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I've written to the school today whilst I was angry...

(35 Posts)
queencat Sat 13-Apr-13 22:16:40

Did I go too far? Please have a look and tell me! To give background because dd does not behave badly at school they are ignoring the diagnosis and the blatant fact that she cannot write and are not doing anything about it. She can't organise herself so we had massive issues today about her homework which she obv hasn't brought home with her. I was so exhausted after the meltdown I sent this.

Hi Headmaster

DD has been extremely worried about homework she says has been set for her over Easter. I have looked in her school bag and in her room and there is nothing in there.

I am becoming increasingly concerned about DD and her lack of ability to organise herself is one of the traits of ADHD and a Developmental Co-ordination disorder, I don’t feel that this is being taken into consideration by the school at all. The only items in her school bag are the books she has been carrying around since the beginning of the year that have not been changed just occasionally added too. I really need this to be taken seriously now, I understand that DD does not display the same behaviour at school as she does at home, but this does not distract from the fact that she is now almost eight years old and can barely write or spell. She has extremely low self esteem and tells me she is ‘useless’ all the time, when she gets a low scoring on her spelling test, she tells me she gets told off, I don’t actually see how this is helping the situation because it is making her feel continually worse.

I have done what I can from home with practicing writing, reading and drawing but if this is not being taken seriously at school what more can I do? I have paid over £2,000 to see a private consultant and when she sent in forms to be filled out by the teachers during last term and got the results back you could have been talking about two completely separate children.

I feel that I am hitting brick walls all over the place and am becoming increasingly concerned about DD's writing and spelling above everything else. I really need to know now what can be done to help my daughter before she sinks even lower. Her behaviour is exacerbated no doubt by the fact that she feels like a constant failure at school.

Can you please advise me what steps are going to be taken to help her writing and spelling? I know she does direct phonics but her reading is not the issue. I have taken all the steps I can as her parent to get her formally diagnosed so I can ensure that actually there is nothing that ‘I’ve’ done following the break up of my relationship to create the behaviours that I have seen with DD. I am 100% committed to helping my daughter and I really need to know that 'school' is too and she is not going to move into secondary education still unable to write or spell to the degree that she is now.

Hassled Sat 13-Apr-13 22:19:25

No, you didn't go too far and it doesn't read as "angry" - more exasperated. It's a good letter - hope it does the trick smile.

zzzzz Sat 13-Apr-13 22:26:35

Beautifully put. Well done.

queencat Sat 13-Apr-13 22:28:30

Just so frustrated that the school keep batting back to me and that I was in a bad way after my exp left! The other dc's are perfectly fine I couldn't have been that awful (well I was but lets not dwell!)

crazeelaydee Sat 13-Apr-13 22:31:20

Well written letter smile if I had written a letter when angry it would not be like that! I have to give myself a 2 day cooling off period grin

armani Sat 13-Apr-13 22:47:10

Very well written letter. Hope your dd is ok, my dd sounds the same as yours and I can identify with your worries sad my dd is in year 2 and can't read or write sad she also has co ordination issues and is in the middle of being assessed for ADHD. The school are also dismissing this as she is not musbehaved sad

armani Sat 13-Apr-13 22:47:40

Sorry misbehaved.

PolterGoose Sun 14-Apr-13 10:01:33

Good letter smile

Have you considered applying for statutory assessment? I did this recently (used IPSEAs template letter) and although I know ds doesn't actually need a statement, it really kicked butt at school and led to lots of action as they scrambled to explain to the LA how exactly they are meeting ds's needs. Things have improved.

sweetteamum Sun 14-Apr-13 10:15:59

I think that letter is brilliant. And if I'd of wrote that while I was angry it wouldn't be publishable - well done you. smile

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 14-Apr-13 11:02:22

I agree with Polter - apply for SA. Children that internalise anxiety are overlooked. DS1 was and I wrote many a letter like yours until I realised that it was like pissing in the wind. Some teachers will never recognise the extent of difficulties and will deny that they exist - blaming parents or the children themselves - lazy and/or low self-esteem. You may also piss them off and this can prove counterproductive.

atm DS1 is not able to attend school and we have tribunal in a couple of weeks - even so I have encountered 2 LA tutors who did not believe his problems and thought that I was making them up/exaggerating because of a negative focus and desire to convince panel of the need for indi ss and that my actions will make it hard for him to integrate into m/s and 2 tutors who recognise his difficulties and believe m/s is completely unsuitable. Whilst at school the SENCO declared that DS1 was not dyslexic as he had lots of experience and could spot difficulties and all questionnaires completed for ASD, ADD and APD were resoundingly negative. Don't waste your time trying to convince them. They cannot prevent you acting independently.

Your intial application is likely to be turned down but the 'case' will come on to the radar of the LEA, particulary if you can link this to progress and attainment as reported on the ofsted data dashboard. You should find that the school pull its finger out and start to be more serious about the provision they are making as the LEA will want to see measurable progress in order that you will not have reason to appeal/re-apply.

