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Would requesting school records be helpful?

(24 Posts)
Ineedmorepatience Thu 30-Jan-14 17:52:01

Thats it really, there are loads of inconsistancies in what school reports, what Dd3 says [and I observe] and what the indie EP identified [which matches what Dd3 says and I observe].

We are going to tribunal for refusal to assess.

Would requesting her records be pushing the boundaries in terms of my relationship with the school, which is already dodgy tbf ??

Not that I am really bothered but she has 6 months left there and dont want to spoil it for her sad

lougle Thu 30-Jan-14 18:03:56

You have every right to. Absolutely every right, and no it shouldn't affect the relationship.

In reality??

Yes, it would affect it, I think.

If you read comments that were less than complimentary, how would you feel? If there were records of incidents that you feel are unfair, or inaccurate, but not factually wrong, you might be left feeling injured, but having no action you can take.

In terms of the appeal, it may well really help you, though.

bjkmummy Thu 30-Jan-14 18:08:14

this is something I need to do so I understand how you feel ineedpatience.

my other worry is that as dh has moved around a lot how accurate her school records will be and I actually dread what maybe personally said as well

the ipsea refusal to assess pack recommends that you do get the records as well and also ask about the sen budget at the school

Ineedmorepatience Thu 30-Jan-14 18:09:11

hmm Hmmm, I obviously need to think carefully before I decide then Lougle.

I was half expecting the file to be fairly empty tbh, what sort of stuff goes in them?

When I worked in schools the ones we used to get for transferring children were void of anything useful usually!!

Just NC levels and copies of school reports!

Ineedmorepatience Thu 30-Jan-14 18:10:49

That is interesting about IPSEA bjk our advocate suggested I get them too.

RevoltInParadise Thu 30-Jan-14 18:16:17

Interesting. I thought the school record for your child was jut incident forms, reports, letters etc? I thought they weren't allowed to put in notes of a personal nature, eg we think to is mother is a psychopathic nutcase etc?

lougle Thu 30-Jan-14 18:17:22

The thing is, that there are two levels of files.

Standard files will be all official forms, etc.

But if you do a Subject Access Request (which is what you'd be doing to access the files at this time) then you're asking for all data that they have on your DD.

So any notes that have been made, any emails that have been written, even if it's 'Bah...Mrs Ineed is stressing about littleIneed again. Where are we up to with support?', anything.

Sometimes, internal communications are much more informal than external ones, and things slip in.

For instance, I had a spam thingy on my email. It pinged a bizarre link to several of my contacts. Including the head teacher of the old school DD2 was pulled out of. Now, it just so happened that the deputy head was covering her role because she was on Mat leave, and that teacher was DD2's first teacher.

The first I knew of it was receiving an email from said teacher that simply said 'What's all this about, eh!!!!!!!'

I sent abject apologies and the teacher emailed me to say 'oops...intended that to go to Mrs IT lady, very sorry.'

Ineedmorepatience Thu 30-Jan-14 18:22:17

Well I wouldnt be worried about copies of emails as I save and print them all anyway wink I have quite a pile grin

grin @ revolt Dd3's probably would say something like that!!

RevoltInParadise Thu 30-Jan-14 18:23:31

Lol I dread to think what the head teacher writes about me and dh! To say we don't get along is an understatement!!

RevoltInParadise Thu 30-Jan-14 18:24:10

Also, how do you know they have given you everything?!?

RevoltInParadise Thu 30-Jan-14 18:24:44

We were responded to via email and other teachers cc'd in..I imaginea. Fair few emails went back and forth about that one!

bjkmummy Thu 30-Jan-14 18:32:01

someone I know has just had the school file and in it were written comments from the class teacher who had been listening to conversations the mum was having. some of the comments she read she found quite upsetting as they were quite personal about her parenting techniques.

last year with my son I got the LA file and the school file and then cross referenced them to see what was missing - the LA randomly deleted emails saying that they were 'information only' these were emails between them and the school

streakybacon Fri 31-Jan-14 08:22:33

You might be disappointed by what you get. Not all record-keeping is accurate and not everything will be recorded. I requested my son's by Subject Access Request and got about five sheets of very bland information - attendance record, expected targets etc, but no reports, correspondence or anything of note. This was after five years in school and countless incidents that should have been recorded, including aggressive episodes towards staff and pupils, restraint, also important stuff like meetings I'd had with staff, assessments etc.

