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help - mainstream school possibly refusing statemented child

(167 Posts)
ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 18:31:23

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madwomanintheattic Thu 06-Sep-12 19:21:45

yar. how very dare you try to confirm support is in place for your child next week.

<weeps>

AgnesDiPesto Thu 06-Sep-12 19:29:20

The law says that you have an absolute right to mainstream unless it is an inefficient use of resources (which the provision you describe is not) or incompatible with education of other children. If they argue this the LA has a duty to do everything reasonably possible to make it compatible eg put in extra staff, funding, resources to make it compatible for her to go.

The LA can make the school take her.

You should explain to the LA officer that if this school does not accept DD2 that as you do not drive and DD2 would have to go to a different school than DD1 the statement will need to include SN transport for DD2 to go to any other school. The idea the LA will have to pay more for her to go anywhere else is likely to make the LA tell the school to take her.

Lougle Thu 06-Sep-12 19:33:18

"I dont drive, in fact, i was told yesterday not to by my GP (who is also on the board of governors, fuck)..."

That, I wouldn't be comfortable with. Sorry.

I sympathise, really I do. I was always sure that the MS school in the next village was the one for DD1. She had her cousin there, she had church friends there. Visiting the school was a mere formality. Then I came to the crashing realisation that regardless of whether they could meet her needs, or would meet her needs, she would cramp their style hmm

Stillfighting Thu 06-Sep-12 19:33:53

What a load of SHITE Leonie - so sorry that you're still having all the grief. It's probably all about money sadly. We're not a million miles from you and when we moved we had to wait half a term before ds could attend due to school querying the 'financial aspects' according to case worker. He then was placed on part time hours for almost a year and we were eventually told he could go back full time 'if funding is agreed' angry.
Some school's much prefer to have everyone neatly pigeon-holed in one box as it were so they don't have to put themselves out too much. Shameful!

ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 19:37:26

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ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 19:50:26

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moosemama Thu 06-Sep-12 20:07:48

Leonie, I am so sorry to hear this.

I haven't read the whole thread, so sorry if I am crossing with anyone, but here's my gut reaction, fwiw.

As it currently stands, the statement isn't finalised and no school has been named, so your dd doesn't actually have a statement. Therefore afaik, the school can't refuse to take her, having previously offered her an unconditional place. So, she does have a place, but obviously that's not much use without the support she needs being made available.

I recently spoke to my LA Officer about my concerns re the possibility that the local secondary we want ds to attend refusing to take him because he has a statement. She said, "As it's a local mainstream and your child's catchment then we (the LEA) will bring as much pressure to bear as possible to make sure the school takes him." She said that fundamentally all LEAs want children to go to their local catchment mainstream, as it makes life easier for them. Obviously this can either work for or against us, depending on our individual situations.

I'm not sure how far 'as much pressure' goes though. The question is, does it extend to them making sure the statement is sufficiently funded so as to enable the school to meet your dd's needs. Ie, if they are currently saying she needs say, 4 units, can they up it to 5 or 6, to free up funds for the school to make all the reasonable adjustments possible to make sure they can meet your dd's needs?

Ask for a copy of the school's written response. Chances are this was set up by the LA to get you to accept less or deny her needs.

ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 20:13:35

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I think it's a very real possibility actually.

ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 20:17:05

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Don't be daft. It is a DPA request and tgey'll know it without you spelling it out. Say you will need it for tribunal preparation if you're going and like to be organised.

Inaflap Thu 06-Sep-12 20:36:02

Senco hat on here. A school can refuse a child if they can show that they cant meet their needs and by having them it would adversly affect other students safety or learning. To do this you get sent tons of paperwork of any child who could possibly be slated to come to your school (whether the parents want it or not). I used to read these thoroughly then write a report for the govenors to sign giving full reasons for yes or no. However, if an lea wants a child to come to a school, in my experience there is nothing much that the school can do - the child will come. What a canny senco might say is 'yes but . . .' hoping that the lea will be so desperate to place the child that they cough up some more money for added support.. A school has to be very careful how many sen children they have and what types of difficulty and the mix.
I would phone the HT and find out whats what. Paperwork never gives a full picture of a child and ive seen paperwork which made a child sound very suitable for mainstream but we knew the family and saw the child and it was an obvious mld special school place. Conversly, i have read paperwork which made the child sound incapable of being in mainstream and he was fine, more than able and is now doing brilliantly. Any school worth their salt will feel better if they meet the child and family. They are right to have concerns and you don't know what is going on at the school - they might just have lost their most experienced TA, the reception teacher might be new or temporary, they might already have other statemented kids coming and dont want an imbalance. Please don't see it as an affront to your child (although i can see why you would) but find out from the school about their concerns. Schools get pissed off with leas as well.

ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 20:40:24

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bialystockandbloom Thu 06-Sep-12 20:59:45

They won't actually be able to change anything in parts 2 or 3 now you've won at tribunal even if they try to so don't worry too much about that aspect yet.

Is it more the case that the reason why the statement hasn't been finalised is because of part 4? This happened with us too - the timing was dreadful, and we had to wait weeks for the school to respond before we could fill in part 4, name the school, and finalise the statement. In our case - and I bet in yours too - it is all about money. The school want to be sure that the statement comes with funding - often LAs try it on and try to get school to cough up the cash, as it's not always straightforward about where the funds are coming from (ie school coffers or not).

As agnes says, the school have to prove irrefutably that having dd2 there is either incompatible re infant class size, inefficient use of resources, or impacts on other pupil's education. They can't refuse her alone on basis of can't meet her needs if the LA have set out provision necessary in the statement with accompanying funding. Look at SENCoP again.

It is nerve-wracking but blimey, you've already shown these arseholes you're made of stern stuff (x 1000000!) so don't let this shake you. Doesn't this idiot case worker know who you are fgs? wink

In the longer term though I don't blame you for feeling sort of unwanted - doesn't bode well does it when the school seem so unwelcoming before she's even started. We've had the same with ds and his cunting school. But let the dust settle on this first - you have plenty of time to look elsewhere at a later stage.

Research a local independent. It is unlikely this school will be able to demonstrate inability to meet needs when other ms's can so have an independent up your sleeve. They'll have to provide transport as it will be your nearest suitable school.

bialystockandbloom Thu 06-Sep-12 21:06:04

The LA have the responsibility to find her a place. They have fucked things up, not you, so they must sort it out.

bialystockandbloom Thu 06-Sep-12 21:08:09

Yy do what Star says re ind school. If this ms state school can't meet her needs, there's no ss possible, then independent (mainstream) is all that's left isn't it. Bet the LA will find a speedy resolution then!

ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 21:15:05

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ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 21:16:48

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ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 21:36:09

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ArthurPewty Thu 06-Sep-12 22:08:45

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mariamma Thu 06-Sep-12 22:43:41

Don't fret, probably just LA trying to scare you into not specifying and quantifying. Most probably they did the opposite to school, "this medium-provision vague and generic statement for a badly brought up child with a nasty mum won't be funded, you know". Worry about the GP's confluct of interest when and if you have to appeal to the governors. For all you know, he may be there as part of a pushy-professional-plot to drive out the nasty head hmm and get his own dds' dyslexia sorted...

mariamma Thu 06-Sep-12 22:44:32

Conflict, obviously I need to be off to bed as well.

ArthurPewty Fri 07-Sep-12 07:16:31

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