she won't thrive in secondary (because it's not the done thing I suppose) admits that she is very vulnerable and supports that I know her best.
The head of the unit (maintained) ds attended before he moved to independent specialist put his neck on the line by informing the LA his needs were greater than what a unit and 1 to 1 support could offer. He only did that because he had the backing of the HT who was very helpful to my solicitor wink (SENCo warned him not to) and it was an academy school so he was less vulnerable.
I think LA's deter schools quite effectively from speaking out tbh.

measuringcup Sun 22-Sep-13 12:39:52

Kind of agree with MrZ, one of mine had a ta full time , same ta everyday, they are now at different school who have now removed ta only she doesn't have the skills to work independently sad

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 13:00:44

Can I ask that if it's quite legitimate practice to use TA's attached to statemented children to support other children why, during the last OFSTED inspection, when dd's TA was off sick was I introduced to a TA who would be covering her TA's absence and worked alongside dd when usually she wouldn't be covered (it wouldn't be a problem to me or dd who was actually confused by their presence because she doesn't usually have a TA close by tbh)?
Surely if during a normal school week it is fine and dandy for the TA not to be with the child assigned then it's fine and dandy during inspection?

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 13:39:04

It really depends on the wording of the statement

NewName 'When I, as class teacher, am spending some one-to-one or small group time teaching them and the TA (HLTA) is supporting the rest of the class.'

But this is not what their statement says if the 1:1 is specified. Doesn't the 1:1 need to be present in order to learn from the teacher what the next steps are for that child? The 'rest of the class' learning at such time should surely be dealt with in the same way as the rest of the class would be when the teacher spends 1:1 time with any other child.

'When it is an activity that requires group work, then the TA will have more children with her to create that group.'

Why? Surely whoever takes the group 'has the group' and the child's specified 1:1 supports that child in that group?'

'When it is not in the best interests of the child.'

But if it is specified in a statement that the child should receive full-time 1:1, you cannot override it with your own opinion of what is in the child's best interest. If it is specified there will have been a lot of evidence and expert recommendation that that is what the child needs to progress.

'the IEP is focusing on peer social interactions; you can't do that on your own with a TA'

It really depends on where the child is. Often they would have to begin by practising social skills and communication with an adult who can control their response and reward the interaction, but later on their 1:1 would have to set up small group or one of one interaction practise sessions with another child or two. In those instances, though there are other children, the TA is still there exclusively for that child and so fulfils the definition of 1:1.

'or if the child is becoming more dependent on that TA than is necessary or healthy.'

There should be no circumstances when a child becomes dependent on a TA, but if they do so, the answer is not to remove their support but give the TA additional training to ensure this doesn't happen.

'In which case I would sometimes expect the TA to start the child on the given activity, then move away for a few minutes (maybe helping other pupils within the room), returning to check at regular intervals that the child understands what is expected, is on task and coping.'

This has the biggest and most detrimental effect of teachers overriding the content of the statement. 1:1 in a statement means that that TA is EXCLUSIVELY for that child. The TA should not start the child, nor move away. The TA should step back and allow the child to work out as much of the activity as possible and begin. The TA is supposed to act like a shadow, monitoring the child's activity and stepping in as quick as lightening to redirect, reinforce, mend any social faux pas and use information gleaned from that lesson to work with the teacher to write the targets for next week from the things they found difficult.

They should NOT leave the child and help other children.

1:1 doesn't mean the child has a velcroed TA. It means that the TA is charged with no other duty but to support the child. If the teacher thinks that the child is too independent for that level of support he/she can raise it at the next annual review and have the statement amended or recommend an early annual review. He/She has NO business flouting the terms of the statement.

'Whilst I recognise the enormous value of one-to-one TAs, there are issues where I have concerns; - '
'That they are used to withdraw children from lessons too often.'

But that is surely a matter for the teacher. TAs don't do this off their own backs and the teacher not the TA is responsible for the education of the child.

'Children have a right to be taught by the teacher.'

Yes, but this right does not extend to enabling the teacher to remove their support that is specified in their statement'.

'They facilitate children in avoiding thinking for themselves and developing independence at a level that they are actually capable of.'

That's a generalisation but if it happens it means the teacher has not instructed the TA well enough or the TA has not been trained adequately. Poor quality TAing is not a good enough reason for refusing a child support that they have been awarded based on a long drawn out and in depth assessment.

'They actually prevent, rather than facilitate as some people assume, the child's integration into the class group by isolating them from their peers during group activities.'

Again, only a poor TA under the supervision of a poor teacher would do this.

'That is where the letter of the law and statements fall down. How do I address the "develop social interactions with their peers" aspect of a statement or "develop self help skills", or "work independently" with the expectation of constant one-to-one? Once I sit another child with the group it is no longer one-to-one.'

Have you ever asked for clarification on this? It means that the TA is exclusively responsible for the child. The 1:1 applies to THEM, not the child. It means that in groups situations the 1:1 is focussed on the child who has them specified in their statement who supports them in the group. This might mean sitting next to them prompting every syllable, or it might mean standing well back monitoring the interaction and taking notes for additional work on reciprocation, or it might mean pre-preparing a couple of good role models to act in a way that will allow their charge to practise a skills. It simply means that that TA is utilised exclusively for that child.

'But the statement requires developing skills to work with peers. ... Can you see what I'm frustrated by?'

But this is where many children need their 1:1 most, to act as mentioned in previous paragraph.

'Following the letter of the law / statement would mean the child sitting one-to-one with the TA and no other children.'

No it doesn't. It means that the child has an adult exclusively focused on them with their individual needs at the heart of their actions. That sometimes will mean no action and just watching, but it still all about that child and so is still 1:1.

'I am not considering myself "more knowledgeable" than the "experts" I am saying the statements are often contradictory'

But schools get input into those statements. There is no need for them to be contradictory.

'As a SENCo I will also say some statements are barmy in their contradictions or lack of understanding of how children with SEN still have a right to be part of a peer group.'

How does having 1:1 support deny a child the right to be a part of a peer group?

For many children with social and communication difficulties, the only way they could ever have a hope of accessing that group is with support, and targeted support, and specific teaching of social skills and then support to practise them. All of this requires an adult to be working with them and tracking the progress in minute detail, given the complexities of social interaction.

And 'barmy' statements need to be addressed by the school before they become final statements, not just ignored once they arrived as being ridiculous.

That is unfair on the child, the parents, the system and often the TA.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 14:18:04

Read the Diss report Starlight. It is a researched phenomenon that children with a high volume of 1:1 TA support make slower progress that children with the same needs who are encouraged and supported to be more independent.

I have no idea why you would want somebody, who lets face it could have been on the checkouts at Tesco's the week before, constantly helicoptering around your child at times when they don't need it.

It is a misconception to think that the SEN Case Officer who put the statement together thought really, really carefully about exactly the type and amount of support the child would most benefit from. They really have not sat there and looked at the child's timetable and said ok.. they need help changing their shoes, that's 23 minutes a week.. somebody to set them up at their workstation at the start of each independent activity, that's 110mins a week....

They have just used 'hours' as a funding currency to reflect roughly how needy the child is. I know this to be fact because I sit on my LEA panel where this process is pulled together and proposed statements agreed. Most people on the panel who agree the hours have never even met the child.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 22-Sep-13 14:27:10

OP never posted under this nn before. And it was in the middle of the night. Just sayin...

I know what you mean...but what kind of hairy handed truck driver IS this? It must just be a very optimistic one - he's waiting for someone to come along and say: "Well, I don't have any questions about phonics but I have a panty-related question. Mine are very tight and sometimes the lace is scratchy on my willing thigh area. What can I do?"

If that doesn't bring the OP back, nothing will. wink

LizzyDay Sun 22-Sep-13 14:29:47

I always imagined that 1:1 meant that the TA was there for that child only and therefore always had to be available (ie in the same room).

Not necessarily to be sitting beside the child and substituting for interaction from the teacher and other children, but just to provide appropriate support and importantly, be there if the child shows signs of distress / need and requires their intervention.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 14:31:25

But mrz dd's statement is exactly the same whether or not OFSTED are in so if it is legitimate for her TA to do reading recovery with children not in her class and nurture with other children (and remember I don't have a problem because dd is thriving) then surely school should have no problem with OFSTED seeing that. I'd imagine though that it's not legitimate because dd's statement doesn't mention that her TA is to be used to support children with literacy difficulties because dd has none and nurture group isn't appropriate for dd either and so isn't mentioned in her statement.
To be honest dd would have been better left unsupported because the TA wasn't on a par with her own TA and didn't work how dd is used to working so it was more a bum on a seat that working support anyway.

'Read the Diss report Starlight. It is a researched phenomenon that children with a high volume of 1:1 TA support make slower progress that children with the same needs who are encouraged and supported to be more independent.'

I have read it. The conclusion is nothing of the sort. You are implying here that children with TAs cannot be encouraged and supported to be independent. That is almost certainly true in a system of unspecified provision with woolly and quantified support from untrained people who are utilised at whim by the class teacher.

If you read some of the research on ABA trained TAs in a mainstream classroom you'll see an extremely different picture, with the children often making progress at a faster rate than their peers.

However when that support is specified there is no room at all for the TA to be used flexibly to make up budget or staffing shortfalls in a school and so schools fight very hard against it.

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 14:38:14

Fantastic posts Starlight

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 14:39:55

I'm assuming the terms of your daughter's statement specify that she has (named) 1-1 and that the school had not been honouring the statement to the letter but decided that Ofsted might question the provision when they visited.

Some statements are very loosely worded specifying how many sessions per week or percentages rather than actual hours of support. Others state hours and name who will provide the support

'It is a misconception to think that the SEN Case Officer who put the statement together thought really, really carefully about exactly the type and amount of support the child would most benefit from'

Of course not. They take the recommendation from Educational Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and other who HAVE thought long and hard about how many hours of support a child might need and have experience of making those recommendations. If there is a disagreement between the professionals the parents have a right to appeal before a tribunal, who think even extra hard about the number of hours a child needs.

A classroom teacher therefore has no right to make a decision that the provision so carefully considered is either barmy or unnecessary and override it, particularly in the case of a vulnerable child who may have communication difficulties the prevent the parents from ever finding out.