After I'd withdrawn him to HE I asked the LA to find the file and was told that I'd already been given it, so it boiled down to their word against mine. The school was covering itself because they knew he had extensive problems that they weren't supporting and they'd be in trouble if they were rumbled.

Not saying that's the case in your situation, but just pointing out that you can't rely on the file being accurate as there's often an agenda behind record-keeping.

And yes, I think it would affect your relationship because it could be read as not trusting the school.

Ineedmorepatience Fri 31-Jan-14 08:27:06

Thanks streaky I think they already think I dont trust them, and based on the fact that I have been lied to I dont !

That was my experience of school records that turned up with new children that I worked with in school. Hardly anh useful information.

I will think about it over the weekend.

streakybacon Fri 31-Jan-14 08:30:23

Actually you might want to consider TWO requests, one to school and one to the LA SEN team. It didn't occur to me at the time, but since HE and applying for statutory assessment, exam access arrangements etc, I was surprised to see the massive bundle the EP had with her. So I'm thinking there are two sets of records and it might be worth asking to see both.

Also PALS for hospital records which should include assessments done in school and maybe correspondence.

PolterGoose Fri 31-Jan-14 08:32:50

I requested ds's under the DPA 2 weeks ago, used a template from the ICO website. School have already asked what I want, apparently they have academic record, SEN record and 'school file', I'd like it all smile I feel I need to see what's in it before applying for SA. Just before starting secondary seems a good time to have a look and make sure the records are correct before the transition too.

zzzzz Fri 31-Jan-14 09:24:16

Can you do the same request from an independent school?

PolterGoose Fri 31-Jan-14 09:31:39

Yes, any organisation which holds personal data is subject to the DPA. ICO link here

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:52:15

Definitely get file but also consider having your Indi EP go into the school. Ime teachers minimise severity or even deny behaviour. Most of them can't even see (to quote Beattie - BT advert and apologies to the enlightened few)!

With DS2 issues were minimised by all school teaching staff but when external experts conducted classroom obs (Indi, LA and NHS) it turns out to be severe, significant etc. The teachers had not considered it important to tell me that he was disengaged for more than 90% of the time. angry

Ineedmorepatience Fri 31-Jan-14 13:41:42

Yes funnily enough I have already had similar experiences with SALT's observing and OT.

After these 2 visits it was on record that she talks incescently (sp) and is in constant motion !!

Oh and she has to be re focussed on numerous occasions.

Oh yeah this will be the perfect child that the teachers dont notice has any issues then !!

I would like to get access to all her files, including medical ones from the 3.5 yrs it took me to make the powers that be see her Asd!! The number of times I was told to stop worrying or looked at like I was a loon!!

DP thinks we should just ask for the files because he thinks the school know we dont trust them anyway !!

streakybacon Fri 31-Jan-14 14:14:30

Same here. Several times a week I'd be met at the school door by worried frowns over his latest 'incident', and there were frequent discussions about how hard they were finding it to manage him. He was even famously described as 'the most violent child with Asperger's I've ever met, should be in special school' yet they STILL didn't think this warranted statutory assessment! And none of this made it on to paper either - officially he was golden, no problem whatsoever.

This is why I tend to take official school information with a hefty dollop of salt.

wetaugust Fri 31-Jan-14 16:04:25

I got a copy of DS's school file.

Very upsetting reading as it confirmed the school had been lying to me.

Very usueful for the legal action we initiated.

School should keep everything in the child's school file - it's a duty placed on them by the SEN COP. Many don't. You can find they are quite selective in what they chose to preserve (or otherwise).

Ineedmorepatience Fri 31-Jan-14 16:26:01

Well I dont need to read the file to know that the school lie to me because the TA has dropped them in it twice !!

Thanks wet and streaky

I have a funny feeling Dd3's file is going to be awfully skinny !!

oompaloompa72 Fri 31-Jan-14 17:58:39

I requested both LA records and the whole school record as I knew I wasn't getting the full story of what was going on. The LA records included notes about a phone call from school who were concerned that an 'official looking' letter had been sent requesting all paperwork and asking what they were to do about it hmm.

Both records made interesting reading. Lots of negative comments by staff about ds implying that he was 'putting on' his condition and also 'choosing' to have a phobia which they were to ignore angry. There were also records of him being left unattended when he was supposed to have full time support for his own safety and details of a restraint incident which we knew nothing about!

They also didn't include all the records yet when I complained about this they made a big deal of pointing out that they had managed to copy the records within timescale despite having to still deal with children in the school. They obviously felt that by exercising my legal right I had caused them too much work!

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