Is your independent school still charging for learning support?

(10 Posts)
mummystyle Mon 07-Jan-13 16:08:04

As of 1st September 2012, ICS (the Independent Schools Council) decided that under the Equality Act (2010), learning support no longer comes under the heading of 'auxiliary service' (chargeable); but under the heading 'reasonable adjustment' (non chargeable). This means that if your DDS/DDD is receiving learning support lessons, then you should no longer be paying extra for them.

eatyourveg Mon 07-Jan-13 20:53:21

This is very interesting. Do you have any reference where I can look at this? Our school charges the earth and if they are not supposed to, I want to have all the facts before I confront them

mummystyle Wed 09-Jan-13 20:16:32

http://www.isc.co.uk/education-campaigns/campaigns/special-educational-needs/special-educational-needs-alerts/charging-for-sen-provision

Point 2 is the important one. The government has revised its position effective as of 1st September such that learning support is now a 'reasonable adjustment'.

You could politely email your headteacher and ask for clarification of the school's position on this issue.

Good luck.

PlaySchool Sun 13-Jan-13 16:43:46

Interesting. There are certainly some independents near me that say they charge extra. However, I asked one independent and they said that they didn't charge extra. If you are paying that much money, they surely, it should be included.

mummystyle Mon 14-Jan-13 22:56:21

http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/uploaded_files/EqualityAct/reasonable_adjustments_for_disabled_pupils_guidance_pdf_.pdf

betterwhenthesunshines Wed 16-Jan-13 15:12:19

Interesting - yes, they do. Which is one of the reasons why DD doesn't do extras at school. I do various things with her at home.

I suspect it would be covered under the definition of reasonable adjustments. eg teaching in a specific small group for phonics (which they do) they will do for free as part of the way they structure their lessons. But any one-to-one time outside of lessons is separate and would still be chargeable.

I'm also not convinced about the expertise / system they are proposing for extra support. So far they are happy with the results of what we are doing at home so we'll see!

Sunnyshores Thu 24-Jan-13 17:45:36

We've been in 3 preps and each of them charged for individual 1-1 lesssons (from £25-£35 for 40 mins), they charged less for group lessons, one did social lessons for free (not a fully trained SEN teacher).
Of the senior schools I'm looking at again all charge for 1-1 lessons.
In most cases the 1-1 experts have been self employed Sp&L therapists and £35 seems to be a standard rate.
Very interesting that it should be free, I can see lots of discussions on what Learning Support lessons are, as opposed to social lessons or study skill lessons.

lougle Sun 03-Feb-13 20:42:24

How would that work in, say Stanbridge Earls?

They have an assessment day and according to the level of support needed, the charge is different.

zzzzz Sun 03-Feb-13 20:54:11

Does it apply for sen or just sn? Will this mean it is harder for children with dx to gain entry?

Would a child with suspected dyslexia for example be entitled to extra reading support?

mummystyle Thu 28-Mar-13 19:17:10

The school should make clear what is and is not included in the fees, in their 'disability access policy' and also their 'special educational needs policy'. You are entitled to copies and to challenge their contents.

Dyslexia is a recognised disability and therefore a 'protected characteristic'. The question is, is it really intended, under the Equality Act 2010 that the more support a child needs in order to access the standard curriculum offer, the more the parent is financially penalised? No. The independents are simply hanging on to this unacceptable form of revenue, waiting for the first test case. None of them, however, will want that form of poor publicity, which puts you in a very strong position to ask for a refund, effective as of September 2012.

As far as I know, SEN and SN are synonymous. Also, one would expect that a child with suspected dyslexia would be properly assessed and supported in the classroom by 'quality first teaching' and all teaching staff should be made aware and be differentiating accordingly. If not, then why not? What exactly is it that you are paying for?

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