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 14:45:12

Here here star

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 22-Sep-13 14:50:44

The problem as I see it is the TA's role in the current model of 'inclusion' premised as it is on:

-inclusion in large classes

-with teachers who often know very little about SEN/disability and are unable to naturally make reasonable adjustments without those adjustments being compelled by the requirements of the statement. Not blaming teachers - but how many have in-depth SEN training??

- in a school system that is, perhaps understandably, built on a model of compliance in which all children must do the same thing all the time and if they don't, or can't, then they lead a different life with a TA

This creates an 'opt in' or 'opt out' model of education - exclusion within an inclusive environment. A child is either in the class or out. Either doing PE or not etc etc. With a TA or not.

A TA is supposed to create the flexibility to bridge that gap between the child and the peer group and encourage the development of core skills but, in my experience, this seldom works because TAs may not have the skills,training, understanding or support to address this. Or perhaps, sometimes, it is just not able to be addressed.

Further, teachers routinely abdicate responsibility to the TA rather than work out how best to apply their support.

My son has been supported by a TA and a teacher (acting) working as a TA and both experiences have been absolutely dreadful for him. He is sensitive to being treated differently and the school model just doesn't work for him.

However, I think that if more flexibility about being in and out of the classroom had been present earlier on, and properly trained staff had been available, than he would have had a chance of integrating.

At the end of the day, TAs can be absolutely vital at helping children manage mainstream schooling but the model on which they work (a dump and run model of delegation) is frequently why it also fails.

Smaller class sizes, more teachers, less TAs and more flexibility is what would help make inclusion work.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Sun 22-Sep-13 14:50:48

Odd. Very, very odd.

Still - you all seem to have found something to chat about smile

inappropriatelyemployed Sun 22-Sep-13 14:54:10

Oh, and better training and understanding of the basic SENs children are likely to encounter.

Nearly 1 in 5 children have an SEN within our system. Most of these SEN also constitute disabilities under the Equality Act.

We have got to stop seeing SEN as an optional add on - something for TAs and SENCOs - and start mainstreaming these issues.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 15:14:05

But starlight the hours are just in brackets. 12, 15, 25 or 35. How accurate do you think that can be? Does a child given 25 need 25 or 15.5?

Of course expert advise is fed in but it really isn't the magic wand process you think it is- which is why there is recognition that it must be changed to become more child centred. The very fact that the new model is being designed to reflect children's needs accurately must tell you that the current system doesn't??

I completely agree innapropriate.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 15:15:09


Tavv Sun 22-Sep-13 15:16:55

> Odd. Very, very odd.

I agree Chipping. It sounds like someone researching for an essay or article headed "What are the main things people would want to ask a teacher?"

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 22-Sep-13 15:17:50

This debate has a certain irony for me. At tribunal the LA wanted DS1 to go to the local m/s secondary with, not one, but two, different TAs 1:1 for 32+ hours each week. The TA would meet him before he entered school and would be with him all the time.

I had named indi ss where DS1 would be in small classes but not need any 1:1 beyond therapy. He has Auditory Processing Disorder amongst other things and is unable to hear/understand in a normal sized classroom.

In some circumstances DC need different environments/things in order to begin learning rather than assuming a starting point where the child is sat in their seat, is listening, is able to hear/understand (including the implicit), is paying attention and concentrating on the teaching etc.

Nevertheless, the LA argued that the indi ss would be a barrier to his gaining skills of independence whereas their option (which cost more) could do so. In reality, in the environment of mainstream, DS1 would never be able to develop skills of independence (nor would he have be able to follow the NC).

So, local m/s with 32+ hours Velcro TAs and teaching of functional skills at high cost or indi ss, with no TA and access to the NC at lower cost? Of course it's a 'no-brainer' (after the event) - the LA lost but not without my taking time off work, spending £15k (£5k on the day of the hearing) and, worse of all, DS1 being unable to attend school for the best part of an academic year.

I would like to bet that the LA is responsible for any inconsistency in statements.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 15:19:54

I also think you are taking a very one child view on it (i.e. your own). You obviously feel strongly that your childs needs are best met by an untrained body trailing them for a set number of hours a week.

Please don't assume this is a one size fits all solution to SEN.

'The very fact that the new model is being designed to reflect children's needs accurately must tell you that the current system doesn't??'

That's a very odd conclusion and also not what I understand the new model to be about. IIRC it is about better cross-agency working, properly costing support, creating an illusion of parental choice and giving LAs an opportunity to get rid of a number of children who they are currently legally obligated to fund.

But in any case, full-time 1:1 is pretty straightforward as a concept, new model or old.

JesusInTheCabbageVan Sun 22-Sep-13 15:25:27

Tavv oooh, I hope my panties question gets in the article.

Very few children (probably none) can have their needs met by an untrained body trailing around after them.

I'd be very surprised if any Educational Psychologist recommended that to the Statementing Officer. I would certainly haul the LA into tribunal if they put that on my ds' statement.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 15:26:45

Teachers may not be experts in every sen but they are with the child in the classroom for an infinitely larger about of time than the experts sent to diagnose them. I have never once been given any rationale for what supported hours are supposed to be used for, never mind any expert opinion or support. I get a child, a label and set number of hours. Usually 5 or some such amount. I have a set of targets that a child needs to reach and am left to work out how best to achieve that. So yes I do make decisions about support given to children because otherwise nothing would happen. With the exception of children with very specific and intense needs where there are detailed tasks for support to achieve, all children are different but the experts do not have the time to really get to know the child. They calculate hours based on broad assumptions of a condition and the level of intensity perceived.

I make a decision based on what I think is best as a result of my knowledge of the child. Not a cut and paste statement that is years out of date.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 15:27:40

My step-daughter (who we have PR for)' s statement was drawn up on the reports made by a speech therapist who she met once for 20 minutes, an Ed Psych who visited her at school and spent just over half an hour with her in the school library, creating a single day's snapshot of her and the local authority's advisory teacher who had observed her over a year ago. Sorry, I have more faith in the teachers, who are with her day in day out, identifying what she needs than these three "experts". I have read the statements of two other children and they all look so similar and have obviously used some identikit template, despite the children all being so different.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 15:37:38

Needto statements that are quantified and specified are in the main based on independent reports ( paid for by parents) written by specialists and the statements written by a solicitor from an educational law firm (or by some very clever parents on the MNSN forum) and fought over at Tribunal. The general crap doled out by LA's based on reports by Ed psychs who are employed by them aren't worth the paper they are written on and are a reason why teachers can legitimately use assigned TA support as they choose.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 15:39:26

15hrs in my authority brings £12k. After on-costs this pays for a Level 1 TA (no training) for 15 hrs a week, pretty much exactly, including having to pay for their breaks.

Or, it could pay for 2hrs a week social skills training with a specialist HLTA, 2 sessions a week with a specialist dyslexia teacher, a block of drama therapy during the year and access to a nurture provision at break and lunchtimes.

Why would you assume the 1:1 model to be better?

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 15:41:23

Exactly soapbox.

'I make a decision based on what I think is best as a result of my knowledge of the child. Not a cut and paste statement that is years out of date.'

That out of date cut and paste statement is your duty to address, not ignore or flout the law because you think that an EP hadn't seen the child for long enough in your opinion.

If it specifies provision, the child is entitled by law to receive it and the child's parents has the expectation that that provision will be received.

If you have a problem with it for any reason, make it known at annual review time, or through the proper channels in order to trigger an annual review before then. It is not your call as to whether the provision within it should be followed or is relevant, though there is a proper formal process for dealing with that should you feel it ought to be.

When you make decisions not to follow the specifics of the statement do you inform the parents?

15hrs in my authority brings £12k.

That has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

A properly specified statement will indicate what support the child will receive during those 15 hours, not how much money the child will get.

Money does not meet need, specified provision does. I couldn't care less if the person providing support to my ds was a volunteer from the WI as long as they were appropriately trained to deliver the support my child needed.

I don't have to CHOOSE between a couple of hours of social skill groups with a HLTA or an untrained TA for 15 hours. That's ridiculous.

The statement will say what is needed. Perhaps it will specify both!?

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 15:46:50

"Why would you assume the 1:1 model to be better"????

Really? Good grief! Because access to what is being taught in class is rather more important than drama and nature areas and 2 sessions with a dyslexia teacher is not going to make up for terms of confusion and isolation.

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 15:48:31

If I felt a velcro TA (love the term) was detrimental to the child's progress I would always discuss my concerns with the parents.

Incidentally I have seen very little evidence-base for nurture groups, but schools seem to like them as respite for the teacher from the difficult kids.

OutedUnderOldName Sun 22-Sep-13 15:49:07

Starlight message does seem to come across as if she obsessed with the idea of the one-to-one assistant, superglued to the child and no one else is what SEN inclusion is all about. That this magical adult is the solution to all problems and gold standard to of what EVERY child with a SEN needs.

I do hope that this is just her opinion due to it working for her family, after what seems like a determined fight on her side. But please don't make such assumptions about what is best for my child and probably many other parents children.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 15:53:05

Starlight not once have I known a statement to be reviewed and hours cut. If I brought it up with head or senco they would tell me to use my professional judgement in what is best for the child. If that meant allowing the child to take part in activities without their ta glued to them. Then so be it.

If statements were these well written Road maps of how best to support a particular child, I would have no problem following them to a T. It would save me a hell of a lot of work. But they aren't. They simply state a warm body needs to sit next to child x for z number of hours. I have to use my judgement to best serve the child. Nobody else is doing it. They've done their job and allocated hours. How they are used is down to me.

I'll be damned if I'm going to have an expensive resource such as another adult sitting mute next to a statemented child who doesn't need them for that activity or is being supported in other ways.

Mrz, there are some really excellent teachers of MN. My posts are not aimed at all teachers.

However, my ds had been in no less than 6 schools by the age of 6 and from 5 of those I removed him because of the school and classroom teachers overrode the provision in the statement whilst pretending it was all going ahead.

