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Are all teachers so reluctant to provide parents with a class timetable?

(34 Posts)
Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 10:10:24

I should post in Education really, but don't have the energy for a bunfight.

Ds has AS, with all the accompanying needs for routine, structure, etc. After much nagging, I was given a timetable which shows what subjects they do in the morning. I think this is laid down in the NC anyway but I might be wrong.

However, the afternoon sessions are blank. I noticed this in the last school year and assumed it was just that particular teacher. It happened again this year, and despite much pressure, the teacher is just not prepared to say what's being taught in the afternoon, other than Art, Science or Topic. She wouldn't even commit to the order of lessons, as she decided on the day what order to run them.

Is it just this school?

Ineedmorepatience Sat 30-Mar-13 10:22:08

Sounds a bit bizzarre to me! Dd3 who has Asd would not cope with that at all. She needs to know what is happening each day.

One of the things on her passport is that she needs to be told in advance about timetable changes.

The staff dont always remember and she lets me know when they have messed her about.

I think you should go and speak to the SENCO, I am sure the teacher must have some idea of what she is teaching confused

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 10:29:50

I should have said he's in primary. The SENCO and HT are aware that the timetabling "flexibility" goes on, and have been in TACs etc where I've raised this.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 30-Mar-13 10:39:48

Hmm, not very helpful.

What are they like generally with your Ds? Are they meeting his needs?

If not I would suggest it might be time to look for somewhere more inclusive.

The point of inclusion is that they dont treat every child the same, its that they find out what the child needs and then put strategies into place to meet those needs.

If they cant even manage a timetable what else are they not doing? confused

Inappropriatelyemployed Sat 30-Mar-13 10:47:13

Our old 'outstanding' school was like this because it didn't teach to the plan and didn't even bother with PE and anything that wouldn't help it with SATs. I am sure that they managed to provide a perfect timetable for Ofsted though.

DS school now has no problems in providing a provision map and timetable just for him.

I think it does reflect the mentality of the school. Some schools are open, some are not

Blessyou Sat 30-Mar-13 10:48:10

Can they provide a visual timetable on the day then? This is what happens for my ds. He has a velcro timetable which is put up in the morning and the pictures put away as each session is done.

Hallybear79 Sat 30-Mar-13 10:56:46

My DS is obsessed with the visual timetable at school & has to help TA change it at the end of the day. They've also recently made a duplicate copy for him to have at home & a list of all the daily changes & we change it every night before he goes to bed.
They've been very helpful but the pessimist in me can't help but think it's because they knew ofsted were due anytime & found out I work with children so knew what should be happening. Despite that, things are happening so that's the main thing. Your DC's school should be doing all they can for them & at the end of the day if your DC is happy & at ease, surely it's going to make their job easier.

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 11:24:56

Thank you for your replies smile. Ok, so it's not unheard of but not the norm.

It had been niggling at me for a long time, but is also not relevant at present. Ds couldn't cope with being in the classroom and has for the last half term been supported individually by a TA in a separate room, and an individual timetable.

The school have said it can't meet his needs, and I agree. However the LA are naming them for ds' final statement which is overdue angry. I will of course be appealing grin

Inappropriatelyemployed Sat 30-Mar-13 11:34:14

I am sorry. It is so stressful going through all this isn't it? I really think that children with AS are some of the hardest to place within education: mainstream or special. They are some of the hardest to help as everyone professes to know what to do but in reality so few health professionals actually work with children with AS and their strategies are limited to generic crap.

Have you any idea of where you would like him to go?

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 11:52:36

Thanks, IA. I've asked for an independent specialist school. However, the HT shared with me what's been done with a similar child in the past, and I have been giving it some thought.

So this child had a statement with TA support, 2 hours pw individual qualified teacher hours, and was taught in a separate room. He joined the other children in some assemblies, playtime, lunchtime, social and other clubs.

It sounds appealing, although I would want at least 10 hours ow 1-1 teaching.

What do you think?

bigTillyMint Sat 30-Mar-13 12:06:59

If you get a full 25hours (not sure they give any more than that now?) then that is calculated in TA time and will unfirtunately not go as far in teacher time.

In my LA we have ASD units in m/s schools which enable the child to spend time in both settings so as to best meet their needs - would this be a possibility gor you?

I agree that your DS needs to have predictable routines (I actually think all children do, but then I'm old-skool) - surely they could do this for most of each day and have a velcro visual timetable which could be changed slightly as necessary (as someone else suggested!)?

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 12:15:21

There is no asd provision at primary level. Any ASD children who are unable to cope are shipped off to BESD schools angry sad.

It has been proposed that ds gets 25 hours; what the HT shared was that another child had 1-1 qualified teacher hours written into his statement. It's had no idea that was even possible, but am considering this as an option.

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 12:19:00

Ds was given a visual timetable, in fact he had the whole caboodle of outreach and OT suggested intervention - own workstation sited where he chose, own filing trolley, workstation, iPad, notice board with visual timetables (afternoons blank!), fiddle toys, etc!

None of them helped sad

bigTillyMint Sat 30-Mar-13 12:24:55

And I thought our LA were bad!

Surely there are specialist ASD schools? We have one purely for ASD primary plus 3 primary units in our LA. It's shocking how much the provision varies.

