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Nightmare with daughter at school

(111 Posts)
HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 06:54:21

I'm having a nightmare with dd 8 at school in year fourSo as not to drip feed she is adopted, was placed with us at 12 months and went straight into foster care from birth. She also is working at a year 2 level, there is a strong history of learning difficulties in the birth family background.

Dd has always been a well liked happy child at school but since she went back in September things have got pretty bad.

Her behaviour at school is unacceptable. She refuses to even look at her work, she is disruptive and rude. She starts fights with other children in the class and does things like lie on the floor in the middle of the classroom and refuse to move or engage with any member of staff. She did a runner of the school bus on a swimming trip a couple of weeks ago and they couldn't find her for fifteen minutes.

School are now threatening inclusive exclusion and then if that doesn't work straight forward exclusion. I'm so worried about her future and where this is going to go.

We have tried talking to her obviously and all we get is there's no problem and she doesn't know why she does it. School have tried and she just refuses to even look at the teacher never mind speak.

How can we get to the bottom of this if she won't open up?

OP’s posts: |
Broken1Girl Mon 03-Oct-16 06:58:02

'Inclusive exclusion'?!

HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 06:59:36

From what I can gather from school it's a posh term for isolation. She will be in a room all day on her own, including break and lunch times.

OP’s posts: |
CauliflowerSqueeze Mon 03-Oct-16 07:01:56

Perhaps they should go ahead and do that rather than just threatening. If she realises that there are consequences to this kind of behaviour it should curb it. Not to say you all shouldn't be thinking about the causes, but running off / refusing to look at someone etc needs immediate addressing.

hesterton Mon 03-Oct-16 07:05:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LIZS Mon 03-Oct-16 07:08:12

Shouldn't they be supporting you to get to the bottom of the problem. Has she always been like this or has something recently triggered it. They should be able to accommodate her relatively lower level academically . Does she have an ehcp? What support do you have from ss?

HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 07:08:14

She has seen him previously hesterton but not recently. She is seeing the SEN this week.

OP’s posts: |
HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 07:09:52

No this is completely new behaviour since September. SS don't do a lot tbh. The after adoption support worker is on sick at present. I spoke to the duty worker on Friday who said leave school at school (not helpful) and do some life story work with her (again not useful).

OP’s posts: |
HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 07:11:00

And no she's not statemented.

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user1473454752 Mon 03-Oct-16 07:12:12

Has she got an Ehcp? perhaps she is struggling with the work and is really frustrated, perhaps you may need to start thinking about sen schools if she does not settle down and it may be a lot better for her as they will work on her level x

HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 07:13:31

Yes we have thought the same thing about SEN schools. I do feel that school should be able to support her though. Although she hasn't got an echp she does get pupil premium as is previous LAC.

OP’s posts: |
LIZS Mon 03-Oct-16 07:21:42

Sen schools aren't that easy to get a place at. There will be an ability range within any classroom and teachers are trained to differentiate work. If this has happened only this term I think more avenues will need to be explored first - is she being bullied, feeling more out of sync, finding the classroom dynamics tricky to understand, not taken to new teacher or classroom etc. Exclusion is very much a last resort. Have her Sen been diagnosed and quantified by Ed Psych?

InfiniteCurve Mon 03-Oct-16 07:22:15

I'm not an education professional,but also wonder if it is frustration with the work and whether she has realised this year how difficult she finds things her school friends find easy.
Also she has presumably had a change of teacher?
( Have experienced this to a lesser extent with DS,dyslexic and with minimal writing skills at that stage,in a small village primary which basically had an intake skewed to high achieving children)
I hope you get to the bottom of it,OP

luckylucky24 Mon 03-Oct-16 07:41:44

I really don't think isolation would be helpful. Adopted children often have attachment issues (probably telling you what you already know here but..) and fear rejection etc. Isolating her is only going o heighten that and cause more problems.
Perhaps you could get this post moved over to the adoption boards. The ladies there have lots of experience.

Tabaccoworms Mon 03-Oct-16 07:46:09

I'm not in education, but

It's very hard to deal with any issue where the person won't open up about any issues they have, so I'd let the school do the isolation, and see if that had any effect.

I'd also ask for a meeting with the school and push for a SEN assessment.

I'd also point out, to the school, that the pupil premium a school recieves for a LAC should be used for that child, and is, in most areas of the U.K, to be used for " raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils and closing the gap with their peers", and my understanding is that the spending of those funds can be wide and varied as long as the improved outcome is achieved. Therefore it could be spent on 1-2-1 help, counselling, emotional help, academic help etc. This would enable the school to support her more effectively.

This would then put the onus on the school to step up a bit more in a constructive manner.

(It is worth looking up your local authorities policy on how the spending for LAC's should be spent as there may be variations within areas, but I'd have thought they would be minimal).

youarenotkiddingme Mon 03-Oct-16 07:47:32

What are they doing when her behaviour shows distress? I don't see how isolating her will help.
If she's 2 years behind academically to me there seems an obvious reason for her distress. Does she have a TA to support her 1:1? If they can provide someone for isolation they can provide someone in class.
That person needs to work towards seeing the first signs of anxiety and removing her then, so before she lays on floor, and working towards finding out what upset her and finding ways to prevent it.

I'm a great believer in behaviour is a form of communicating.

StiginaGrump Mon 03-Oct-16 07:49:47

Where is the pp they should be spending on her, where are their interventions yo support her SEN, where are their awareness of how to address the emotional immaturity and attachment issues that can come from adoption? Has anyone in the school completed any of the training about adoption...stuff is available there are posts on the adoption board with links...I would post there too.