They deemed his needs not to merit the provision in his statement and that was their argument after a very stressful number of months with me wondering if I was going crazy with suspicion, until they finally admitted that they felt there were other children in their school more needy and worthy of the support I had SOLD MY HOUSE to fund to prove and win at tribunal.

That is a substantial enough number of schools for me to believe the problem is wide-ranging, and having been on the MN boards for 4 years now I know that it wasn't simply our bad luck.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 15:54:45

I'm sorry starlight it is all about the money. I read statements day in, day out and they are not at all specific in the way you suggest. They do NOT detail the exact way provision should be delivered- just what the outcomes of the provision should be.

And yes- a choice has to be made between expensive, specialist provision or cheap blanket provision- there isn't enough money for both. At the moment parents do not get to make that decision. Under the new model you might have more choice, but that idea didn't work terribly well in the pathfinder authorities.

'Starlight not once have I known a statement to be reviewed and hours cut. If I brought it up with head or senco they would tell me to use my professional judgement in what is best for the child. If that meant allowing the child to take part in activities without their ta glued to them. Then so be it.'

But that is illegal, and you have no business doing this at your or the senco or HTs say so. I would like to suggest that it might be okay if the parent agreed it, but unfortunately they are not outside of the law either. If the statement says it, it MUST happen.

If you don't like the statement, address that through the formal channels. The reason statements aren't cut ime is because no school wants to lose the hours, ESPECIALLY if the child doesn't need them, because they can then use that for other things without having to fund their own TA. That is abuse of tax payers money and failing the child.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 15:58:06

Nurture groups have worked incredibly well for a group of children in my school. There is an issue to do with people using the name 'nurture group' when it isn't really that at all. Allowing some children to access normalised relationships with adults and children can be immensely useful.

'I read statements day in, day out and they are not at all specific in the way you suggest.'

Well I don't deny that. I read a lot of statements too. And I do understand that woolly statements (which are usually the draft statements finalised because parents don't realise how crap they are) need interpretation. But where they ARE specified, they must not be 'interpreted'.

'there isn't enough money for both'

There is plenty of money. It's just all gone on legitimising LA Advisory Services, defending tribunals against parents who know they're shit and don't feel that their service will make any difference in school, when it could and should be spend on skilling-up the very people who will actually WORK with the children, the TAs.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 16:08:05

No Starlight it's because I've never known a child who was needy enough to need a statement, make that much progress that removing the statement or reducing the hours was in their best interests. The odd lesson where other strategies are better for that child does not mean they should have their hours cut. They aren't handing statements out like confetti. Plenty of children who could do with them don't get them so if they are given one, they're problems ain't gonna be fixed over night.

The issues that you have had are about schools not providing allocated support at all or allocating it to other children. Which I know does happen. What I am talking about is, over time if the needs of the child warrant it, moving a ta to the next table along.

I find it amusing that you are telling me I can't make judgements about children I know very well but you can make them about every child with sen.

What you are suggesting is that I plonk a person next to a child and let them get on with it. I obviously can't direct them as I'm not the expert who hasn't given any details of what support should be anyway.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 16:09:50

I've never had a statement that mentioned anything other than a number of hours. The exception being children with a medical need.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 16:10:21

Ds and dd have been to six different primary schools, in all six, when the school could get away with it they would and have appropriated their support to the difficult to manage children or used it to boost their SATs results.
Ds and dd's statements are tight statements but to get the schools to meet those statements means that parents are put in the impossible position of trying to police the schools.
I know dd's support is used elsewhere at least the teacher has the good grace not to lie to my face and realises it's in the school's best interests to ensure that dd continues to thrive there if they want me to continue to turn a blind eye.

I'm not making judgements about any child. I am just directing you to the law. And however wonderful your 'professional opinion' might be the only available avenue to you to change a child's statemented provision, is to make recommendations at their annual review, or recommend the annual review be brought forward if you feel the changes are urgent.

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:13:37

Is it really surprising the system doesn't work if at "the point of sale" the law is being flouted.

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:14:13

Sorry "?"

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 16:15:25

OK, new question:
Does ASD have a genetic link? Do teachers see traits in the parents of children diagnosed with this condition?

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:19:20

Estimated 20% genetic link Sometimes see traits in parents and siblings

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:20:38

I'm pretty sure a primary school teachers take on what causes ASD and whether any one person has it, is as insightful as any other laypersons, needTo . confused

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 16:21:05

Soapbox that is shocking that every statement you have seen doesn't specify how those hours are to be used. Ds and dd's quantify everything from 20 minute session 3x per week with the physical literacy TA following X programme designed by the OT to ds's 1 x 45 minute session weekly with a SALT to address...... etc etc. If schools followed them to the letter they wouldn't have time to use their TA support for photocopying or booster groups so you can see why parents feel aggrieved.

ASD is unlikely to be one thing or have one cause. It's simply a list of observable behaviours that are consistent over time and context.

Hope that helps grin

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 16:23:37

Just thinking about a meeting we had with DSD's teacher and her mother! Wondering if the teacher was going "Ahh, now I see ..." as it is usually me or DH that has school contact.

Excellent point zzzzz. I have a friend who is a teacher with a husband who is a paediatrician and their child was diagnosed at age 14 though merited imo further investigation for red flags from the age of 2.

It really is a specialist thing.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 16:26:08

The system doesn't work because it is not properly funded and the people making the assessments are pressured by the people who are their employers and who will ultimately have to fund the hours stated, to not provide enough hours or the right type of support.

A pool of sen trained teachers and ta's who can go out for a length of time to properly assess a child and give real advice about how a child should be supported will make more of an impact.

I think most parents want their child to be properly supported and to make progress, than have a.n.other person plonked next to them for the required number of minutes. That's all that's in a statement gives. The rest is down to me.

That's not what my ds' statement said, though the CTs still felt they had a right to ignore it AS IF that was what it said.

The law doesn't say 'Do what the statement says unless you don't think you have enough money to'. confused

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 16:29:56

Exactly insanity. I wouldn't care but we have a mld unit attached to our school.

Generally the information I get is, child x is joining your class, they get x number of hours of support which Mrs Smith is going to cover. That's it. The exception being children with medical needs.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 16:32:04

Which is why so many lea's are quietly phasing statements out because the money isn't there. They are replacing them with other programs which on the surface seem like a better deal because support goes in faster but they have no legal standing and can be withdrawn at any time.

Well soap I can't see how you would have any problem defending your actions if a parent decided to Judicially review the Local Authority for failure to carry out the provision indicated in the statement.

In fact, I would expect a parent who allowed a statement to say that wouldn't know that they could unless you told them or directed them to the IPSEA website

I can understand, honestly, that you can only do your very best with a statement like that and that poorly specified wording must be pretty hard work to deal with and satisfy yourself that the needs of the child had been met.

Particularly when, ime, having a child with a statement specified 1:1 means you are further down the list for the allocation of classroom TAs.

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:34:40

Do I qualify for an opinion as the mother of an ASD child (with many traits myself)?

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:36:03

I love all this talk of the horror of having a TA plonked down next to you all day. It's the teachers job to tell the TA how to behave/support the child.

Let's imagine for a moment that you are posted through a magic door into a bustling fish market in central china.

Noise, smell, slippy floors overwhelm you.

You have no idea why you are there.
You need the loo and water keeps seeping into your socks.
There is a strange sharp voice singing on a radio and a group of people around you.
One of them is saying things, you can't make out what and everyone is either smirking at you or looking increasingly cross.

Would you rather have an escort ushering you through this insanity while you try to understand what is expected even if they can't speak your language or go it alone?

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:36:23

Oh and you're 6

There is LOADS of money.

Have you seen the FOI requests done about what has happened to pathfinder money? Mostly catering breakfast meetings iirc.

Money spent on tribunals? Shed loads, to defend the budget for a couple of years whilst a child deteriorates so far that they have undisputable Expensive needs and placements.

And then the funding of LA Advisory Service Empires who's sole job afaics is to convince schools that their SEN children are hopeless causes and their parents are too greedy whilst handing the classroom teacher generic strategies on badly photocopied paper and offering the odd 'how to manage a child with ASD' half days, rather than 'how to EDUCATE a child with ASD, meanwhile they enjoy their flexi-time and car allowance and tell their annual stories at Christmas about the poor little disabled children that they care so deeply about'.

Get rid of them. Give the money to TAs for training, and to parents for SALT and OT.

Well I wouldn't want a TA plonked anywhere near me.

I'd want someone to explain to me what was going on, and help me navigate it, reduce my fear and then help me to do better and more independently next time.

LOL Mrz.

I'm sure we all qualify for an opinion on ASD. But none of us can diagnose it, even if we think there might be red flags.

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:44:24

Mrsz of course you may have an opinion. All I said was a primary school teachers opinion on medical research/diagnosis is no more informed than any laypersons. A mother of a child with any dx could be expected to have read around, I guess, but that wasn't the distinguishing feature we were talking about.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 16:44:29

My point zzzzzz is that if I was to follow the letter of the statement since there is no further information about how the hours are to be used. Then that is what would happen.

I don't. I use my professional judgement to decide how that support should look. What it will mean for the child. However either my judgement should be used or it shouldn't. If not, give me a statement with even a hint of an idea of what the experts had in mind.

Again I'm not talking about the whole sale use of support being removed and put somewhere else. I'm talking about me as the teacher deciding that for some activities it isn't necessary. How else would I be able to see if a child still needed support or not if it was always there no matter what.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 16:44:32

Newto tbh plenty of professionalss don't recognise ASD traits and behaviours in children with ASD diagnoses (like our autism outreach service for instance) so the chances of them recognising it in their parents is anyone's guess. Ds and dd's paed whilst being pretty convinced their autism has a genetic cause states that he can see no evidence that either dh or I display autistic traits. I daresay it's been muted by some who would like to attribute my being difficult and demanding to something other than a parent doing her level best to get her children's needs met though.

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:46:57

I'm not diagnosing just noticing behaviour traits in common ...

back to zzzzzz point we have a number of pupils with ASD and none have statements and I it breaks my heart some days thinking of how anxious one little boy appears

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 16:48:04


NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 16:48:16

whoops smile

'How else would I be able to see if a child still needed support or not if it was always there no matter what.'

You look at the data and rate of progress against targets. Don't you?

