School (independent) seems unable or unwilling to accomodate ds, 12 with SEN. When wld you decide to change school?

(27 Posts)
kissmyheathenass Sun 04-Nov-12 11:19:34

Ds has dyslexia, processing and handwriting issues. His teachers all acknowledge is he is far from reaching anywhere near his potential because he canot keep up in class. We chose this school because we hoped the small classes would be of benefit.

These things piss me off:

-Ds dropped French as he was struggling with learning both French and Spaninsh from scratch. The 2 free lessons a week were meant to be used to revise spanish but he just sits at the back of the french class daydreaming.

-He hates team sport (possibly mildy dyspraxic) and they do 5 hours a week of it!

-As he is slow to get changed for PE, he now has to get changed alone in the disabled toilet.

-He has remained on the same level/sublevel in English for a whole year yet school havent intervened at all.

-The school day ends at 5 pm with the last hour being unsupervised prep. A total waste of an hour a day for ds who needs direction and supervision.

All things considered, I do wonder why we are paying for ds to feel increasingly stressed and to suffer increasingly low self esteem.

The thing is, he has some good friends there, the teachers are mostly lovely and the school is the only one near us so changing school might mean moving house.

Is it time to change?

Narked Sun 04-Nov-12 18:06:52

Upheaval is never ideal, but, if you're going to do it, it's better to do it this year, so he has a year to settle before GCSEs (or whatever the government have introduced by then!)

LizT123 Mon 12-Nov-12 21:39:20

Hi Kiss
We put our dyspraxic son with considerable sensory problems in a very small private school for primary, which was brilliant to start off with as the small class sizes and individual attention was exactly what he needed, but as he got a little older (9), the school decided they could not cope with his related learning difficulties and we had 3 weeks in which to find him a new primary before they all closed for the summer break. It proved to be the best thing for him as we moved him to a local state primary where they had excellent special needs support. Devon finally agreed his statement and support funding (kicking, screaming and being taken to appeal but gave in under considerable pressure from the new school) and he settled in amazingly well despite me worrying to bits over the summer. He is now in mainstream secondary (in a different county now, fortunately still with a statement and lots of support) but doing really well. A good state primary has many more SEN resources and training generally than private schools and if you can get a good SENCO who really cares about the kids, your son will get the chance to feel valued and do well. He will also have the experience of coming across other kids with similar problems, so may not feel quite so isolated or different. The one DS went to were fully aware of his sensory problems and dyspraxia, were very caring and organised things so he felt safe in crowded situations and could concentrate despite the much larger class sizes.
You get silly situations arising when your kids are in the private sector. For example DS's language therapist was not allowed to visit him in the private school (although she would talk to the staff on the phone...) but in the state sector he has a language therapist who goes to the school regularly and works closely with his TAs. Makes you mad really!
It does not sound as if your DS is statemented (we had major problems getting a statement because DS was in private education) but if he is, you can make a case for him to go to the school of your choice, not the one which is simply in your local catchment area. Our LEA wanted DS to go to a particular school but both he and we wanted him to go to his current school which has a very good reputation for both "normal" education and for its special needs dept. and the LEA had to accept our decision as the school were prepared to take him. The only thing the LEA said was that they would pay for transport if he went to the school they suggested but not if he went to the one we wanted, so bit of a no brainer really, we just act as taxis, no change there!
Do try to find out about state schools in your area who have a good reputation with special needs and go round as many as possible to see if you connect with one and a particular SENCO. Good luck!

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