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To think that every eleven year old who gets less than a level 3 in their SATs should have a statement and see an ed pych to see how thier needs are best met.

(52 Posts)
ReallyTired Thu 19-Sep-13 12:51:21

My son has a friend who was disapplied from SATs. The boy was given the key stage 1 paper and got a level 2 on teacher's assessment.

The child is not statemented inspite of being on the SEN register for his entire primary career. I feel this child has been badly let down by his primary. Thankfully the secondary school is organising high quailty SEN support and the child's mum says that he is making excellent progress in the 3 weeks that he has been at secondary.

I feel that a child with such low achievement should have been statemented long ago. I feel low achieving children should be referred to the ed pych by law and the schools should be fined if they don't make the referrals.

PeppiNephrine Fri 20-Sep-13 11:13:33

More testing, more paperwork, more frameworks and standards and levels and key don't need more of this. Your system has been getting more and more convoluted and leaden and non-workable for YEARS and your standards are falling, not rising. Whatever you are doing, its not working.
Why advocate for even more of the same?

daftdame Fri 20-Sep-13 11:07:49

Fluff Yep schools 'playing the system', doesn't mend the system. It is tactical rather than strategic but the schools do not have to be concerned about a child's welfare long term, like parents are.

'Playing the system' distorts need and means resources are not (officially) allocated to those who need them. Honesty and transparency is the only way.

fluffyraggies Fri 20-Sep-13 11:01:36

Daft - i would agree with you. It's all part and parcel of the same thing.

SEN TAs are, on the whole, only allowed to stay with a designated child for 2 years max. Then the child will be allocated a new SEN TA. This is to prevent over attachment on both sides. The consequence of this, over the course of a few years, is that there is a air bit of swapping around of TAs/children within the same school. I have first hand experience of TAs being given a charge who, in their last year of primary, with their original SEN needs long gone, need no 1-1 at all.

I would go so far as to say that often when the child plus that dedicated TA have been put in class L6, for eg. it's purely because L6 has no TA that year. Which is all very well logistically, but when you can see a child in another class struggling who would so benefit from 1-1 and there's no one/no funding to give it, because you've been put in L6 and are effectively working simply as a TA for that year it's heart breaking.

Dobbiesmum Fri 20-Sep-13 10:44:41

My post was very snappy, apologies for that, you're right reallytired it may be worth looking at when he gets closer to doing his GCSE's.
Sorry blush

YouTheCat Fri 20-Sep-13 10:42:51

I hear you. My ds was in a unit attached to a mainstream primary for his first 2 years in education. There was allocated support and funding just for him for 1:1 and what happened? His TA was spread about the school and my ds was dumped in nursery. hmm

I was not best pleased and ds was moved to a special school that was fantastic.

Fluffy, our school has stopped funding any extra training (bar first aid and one day courses which are rubbish tbh). I'd also have to find more than £500 for further training which I don't have on my part time wage and there are no fulltime jobs out there because of budget cuts.

I've got 11 years paid experience and a further 5 years unpaid, and my skills are not utilised or maximised at all.

daftdame Fri 20-Sep-13 10:36:29

Fluff and Starlight I agree but also think there are situations where a child would cope well without their designated 1 to 1 TA, in fact they are coping, but this is not officially declared. This is because the school wants to keep the additional resource.

Another way in which need is distorted, as well as poor performance being blamed on a child's disability when it is in fact due support not being properly utilised.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 20-Sep-13 10:25:36

Thank you for that fluffy. I often feel I have hugely let ds down by putting him into a special school. He does many extra-curriculum activities with mainstream children after all and some settings say they haven't noticed his SEN.

But I just know that the teachers/school would make an executive decision that the support outlined in his statement should be used differently to help the teacher/school manage their workload and any failure in his progress would be blamed on his disability rather than lack of properly utilised support.

I'm the 'parent' often discussed with disgust who fought for her child to go to a huge bucks independent special school with small class sizes when there are 'other children' more needy who haven't got half of what he has.

This is true. But it isn't my ds' fault that teachers in mainstream would reallocated his support to 'more needy' kids instead of fight for support for them in their own right.

fluffyraggies Fri 20-Sep-13 10:13:12

starlight you're spot on.

I have 8 years experience as a TA and a SEN TA each day. My day was split between children and classes.

Very oversimplified; my schools expectation was that a TA is there to support the teacher. A SEN LSA however was supposed to be in that classroom for one child only.

However - due to larger classes and less TAs my job as a SEN TA was undermined constantly by the demands of some teachers (not all) wanting me to help run the class or take large groups (usually the less able pupils) out of class to do an activity elsewhere with my poor SEN child 'tagging along' sad

This last point, i'd like to add, may go some way to explain how the misuse of TAs can lead to a decline in educational standards, as mentioned above.

I underwent training regularly for the first 5 years of my job. Then funding was never available to send me. I was told if i wanted more training i would have to pay myself. The last course i couldn't do would have cost me £500. All the while my contract stated that i should handle no more than 7 children in one group and should not be expected to replace the teacher for main lessons. Yet time and time again i was sent off out of class with 8/9/10 of the least able/rowdy children, to any room i could find, and be expected to teach them the basics of the lesson going on in the classroom.

Over and over again TAs leave and are not replaced due to funding. More and more pressure on the staff remaining.