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 16:50:04

zzzzz in that situation (lets say the playground or PE) I would want my usher holding my arm. When I got through the door of my quiet home (lets say maths) I would want them to bugger off.

And once (helped by a local specialist) I'd learned about the culture and knew to go to the quiet corner of the fishmarket, learned chinese and which kind of fish I liked I wouldn't want them to come to the fishmarket with me either. I would find it patonising, degrading and damned annoying if they still did.

And that Inclusionist is why statements have annual reviews.

WetGrass Sun 22-Sep-13 16:54:09

Has the OP returned?

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 16:54:54

Starlight the child I mentioned is doing fine according to the data and progress ... in fact that is why the EP doesn't feel they need a statement

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 16:56:42

Again Starlight you are generalizing. Some children will only make that progress with that support. Some children will always need it. Some children develop coping mechanisms or work through their difficulties and no longer need it.

Simply looking at progress levels is ignoring the overall experience of the child and specifically that child's needs. Especially for those children who need emotional or behavioural support.

'it breaks my heart some days thinking of how anxious one little boy appears'

Yes. Which is in part why some teachers would use another child's statemented TA to work with him.

Doesn't make it right or legal. Makes it understandable though, to everyone except the statemented child's parents who don't understand why if the other child needs support the school doesn't get it for them instead of nick their child's hard fought for support.

LizzyDay Sun 22-Sep-13 16:58:29

sorry to butt in - Mrz - would your opinion that the little boy seems extremely anxious and (presumably) finding it difficult to cope not count in the EP's assessment?

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 16:59:07

Considering how hard it is to get statemented support in the first place I would have to be damn sure the child didn't need it before I even hinted about getting the hours reviewed. If I'm wrong it will take a hell of a lot of work to get those hours back.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 17:00:07

Oh, come on. A year is far too far apart and there is no way we can call an interim review every time we want to make tweeks and adjustments to support to try to get it spot on for any given moment in time!!

One maths lesson might be a very active, practical lesson in a big open space where a child might need constant support. The next may be a consolidation lesson of a previously learned skill where the child can cope entirely independently with appropriate visual support.

Are you seriously saying you want me to call an annual review to ask if it's ok for the child to fly solo in certain maths lessons (or similar)??

I'm not talking about 'progress levels' as a noun, I'm talking about progress data as specific to that child.

For example, (forget the exact wording so forgive the clumsiness of this) one of my child's targets was 'to answer correctly 2 out of 3 questions about what the teacher was talking about at carpet time, immediately after the carpet time, and using questions about what the teacher was saying in the last 2 minutes. These questions (not answers) will be given to the child at the beginning of carpet time and he will be quietly reminded to look out for them 5 minutes before the end.

This target was introduced because it was the teachers professional opinion that ds was listening well during carpet time but had something wrong with his memory as he'd use good eye contact, nod in all the right places but completely forgot what he was supposed to do as soon as they all got up. This meant that his TA was free to clear up the back of the classroom during carpet time but then had to come and 'remind' him what to do.

This target demonstrated that his imitation skills were masking the fact that he didn't have the skills to listen to the teacher at carpet time, nor did he know he was supposed to. His teacher had decided that he was fully included at carpet time because he wasn't disruptive and was sitting on the carpet along with everyone else, and his TA would therefore create dependency or get in the way simply being 'plonked' next to him.

'Are you seriously saying you want me to call an annual review to ask if it's ok for the child to fly solo in certain maths lessons (or similar)??'

I am asking you to obey the law. Otherwise how can anyone have any faith in it?

I am further asking you to at the very least make the child's parents aware of your executive decision so that they can avail themselves of the right to challenge this under judicial review if they want to. Otherwise it is dishonest as well as illegal.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 17:10:27

Life is very black or white to you StarlightMcKenzie, isn't it. Does your life ever allow for shades of grey or adapting to changing circumstances?

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 17:12:51

Still though. A child assessed against nc levels or their own targets may or may not need the support. I can't call up a meeting to change the support on a daily basis in an attempt to get a full assessment picture. The experts aren't coming back to do it for me. They'll only come if an increase is requested.

If a child has a specific need that can easily be masked or thought to be something else the teacher needs to be furnished with this information so that they can make an accurate assessment.

If they already know are are being silly buggers then this is a separate issue.

You know nothing about my life of about the extreme 'adaptive' lengths I have gone too nor quite how 'changing' my circumstances have had to have been.

Don't make personal attacks.

I have no doubt that flouting the law is common in schools to an extent that it has become your common sense. But that doesn't make it legal, morally right or in anyway justifiable.

'We've always done it like that' or 'we can't be reasonably expected to follow our legal obligations' is just not acceptable, even in the most flexible of circumstances.

If a child needs provision to be flexible and that can be demonstrated, it can easily be written into the statement either when it is first drawn up or at the next annual review.

The full assessment picture has already been painted. That is the purpose of a statutory review which ends in the finalisation of a statement, or not, which you as a teacher or school have input into.

You don't need to then paint your own picture. You already have one.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 17:20:32

I was not making a personal attack I was commenting on your posts about there only being one way to fulfil a pupils needs if they have a statement.

What I have learnt from the support I have needed to give and seek at school for my DC is that rigidly following black or white processes has actually hindered her progress as it assumes that she is not capable of things and needs specific support. Removing that assumption has astounded both us and the school in the progress she is actually capable of.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 17:21:47

Are you saying this is good practise or not starlight? If you are saying it is good practise I don't understand why you would be happy with the TA clearing up the classroom?

I could understand it if you were saying you wanted the TA to be making observation notes about your DS, or spending time reading up on potential strategies. But surely to goodness if you think it is ok for them to be wandering about distracting the children clearing up, you wouldn't mind if they were up at the front with the teacher modelling paired tasks or providing some adult 'proximity' to a child with tricky behaviour (to keep the carpet quieter for your DS)???

'I was not making a personal attack I was commenting on your posts about there only being one way to fulfil a pupils needs if they have a statement.'

That isn't MY comment. It is the comment of the law.

If a child has a statement and it specified provision, that provision MUST be made until the statement is changed. There IS no other legal way. It isn't up for interpretation and there is no grey area.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 17:22:59

I obviously also see assessment differently to you. I see it as a continuous process, not a "full assessment picture" that has been finished.

mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 17:25:11

LizzyDay the EP has met the child and agrees he's very anxious as do other professionals (SALT & OT) who work with him but the EP data specific to him indicates he is making progress (not NC levels)

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 17:26:54

Sorry but that assumes I was involved in the first place. Many of the children I get come from other schools. Not all schools are particularly good at dealing with all types of need. Often we find the picture painted by the last school and experts is wholey inaccurate. Often because they aren't aware of the history of the family.

Sometimes the lack of safeguarding is frightening.

I might find that strategies that I put in place for my whole class mean than child x doesn't need as much support. However, knowing that means I won't alter his hours because he could move again or the next teacher does not behave the same way I do and they will again need extra support.

For children with full time support, it probably isn't beneficial to test out how they do independently as they must have a serious need in order to be allocated that amount of time. For children with fewer hours of support this picture is less clear.

Maybe I wasn't clear.

I was saying that the teacher felt my ds was fine on the carpet all by himself and so had his TA clearing up the classroom.

In reality he needed a lot of support on the carpet to be included anything more than physically. His statement required this. His teacher knew better. After TWO terms of this happening without anyone telling me I raised hell, wrote his IEP target similar to the one I put earlier and was able (through data collection) to demonstrate that he was very much in NEED of the support specified in his statement and therefore help at carpet time.

I found out by accident that he wasn't getting the support specified. I might never have known. His lack of progress being blamed on his disability rather than the fact that the teacher had decided he didn't need support.

Now I was telling the school what to do and they didn't like it. But I was only telling them to implement what was in his statement which was his right and entitlement by law to have implemented.

Need it doesn't matter how you SEE it. It isn't about different perspectives. It is about the law and a vulnerable child's protected right.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 17:32:42

So I and the school are forced to carry on the support detailed in the statement to the obvious detriment of my DSD until we can arrange another assessment and an early statement review? That is what I mean by black or white approaches and it is totally ridiculous.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 17:35:52


mrz Sun 22-Sep-13 17:37:33

You can request an early annual review Needto

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 17:38:55

So, I have a child with ASD with 25hrs who doesn't want a TA. He says he doesn't like feeling like somebody is always looking at him. Just the person who used to be his 1:1 being in the room makes him visibly anxious. He was crying at home because of the 1:1 in the mainstream classroom (he chooses to go to the Resource for breaks, sometimes taking mainstream friends with him, because he recognises that the playground is too noisy).

Child is making good progress with learning in all areas. His annual review is March. Would you really infict 1:1 on him until March because it is the law? Correct perhaps, but not very humane!!

I think cutting his hours would be bonkers because he may well need them again when he transfers to Secondary next year.

You don't need an assessment, just an review of the statement and that can happen immediately if it needs to, doesn't even have to be face to face..

However, please could you provide an example of where provision in a statement is detrimental to your dsd, because I'm finding it difficult to understand unless you have a very bizarrely worded statement.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 17:40:45

Yes, but it takes time to set up as DH & I need time off work and we want all the other professionals there, so lots of coordinating diaries. We've been told we need a new Ed Psych review and booking their time also takes several months to get an appointment and the report written up.

You can reword a statement that says reduced 1:1 until start or secondary.

really. it isn't that difficult. But it is the only legal way to proceed.

You don't need time off work. You don't need to be there.

You can't flout the law just because applying it is mildly inconvenient.

In reality however, the only people who are likely to insist the law is adhered to are the parents, so whilst I don't agree with it, you might get around the situation with a mutual agreement between the school and parents.

However to change provision without telling the parents or getting their agreement is imo dirty tactics, as you are underhandedly removing their right to apply the law.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 17:46:07

So my DH can send an email to the school SENCO with a copy to the LA saying. "I want my DD's statement changed to reduce the number of compulsory one-to-one hours, so that she can undertake some activities independently". Is that all he needs to do then the school won't be breaking the law by allowing her to work on independently directed research and writing tasks on her own in the classroom?