Start gathering the data that the school would be collecting if DD were a problem to them - progress rates using SATs levels and standardised reading and spelling assessments. Check out www.stokehilljunior.devon.sch.uk/downloads/National_Curriculum_Point_Scales.pdf. You should link this to how much progress is made by children with a statement with ADHD as the primary need. www.education.gov.uk/rsgateway/DB/STR/d001092/index.shtml

Above all, do not be passive and never give up until you have achieved what you want. smile

queencat,

How old is your DD?.

Think its a very good e-mail actually although whether this school will actually take note is a different matter entirely. Even if there was a statement in place this is still no guarantee that this school would still actually do anything to help your DD.

Some children with additional needs do get ignored by some schools and she is being failed here by them. I'd be looking at other schools now as well.

As others have suggested, apply for a Statement from the LEA using IPSEA's website www.ipsea.org.uk. If they turn you down, appeal their crass decision.

queencat Sun 14-Apr-13 14:11:07

She is seven, soon to be eight. I have been thinking about the statement and will do. I have already been told that the school does not support statements, so know that I will be doing this by myself I imagine.

They want me to have a CAF assessment next week. Thoughts on this please?!

queencat Sun 14-Apr-13 14:16:09

The only issue with changing schools now is that we have gone through so many changes with the breakup of our family, we have had to move house twice in a year and my own mental health hasn't been great with all these things going on. She needs to feel secure with her siblings near her I think.

A school that does not support statements (probably because they do not want the work) is not a school I would send any child to. Do apply for the statement, write that letter and get it sent off asap.

Keep posting on here as well, you will receive good counsel.

CAF meeting may be a lot of hot air ultimately; you are your child's best - and only - advocate here.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Sun 14-Apr-13 15:14:59

When DS1 was having major problems - expressed differently at home and at school - meltdowns to almost selective mutism - the priority of the school was to have me fill in a CAF form to allow all services to better communicate. If you have not had contact with various state organisations who could benefit from joined-up thinking then you do not need to fill in a CAF form. My son's school were so keen to do so because they wanted to be seen to be behaving consistently with how they would behave if the parent were the problem. They even reported me to SS. The aim is often to divert attention away from the school.

queencat Sun 14-Apr-13 15:15:00

Have emailed it headmaster yesterday. I will apply for the statement as well. I was told that children that are 'worse' than mine did not receive a statement so my child has no chance of getting one.

"I was told that children that are 'worse' than mine did not receive a statement so my child has no chance of getting one".

Who told you the above piece of misinformation.

The above is yet more lies and rubbish designed to put you off from applying; glad you're going to ignore this and apply for the statement yourself and asap.

queencat Sun 14-Apr-13 16:58:26

The Senco at the school told me! Why is a statement so hard to get/unpopular with schools?

Good letter, add "I look forward to hearing from you soon" and send it!

Flappingandflying Sun 14-Apr-13 19:41:23

Very good.

beautifulgirls Sun 14-Apr-13 20:16:00

Statements are unpopular with school and with the LA as they cost money to give the provision detailed in them and it means they have to give this provision by law. Therefore they seem to standardly decline your request for statutory assessment and wait for you to lodge an appeal to tribunal, then maybe they consider your case after all and might back down without needing a hearing. They then assess and if they think they can get away with it will issue a note in lieu which is not a legally binding document, so don't accept a NIL. If they issue a statement they tend to put the minimum possible in it to save money and almost certainly you will need to challenge them on the content too. Beware also of wording that is not specific so things like "X will have access to help Y" means nothing whereas "X will have 1 hours per week of Y therapy delivered by a TA experienced in dealing with children with diagnosis Z" is actually something you can enforce. Be prepared to go to tribunal over this potentially more than once. It is a slow and frustrating process but plenty of advice here to get through this.

queencat Mon 15-Apr-13 16:07:15

Interesting, so today I was in a meeting and missed a call from the school asking me for a meeting. From class teacher not headmaster though who the email was addressed too.

What's my tactic here? I want to go in fully prepared without being told she is this way as she is a product of a broken home she has a diagnosis FFS!

PolterGoose Mon 15-Apr-13 16:18:18

My most productive school meeting following me complaining was where I first met with the Senco and we agreed what was needed and what was doable, then we met with teacher and LSA and ds, because I had already agreed stuff with Senco I did not feel like a lone voice, and Senco had to 'take my side' because we'd already agreed certain actions. It was an interesting dynamic.

I do think that it would be polite for the recipient of the email to respond, not delegate it. I think I'd insist on meeting with the head in your circumstances.

queencat Wed 17-Apr-13 22:33:52

Amazing, just to follow this up. I have heard sweet fa from headmaster, not even an acknowledgment. A friend if mine said I should resend it with governors cc'd in with a comment asking for his response as I hadn't heard.

Handywoman Wed 17-Apr-13 22:58:22

Yes, absolutely re-send to HT and cc to Govs. I had loads of hot air and awful defensive meetings, complete with accusations from SENCO of 'causing problems with my dd1's maths' (she's dyslexic and her cognitive profile affects her numeracy as with many other dyslexics) followed by letter from HT stating my dd1 has 'no SEN in maths'.

All this crumbled the VERY SAME DAY that I wrote to the governors. The HT then approached me in a very wounded way, pleading with me to meet with her. Only THEN did school backtrack and stop talking utter utter shizzle.

Shouldn't be this way, but it often is.

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