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private school with full statement-but will LA pay for TA?

(61 Posts)
Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 16:03:25

I'm in a fortunate position where my mother has come into money as my nan passed away. Mainstream is failing my dd because of the class sizes. The private school not far from us has a max of 8 in a class.
But would the lea pay for a TA in the private setting?
I have a full school statement for 32.5 hours 1:1 for my dd.
Anyone know if this is possible?

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 16:05:07

I forgot to say, I understand I would be responsible for the school fees

Generally no. The money is to support within the state system. You might however find you can get a reduced amount of money for lsa support if you fight for it.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 16:12:46

apologies, excuse my ignorance what does Isa stand for?

sorry, Learning Support Assistant. They might have changed the name tho. I used to be one, and ds has dyspraxia. The little boy I looked after had a full statement, but the school were crap, and his parents were thinking of moving him to private, but were told he couldn't take his statement with him.

I also moved ds from state to private for a couple of years, but he was on school action so no money. I did find that the local services such as OT and SALT would be happy to support him at any school in borough. Otherwise the parent has to pay for all support being delivered in school. I paid privately for this.

This is why I am broke as a broke thing from broketown. (sold flat to pay for it).

somebody might well have more up to date info tho, and it can vary from LEA to LEA.

WetAugust Thu 10-Oct-13 16:22:28

I thought a statement automatically lapsed when a pupil voluntarily transferred to an indie school.

What the OP is describing is different to the sceario where the LA determines that for a child with a Statement, an indie school is required.

In the OP's case the LA has determined that he requires full-time TA in his current school but could determine that the lower ratio of pupils renders TA unnecessary.

Word of warning - you don't say how old your son is. IF he has been determined to need a fulltime TA his needs would seem to be quite severe. Just transferring to an indie school will not lessen those needs. You may find that, as he gets older, his condition worsens and he may require a special school. That could set a huge amount each year in specailist school fess. Plus you wouldn't automatically see Ed Pysch etc for free.

I was under the impression that unless money was absolutely no object at all a child with severe needs should really stay in the state sector.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 16:23:16

Thanks MadameDefarge, i also pay for private speech therapy and private OT so no doubt they would go to any school. It just seems that the school pays for a good TA for 1:1 for the week which is great, its been a 2 year fight for this, but nothing else.
But i think she struggles with the class sizes (according to OT) and her sensory needs have really increased also.

If you make a good case for an independent special school you can negotiate down to them just funding a 1:1 and you covering fees at a school of your choice.

That seems to be pretty much the only way people get it granted IME.

Then OT needs such as class size shoukd be written in her tatement.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 16:28:10

Thanks WetAugust. She's only just 4 and you're right, its an open book really as to whether a specialist school may be necessary as the learning element of school hasn't really started.
i did think mainstream state would be the best way as going into the private sector may mean we would have to start again if we wanted to go back into mainstream and i don't think i could start the fight all over again.
Thanks for all your advice- its really making me think about all alternatives.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 16:40:06

hmmm, maybe just making sure that absolutely everything is in the statement is the best way. I just guess i want to make sure i've thought about every alternative and option before going down the special school route should the MS school decide my DD cannot be educated there.
I just wanted to research every option out there but wetaugust is right, her needs are quite severe to warrant a full time TA so class sizes will probably make little difference in reality.

eatyourveg Thu 10-Oct-13 17:10:48

If you can prove that the private school can meet your dd's needs and the state school can't, (hard to do but not impossible by any means) then you can get the private school named in part 4 and then the LA pay for everything within the statement.

Statements don't lapse at private schools - many specialist schools are private so just because a child has severe needs doesn't exclude them from the private sector. National Autistic Society schools are a prime example - not state, but the vast majority of their pupils come with state funding.

Have you considered a ss if mainstream is failing your dd? Classes are usually under 10 and the staff are specialists.

Private isn't always best - it depends on the needs of the child. Is your local private school likely to be able to offer your dd a place?

ds2 and ds3 both had statements, one went to ss from 3-17 the other to ms primary and a private secondary. It really does depend on the individual school and how they meet your dd's particular needs.

WetAugust Thu 10-Oct-13 17:22:00

I wouldn't be too sure that statements don't lapse under the circumstances described by the OP. What you have described Eatyourveg is the LA deciding an indie is required - in this case the statement remains in force.
the parent deciding quite voluntarily to pay for indie school does not mean the statemnet automatically goes with the child - I think you'll find the statemnet is ceased.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 17:30:49

Thanks eatyourveg.
I think i'm starting to realise that a ss is a very real option. They are specialists, you're right -the class sizes are small.

I guess coming from such an academic background i wanted my child to have that chance, but that says more about me coming to terms with this then the needs of my child. In summary, if a MS primary isn't the answer, a private one with just a small class size probably isn't going to be the next option realistically for us.

Maybe my effort is best spent finding the best ss should this MS fail to meet my DD's needs in my area.