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 17:47:36

For those of you that break the law by ignoring children's statements as and when you see fit, can you not see that by making this common practice you are undermining the rights of ver vulnerable children? Can you not see that even if you are correct you lay the whole system open to abuse by less dedicated/gifted teachers?

Can any of you say hand on heart that you haven't seen statemented hours misused?

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 17:49:34

Honestly, starlight, if I did that the LEA would reduce his funding to reflect the reduced hours I said he needed.

Then it would take at least a few weeks for the Secondary to get it increased again- they would almost certainly have to prove that he wasn't coping there on the reduced hours. What happens to him while that process goes through? He misses out on increased support at exactly the moment he needs it.

Well they'd be breaking the law unless the statement changed, but you'd be sending a clear message to the school that as the only people who have any reason to hold them legally accountable, you are not going to.

They may well use that letter in the annual review or for any judicial review that you might later bring against them if you change your mind and I imagine it would offer them some protection.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 17:52:40

Inclusionist it sounds like that 1 to 1 isn't right for him. I'd be looking to have a team rather than one specified person, I'd be looking to see whether it was a clash of personalities, I'd be looking to see whether he needed a different approach but I wouldn't continue to inflict that particular TA on him no.
The TA who covered dd during OFSTED annoyed dd immensely because she was too present and dd's own TA floats in and out as needed also because dd is academically strong she felt patronised to be offered support with the academics ("I think they think I'm stupid" was dd's comment) It's not that support isn't needed it's the wrong type of support isn't needed I think.

It STILL doesn't give you any legal entitlement to deliver anything but the provision specified in his statement. If you don't like the behaviour of the LA, or the system they use you are well within your rights to get yourself on consultation panels, write to your counsellor, raise complaints.

What you are NOT entitled to do though, is break the law.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 17:53:47

Good. But do I understand that it wouldn't mean an instant change to her statement, so not really fully what we want if it is so black or white in the legal aspect of the educational world, as in theory they are still breaking the law by following this email's instructions.

But look at this thread. Loads of teachers are breaking the law without repercussions. Many of them think they have the moral high ground to do so, certainly in my ds' last 5 schools. I think it is fairly normalised in most schools so not the 'event' that it should be.

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 17:58:23

zzzzz if people are going to take action to the detriment of a statemented child, what I do is irrelevant. I do what is best for the children in my care and that is all because I can't control anyone else.

There is a massive difference between removing support or placing it with another child and moving a ta a seat away or placing a statemented child in a group with a ta.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 18:01:10

But I don't want it to have any repercussions on the school should there be another parent like you, starlightmckenzie, in our school who wants "the law is the law" approach and goes to a solicitor, newspaper or what ever people do when they are upset with the school's approach to their particular child.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 18:02:05

zzzz I haven't seen a school yet that doesn't in some way misuse statemented hours. My favourite had to be a secondary I viewed for ds who had a full time specified 1 to 1 statement who proposed that the TA's would be in the low attaining groups so I could choose for ds to attend the low attaining groups and share the TA in there or he could go where his academic needs were met unsupported. Funny really that I didn't take them up on their offer really hmm

Doobydoo Sun 22-Sep-13 18:06:29

Any of you have more than a 2.2?Also why are not children encouraged to think...state school obv...not private

soapboxqueen Sun 22-Sep-13 18:08:13

Yes Starlight. I actually have my ta running a small business out of my classroom so that I can have a little nest egg in my autumn years.grin

While there are plenty of schools who need there arses kicking, demanding that ta sit motionless next to a child because they are capable of taking part in a lesson independently serves no one. I'm not changing their hours because that statement goes with them and I can't guarantee that they won't need that support in their next class. Or that they'll be sent 20 steps back by an event at home which means all the progress we have made has evaporated.

I don't understand why you can't see the difference between a school failing to support a child and a school that is making small adjustments to help a child progress, become more independent etc

Ineedmorepatience Sun 22-Sep-13 18:09:04

Need I am not getting involved in statementing arguments because I dont know enough about them!

What I do know is that Parents like Starlight are advocating for their children who are legally entitled to have their needs met in school by so called professionals.

You should hang your head in shame sad

moosemama Sun 22-Sep-13 18:10:21

"Following the letter of the law / statement would mean the child sitting one-to-one with the TA and no other children."

I think that depends on the individual statement wording and how you are interpreting it. A TA can work 1:1 supporting a child with SEN to interact with their peers - they are there 1:1 with the child to focus only on their needs, advise and support, There is unlikely to be anything in the wording to preclude them from interacting with the other pupils, just from supporting them.

In some cases however, even this would be a step too far for the child's needs. In those cases, the 1:1 work with the TA is required to build the skills the pupil will need in order to start working with other pupils or working more independently. It might be reciprocal conversation skills, listening skills, tolerance of others' opinions and ideas and those are just off the top of my head. The TA and the statemented child would therefore need to work on developing those skills, before taking them on the road and using them whilst interacting with peers.

Statements aren't set in stone for the life of the child's education, they are reviewed annually for a reason. If a child has, as per their statement, been supported to gradually learn the skills they need to start either working with other pupils or working independently (depending on what the individual needs) this will be noted at the Annual Review and changes made to move towards less 1:1.

Yes, statements can seem prescriptive, but as insanity pointed out, a statement that is specified to that extent has usually come out of a long process of assessment and consultation with professionals who are fully qualified to decide how much or little support a child needs 'at that point in their education'.

I understand teachers sometimes feel that statements are prescriptive/constrictive, but it's a simple fact that teachers in the UK are not trained in SEN to a level which would allow them to make judgements on the level of support required for many children with SEN.

As a parent of a child who has Autism and has a statement that is tightly specified, there is nothing worse that being told by a teacher that they know better than the extensive team of professionals and experts who have done in depth assessments and consultations to decide the best way forward for their needs.

My ds's teacher spent the whole of last year trying to tell me (and anyone else who would listen) that he isn't autistic, because of course she would know better than the experts that diagnosed him via a lengthy and complicated multi-disciplinary team assessment, in conjunction with the school, LEA Ed Psyche and ASD Inclusion Team. She was wrong, yet she saw fit to ignore his statement for the whole year, undoing much of the hard work his team had put in the year before. She felt he didn't need the level of support specified in his statement and as a result he lost skills and ended up with massive anxiety, which of course she failed to see - because she's neither qualified or trained to do so.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 18:10:32

But Needto if your dsd's statement doesn't accurately identify her needs and the required provision it is no more useful than a statement that doesn't specify and quantify anything. You should be requesting a reassessment rather than your dsd attending a school and not receiving the right provision to meet her current needs.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 18:12:04

insanity we've switched TAs. All of our ASD kids have more than one TA on the strong advice of the ASD Service. The boy is very eloquent and self-aware and is very clear that, in class, he doesn't want an extra adult to help him.

His statement is all based around intervention that will ensure, that by the end of KS2, he can access mainstream education mainly independently so as far as I am concerned he is my poster child!

I'm still not going to have his funding cut though. Who knows, when the pressure of SATs kicks in he may need more support again.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 18:12:23

Sorry, I would be hanging my head in shame if I didn't fight for what my child needs even if it is not written in a legal document by "professionals" who may have knowledge about SEN but haven't taken the time to know my child.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 18:14:11

Her needs are being very well met, it is just not as prescribed in the statement, insanity.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 18:16:58

Any of you have more than a 2.2?

Don't know who you are talking to Doobydoo but I have a Ist from Oxford thanks. hmm

'in our school who wants "the law is the law" approach and goes to a solicitor, newspaper or what ever people do when they are upset with the school's approach to their particular child.'

The law IS the law. However what numpty would fund a solicitor or go to the papers to complain about their child not getting provision that would be detrimental to their progress should they have it? hmm

Upset with the school's approach? Well yes I would then - If their approach was to break the law to the DETRIMENT of my child's progress. I wouldn't be a responsible parent nor fulfilling my own legal duties for his welfare and education if I didn't challenge them through the official channels.

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 18:23:37

I thi k the 2:2 thing is a pop at primary school teachers from OP. ignore

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 18:25:17

You are fighting though for her to lose provision for which I am sure the LA will bite your hand off. You aren't fighting to have a proper assessment of her needs and for them to be identified and supported in a way that works.
I would want independent assessments made by ed psych, SALT and OT (probably cost you about £3000) if after that you were told that dsd was receiving more of the right tailored provision than was needed I'd be happy to reconsider the level of support.
I wouldn't be prepared to lose provision based on a 20 min observation by an LA employee or her teachers who have none of the specialist knowledge required.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 18:33:30

Inclusion dd in her current school has more support than she needs at present, there isn't a cat in hell's chance I am giving up a minute of that support because I am well aware how fragile that status is.
As it stands it is mutually beneficial that school and myself keep her hours, for now her TA picks up other children but her priority is dd and if her needs alter than the TA would have to drop the others to meet the statement exactly as specified.
Her school know they are onto a good thing that's why they are more than happy for me to choose the teacher for her who best meets her needs and so frees up TA time for children with needs but no support.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 18:37:03

"As it stands it is mutually beneficial that school and myself keep her hours, for now her TA picks up other children but her priority is dd and if her needs alter than the TA would have to drop the others to meet the statement exactly as specified."
I'd be really happy with this, but what I was addressing was starlight's determination that this is illegal and wrong and must not be tolerated.

NeedtoFightSmarter Sun 22-Sep-13 18:39:26

My DSD's SENCo has a MA in psychology, does that count as specialist knowledge to agree with what my husband and I have concluded about her support needs?

'I'd be really happy with this, but what I was addressing was starlight's determination that this is illegal and wrong and must not be tolerated.'

If it IS tolerated, then this undermines the rights of other vulnerable children. That is why the law exists, to protect their rights. If schools and parents could just get together and make it up, they'd be no point in a law or statementing.

As I said, in reality, the only people policing the law are parents, and if parents are on side with what the school is saying then there are unlikely to be any repercussions, though I would personally feel uncomfortable with the idea any change to provision is made without a thorough exploration of the implications with experts.

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 18:43:39

Well would you let someone with an MA in psychology diagnose her? Do her formal assessment? Decide independently what support she needs?

