Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

SEN statement & private/independent schooling

(11 Posts)
sjaj123 Sat 05-Mar-16 12:46:43

Hi there - just wondering if there is anyone out there who has experience of our situation.

We have an 8 year old girl who was diagnosed adhd at age 5, and dyslexia at age 7. We always suspected from her very early years that there was something there so opted to go for a private school as we new the small class sizes were going to be essential for her. The school very quickly (within 4 months) picked up on her special needs and thus we began the process of seeking professional advice. We decided to use medication as without it she would not have been able to stay in her school and we definitely felt the small class sizes were for her.
As she is getting older, and thinking about the longer term, we are hoping to send her to a state secondary school as we are really not in a position to fund private secondary schooling all the way.
I understand that if she was in a state school and had a SEN statement we could then have input in to which secondary school she attended.
But my question is this - how does one get a SEN statement if they are already in a private school, but wish to transfer eventually to a state school??

Any advice would be welcome - especially if someone has been in the same situation.

Many thanks in advance!

zzzzz Sat 05-Mar-16 16:56:10

Statements are no more, but we're never anything to do with state/independent education. Now you would apply directly to LA for an EHCP.

zzzzz Sat 05-Mar-16 16:56:38

Were

zzzzz Sat 05-Mar-16 17:09:00

The easiest thing to do would be to phone the schools you are interested in and ask to speak to their admissions or senco(or both) and to have a chat with the LA.

firecracker123 Sat 05-Mar-16 19:01:40

Actually you could get a private school funded in an EHCP if you can prove your local authority has no suitable provision of its own

zzzzz Sat 05-Mar-16 19:39:09

What SHOULD happen is your SENCO should be hand holding through the whole process. What DOES happen is very different.

It is not in an independent schools interest for you to have provision specified in an EHCP so they have no incentive to help you get one.

On a more reassuring note mine have been supported in a vastly superior way in state than they were at prep school. If it was me I would find a local primary and move her for yr 5 to give plenty of time to get things in place for transition and so she can move with a friendship group.

PolterGoose Sat 05-Mar-16 21:22:16

What zzzzz said.

Small classes are over-rated IMHO. Environment, quality of teaching and support, and an inclusive, collaborative, pro-active approach is far more important than how many children in a class.

pannetone Sat 05-Mar-16 21:53:26

Not quite what Polter said!grin

Small class sizes have been very important for my DS and DD - together with the other factors Polter lists like quality of teaching and support. For my DS we didn't have any real quibbles with how he was being supported in his MS state secondary but for him the large class sizes and large year groups were overwhelming, especially sensory-wise. And he now feels much more 'secure' in a school with small classes and much smaller overall (160, rather than 1500) - for him it is important he knows and is known by most of the school community.

DD has ASD and selective mutism and for her small classes in a specialist school have been transformative - now year 6 she is speaking in school for the first time.

As regards getting an Education and Health Care Plan for your DD you can apply as parents - have a look at the info on www.ipsea.org.uk/. Being in a private school isn't a bar to applying.

Both my DS and DD have an EHCP and my LA pays for their independent school fees as their schools are the nearest suitable to meet their needs - both schools are outside the LA area.

PolterGoose Sat 05-Mar-16 22:14:07

Of course, panne, for some children class size is very important. But I don't think it's as important for most children with SNs as all the other factors. Good architecture, careful lighting and decor, good acoustics, those sort of things can all help ameliorate the worst aspects of bigger classes.

I do think the ever expanding size of schools is a worry. Ds's school is around 700 or so pupils, which is considered small for a secondary, and it feels even less because of the site layout. Another benefit is the resultant smaller teaching staff which means most of them know ds and his SNs,

zzzzz Sat 05-Mar-16 22:29:27

Don't get me started on the size of secondary schools angry IMO totally ridiculous.

My dd with SM has had a similar experience to yours pan but for us state school was better and prep less so.

For us state is vastly superior (and I think our previous school was rather better than most independents on the pastoral side). An inclusive environment is always going to be superior to my mind. My children are part of their school and not just tolerated or adapted for.

They have also been hugely helpful in getting my dc into the secondaries of our choice. Including one out of catchment and one specialist school. I wish we'd moved YEARS earlier.

sjaj123 Sun 06-Mar-16 17:44:09

Thank you all for your advice / input. Thanks pannetone also for the Ipsea referral, I wasn't aware of that site. We have thought about changing her earlier to help with the later transition but it just seems so wrong when she is happy and settled in her current school. Ugh too many decisions.
Wishing you all well for the future and fingers crossed we can get her in to the best state school for her. Really appreciate the advice.

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