Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

So mad!!! Have I got this wrong? Schools sen policy

(47 Posts)
2boysnamedR Sun 29-Sep-13 23:13:32

Obviously no one on here can answer this but I'm getting evidence for statutory assessment which I applied for. Reading the school sen policy educational phycologist are only called in at statutory assessment! The school have been telling me for nine months they will call in a ed phy for him, but the policy of the school says they don't do this? So either they are going above and beyond the sen policy - or I have been lied too. Should I ask the head tomorrow? If he gets refused this assessment then he will never see a ed phy! How can this be fair?!

Surrey is crap. Just so you know.

2boysnamedR Mon 30-Sep-13 18:32:13

No reply from the head so dh has the lucky job of confronting him tomorrow morning and asking him face to face. If my son wasn't a priority I could get that ( but he failing sa+ and causing them issues now it seems). What I can't get my head round is people saying stuff that they aren't really doing ( not this has been confirmed yet - but the school have done this before - told me the senco was writing up a IEP four months before she had in reality seen him) the IEP was promised at Christmas, when he was observed after Christmas. The IEP was delivered in April, the week after we made a formal complaint

2boysnamedR Mon 30-Sep-13 18:33:02

Starlight I'm not surprised - where isn't crap?!

There was some ranking thing about 3 years ago based on complaints and tribunals and Herts, Essex and Surrey were the top three.

At least you know it isn't personal.

2boysnamedR Mon 30-Sep-13 20:08:28

Great, nice to know, I might have to move. I wonder what hampshires like?

mummytime Mon 30-Sep-13 20:11:22

I'm in Surrey and it isn't all crap. You would expect a lot of tribunals because there are a lot of well educated, well resourced parents.

However you can't blame everything on the LA, sometimes schools don't want to "use" their budget on outside help.
My DS didn't get the LA specialist teacher called in at primary school because they preferred to help "in house" and cheaper, mainly using keen but inexperienced TAs. On the other hand they did call in outside help for my DD, but then she was causing them more problems.

2boysnamedR Mon 30-Sep-13 20:25:43

I have a feeling ds is starting to become more disruptive which breaks my heart, but maybe this is extra inventive school need to do something.

manishkmehta Mon 30-Sep-13 22:50:47

I have not read everything above but if the school said they would request an assessment, but haven't, then write to the school telling them that they have failed in their EA1996 (s) 317 1 a duty to your child and that you will raise this at tribunal. Telling you they requested an assessment, but haven't, isn't ethical. Either they have, or they haven't, but telling you something that isn't true doesn't help their case.

Download the ipsea letter for an assessment for your child and send it recorded delivery to your lea.

Schools might try to help parents but the lea often put a stop to that. Often schools want to help but are stopped from doing so. I don't know what happened in your case but you have a right to request an assessment and I would recommend you use it if you feel that you need an assessment for your child. I know you must be frustrated with the wasted time but this is what goes on all the time. It's so annoying.

2boysnamedR Tue 01-Oct-13 09:53:04

Ok just had a call from the senco as we have applied for statutory assessment. We have not been referred to educational phycologist OR slt dispute the fact that we was told we had been. So I was lied to. Not good!!! Also I was told he won't get assessed ( again!) but they seem more willing to work towards getting him a case together now for six months time. Why lie? Why? Do they think / hope we can be fobbed off for years waiting for a appointment they have never been in a list for? Or that every parent is extremely dim?

2boysnamedR Tue 01-Oct-13 09:55:33

I haven't old her I have arranged private salt - should I keep that to myself? I think I should. Why should be honest after this? I need my private report for appeal - which I will appeal! I am tempted to find a private ed phycologist too. I could be waiting till he is 18 and not schools problem at this rate

OneInEight Tue 01-Oct-13 10:11:24

Not up to the SENCO to make the decision about SA.

I think it is shocking that they have told you he will be referred and has not been and I would be documenting this information in my application for statutory assessment.

mummytime Tue 01-Oct-13 10:15:07

This is why it is a good idea to keep a diary, so you have a written record of every little promise they make. Also to follow up verbal meetings with clarifying emails.
Its a waste of time and money, but the only way to make sure everything gets done.

2boysnamedR Tue 01-Oct-13 10:20:51

I am tempted too. It's a hard call as I do need her on my side so I have mentioned he has no date to see the ed phycologist but maybe I need to say school told me he had been referred but I have no date. How do I get all this written down as evidence as everything is verbal. I think I need to say 'on the meeting dated xyx you said this...' And email it back to the school. Then I have more evidence for the next appeal stage. Poor kids who parents aren't on th ball! I was told they think he has severe dyslexia! Northward that before. I can only work on learning difficulties due to dyspraxia... As that's all I have been told so far....

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 01-Oct-13 10:34:34

It is not up to the Senco whether assessment is granted or not but ime the school report following parental application can scupper your chances. My two refusals were justified by a cut and paste sentence from the school report.

DS2 is in an Essex school. He was seen by EP about a month after referral and been seen four or five times over two terms. I think it is a tactic. She is a trainee and so cheaper and she is unbelievably crap. She needs to do Spin Doctoring 101. She actually advises against particular tests on the basis that they might reveal a problem and this would muddy the waters. shock

2boysnamedR Tue 01-Oct-13 10:53:39

This is a nightmare - they said today they think he has dyslexia so that's dyslexia, dyspraxia, memory issues, SPd and speech delays and possible asd / ADHD but don't worry - he's not a comple case? What would make him complex? Coming from mars maybe?!