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 18:46:52

I think it is very different if a parent isn't kept in the dark and a child genuinely does have more support than is needed. I have never known any other child who genuinely has more support than is needed tbh but dd is in an exceptionally inclusive school with a teacher I have cherry picked. Our LA is incompetent and so haven't reassessed her needs in school in ages, they know I'd fight so don't take the risk wink for now she has more than needed that I'm happy to share.I know though that if at the weekend her teacher went on longterm sick she would need all the support specified, or if she moved school she would need all the support specified it's just in the very specific set of circumstances just now she has more than enough.

thegreylady Sun 22-Sep-13 18:47:30

Unless I have missed something the OP has not come back since the first post!

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 18:48:41

Until very recently the Ed Psych training was only an MA!

SEN Case officers who have responsibility for picking out which bits of the specialist advice make it into the statement don't necessarily have any post-graduate training.

OutedUnderOldName Sun 22-Sep-13 18:51:15

How do you cherry pick a specific teacher insanityscratching? Surely as your child moves through a school you have no control over which teacher they have? My son's school is four form entry and we have no say which class they go into let alone which of the 28 teachers that are in the school as staff shuffle round year groups.

LizzyDay Sun 22-Sep-13 18:54:31

Psychology is a very broad based subject - any given MA specialisation in it could be in a subject totally unrelated to ASD, children, or education. I'm fairly sure the undergraduate syllabus wouldn't cover ASD in education in any depth either.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 18:54:32

Thing is it all becomes a complete nonsense if your LA, as ours has, ha a policy of not amending Statements, unless for exceptional circumstances, for any other years than transition years. Those circumstances are basically being discharged from services.

Once amended the final Statements have taken nearly 2 years to reach us. Yet change in support is apparently 'effective' from review.

Makes a complete nonsense out of the whole thing....

I thought a computer did it.

zzzzz Sun 22-Sep-13 18:55:27

There's a huge difference between an EdPsych giving focused input based on observation (which is presumably what that MA involves) and a teacher who's done an MA in psychology giving her opinion as to how much or little support is needed in direct disagreement with the plethora of professionals who contributed to the statement.

daftdame, that is because until recently a parent couldn't appeal a statement unless it was amended.

Now they can do it at any annual review but I expect their policy has remained. Still, I'm fairly sure they'd reduce hours if you asked them as this represents money to them.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 18:56:44

star all the computer does is say 'No'. [Grin] wine

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 18:57:21

Oh yes I do I choose which class teacher she has. I speak with HT, her TA and her current class teacher and we discuss the possibles for next year. I choose by considering their strengths, personality, etc. At the AR I say which teacher I want for the following year and dd is placed with that teacher. I've never picked a bad one yet but if I was wrong I'd insist that dd was moved.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 18:57:54

We're waiting.....

LizzyDay Sun 22-Sep-13 18:58:13

zzzzzz - exactly

OutedUnderOldName Sun 22-Sep-13 19:01:27

Wow! You are very lucky having so much control.
So if you want Miss Bloggs, but she teaches in Y4 and your child is moving to Y1 she has to move to Y1? Or is it multiple form entry like my child's, but staff never move so you get to select between just a few? My child's class always move up en masse, remaining with their class mates, so I wonder how that would work if there were more than one statemented pupil in the class and the parents wanted different teachers?

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:02:47

I imagine the operators of said computers also coughing...a lot...

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:18:39

I've stopped complaining, positive affirmations only. My DC has been discharged for some years, only some hang on to the old cliches, no matter how irrelevant and never have been relevant.

Don't know how well this works! I have been positive for a barrage of complaints to be listed and negative for an exclamation of 'how far' my DC has 'come along'. I could play 'Devils's Advocate' but it is not my style. I tend to wait for(non) Annual Reviews and give a comprehensive, well researched report.

The IEPs are a joke and I think are in danger of becoming 'wish lists' (pay attention during 30 minutes of laborious 'reward assembly at 4) so I don't like to encourage those. Managed to get it down to 1 a year just by not reminding when they are due. I go in to every meeting, have been the 1 to 1 for trips and swimming in the past, even though there was funding.

Anyway it is a bloody good job my DC is progressing otherwise I really would be bald from tearing my hair out.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 19:21:31

There are three teachers in each year to choose from so I get a choice of three I don't get a choice of all the teachers in the school. Dd's AR is in May and so I will know who will be taking the following year groups. It's quite easy dd needs order and routine so the spontaneous and disorganised teachers I avoid, she can't cope with loud voices and so I tick them off as well. When her y3 teacher was a star and moved to year 4 dd went with her. Classes are mixed up each year so no one else is aware that I get to choose and I say nothing in the playground obviously.

Anyway, I have another question.

DD's school has a SENCO and a Head of Inclusion. What is the difference?

And if they are so committed to SEN that they can have two Leads, why on earth was there no child with SEN in the Welcoming Open event? (I asked and was told no, these are the cream of our school hmm).

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:35:06

I hate, hate, hate, that term 'cream of the crop'.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 19:38:32

Ooh Starlight dd is in the midst of everything no doubt because she takes the role of "the statemented child" or at least that's what I suspect when she tells me of the others chosen to speak to OFSTED, interview staff etc etc. That she's not at all representative of the children with statements in the school doesn't seem to matter.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:39:10

A better answer would have been, by far, 'There are...' (SEN children at Welcome Event, since SENs are not always apparent).

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 19:39:16

Inclusion Manager is probably on SLT and concerned primarily with quality of teaching and learning (including ensuring inclusive practise in classrooms) and tracking individual groups and 'closing the gap'. May pick up child protection too. This is me in my school, and I also manage the Resource.

SENCo probably does the statutory stuff- arranges and chairs annual reviews, maybe maintains the details of the provision map, organises external professionals etc.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:42:41

Ooh I dream of getting to see a 'provision map'. (Genuine articles only).

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:44:56

Especially one which is actually quantified. I feel quite faint at the thought.

Come on, answer some questions!

Thanks Inclusionist, at one of ds's last schools the SENCO changed her job title to Inclusion Manager and I assumed it was an update of terms.

But now my dd's school has both. But it is a big school. I imagine the SENCO alone would find it tough in that role alone for the whole school.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:49:44

When I mentioned, quantifying provision, during one Annual Review I got a 'What is this kind of witchcraft?' response.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 19:50:07

A rigorous provision map is a bloody hard thing to pin down. Especially if you include wave one intervention.

When I worked in a school with 35 kids (ss) it was do-able. Current school with 1000 kids, 200 on the register and 60 statements I always feel it is a reflection of last term's provision.

I've only ever seen one Provision Map.

It looked nothing like a map, more like a list, - of resources that one might come across at some time or other. Mostly irrelevant to us or ds.

It was very odd.

It came alone, but a DPA request shows the headteacher and LA back and forth for a week tweaking it.

It had things like 'Surestart centre monthly Saturday Dad's groups with free bacon roll' listed on it.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:52:27

Need to by law now though, if you want to apply for 'Higher Needs' funding.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 19:54:26

And it should be done, I know of no other business that cannot quantify resource.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 20:01:21

Since when were state schools businesses?

I can tell you figures that would satisfy Dragons Den, but they would make you weep. I will be recieving £303,975 top up funding this year. My current provision map costs £372,400p/a excluding wave one provision. I am under serious pressure to cut the £70grand that has to come out of school resources. Sometimes it is easier to NOT quantify the provision and just try to slip it through.

Alwayscheerful Sun 22-Sep-13 20:02:40

My little GD has just started in reception class, she loves her teacher, her teacher seems to like her, she has settled in well and has 7 merits already. The class are going on their first school trip to a farm soon.

It is a village school mostly very pleasant mums and children, one of the children is the daughter of a traveller family, recently homed by the council, in the village. Most of their neighbours are being kept up late due to bad language, lots of shouting and arguments and bad language. The school have a card system in place for bad behaviour, this little girl regularly receives red cards for spitting at children, swearing at the teacher (F words) and other bad behaviour. My DD is a bit shocked as my DGD has never experienced this sort of behaviour , should she mention it to the teacher and ask what the schools strategy is or do you think it is all in hand?

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 20:02:41

Any, yes, you have to justify the impact of a bloody bacon roll in terms of children's learning.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 20:06:58

The provision mapping is because schools have 'played the system'. Parents should see them, it is the account of how their child's additional funding has been spent. Schools should be accountable, like every other Government Body is.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 20:13:40

I don't think parents should be concerned with funding Daftdame. Dd's statement specifies number of hours and level of TA support required. I don't give a toss how much it costs or where the school funds it from (although at present statements in our LA are fully funded) That's for the number crunchers to figure out IMO. If things change and school have to fund from their resources then I'm happy enough to ensure that dd's statement is met to the letter whether that is at the expense of other children, the free breakfast club or LA employees pensions.If that makes me mercenary so be it .

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 20:17:48

I am concerned with funding, especially if it does not provide Value for money or if funds are misappropriated. Everything has cost, cost is the only element of SEN that can indicate severity of need, since it is the only quantifier. It is imperative that cost, is included in AR as well as more qualitative reporting.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 20:22:18

This parents shouldn't be concerned with cost is used by professionals to support the old completely opaque system. I am a big girl, I can cope with costings in all other walks of life, I do not like being patronised, intentionally or not.

MissStrawberry Sun 22-Sep-13 20:22:52

I suspect your questions are being used for something rather than the OP actually planning on answering random questions.


daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 20:27:29

MissStrawberry threads do go off on tangents on MN. It is related to teaching though.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 20:28:36

I don't think everything has a price and I don't think needs should be determined with an eye on the cost of services. Dd has 20 hours of support with a level 3 TA specified in her statement. Would I like to save the coffers money and agree to a level 1 TA or half her hours? No I wouldn't and if LA want to do that then they will have to go through Tribunal to try and force my hand. Whether funding is wasted on other things I don't care tbh they can stick up a statue of the HT in the foyer and paint the playground blue so long as dd's statement is maintained in full as it is.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 20:37:35

insanity we have had this conversation before. I understand what you have works for your DD but as a system I think it is unworkable.

