I have a problem and I would really appreciate some feedback from school teachers / SENcos and admin staff who must have had similar requests before.
My DD, 4, is in Reception. At her school, when the children go into Year 1, they always completely mix the classes up. So she will be with about a third of her reception class mates, and two thirds new. And then it stays like that until age 11.
I am desperate to avoid another Mother though, (for good reason, please read on, I am not being precious) and therefore am desperate to avoid her DS and my DD being in the same class from Year 1 to Year 6.
I hope that by telling you a little of the reason why, you can help me to decide WHO to approach at the school about this, and what to say / the reasons I should give. And also whether I might be taken seriously, or dismissed as a precious parent?
The Background: Long, but don't want to drip-feed.
My DD was born with a congenital defect; affects lots of things, eg she has had major heart surgery twice but it's not corrected fully and she is therefore small and tires easily. Also hearing issues, global developmental delay, mild scoliosis, behavioural issues, poor fine and gross motor skills; the list goes on.
I met 'Alice' and her best mate 'Claire' 3 years ago through friends of friends. They said a lot of spiteful things about other people and constantly gossiped, made nasty comments etc. I didn't like this and so distanced myself, but we had a lot of joint friends and the local Mum's community is quite small. And no-one wanted to be the next victim, so no-one ever told them to stop, if you know what I mean?
Meanwhile, I applied and received a Statement of SEN. Full-time LSA help with a place at the local state school. The sh*t hit the fan when Alice and Claire realised that my DD, as a Statemented Child, had gone to the top of the list for this, their top-choice school. They were very unpleasant about it, saying to everyone that I was "making it up, nothing wrong with DD, was only doing it to ensure I got into the school" etc.
It then got very nasty towards me when Alice's DD got in, but Claire's DS did not - missed by just a few yards and was therefore number 1 in the waiting list - which did not move - and therefore Claire's DS went to another (excellent) school. She accused my DD of "stealing" her DS's place.
They reported me to the school. (to get the Statement, DD had loads of medical assessments done. But apparently she does not 'look' disabled to Claire or Alice.)
They reported me to Social Services (for 'Failure to Thrive').
And then there was all the nasty gossip they sent round.
The effect on me was pretty bad. I had been suffering from depression anyway, and this really sent me down a bad path. My anti-depressent mediaction was tripled by the doctor, I stopped going out in case I bumped into Alice or Claire, and I avoided seeing joint friends because I was terrified that they believed the gossip. I felt isolated and bullied.
I now manage to avoid Alice in the (large) school playground because her child and mine are in different classes. And I have made school-mum friends. And DD is happy and thriving with Statement and LSA likely to continue for several years.
But I am terrified that when the classes are mixed for Year One, Alice's child and mine will end up in the same class.And that will mean six years of feeling like this. Please please don't tell me to rise above it. I just don't have the mental strength or self-esteem to do that. I am shaking now, just typing this out; that's what an effect it has on me. I have only told you some of what went on. I love the school and desperately don't want to leave, and DD loves it too.
But how can I ask for the two children not to be put in the same class when they are mixed up? Who do I approach? And how? I fear that the staff will have seen this sort of request before and will dismiss me as being precious. But they can't see what effect it has on me.
I think the best course of action is to make an appointment to see the Head and be honest about your reasons for the request. My school mixup the classes every year, but its ultimately the head that decides who goes where, with reports from the form teachers , and they try to place good friends together in the same class.
Once the decision has been made, they can't change the kids around.
Anyway, if you state your reasons, the head should consider your request, and of course should keep it confidential. Good luck.