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 12:52:01

Only independent ones. There are ASD units at secondary, but nothing at primary.

auntevil Sat 30-Mar-13 17:16:41

I think that the problem in handing out a set weekly planned curriculum is that they are so often disrupted by other things going on, that they would forever be changing the order anyway.
We try to keep an order - particularly in the mornings. Then you have Easter - another class needs the hall for a hat parade, so PE is changed, an extra assembly for the local vicar, red nose day, science week ...... We tend to have a good idea weekly, then the d&v bug hit and staff were decimated. Unfortunately this is very common - and don't get me started on Christmas and sports day and leavers shows etc etc. The whole organisation is not ASD routine friendly.
I agree with you icedcake re the set approach to ASD from outreach. The best resource imo is a good TA/LSA, who will work with the parent.

heggiehog Sat 30-Mar-13 18:24:51

I am a teacher. As the previous poster said timetables tend to change on a daily basis due to the busy/unpredictable nature of school life and the restrictions of the curriculum.

My daily timetable is based on a quick calculation of how much lesson time the children will need to complete the objectives, i.e. if we have a big science experiment to do I might need to move science from a short Monday slot to a longer Tuesday slot. Etc etc etc.

It would be absolutely pointless me providing a timetable for parents. We do however have a visual timetable for all the children, which is changed every day.

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 18:53:30

Thanks Aunt and heggie for taking the time to explain smile. All I wanted from the teacher was a timetable showing what subjects were on at what time.

It was for ds' benefit as he would ask me either in the evening or at breakfast what would be on. It' was especially important when he started finding school too hard, and only managed to get into school partway through the day.

Seconday schools have set timetables. When I was at primary school in prehistoric times, we were all issued with timetables that never diverted from the published. It appears some primary schools still have set timetables, I guess it's the way some schools work. It's not a criticism, it's just not helpful to children like ds sad

PolterGooseLaidAChocolateEgg Sat 30-Mar-13 19:36:47

Icedcake I have similar problems with ds who is in Y5 and has AS sad

In Y3 his lovely teacher would print the following weeks timetable every Friday for us and would handwrite in any known changes. Y4 the teacher always forgot, but same teacher is doing it now in Y5 since I got very pissed off and ds got close to school refusal. We don't get it until Monday but it does say when there are supply teachers which is really important for ds to know. There are still frequent changes though and it is infuriating when I spend an hour at bedtime preparing ds for something the following day and then again have to address it on the way to school and then they don't bloody do it angry

A timetable in school is not enough, ds gets anxious at home not knowing what is happening that or the next day. The timetable is also important for us to ask ds about his day, eg he will get fixated on the one thing he hated that day and forget about the excellent lesson on something he enjoyed, knowing what they did on any given day means we can review his day with him in a positive and more knowledgeable way.

We got a timetable for our ds, after a week of meltdowns from him, they last a long time and cause incredible disruption. We had requested one a couple of times and then we wrote a letter to the school, ht, psychologist and autism outreach - then we got one.

It is basic, but even if there are changes in the timetable at least my ds knows when maths/music/p.e/assembly etc are on and I can talk to him about it, to help prepare him for the day ahead. So simple, yet so helpful.

My ds is in primary too, at his last school his 1 to 1 would have prepared him for changes/timetable - that is my next battle!

Bramblesinafield Sat 30-Mar-13 20:10:50

Timetables may change, but on the main will have a similar structure - it's good to ahve the flexibility n teaching. However, we have a few children with ASC in our setting. What we use is a personalized visual timetable on a oencil case, with a strip of Velcro along the case, with the child's timetable for that day on it, then each piece taken off at a time. There are symbols for visitors or for tipsy turvey if the day is to be a bit more free in one of its sections. It works well. A least this way if there are late decisions they can be visually structured on the day. I'm all for flexibility, but the children's needs are not just educational.

In addition to this we have a visual timetable for planning ahead for visits, etc, which we use in conjunction with social stories/ photos etc for preparation.

Icedcakeandflower Sat 30-Mar-13 21:27:23

That sounds great, Bramble smileAre you in a mainstream school?

Ds' school tries to make adjustments, but nothing is consistent. Over time negativity builds up, and now ds is not able to go into his classroom.

I don't think I should have to remind school every time they have a change to the routine to remember ds. But if I don't, they won't always remember hmm

neverputasockinatoaster Sat 30-Mar-13 22:56:40

I'm a primary school teacher.

At our place we generally have a 'fixedish' timetable - PE will be fixed as will ICT for example. Mornings are fixed moslty as that is when we have most of the support from TAs etc.

We have a visual timetable in each classroom and have 'wild cards' to put up for unusual events.

I don't think we do enough to prepare the children we teach for changes. I like the pencil case idea and am nicking it for DS!

coff33pot Sun 31-Mar-13 02:07:25

At the end of the day your DS still needs structure and routine in order to function without stress.

Your DS should not be expected to work to the NC the same as everyone else and accept the unpredictability of it without the necessary support in place. The NC, and the way to teach it should be adapted for your DS to suit his needs and his SN.

It wouldnt hurt the school to provide you with a personal timetable for your DS.

My DS has one and it is done "to time" breaks, lunch, free time, chill out time (his breaks) are slotted in and around them are his lessons for the day.

Where its an unpredictable day then there is a "wild card" a question mark slotted in, so he already knows its "teachers choice of the day". Now he can accept this BECAUSE it is there in black and white telling him that its a multi choice afternoon so he is more accepting of it. Plus he knows how long its going on for and what time it finishes for him to escape! grin

To him its a bit like saying its the teachers turn to choose because I have had my free time choice for the afternoon etc?

Anything thats not the norm is usually carefully planned around his free choice time.

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