If your DD's TA is supporting other children because she needs them to be around but 'hands off' what happens to the support for those children when your daughter is placed in another class / school? At the moment there is no incentive for the school to obtain proper support for these other children, but they don't have them for the whole of their education. Support should be accurately documented, this includes quantification, which will include costing to some degree.

WetAugust Sun 22-Sep-13 20:47:39

Sometimes it is easier to NOT quantify the provision and just try to slip it through.

That is a joke isn't it?

You wouldn't actually do that would you?

Well, as soon as the legislation is passed I'm going to ask for Direct Payments for all the bacon rolls.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 20:54:33

I would if it means we end up providing something that wouldn't be agreed to if I sucked my teeth and said 'well, it is good, but the resources are going to cost £300 quid and I have to send somebody out on a 2 day course, so that's £240 including their wages and travel...'

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 20:59:11

I'd happily provide the sodding bacon rolls myself! We don't want anymore of that factory farmed rubbish....

If you don't have the money to fulfil your statutory requirements and legal duty to the young and vulnerable children in your care, please do two things, in this order:

1) Be clear to the parents that the child is not receiving the provision they are legally entitled to.
2) Inform the LA in writing copying in the Chief Exec.
3) Take a salary cut or sell your interactive white boards. These are not protected by law and should not be kept at the expense of even one vulnerable child's life chances.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 21:02:33

But those children dd's TA picks up wouldn't get a statement anyway because whilst they have needs their needs wouldn't get a statement. Dd's school is hugely proactive in obtaining support but the LA aren't generous and can't secure statements for all children who could do with support. If dd's TA didn't pick them up they'd be picked up by one of the forty plus TA's in the school I'd imagine.
I understand fighting for support for your child and if your child has a statement then I'd be fighting to get it so that it met needs through Tribunal if needed. What I don't understand is fighting the system to determine whether all children are getting a bite of the cherry and whether what is given is good value though?
You are far more magnanimous than I could ever be and that's admirable. I suppose I don't really care all that much about the needs of others' children at the end of day and prefer to save my energy to fight for my own instead blush

A Saturday group for dads with free bacon roll did not as far as I can tell, meet any of the needs specified in part 2 of ds' statement or any need identified anywhere else.

Used to 'prove' that we were getting resources, rather than targeted resources to meet need was a bit hmm

So, again, DPs for bacon rolls please so I can spend them on ingredients for a cookery club for ds to have a focus, reduced need for eye contact a structure and common topic of interest for social interaction practise.

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 21:10:20

The stuff on a provision map isn't all statutory, it includes wave 2 and 3 intervention. Many (all) children with statements also recieve wave 1- 3 intervention that isn't detailed on their statement. You also have to feed in PPF and consider where there is crossover between SEN top up and PPF.

It is a bit of a dark art making the books balance, but I seriously resent your tone that suggests that I do not have the best interests of every child at heart and am sat with my feet up in my office eating bacon rolls laughing to myself about what lovely condiments you can buy with SEN funding.

Do you run a school or work at a managerial level in SEN services starlight? If not I find that last post pretty bloody patronising.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 21:10:34

insanity other's needs do matter to me, as well as my own child's. I cannot separate the two. A flawed system equals flawed support and distorted need. Truth and a transparent system matters to me as it affects how my child is viewed by society as a whole.

You wouldn't have found it patronising if I DID work at managerial level in SEN? hmm

I take it you don't mean the bacon roll post!?

Inclusionist Sun 22-Sep-13 21:17:33

You know, don't you, that a provision map details whole school provision? And that there are other children in the school besides yours?

Maybe the sure start centre in question had identified that improving fathers' engagement in their children's education would have a positive impact on learning and that dad's could be lured in with a free breakfast? The funding for this has to be detailed on the provision map.

The money for that doesn't come out of your kid's statemented 'hours'???

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 21:19:44

What about the individual provision mapping that replaces IEPs or the provision mapping that will be required to prove the 6k that has been spent before High Needs funding is applied for?

MuggedByTheSleepThief Sun 22-Sep-13 21:19:49

My son is just starting pre school effectively a year early - he was 7 wks prem, should have been born mid Sep but came in early Aug. This means he prem-ed himself into the year above. Apparently you can apply to have such cases reviewed by the local authority and have the child put into their 'gestational' year. Seeing stats for young kids and academic performance and knowing he is effectively even younger I am thinking about doing this. Do you have any experience of this, or advice? Thanks very much

PenguinBear Sun 22-Sep-13 21:20:56

Where did the op go? maybe I should start a simsr thread for Reception parents. grin

It doesn't come out of my child's statement hours but I'm not interested in provision, I'm interested in outcomes.

To put down all the things offered as if it is something wonderful when it makes no more difference to ds than to Uncle Jo down the road I found quite offensive, especially when used to deny support he does need on the basis of this supposed wonderful 'offering'.

I don't care what a school can offer. I only care what they are DOING and it's relevance to the children it is doing it for.

And so, imo should a good school.

In order to ascertain this, accountability and proper assessment of impact needs to be undertaken.

As it happens the bacon roll club was shut down because the SEN Officer blamed it for the increase in appeals.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 21:31:06

And that's where we differ, I'm happy to help parents fight for their own child and have at HT's request helped a parent get her child into an independent school funded by LA but if I was asked to give up some of dd's statement to help get the LA to fund their child then no I wouldn't.
Likewise I don't care that dd is "on the books" as a child with a statement because other than myself her teachers, the TA and the school governing body it's of no concern to anybody else, I'll use the statement to get dd into out of catchment schools and it won't particularly concern me that some other child might have to catch a bus as a consequence. I'll save my battles for my own children at the end of the day because they are the only ones I'm interested in winning.It could be selfishness or self preservation I suppose but I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with either.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 21:33:06

Starlight agree.

Since when was providing Bacon Rolls for your child's father, outside of school's time, relevant to making provision, as per a Statement which details educational provision? Does your child have an additional educational need which requires their father to consume Bacon Rolls?

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 21:42:12

insanity what about a child who has no diagnosis, who has been discharged by NHS professionals, who does not have 1 to 1 any longer, who is doing well, apart from when someone has a distorted image of what they are capable in their head and complains about their every flaw but does not actually use the support detailed in the Statement for them?

When IEPs are not quantified and buddying children systems are described as 'support' (like they are employed?!) as are suggestions of extra work parents can do with them (ditto earlier).

As I have said it is a good thing that it is possible to rise above all this...

MuggedByTheSleepThief Sun 22-Sep-13 21:49:09

Bugger just read the thread so no point in waiting for op, and now realise I posted in the middle of a different debate, still, anyone else have an insight regarding summer prems and education.....?

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 21:52:50

mugged flexible schooling for reception year? Schools will do it. Might just be delaying the 'hit' though. From what I hear many LAs will not put a child back a year without a fight.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 21:57:29

To be honest Daftdame I don't care about others' children.

I suppose everyone has stereotypical images of what a child with a statement is like they certainly don't conjure up a picture of dd who is very able academically and has no behavioural difficulties.

But in school dd is catered to according to her needs as the child in front of them and the stereotypical images go out the window IME. Dd works in top groups with children as able as she is, she'll most likely sit level six papers, her statement hasn't got in the way her statement has enabled her to fly.

It's very sad that not all children have the support they need but I won't beat myself up about that.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 22:07:47

insanity and I wouldn't want or expect you to beat yourself up about it. However the legislation has to provide for all these children, so scenarios other than the one(s) you are familiar with are equally relevant.

This is why I am interested in what happens to funding my child is (on paper) receiving to provide for their education. The cost should not be assigned to them if it is not used for them. Sometimes it all feels like an itemised restaurant bill we have received for another table.

MuggedByTheSleepThief Sun 22-Sep-13 22:08:10

Thanks Daft, I suppose I'd better roll up my sleeves then! Seems harsh that on top of a tough start in life these kids then find themselves effectively over a year younger than the oldest....I just feel terrible for him as it was my body that crapped out on him.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:09:27

Mugged ds went to school with a child who was out of year, I don't know the details but what I do know is that he started initially in his year group but his placement broke down, he was out of school for a while and then restarted in the year below at a different school. It is incredibly rare IME.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:14:54

Bit Daft why not fight to get you child's statement specified and quantified so as to force the school (or an independent specialist school even) to meet it to the letter? That would be a battle that you had a chance of winning and would ensure that your child got the provision he needed. Why take on a fight you won't win on the behalf of others who may be being short changed as well?

MuggedByTheSleepThief Sun 22-Sep-13 22:18:24

Many thanks insanity not encouraging but best to know the lay of the land. We are moving in nov so no point in engaging this LA, but will take up the cudgel with the next.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 22:21:36

insanity my child no longer needs a Statement, that is the point. Our LA does not have genuine Annual Reviews, they have a policy of not updating Statements. My DC's Statement is so out of date he no longer needs the provision detailed. He does not receive the provision. He has no diagnosis and has been discharged by outside agencies. Yet the school were happy for it all to carry on.....

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:23:14

Mugged the child wasn't an August baby but had SEN. Do you suspect that your child might have SEN because of his prematurity? If so it would probably be a good idea to get them documented now by seeing a developmental paediatrician and seeing exactly where his needs lie.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:27:16

But you have the option to appeal or to ask for reassessment you don't have to just leave things as they are. Have you been in touch with IPSEA or SOSSEN? they'd be very interested in the LA's illegal blanket policies.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 22:30:08

We're waiting for an outcome of the last AR at the moment. I also do not see why we should have to interrupt his education for reassessment. However no decisions have been made, as yet.

MuggedByTheSleepThief Sun 22-Sep-13 22:31:33

Insanity, no I don't think he has SEN, although it is early days obviously. I just think he is bloody young and can see him struggling once at school.