Many times i would raise the point with the head that i was being put in a position as a SEN TA which undermined my ability to carry out the target work for SEN child. The answers would always be budget related with the heavy implication that i knew where the door was if i couldn't cope.

With lack of training there is no investment in the TAs anymore and therefore little value attached to them. There were always hordes of parents waiting to jump into any role that became vacant.

It's not right. But it was the sad reality of TA/SEN work for me.

daftdame Fri 20-Sep-13 10:02:31

ReallyTired I think some schools actually are guilty of creating some additional 'needs'.

In a case of anxiety over SATs it is not surprising that this happens when some misguided schools put so much pressure on children, with late revision classes etc. Not saying this happened in Dobbie's ds's case but it might have.

When is the need the child's and when is it the teacher's? The answer to this is not always so easy to determine since teaching and learning involves a relationship between teacher and pupil. All have responsibility regarding the outcome.

YouTheCat Fri 20-Sep-13 09:44:39

I know a lovely young lad in year 6. No way on this earth is he going to get a level 2.

He should be in a special school where education would be geared towards him fulfilling his potential. I believe he may have foetal alcohol syndrome (numpty amateur disclaimer). He does have extra support but he is in the wrong place. His parents really couldn't give a shit, so there's no way they'd be applying for a statement independently. I worry for his future.

I worked with another young man in year 3. He was working at P levels then, much the same ability as the other lad. He got a statement and a place in a special school. He's 17 now and I see him around. The special school was the right place for him. He's now in college, working towards a vocational qualification. His parents weren't that bothered either tbh.

Statements are a whole lot harder to get now. And I believe those 7 years have made a lot of difference.

I don't think there is much point in saying someone working at level 2 in year 6 should have a statement. Intervention needs to be much earlier.

ReallyTired Fri 20-Sep-13 09:22:33

"Really if the parents had concerns and school were failing the child why didn't they apply for statutory assessment themselves?"

Many parents don't know that they can apply for a statutory assessment. In some cases parents have learning difficulites themselves so are utterly overwellemed by the process.

Surely its up to the school to organise statementing. If a child is working at level 2 in core subjects then either the primary school is crap or the child has substantial special needs. Either way the child needs substantial help to give them the skills they need for adult life.

Dobbiesmum it doesn't hurt a child to see an ed pych. Prehaps your son could have done with some help with anxiety which an ed pych. might know how to organise. Surely its important to make sure that he does not bomb out in his GCSEs due to severe anxiety.

MrsDeVere Thu 19-Sep-13 16:56:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Dobbiesmum Thu 19-Sep-13 16:54:37

My DS scored a damn sight less than a level 3 on his SATS despite achieving top grades all the way through school. He's now achieving consistently good grades in year 8. His teachers at primary were as baffled at his low grades as we were in all honesty, we can only assume that he got into a panic. he has no SN and no need to see an education psychologist thank you.
Don't generalise.

ouryve Thu 19-Sep-13 16:46:12

How did the parents feel about this child's progress, ReallyTired? Did they not have any concerns about the child in the previous 11 years of his life to the point that level 2 in SATs was a total surprise to them? If they did, have they actually pushed for an assessment, of any sort, themselves?

PolterGoose Thu 19-Sep-13 16:41:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JakeBullet Thu 19-Sep-13 16:39:31

Many Ed Psychs will not see a child just on the request of a school. I know this is the case locally. Only those children who the LEA have deemed in need of a statutory assessment get an Ed Psych appointment. They won't see any other children as their workload is just too great.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 19-Sep-13 16:35:55

That is why my ds is in a special school too MrsDeVere. He is too capable to be supported adequately in a mainstream and all of his 'support' would be absorbed, pretended it happened when it didn't or given to other children.

His SS costs 3 times what mainstream support would have cost. Ridiculous!

Owllady Thu 19-Sep-13 16:34:37

I think it's negligent to not give a child who needed to be educated in a special school, a statement of special educational needs in a mainstream. Wtf are some of the LA's on?

(I have a 14 yr old on P levels btw, but since she was small she has gone to special school as we were advised to do so, though we did briefly try mainstream at a lower level)

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 19-Sep-13 16:33:13

The issue of course is not that the child doesn't need a TA, but that an untrained TA is not a replacement for a teacher which is what was happening.

The child needs both properly differentiated work supplied from the teacher who works with the child and also delivers clear instruction to a well-trained and competent TA who has learned the essential skill of first teaching and then 'allowing' independence.

Not many TAs can do that however hard they work. Not necessarily through lack of competency but from lack of training and understanding of both them AND the teachers and schools.

MrsDeVere Thu 19-Sep-13 16:31:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 19-Sep-13 16:30:06

No child is entitled to fulfil their potential. They are only entitled to receive and 'adequate' education. And 'adequate' in the field of SEN is rapidly diminishing and expectations are being lowered in line with cuts.

What was 'adequate' just 5 years ago is not the same as now.

MrsDeVere Thu 19-Sep-13 16:28:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 19-Sep-13 16:27:31

'Are those children with the same educational needs with and without a TA?'

Yes. Those children were like for like.

There is something wrong with the conclusion imo i.e. children with SEN should not have TAs, but the research itself was sound.

Owllady Thu 19-Sep-13 16:27:08

and of course children with SEN should have the correct input to reach their full potential, i can't really believe people argue otherwise confused

Owllady Thu 19-Sep-13 16:25:50

I had a child pulling at me blush

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