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 01-Oct-13 11:08:08

DS2 was assessed by a private SALT in July. She could have done the assessments at home but I arranged for her to visit the school over two days to do classroom observation, talk to the class teacher and SENCO and formally assess DS2. She also visited home to talk to parents.

This proved to be useful. The school felt more in control and were willing to engage with her as an expert rather than dismissing her opinion as paid for by me. DS2 was struggling and being disruptive so how could they possibly object? Most useful though was the fact that she was willing to go into detail about observations and to use the words 'severe' and 'significant' whereas teachers and NHS SALT and OT had been rather vague (to the point of serious minimisation). This also removes the objection that private assessments/reports are limited as the child is not visited/assessed at school and that the therapist does not have the opportunity to speak to teaching staff and hear their side of the story.

Whether or when you reveal your hand is a tactical decision. With DS1 I had cheaper but good assessments done because I did not know what the problems were. A couple of months before the tribunal hearing he was assessed again using expensive tribunal-savvy experts but by this time he was out of school. The LA conceded but I would have preferred (and experts would have preferred) school-based assessments. You don't want to get to tribunal with the only classroom observations having been carried out by teachers or LA staff.

mummytime Tue 01-Oct-13 11:23:46

Okay dyspraxia is diagnosed via the GP (at least in this bit of Surrey). So I would go ahead with that? Is he seeing a speech therapist? If not you can action that via the GP, and they also know a bit about dyslexia.
A speech therapist cannot diagnose dyslexia, but neither can a teacher (unless they have undergone specific training). GP is also the starting point for a diagnosis of ASD or ADHD (referral to CAMHS or Paediatrician).

But my overall feeling is the school "doesn't have a clue" and is chucking labels around. Labels that an experienced SENCO wouldn't use without the correct piece of paper.

I would start by keeping another diary, in this one record incidents and difficulties your son has. So a meltdown on Tuesday - what happened before it? what caused it? what had he eaten and when? if over homework - what kind of homework? what exactly happened (screaming, violence, tears, curling in a ball etc.) what happened afterwards?

One good thing about being in Surrey is there are organisations around that can help I would try Helen Arkell centre they have a low cost initial assessment, Dyslexia Action they sometimes have free drop in sessions for advice, Dyslexia Research Trust has a clinic in Reading, NAS has local groups and can offer advice.

But I would really try to get a Paediatrician/CAMHS referral.

2boysnamedR Tue 01-Oct-13 11:44:49

He is under peaditritian and ot who have said he he SPd and dyspraxia ( but they won't put dyspraxia in paper) he has becoming more impulsive hence pead is thinking about asd / ADHD but to be fair she has seen him for three years and we get no closer to a dx. The dyslexia thing has come out of the blue from the school today. I was thinking all of symptoms fit under the dyspraxia umbrella? But I know nothing as I am finding out. Yes a friend recommended helen arkell to me as well. I have dyslexia and have never been given a dx - it was all 'your lazy' at school. I guess I need to call in as much private help as I can afford so I have more weight at appeal and a clearer idea of his issues as he is six in a few weeks and has been under the pead since two. He did get nhs salt but he was signed off at the end of reception as that's Surrey policy - I know that's a fact as I complained to virgin care and my mp. Both confirmed this in writing. He has no slt at school and is no waiting list as senco confirmed this today

vjg13 Tue 01-Oct-13 13:26:45

Have you looked at any other schools, it sounds as though the school is unable and unwilling to meet your child's needs.

2boysnamedR Tue 01-Oct-13 13:43:21

He is already five miles from home as the village schools are over subscribed. There is a school with a salt unit when he gets to year three or a school with special unit but I would need the statement to get into that. Toddlers are normally statement to get into that school :0(

mummytime Tue 01-Oct-13 13:56:04

If you can afford the £55 of an initial consultantion at Helen Arkell, it might be worth it. I found the "head" there to be very helpful and she gave me the initial advice about keeping a diary.

A full Ed Psych assessment costs £445 I think. I paid for my eldest, but haven't for my younger DD yet, as knowing what I know you can do quite a lot without it. We may need to pay more for an assessment before either of them go onto to HE, I'll look more closely at that nearer the time.
I had a good Ed Psych when I went there, one friend didn't have such a good experience, but another friend's son was spotted as being ASD (school hadn't flagged it, although it seemed pretty obvious when you look back).

I sometimes wonder if there is a surge in SEN in Surrey, or just an unusual density; or if it is just my DCs school. In the school there has always been about 5 in 30 dyslexic children, about 1 in 30 ASD boys; and now it seems 1 in 30-45 girls on the spectrum. The school has good provision for dyslexic pupils, but didn't seem to suspect my youngest DD was Asperger's, even though I had been to several meetings assuming this was the elephant in the room (they expressed shock when we started on the diagnosis route).
Now it could be this school has a good reputation for SEN, so gets more "challenging" pupils. Or it could be that Surrey has more high achieving parents, who also are more likely to have ASD traits or be dyslexic. Or it could be that the services see more so diagnose more. or...

Does your school have a home school link worker? If so they may be helpful (worth a try).

2boysnamedR Tue 01-Oct-13 14:11:24

Not sure if the school has a home link worker but I will ask tomorrow. I am dyslexic so I guess I have passed that on. I think the the educated Surrey thing is true, lots of people with money and high expectations for kids. But also seems there autistic parents where it seems this is in the genetics - at least there seems to be some of that. I also see that parents who are very clever choose to ignore these symptoms. But I wasn't born here so my naff genes are from another county :0)

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