MuggedByTheSleepThief Sun 22-Sep-13 22:32:14

But will bear you advice in mind, thanks

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:35:06

I'd imagine the LA would snatch your hand off if they thought that the statement could be lapsed whether the school wanted it or not. Are you saying that any statement isn't needed or that the current statement isn't needed in the form it is because I'd imagine that a request for reassessment would cover both those eventualities.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:40:46

But reassessment by the LA will in reality mean very little disruption to your son's school day even a visit from the ed psych, maybe an observation and a one to one assessment. Visits from SALT (laughable) and OT if the statement has provision from them on it and maybe the Inclusion Service or at least that's what would happen here.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 22:42:56

No Statement is needed. He receives no where near 6k of additional support, has not for years. I won't be pushing for reassessment at this point in time, why inflict all that assessment on him? It would not be for his benefit, he has already being discharged. Why should he have to prove himself any further? His attainment is OK too.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:44:56

At the AR weren't you asked whether you believed the statement should continue to be maintained (I've been asked at every AR)? I'd imagine a No then would set the cat among the pigeons grin

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:49:47

So if after AR they decide no changes put in an appeal saying that you want the statement lapsed. They won't go to Tribunal, the LA won't even reassess they will do just as you ask and be punching the air with joy no doubt.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 22:50:45

I don't honestly know what the LA are up to.

I suspect they have a huge backlog of paperwork and previously, before the current legislation they had reduced the amount of funding they delegated initially to schools because more schools were applying for Statements. They would then delegate the funding received from Statements back to the schools. I suspect the administration cost was more than the funding they gave out.

Anyway the new legislation is being rolled out so we will have to see...

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 22:57:50

I have not being asked that question at AR. The school has, in the form they fill out. I had to request the paperwork retrospectively. The first time I did this it was met with shock. My reports were not submitted for the first two reviews. They have been this time (I hope, the school said they included it) with the school's report. If not I'll have to meet with the LA. Let's say the whole process has been a bit of a learning curve and very slow...

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 22:58:20

I don't then see why the school don't want the statement lapsed confused In our LA lapsing a statement would be a direct hit to the school's funding as they are fully funded but in a school where statements don't bring funding it would just give the school freedom to use those resources elsewhere.
Is your ds primary or secondary? Could the statement be useful in getting dc into a school you want? I'd consider all the implications before I gave it up though if I were you.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:01:50

On the contrary the Statement did bring funding in. Thats what I meant when I said once a Statement was awarded, the LA delegated back to the school, they were responsible for spending the funding to meet the Statement.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:03:02

Wow shock I get to approve what is sent to the LA and amend it as I see fit as well if I think it needs it hmm because school and I are a team and they consider my knowledge of dd as equally important.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:07:27

Obviously that is what I would like. I have been helpful, volunteered, the lot. My DC has settled there though. I don't know anywhere else locally that would be better and how would you fund out? Some of the teachers are lovely. The Statement and its whole process is a real millstone though. Completely different to our own experience I expect.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:08:10

Oh right so obviously school have a reason to want to keep it then. It's not good that paperwork is filled in retrospectively and that your input isn't seen by the LA sad I would send in my own input to the named person by registered post or by email and copy the school in tbh.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:09:21

'find out' and 'your own experience'

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:10:45

Hmm I might have to. I wanted to be able to trust them. sad

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:12:17

Well dd's school was recommended to me by the Early Years Teaching Service who were part of her MDA team. Dd doesn't attend the catchment school, I visited them all in a five mile radius, I spoke to parents, grilled HT's and SENCo's. I knew what I wanted and looked until I found it I suppose.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:14:21

My DS was Statemented in reception. I wanted him to attend the local school, it is our community, we are part of it.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:18:28

You see the statement should be a blessing rather than a millstone, you've done the hard bit by getting a statement now you just need to find the school who will use it to ensure your ds reaches his potential. If he's achieving and making progress without the statement just imagine what he could be doing with support tailored to his own particular needs.

vestandknickers Sun 22-Sep-13 23:20:36

Where is the Op.

I'd like to ask please - do you really like those "world's greatest teacher" mugs?

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:22:30

He is very intelligent but then I would say that, I'm his mother smile.

I don't want the support for him. I'm not a great fan of a great deal of the generic interventions that he has received. He has been happier since the support has tailed off.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:23:03

Dd had a statement before nursery and I wanted dd to attend the school that could best meet her needs and our catchment school (although OFSTED outstanding) would be poor in comparison to the school she's in. It's not important to me to be in the community I suppose because ds's school is 30 miles away dd's is just three away so feels local to me.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:25:13

I never wanted the Statement. I applied on the school's advice. I expected it to be reviewed properly.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:26:57

But school is about more than the academics isn't it? Dd has no academic support but has bucketloads of emotional support so that she can be included in absolutely everything and so that she has friends and is happy and content whilst there and isn't at the point of meltdown when she comes home.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:31:15

I wanted dd's needs met and I knew having a statement was the best way to ensure that they were. I wanted to have a say in how her needs were met and I wanted her to have that protection so that support couldn't be taken away on a whim or because other children had needs too.
We have completely opposite viewpoints and experiences don't we?

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:31:24

Emotional support? Don't know that they are qualified, we have had to terrible pop psychological gems...

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:35:39

hmm I have come to that conclusion, regarding the experiences. Yes they can certainly shape your views. I understand why you take the stance you do though, just know, from experience it is not all that is out there.

I'm not sure how representative my experiences are or even whether all who go through this would realize, so many want to trust the professionals. I did but just couldn't.

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:39:10

Dd's TA is hugely sensitive to dd, she can read her body language because I taught her, she knows where dd will struggle and is at hand equally she fades away so that dd can be independent when she chooses, she can prepare dd for all sorts of challenges, she can ease her path with teachers and peers. I'm not talking about sitting there showing her pictures of happy and sad faces I'm talking about someone who reacts and adapts to how dd is at any moment in time.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:40:56

Oh the happy and sad faces. What a joke. We have had this. Are they supposed to be magic or what?

MortifiedAdams Sun 22-Sep-13 23:43:57

Where is the OP?

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:46:00

I wouldn't say I trust them blindly because if I did I'd leave them to get on with it and I don't do that I keep a firm grip on the wheel. Dd's school is open with me and respects my opinions and I feel we are a team who want the best for her and work together to achieve that.

daftdame Sun 22-Sep-13 23:46:20

Bed I expect. It is where I'm off to now. Goodnight all!

insanityscratching Sun 22-Sep-13 23:50:25

No it's what schools think they should do rather than providing what a child actually needs. When I tell you that shock! horror! dd with ASD doesn't have a visual timetable because she doesn't need one even though Autism Outreach recommended she had one anyway hmm School and I nodded and smiled and carried on doing what works for dd instead grin

Oh gawd, visual timetables.

Autism Advisory insisted that ds used one of those 'to help him become independent of adult support', because obviously it is definitely cheaper preferable to be dependent on little pictures than have to get regular practising interacting with another person when you have ASD. Not.

What do they think he's going to do when he's an adult and unable to ask what is happening next?

Thymeandthymeagain Mon 23-Sep-13 00:34:23

Just want to thank you starlightmackenzie for your excellent posts that my exhausted brain would be unable to compile yet is able to agree with every word! And you've taught me new things too. Thanks for doggedly, painstakingly explaining the cause.

insanityscratching Mon 23-Sep-13 06:32:49

Starlight Autism Outreach are obsessed with visual supports round our way, left to them dd would never need to communicate with a living person she could do it all with laminated velcro backed symbols grin
God knows why I and school did our utmost to ensure that she could use her own voice to be heard when if left to them she wouldn't need to ever. Unless of course they are in cahoots with the equally dire and largely absent SALT grin.
Have you been treated to the feelings wheel? That is a joy to behold, still figuring out why they think it's preferable to use that instead of dd alerting her TA or teacher that she is struggling confused
Mind you it's hard to be enthusiastic about a service that couldn't pick out dd in a class of 25 even though I think it's glaringly obvious and needed the teacher to point her back to the right child when she lost track of her after playtime wink

mrz Mon 23-Sep-13 07:21:23

you have reminded me I have to make one for a child in my class (great advice hmm wonder why I didn't think that might be the solution to his difficulties)

OutedUnderOldName Mon 23-Sep-13 07:22:11

Isn't this example of visual timetables an example of school and parents knowing better than the "experts"? As mentioned previously in the thread, but criticised as teachers daring to think they knew better!

PS - VT doesn't work for us either.

daftdame Mon 23-Sep-13 07:39:55

We had one(VT), even though not ASD and could read the main Timetable on the wall at 4yrs anyway.

I'm not sure all the teachers do know better, although there are some lovely ones who have no preconceptions. There is a lot of room to be subjective in continuous assessment, since the criteria is not finite.

As I have said SALT..not much. Ability in that area was there when tested and is there. I think shock the teachers did not allow enough 'settling in' in Reception. Plus expectations were far too high. 2 weeks and then wrote off for Statement and got it.

rabbitstew Mon 23-Sep-13 07:53:26

Ha, ha. They tried visual cues and happy and sad faces on my ds1 - who has issues with NON-verbal information and is best communicated with through words! Still, he quite liked his feelings wheel. Didn't go for the idea of showing the teacher a picture of a toilet if he needed the loo, though. grin

LA Advisory Service personnel I expect are promoted or engineered out of the classroom and schools before they cause further harm and are not what I would call an 'expert'.

Neither are the ones who from a FOI request turn out to have no teaching qualifications at all, and probably no parenting experience either. Certainly a request for their qualifications and training shows quite a scary picture indeed in the two LAs that I have resided.

insanityscratching Mon 23-Sep-13 10:45:30

Star I recognised our AO person from a description by another parent on here of her complete lack of understanding, her insistence of foisting visual timetables on her child and her patronising patter that was seemingly repeated word for word to both of us.
She wanted to know how to get rid of her? I suggested moving schools and forgetting to inform her that your child had moved. Seems to be working here anyway wink
I suspect our LA don't want experts going into schools anyway just in case good, workable and effective support was suggested rather than the over use of the laminator.
Our AO service was reviewed a few years ago to justify limiting the service to children only with an Autism/ASD diagnosis and not to children with AS or those on the pathway to diagnosis. It wasn't reviewed by an independent body but by one of their own Ed Psychs who decided it was an excellent service funnily enough hmm

You're welcome Thyme. People need also to understand that schools are very wrong if they claim they can't afford to meet the needs of their most vulnerable children.

What they can't afford in that instance, is an interactive white board for every classroom, their Friday Yoga teacher, their expensive SLT members.

These things are not statutory requirements, but educating children with disabilities is.

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