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To think the local comprehensive shouldn't be able to turn down my son because they can't afford to meet the statement

(22 Posts)
fingerlicking Thu 20-Mar-14 17:09:21

I did put this on the special needs section, but got no feedback. So this area is busier.

My son has a statement for a specific language development problem: mixed expressive and receptive.

He has been at a language unit in a class of 8 for the past 2 years. After a number of specialist reports his transitional statement came and I was delighted. He would have fortnightly language therapy from a Speech and Language Therapist attended by a TA, who would then carry out a twice a week half hour follow up programme.

He would also need a TA (not exclusive to him) in class for all lessons with a language element, stated as English, Maths, Science and Humanities.

All wonderful. Nothing that was exceptionally difficult to give him as it wasn't a specialist TA and the NHS provide the therapy, not the school.

However, his local state mainstream secondary has said no because they can't afford to pay for the TA time.

The next nearest secondary is an Academy and has said no because they can't afford to meet the TA time. The next secondary school is over half an hour away and is so oversubscribed they can't fit him in.

Pretty much all the other mainstream secondary schools have the same opinion, they can't afford to give him the TA time, even on band B.

The only 2 special schools in the county are for children who come in at year 7 with a maximum score of level 2. My son should be scoring 3A/4C at the end of year 6.

I don't know what to do now? All the cuts in education have meant that schools have to provide what is on the statement but they aren't given money to do so. I feel for them, but what on earth is my son supposed to do?!

phantomnamechanger Thu 20-Mar-14 17:11:51

what have your LEA suggested? Surely they HAVE to find him a suitable place?

GertTheFlirt Thu 20-Mar-14 17:12:13

I cant give you legal advice per se but a school cant decline if it has spaces. They can try. Go to appeal. Go to your MP and go to the papers. Usually works.

GertTheFlirt Thu 20-Mar-14 17:13:24

The LA has to place him

BumpyGrindy Thu 20-Mar-14 17:14:24

Oh bugger sad You should nip over to Mumsnet Special Needs where there are people who've been there, done that and written the book...I DO hope you can sort this out. It's wrong,wrong wrong!

fingerlicking Thu 20-Mar-14 17:17:26

Well the LEA do have to find him a place. Today I visited the nearest special school as I wanted to pre-empt them suggesting it, however, is so inappropriate that it is totally out of the question.

I live in a village and my son would walk to school in 15 minutes. Other schools are a couple of bus journeys away, nothing direct. However, other schools are a bit of a red herring really as no school wants to meet his statement.

He would require about 17 hours of TA time, albeit, most of that time will be shared with other children in his class.

I do understand the school's difficulties, but to not give what is on a statement is breaking the law. The cuts to funding are a massive problem across the country.

Primary and secondary schools are now saying they don't want statemented children (unless the statement is really wooly and doesn't offer very much) because they just can't afford to give the child what it needs.

bochead Thu 20-Mar-14 17:17:38

Let the school formally tell the LA they haven't got the funding.

Yes the funding rules have changed, no the law hasn't.

Funding is between the LA & the school and is NOT the parents problem. If they can't sort it then the LA is on the hook for a full time tutor + the salt support while your child awaits a school place.

Your only job is to parent a disabled child, & fill in any relevant school admission forms etc not to resolve the professionals office politics. SN management is so silly, you'll drive yourself crazy if you try, so keep those lines of responsibility clear for all involved at all times. There is a conversation the school needs to have with the LA, you should not be involved.

Get the refusal in writing then book a telephone consultation with IPSEA who will advise you on what & how to take appropriate formal action.

GertTheFlirt Thu 20-Mar-14 17:20:06

I'm tempted to give you some anecdotal stuff I know to be true but I cant risk a breach of confidentiality and outting myself.

But the LA have to find an appropriate place

WilsonFrickett Thu 20-Mar-14 17:22:08

If his local school has a place, they have to take him and they have to fulfil his statement. How they do that is not your problem.

So you need to write to both school and LA and let them know you expect your son to attend his local school from x date. Then withdraw from the weeping and wailing of the school/money situation. Don't even get into a discussion about it - it is not your problem.

fingerlicking Thu 20-Mar-14 17:26:55

GirtTheFlirt - could you PM me? Please?

I will have to phone the IPSEA.

