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School not communicating....

(19 Posts)
Eliza22 Fri 06-Sep-13 09:37:03

My ds is 12. He has ASD and OCD. Now, just gone into Yr8 at mainstream secondary with ASD learning support attached unit. It's a good school and he settled and did well in Yr7.

I'm rather cross. This week, on return after the summer holidays, I wrote a brief one paragraph synopsis of his summer, outlining his situation. He was (unusually) looking forward to going back to school. The home/school communication book has not been read, at all. I've made comments each evening and no one has looked at them. Now, I know it's a busy busy time, with the new Yr7 intake but, am I unreasonable to hope that one day this week, someone might glance at the book? Ds has a Statement and is classed as a "very vulnerable child". By the end of last year, there were issues with another child regarding hitting/pushing/shoving and I'd hoped it might be different, this year. First week back....ds was hit and told he was a "little fucker" by this other boy. It is a "several times daily" occurrence. I wrote in the book but, no reply.

We were told throughout last year that this other boy, who also accesses the unit, has family difficulties and ds told me that his TA last year said they don't "do" anything (ignore the boy's behaviours) as to do otherwise, would "make him more angry". shock. Am I unreasonable to think that a). someone should read and respond to our home/school diary and b) that a violent (he threw a chair at the teacher whilst delivering a tirade of foul language) and verbally abusive child ought to be addressed rather than ignored, in order to not further antagonise him?

Anyone?

Do you have the Headteachers email? If so, write to them daily asking them to pass on the message to the TA as somehow it isn't getting there, and could the HT please email you back her response that day.

Or you could send a note into the teacher asking for a meeting to discuss the lack of use of the homeschool book and what alternative communication system can be implemented to make sure that information is processed in a two-way and timely fashion, if the homeschool book isn't working.

Eliza22 Fri 06-Sep-13 17:55:48

I phoned the school and they've assured me they will read the book, daily. They have also said they are dealing with the child who is fast becoming my sons's own private bully. confused

WetAugust Fri 06-Sep-13 20:05:23

Always best to put things in writing as it creates a record of your complaints - and name names.

Bullying is a nightmare made worse when school do nothing. If I was you I would keep a diary of the bullying your son reports to you and the contacts you've had at school.

Definitely report it to the teacher, to the Head of Year and ultimately to the Head and Governors if no action is taken.

Hope things improve soon.

Trigglesx Fri 06-Sep-13 21:27:55

Yes, definitely - follow that up in writing. If nothing else, a synopsis of the phone conversation saying they have agreed to read the book daily and are dealing with the bully. Then they know you're documenting things. Helpful to do.

supermum98 Mon 09-Sep-13 19:40:08

My son was bullied last year. There was a physical assault and I was offered a meeting with the Head and Governor, nearly a week after the event. I wasn't prepared to wait that long so I rang the school and said that I wouldn't bring him in until we could have the meeting as I felt that it wasn't safe. Surprise surprise they offered me a meeting immediately as per their bullying policy. Amazing what a little gentle pressure can do.

WetAugust Mon 09-Sep-13 21:54:45

Other pressures you can bring to bear are:

whenever there is an incident at school, such as a physical assault, the school must fill in an Incident form and notify the LA if it's serious. A copy should also go on your child's school file. You can ask to see that. Otherwise some schools will down-play to the LA serious incidents that occur in school.

You can notify the Police. Assault is assault regardless of where it happens. The school may prefer to try to deal with it in-school but if it's a serious assault I would (and did) report it for Police investigation.

Eliza22 Tue 10-Sep-13 08:35:57

Thanks for the replies.

The thing is, this boy has autism (as does my son). When I had a meeting in school, they said *all of the children who access the unit (ASD support) have difficulties and this boy has horrendous things going on at home". Clearly, he lives in an environment where verbal and physical violence are the norm. They tried to reassure me that my ds was not singled out by the boy and that his aggression reached to all, indiscriminately. He is "ignored" even when he tells the teaching staff they're "fucking wankers" and flings a chair across the room.

My sons's ASD presents itself in more timid OCD-style fashion. Whilst I have to appreciate that this boy has a diagnosed condition, I will NOT, this term, be willing to accept school's inability to try to either stop it or keep my son out of harms way. I'm concerned that the situation my escalate over time. I fail to see how not tackling the behaviour and not trying to handle this boy's rage, can be seen as a strategy.

