Meeting with secondary school re poor support for dyslexic son.

(9 Posts)
silversea Tue 16-Oct-12 23:12:56

Any suggestions on how to tackle this please? My son is a Year 9. He is on School Action Plus and was assessed as Dyslexic at primary school. During change of primary school, his ed psych report was "lost". There has never been anything on paper since Year 3 to confirm this. The ed psych service hasn't got anything on record( I chased them for a copy), so everybody has been bumbling along. He has had private colourimetry and wears tinted lenses, as my other children do.
He completed Toe by Toe etc. at primary and from recollection (without checking) was level 4 Maths and English. On transfer to secondary, the school was obviously made aware of the situation. At the end of Year 7, he was a 6c in science - now he is a 3c. His target is a 3b - due for review in the Spring. Maths and English are 5b. His reading age is now two years below his chronological age.
He has been really frustrated as he gets no support at all, finds it difficult to recall instructions, especially with relation to the dreaded homework planner. He is in a mix of sets one and two. He knows his short term memory causes him problems and he is increasingly fed up at having no strategy, especially for maths,to help him recall what he's learned. He tells me he understands it but then it's gone and he has to learn it again but has to sit and wait because there isn't enough support in class.
I've read some of his written work and it makes little sense. However, I have scribed for him at home with much better results, as I have told the school. It's the classic it's all in his head but he can't get it out.The Senco promises the world when I see her (several times now) but she is there just two days a week. They have now put a mentor in place to boost his confidence but nothing else. His IEP was completed without consultation (again) and doesn't even include a strategy to address his poor reading (not mentioned at all, infact). There is no reference to his slow progress - he was devastated when I told him. The school is a mess. When challenged, they seem more concerned in telling me what a nice boy he is! Oh yes, and that he is meeting his (rubbish) targets. They are incapable of actually acknowledging there is a problem and there is no consistency in what teaching staff say he can do and what I see. I don't mean that as a pushy parent. I just want realistic answers to realistic questions. If there is no possibility of him getting any good GCSEs, we need to steer him the right way and build him up. Yet another teacher will say he can get B's. Has anyone else come across this "non-speak" which tells you nothing?
He is supposed to be on a waiting list now for reassessment with the ed psych but it could be a long wait. He was also bullied by a teacher at this school when he started because he couldn't recall all of his timestables (he was sitting up at night and writing them out like lines because he knew he would get them wrong and be asked to do this as punishment). I reported this and they moved him into a different group. The teacher, inspite of complaints by other parents, stayed until retirement - gives you a flavour of the school?
At the end of the last academic year, my son wanted to move schools. We asked to speak to someone (it is a small school). I phoned them again two days later, as no-one returned my call. That's when we were offered the ed psych waiting list.
Things are supposed to be getting better. I don't see it but they have to....there is only one other school in the area with space to take him and they will offer a reduced number of options because of his current curriculum.
I am waiting for an appointment with the headteacher, having declined one with the head of year, as that was a waste of time last year. Son now doesn't want to move, as he has friends. Any suggestions on what to ask for/how to tackle this. It can't continue. I feel like I'm in an education fog, exaccerbated by being an oldie (not used to the all the levels and GCSEs). I'm letting him down by not getting this sorted out.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 17-Oct-12 14:01:51

Have you read the Rose Review on dyslexia? I have encountered years of CT claiming progress. Progress needs to be objectively measured using standardised reading and spelling age tests. These can be used to calculate the ratio gain (measure of progress) to see whether or not it is adequate. It is not possible to gauge progress unless it is measured and is not commonly done by schools or even where these measures are recorded there is no calculation of progress - at least not one that is shared with parents. For example, see below:

According to the Rose Review (2003, pp 178-9),

'Many UK studies report results not in standard scores but in reading and spelling ages, from which ratio gains can be calculated in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention. A ratio gain of 1.0 means that the child’s skills are developing at a normal pace, but they will not be catching up with their peers. Brooks (2007) suggests that ratio gains of less than 1.4 are of ‘doubtful educational significance’, between 1.4 and 2.0 of ‘modest impact’, between 2.0 and 3.0 of ‘useful impact’, between 3.0 and 4.0 of ‘substantial impact’ and above 4.0 of ‘remarkable impact’ (Brooks. 2007, p. 289).

