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Looking at schools - would this be an issue for you?

(7 Posts)
MintyLizzy9 Tue 10-Jan-17 12:48:51

Hi

So I still have a year before I have to apply for primary school place for DS but have started to look much more closely at the local primary this week.

I had always assumed that my child would attend the faith school at the end of my road, we are practising that faith, it's YARDS from the front door and is close enough for my non driving mum to be on hand for any emergencies if I'm stuck at work. It's a small school with one intake of 30 and due to the catchment area will be well versed in LAC and PP (not making assumptions, someone in the know passed comment that this was the case without giving any further detail). Previous ofsted reports are rubbish in terms of academics but good on the care/relationships between kids and staff and use of PP. New head is now in place and latest reports are very positive seeing vast improvements in the academics but also continuing to build on the 'caring' strengths, so all in all by the time DS is ready to attend it will be on paper at least be perfect for him.

Now, my issue is that I have just discovered via their updated website that my next door but one neighbour is the reception TA. We aren't 'friends' she's very close to the neighbour between us whom I had a falling out with years ago which I assume is why she became so frosty. (I know this makes me sound like a horrid neighbour but I promise I'm friendly with the rest of the street grin)

I'm gutted, now obviously most of my neighbours will know I didn't just give birth to a two year old but only a few know for sure he is adopted. I don't give two hoots who knows he's adopted but just how much detail would a TA need to know? Her kids and the other not talking to me neighbour have kids in this school also and they will still be there when DS starts, I'm worried she will discuss DS with other neighbour and that their kids will hear and this could cause issues for DS. Im happy for a teacher and TA to have as much info as needed to best support DS but this suddenly feels a little too close to home and I don't want him to be gossiped about.

Nearer the time of needing to apply I will of course ask for a meeting with the head but just wondered if I should be crossing this school off the list completly now and if any of you with kids already at school could let me know how much personal stuff the school should /need to know about.

DS at the moment is NT and although has speech delay is showing no other concerns and is sitting where expected for age in all other development areas so if this continues he may not need much if any additional support but I'm of course planning for the worse and looking at a school that can fully support him no matter what.

What would you do?

luckylucky24 Tue 10-Jan-17 13:25:25

The TA will need know that there are additional needs if she is to provide adequate support but I think you can request that only the head and teacher know. If the TA did discuss your son with a neighbour I would expect that this would be classed as misconduct and would at the least be classed as misconduct.

RatherBeIndoors Tue 10-Jan-17 14:49:15

Nearer the time, I'd expect the head to have a chat with you about info sharing and how you'll all handle it - my LO needs quite a lot of extra input. Only the Head and class teacher know any detailed info; we agreed that relevant TAs/other teaching staff would have training in how to support very specific needs but would not be told any history or reasons why those needs existed. If you are seriously concerned, you could perhaps ask that the TA specifically doesn't provide 1:1 care to your LO because you also know them outside school and it would be too confusing for your LO to negotiate those dynamics..?

crispandcheesesandwichplease Tue 10-Jan-17 14:55:38

Hi Minty, if your child is already adopted the only info school will have is what you give them. They don't need to know any of the background unless there are specific issues (ie security was an issue for us). In these circumstances I would give school as little info as possible, it doesn't sound like your child has a huge amount of extra need so why should they have any further info than they would with other children?. Yes I would let school know that my child is adopted but only insofar as this might indicate additional needs further along the way. That the school are good on the social and emotional stuff is a huge bonus for adopted children.

I gave quite a lot of background info on our AC when they started high school (they were not yet adopted when starting primary) but made it clear that this info was to be shared only on a need to know basis. School were very good about this. If the TA does find anything out and passes it on to friends/neighbours this is a breach of confidentiality and I'm sure is a disciplinary offence.

tldr Tue 10-Jan-17 16:47:24

I wouldn't let it stop you, but once you start speaking to them, I'd make it clear what you're happy to be shared and what you're not.

My DD requires a lot of extra support in school, but all any of them know is that she was adopted and the age that happened at. Everything else is treated like any other special need would be, so those who need to know do. (And frankly I'd rather they knew and didn't need to than vice versa...)

MintyLizzy9 Tue 10-Jan-17 17:47:10

Thanks everyone. Nothing is ever straight forward is it! I expect DS will need more emotional support than anything else, he gets angry when things don't go his way and hits himself, neither uncommon for his age so who knows what he will need in 18 months time. I'm planning on him needing TA support rather than not iykwim so that support is there if and when.

Maybe she'll find another in before then (hopeful face)

crispandcheesesandwichplease Tue 10-Jan-17 20:53:19

No Minty, nothing is ever straightforward with our kids! Seriously though our AC first went to primary they were constantly in trouble but got no help with emotional and social needs. We had to move house, which was unplanned, during year 2 which meant changing schools. Within weeks of being at the new school our AC was identified as having additional support needs and the right support was made available. It made a huge difference to our child's behaviour. I think that at the previous school all they cared about was academic achievement and as our child is bright and able they ignored the difficult behaviours. I used to think 'I don't care about their academic achievement right now, I want them to have social skills, good emotional regulation and be able to make friends'.

Anyhow the support we got with social and emotional regulation at the 2nd primary school was life-changing for us a family. Stick with a school that recognises the importance of this as a priority rather than academic achievement. You can sit GCSEs at any age but if you don't learn the right social and emotional skills you are at a great disadvantage in life.

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