Thanks to all of you for contributing. If only i could buy you all a glass of something fizzy - i'd love to have friends like all of you x

MariaBoredOfLurking Thu 10-Oct-13 17:40:51

You do wine

Some dc do so well with a few years of SS that they transfer back into mainstream needing much less support than they did to start with. In some mainstream early years, dc need lots of 1-1 cos they're a fish out of water, and the 'ordinary' staff have no clue. In many SS, all staff know what they're doing so there's less need for a babysitter. Or there's the middle ground of a 'unit' attached to a mainstream primary: the good ones are excellent, the rubbish ones are dreadful.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 18:00:31

Thanks MariaBoredOfLurking,
I've heard that about SS being great for the first years of school. It really does come down to the staff and qualified approaches, i'm tired of trying to "think" up strategies" in order for my child to access an education and we're only in the first term!

WetAugust Thu 10-Oct-13 18:19:12

Stick around Lesley. I think you'll find many on here with the same issues trying to access a suitable education.

Early Years and Junior school are usually small setting with just one class teacher who is familiar with their class.

It's transition to secondary school when many problems arise as they leave that relatively safe environment and are thrown in with children from other schools and a different teacher for each class. That's when many simply cannot cope.

That's when I would transfer ti indie if I had to but I'd try to make a case for the LA to fund it. By secondary stage you'll also have a much better indication of her potential and what she needs to achieve it.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 18:25:45

wise words WetAugust.

TOWIELA Thu 10-Oct-13 18:52:51

In my experience, many indie mainstream schools are not geared up for very young SEN children. They might be able to cope with the child in reception/y1/y2 but the cracks start to show in year 3. From year 3 onwards many indie schools expect a lot from very young children. By year 3, many indie schools introduce subject teachers and start to stream Maths and English. Also very young children no longer use their class room as a base for all lessons, but are regularly moving around the school from room to room for each different lesson.

For my DS, he coped in reception/y1/y2 but year 3 was a disaster. Not just in terms of learning but also things like moving around the school. He simply could not handle moving from class to class and all that entailed - eg making sure he had the correct books/pens etc for the correct lesson. Also, my DS (by no means a "runner") got lost twice in his school in year 3 - a school he had been at by then for 4 years. One time the staff knew he had gone missing, and after calling me to ask if he was with me(!!) found him. The other time he went missing, noone knew he had gone until I worked out that he'd gone missing for an entire afternoon. I still to this day don't know where he was on both these occasions. His maths, always a very strong point for him and something that motivated him, nose-dived to the bottom of the bottom because he was "streamed" into the very bottom set (because of his dyslexia) and left with a maths teacher who simply did not know how to teach maths to a severely dyslexic child. When I home ed'ed him, it took a year for specialist dyslexia teacher to bring his maths (and motivation) back up to where it was before that school's teacher tried to teach my DS.

Tbh, if I had my time again, I would use my money to finance fighting proper support in a proper ss and not subject my DS through the trauma of a prestigious indie school that didn't know the first thing about how to support my DS. But more importantly, they didn't know that they didn't know, so in their process of trying to "fix" him, did immeasurable damage to him with their methods.

OP - my DS's experience of indie school is extreme. I didn't know he had SEN when I put him in that school. If I had known, I would have asked other parents with SEN children and ask of their experience of the school before placing him there. I would never ever rely on the Ofsted report - this school was "outstanding" for its SEN. Since I've removed him from the school, I discovered that my experience of the school wasn't unique.

eatyourveg Thu 10-Oct-13 18:57:24

wetaugust I don't see why you think the statement would cease. ds3 still has a statement even though he's at a private school and we fund it. The statement actually names a state school but the LA come to all his reviews to make sure the private school are meeting his needs. The OP could do the same, name the state school the LA want but take the statement to the private school and pay yourself (we have never paid for the SALT who comes in to see him).

There might and it is only a might be the possibility that the LSA OT and the SALT being covered by the new regs that came in last year whereby a school can't charge for additional aids and services. See here

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 19:53:20

sorry Towiela, when you say an indie mainstream school - do you mean a state school, not a private one?

WetAugust Thu 10-Oct-13 19:55:29

Eatyourveg I said it in response to the OP's query about transferring to an indie school funded by herself. I presumed she meant mainstream indie and the thread appears to bear this out.

If you look at the SEN COP you'll find it's applicable in the folowing settings:

This guidance applies to;
• academies;
• Free Schools (including University Technical Colleges and Studio Schools);
• maintained schools;
• pupil referral units;
• all interested parties; and
• non-maintained special schools

So, going by the above, a Statement would not be maintained in a non-maintained indie non-special school.

So you either have a very generous LA that is interpreting @all interested parties' as applying to your self-funded indie mainstream school or your child is in an indie special school.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 20:05:12

Thanks eatyourveg, good to have in my file to refer to.
Im currently appealing our statement mainly because it misses out (conveniently) all the OT and ST needs.

Lesley25 Thu 10-Oct-13 20:11:17

I do sometimes wonder what happens to sen kids who start at private school at primary level and are later diagnosed. We know that private schools all have special needs coordinators..
Do they stay on but get help from the school and pay extra for this?
I guess it depends on the severity but i do wonder what part the local education authority plays here.

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