I was called into a meeting Thursday last week and I thought it was about fine tuning his transition and his needs. Turns out I was caught in the cross fire between the school and LEA.

I heard all sorts of things that I am pretty sure I shouldn't have. However, I can't pretend to not have heard them. I have sent an email to the LEA saying as much.

I have phoned them on Monday this week and again this afternoon but never got through to my son's case worker. I just want to know what is going on!

spleenyone Thu 20-Mar-14 17:36:48

Where are you?

prh47bridge Thu 20-Mar-14 17:41:11

If your son has a statement naming the school they have to admit him. If you disagree with the school the LA intend to name you can take the matter to SENDIST. The LA will need very good justification for their refusal to persuade SENDIST.

Funding is not your problem. SEN funding is largely delegated to schools (regardless of the type of school). They are therefore expected to fund most SEN provision from their budget. If your son requires expensive tailored provision that is funded by the LA (again, regardless of the type of school).

prh47bridge Thu 20-Mar-14 17:42:46

Your latest post suggests the LA is trying to tiptoe round the school. I think they should be tougher and simply name your preferred school on the statement. That would be an end to the matter.

fingerlicking Thu 20-Mar-14 18:07:59

They have named my preferred school. I put my local comprehensive down as 1st choice. They put it at the end of his statement that I received on 14 Feb.

Last Thursday I really did think I was attending a meeting to discuss transition and the little rinkydink issues etc. It was a shock for me to hear it all. I shouldn't have been drawn into the argument over funding. I wonder if the school did it deliberately as part of a strategy to get more money.

We are in East Sussex, but right on the border with Kent. I haven't looked at Kent schools though.

hiccupgirl Thu 20-Mar-14 18:40:51

If his statement has been finalised and issued naming the school, they have to take him regardless of whether they think they can afford his TA. The school will have had the chance to object to being named in the statement or to ask for more hours support at the draft level and if they chose to not bother saying anything then it's too late now.

But you're absolutely right, you shouldn't be stuck in the middle of this. I would guess though that the school are hoping that if they make a fuss in front of you, you will decide to take your son somewhere else. If this is what you def want for him then you have to be strong and stick to your guns. Tell the LA that he is going there and the special schools are not suitable.

Nomama Thu 20-Mar-14 18:45:32

Well!

They DO have the money, they just put the chit in for it. That gets sorted with the LA when you son is placed and they draw it down (I do that here in an FE college).

It can be a pfaff, but you do seem to be caught in the crossfire. Good for you for telling the LA that you are unhappy having been present for the bun fight. Keep that calm thought, school are being hissy, probably for more money or money up front for recruitment.

Good luck.

RnB Thu 20-Mar-14 18:56:19

Suggest to the LA that you will goto tribunal for a specialist language independent school. I think you'll find that money magically appears then

fingerlicking Thu 20-Mar-14 19:35:18

Whilst I don't want my son going to a special needs school, I'm not sure I want him at the local school any more. I don't want him to be 'a problem to be sorted'. I want him to be a child with some needs and some strengths, like any other child. It doesn't bode well for the future.

Nerfmother Thu 20-Mar-14 19:43:22

If it's a final statement naming the school in part four, the school will have been consulted and given 15 days to give reasons why they can't meet his needs. Is it an academy ? If the la aren't persuaded they can go ahead and name it. The academy has recourse to the Secretary of State, a maintained school doesn't.
They may not have the funding. They will need to show that they have spent up to 10,000 and need more from the la. They have to spend the basic per pupil money and up to 6k from the sen budget before getting top up funding.
Contact your la caseworker and or ipsea.

WilsonFrickett Thu 20-Mar-14 19:59:01

I agree, it doesn't bode well, but ultimately the person having a pissy fit with the LA is not the person who is going to be teaching your DS day to day. And if an SN school isn't right for him, then it isn't right. You've said you thought there weren't any other options for him locally either?

ac73 Thu 20-Mar-14 20:27:06

Can you get some support from Parent Partnership?

QueenofLouisiana Thu 20-Mar-14 21:20:11

The school should be able to apply for top up funding which will cover that provision. The is on top of the usual money for children with SEND. It is done each term here, but may be different elsewhere.

School needs to provide evidence of need being more than about 15 hours/week of 1:1. Takes the SENCO a while, but not impossible- and I say hat as a SENCO in post for 6 weeks when I sent off the forms.

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