So tell them you won't hold any incidents against this boy, you'll hold them against the school.

Idiots!!

float62 Tue 10-Sep-13 12:41:00

Whilst I really do sympathize with your ds's situation and agree that the school need to manage the other boy's aggressive behaviour I am rather shock that the school are discussing this child's home life with another parent, even if it is "horrendous" as alleged. The violence and swearing are not necessarily learned in the home and many dc's with ASD from naice environments can behave this way.

WetAugust Tue 10-Sep-13 12:49:02

The school needs to be told that they should stop hiding behind this boy's domestic difficulties and ASD and start recognising that in addition to those other problems that boy appears to Emotional Social and Behavioural Disorder that you consider his current placement is not dealing with effectively. As a result, other children, including your own, are being put at risk.

In writing - letter to the Head of Unit - copy to LA. You may actually be doing the Head of Unit a favour as it gives the unit ammo to tell the LA the boy needs better support. And obviously better support is better for the boy himself.
I would not pussy-foot about here. Tell them straight it's not acceptable..

Eliza22 Tue 10-Sep-13 13:21:37

FLOAT.... I have no idea who the boy is, nor his parents. I was given this bit of information in hushed tones last year I think, as a way of school telling me it is this boy's "safe place" and he vents in this way at school, as part of his condition BUT that some of it is his social environment. I have no problem with his condition and of course, I know that there are kids/adults with ASD who behave in this way having come from a peaceful, loving and supportive home. It CAN be an aspect of ASD behaviour. However, it is NOT something I think other pupils should have to be met with every day. The school are failing this boy, my son and others.

WETAUGUST, I have made my point in writing. I wait to see what transpires.

Ds' school may well have said similar about my ds' behaviour. They disapproved of my parenting and implied often that it was too draconian (despite my many invitations for them to come home and see what we were doing) and therefore tried to 'give the poor child a bit of freedom and independence' In reality they were undoing the good and undermining our hardwork and promoting wild and unacceptable behaviour which I then had to address more at home.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 10-Sep-13 15:55:46

I'm really rather glad that my LA has no units where internalisers and externalisers are mixed because they all share ASD. Wrong placement for both.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 10-Sep-13 15:57:27

Just to be clear - LA has NO units.

Eliza22 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:15:08

Ds came home this afternoon. Told me the boy had hurt him. Apparently, the boy had come to school with a "scratchy thing" (?) and had stuck it into DS's hand. A TA saw this (no idea who as the excellent TA he had in Yr 7 has remained in Yr 7 and ds now Yr8) and "told off" the boy in question.

I am livid. There was NOTHING in the home/school diary. No account whatsoever. The "sharp, scratchy thing" ? Could have been anything shock except it wasn't his usual stretched out paper clip he prefers to use to poke my son. Could have been a needle and syringe for all I know.

I have not written in the home/school diary as clearly, it is pointless my doing so. Tomorrow morning, I will telephone school and make an appointment to see the Head teacher. I am aghast at their lack of care for my son whom they describe in his Statement Review as continuing to be "a very vulnerable child".

WetAugust Tue 10-Sep-13 21:52:09

Eliza - it's worrying isn't it?

Good move to see the Head but you need to put your concerns in writing and copy that letter to the LA.

I am sure the Head would be happy to entertain you to 30 mins of their time on a regular basis to discuss this bullying and keep a lid on the situation - but it's beyond that and the only way to prove you have raised concerns and action has not been forthcoming is to document your concerns in a letter.

Hope things improve soon.

mimbles Wed 11-Sep-13 17:18:56

The school have a duty of care for your son. They seem to be sidestepping it? What is the schools anti-bullying policy? Are they abiding by it?

Eliza22 Thu 12-Sep-13 08:09:40

I've been asked to document all conversations and my grievances and to send them to the Head. Apparently the LA have been notified in respect of this child's increasingly violent behaviour and the lack of response from his family. The school cannot provide what they consider to be the correct environment for him. There have been many many complaints from other pupils/parents and staff. I had no idea it was such a long running effort to have this child provided a "more suitable environment". The school are very concerned for ALL of the children in contact with this boy but are waiting for action by the LA.

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