Their plan is awful, isolating without addressing any of her needs- I would be furious. It's not at unusual for SEN kids to start acting out in year 4...everything gets much harder, add in a new teacher and what sounds like a consistent lack of support and understanding and this is much more understandable.

Your poor DD, keep up the love bonding at home and don't get sucked into being disappointed/having extra sanctions.

HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 12:07:38

I've spoken to the school this morning. They haven't been bloody claiming the pupil premium, apparently they didn't know they were entitled to it even though I told them and gave them copies of adoption certificates last year when the kids were enrolled. Just waiting for a call back to see if this can be backdated, then I need to arrange a meeting with school to discuss how it will be spent and where to go from here.

OP’s posts: |
Tabaccoworms Mon 03-Oct-16 13:49:13

I'd be surprised if they couldn't get it back dated. I am raising an eyebrow at the suggestion that they didn't know they could claim, schools are generally VERY aware of all the financial claims that can be made.

Nonetheless they should still be providing support, don't let them off the hook in the respect of the pp.

Did they offer any other suggestions as to how they would provide support? Or are they saying it will only happen if the pp is available? If they try this route please post here or PM me with the local authority name as I have had finance experience with schools and may well be able to help you sort out that element. I would want to check out the LA policy on pp before I advised you thou.

HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 15:57:46

According to the government j formation it says that any funds not allocated to the child's setting by 31st March will be recovered so looks like it can't be backdated.

A referral has been to the SEN today, they are finally going to assess for dyslexia which I've been requesting for a couple of years. I had another disagreement when they told me pupil premium didn't have to be spent on that specific child but I think I'm right in thinking that it does when it's post LAC??

OP’s posts: |
Tabaccoworms Mon 03-Oct-16 17:34:14

PP, on the surface, is a bit of a grey area for a number of reasons, but for your circumstances, I would bring the schools attention to the following points:

The school should receive pp funding, if they didn't apply for it and you had given them all the relevant information then they are at fault, and your DD should not be disadvantaged by their failure to apply for the pp. I still raise an eyebrow at this!

I don't think the pp is statutorily ring fenced, but the accountability element IS answerable by the school, and in particular to OFSTED. Schools, as of Sept 16, have to state on their website how the pp is spent, and how the barriers to learning (social, emotional, educational) have been overcome to achieve the required learning outcome. Any sensible school will draw up the plan with the parent, as success needs to be measured (by parents and the school) and the desired outcomes verified.

Any school that chooses to ignore this, and uses the money for the good of all pupils when there is clearly a need for the child who has bought the funding to the school, to have additional support, is frankly, heading for trouble as pp in schools can have a review forced on the individual school by the LA, OFSTED, Dept of Ed. et al if it is felt the pp is not being used effectively. It is this accountability element that effectively ring fences the money as funding for your DD.

It is the accountability element that you must drive home, they will need to show they have assessed her needs, drawn up a plan to address the barriers to learning and measured the success of the spending.

A lot of schools have already put details of their pp spends on their website as good practice, although they will have to do as such this year. I am sure you can find examples if you google.

For all the reasons above, I think your school stand a good chance of having the funds backdated if they push hard enough as pp is pushed so hard at schools and I can't see the LA disadvantaging, what they see to be an already disadvantaged child. The school might get their knuckles rapped for failure to apply, but that is not your issue.

I hope that helps. If you need any further advice on the pp I am happy to point you in the right direction if I can. Please do not let the school fob you off!

HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 17:55:53

Thanks for all your advice taba. I have searched high and low and can't find a policy for pupil premium for LAC for the school either.

I have tonight emailed the HVS for our loca authority outlining all my concerns, as I have the uneasy feeling that the school just don't believe me that they can claim for this.

OP’s posts: |
TheFallenMadonna Mon 03-Oct-16 18:03:42

Pupil premium plus funding (for LAC) is managed by the virtual school head in the LA.
See here

HammerToFall Mon 03-Oct-16 19:00:42

I had typed VSH but auto correct changed it. I'm hoping he may be able to shed some light on things.

OP’s posts: |
Tabaccoworms Mon 03-Oct-16 19:26:28

If the school haven't got a published SEN and PP policy on their website I'd email them and ask for a up to date copy of the policy that specifically deals with this area. I don't know if they have to give you a copy, but if they don't, I would politely ask why. I think the policies have to be reviewed every 4 ish years, but I am really not certain on the review period. Nevertheless, they should have a policy.

Also approach the SENco teacher and ask for their help and input, if they aren't already involved. I would also ask if there is a school governor who oversees and monitors SEN and pupil premium spend. (They probably won't like this line of enquiry as it can get a bit uncomfortable for the school and governors if something fundamental has been missed, but that's not your issue, just approach the question in a very friendly and inquisitive manner!, maybe even a mn head tilt for good measure. 😉).

I would honestly be surprised that the school didn't know they could claim for this. I have only ever dealt with the outer edges and reporting of school finances (not the day to day ins and outs) but I was very aware of funding for this and my full time role is not based in education at all.

Check the last OFSTED report for the school to check for any mention of pp funding/polices etc. Some schools receive quite a bit of funding and therefore it can be reported in the OFSTED report. Not always, but it is worth a look. More current inspections are likely to include this.

Thefallen has given you a link that will point you to the info that the school should be adhering to.

Ensure ALL your dealings with the school are clarified in emails.

I can't state strongly enough that it is the accountability element that the school have to be pushed on.

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