However, Brooks (2007) points out that ordinary teaching (i.e. no intervention) does not enable children with literacy difficulties to catch up, and hence it is fair to presume that, in the absence of control or comparison groups, and where effect sizes cannot be calculated, findings of ratio gains in excess of 2.0 may be taken as good evidence in support of the method employed. Indeed, several studies have shown that, without help, dyslexic pupils progress at around only 5 months per calendar year in reading (ratio gain 0.42) and 3 months in spelling (ratio gain 0.25) (Thomson, 1990, 2001; see also Rack and Walker, 1994).'

A ratio gain of 2.0 is a gain (remember DS is meant to be catching up rather than the attainment gap widening) of two chronological years in reading and/or spelling in one academic/calendar year.

Are RA and SA recorded on his IEP?

silversea Wed 17-Oct-12 19:52:14

Yes, his SA is 10.9. I am trying to find his old IEPs from primary, as I think they will prove conclusively that he had not made progress.
And yes, I have delved into some parts of the Rose Review, but I have a feeling I may have been lazy regarding the stats! I find them hard going. I seem to recall that the general thrust was that schools were doing a pretty poor job and needed to put more focus on Dyslexia...that bit I know!
My school will trot out the same lame: " We are small and have very limited resources."
This translates as: "Your DS is well behaved, so we ignore him...unless you keep bothering us, that's the way it will stay."
DS met with mentor today and told her what he thought to the IEP...good for him. She is going to speak with the science teacher, which is a start. I am still waiting for confirmation of my appointment with the head though.
Thanks for your reply. I will have a deeper look into the substance of the review to see if it will help my argument, sorry, constructive discussion.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 17-Oct-12 20:50:45

What you need to calculate ratio gain is a series of RA/SA. So if his SA was 10.6 one year ago you would know that the ratio gain was 0.3 in a calander year - ie inadequate. It is less important to know the 'level' (in comparison to peers) than to know the progress rate. Levels are always 'too high to warrant statementing' and progress is always just around the corner.

Beware - the well behaved child can become the child whose needs are not met and they can easily become children that cannot cope with mainstream.

silversea Wed 17-Oct-12 22:34:04

Thankyou. I will do that. If memory serves me well, I will be right in proving no progress over more than two years. Am sure the stats will back it up. His needs are most definitely not being met, as I have argued many times already.

kathy79 Sat 20-Oct-12 15:26:48

Hi
Have you tried aproaching the dyslexia association for advice on their helpline or parent pertnership as sometimes they accompy you to meeting at school and can mediate. Both are very helpful and at least you feel that you have someone watching your back especially when you have people that are not listnening to you.

Failing that talk to IPSEA who are online and have their own website and helpline i believe. But most of all try and get as much advice from people who help children with special needs and never give up fighting for your son.

My son is profoundly dyslexic with other problems and i am currently fighting my LEA for a statement of special education needs. I too experienced a school that promised the world to my face but never applied anything after i left the premises and it has taken me ages to get diagnosis and this far. You have my sympathy and i hope you and your son get the right support he is entitled too.

kathy

silversea Mon 22-Oct-12 21:30:24

Thanks Kathy.
I've had a look at IPSEA. I plan to call them tomorrow for advice. I phoned the school today, as they hadn't offered a meeting date. I was on their list of calls! Aren't we always? The head is waiting to speak with the Senco and then will meet with me to discuss the situation. Will keep you posted.
Good luck with your fight. I have three children who are dyslexic. Secondary school has been the worst experience so far. My youngest is due to transfer next year and I'm dreading it. We are,however, hoping to send him to a different school.

silversea Tue 23-Oct-12 18:13:06

Can anyone explain salford reading age versus nfer ra? What will secondary school use? They only refer to ra and i need to compare salford of 10.6 nfer of 10.2 at primary school 27 months ago with an ra of 11.3 and sa of 10.9 now. Seem to have filed all other IEP's in such a safe place, these are only ones I've got to work with. Got appointment tomorrow with head tomorrow. Excuse poor message. On phone.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Thu 25-Oct-12 11:07:45

The comparison needs to be between either single word recognition or sentence reading. Salford is sentence reading. So compare 10.6 (chronological age) with 11.3 (chronological age) and 10.2 (CA) with 10.9 (CA). So that sentence reading 'progress' of 9 months in a 27 month period (ratio gain of around 0.37) and single word recognition of 7 months (ratio gain of around 0.3).

Sorry I didn't see this in time for the meeting. It might be a good idea to email notes of the meeting - this will also give you the opportunity to clarify/add any points.

Hope it went well smile

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now