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to not want DD to go back to school in September?

(55 Posts)
EnchanciaAnthem Wed 19-Aug-15 10:53:54

I am so stressed sad

My 6yo DD has Type 1 Diabetes, and we have struggled getting any support from school. So I've been going in 2/3 times a day to administer insulin, correct high blood sugars etc - class teacher has only been responsible for checking blood sugars and treating lows. This was only done sporadically. For anybody who doesn't know, low blood sugars (hypo) can lead to seizures, comas and even death.

In the final few weeks, things just got worse.

- DD's teacher would either not treat or ring to ask how to treat lows - despite having a written care plan, instructions taped inside hypo supply box, a years worth of training from the diabetes nurse - and then not follow my instructions, and when asked said numerous times 'I must have forgot'.

- Just completely 'forget' to check DD's sugars in general.

- Stopped sending communication diary home.

- I had a meeting with DD's teacher for next year - after it being rearranged due to them 'forgetting' twice - and she promised to learn how to do DD's blood sugar by end of term. She did not do it once despite me asking most days and the nurse's calls were ignored.

We planned for DD's nurse to just come in with me at lunchtime, because obviously this is dangerous and unacceptable. But we didn't get to this point. I had a phone call one morning saying 'Come over immediately'. I got there and DD was covered in blood, DD said she had fallen and hit her head on an oven they have outside the classroom for baking. She had a deep wound above her eye which required stitches and had mild concussion. Nobody could tell me what had happened, other than DD.

- At this point, it's worth mentioning that last year DD also had her hand broken at school - they were playing with tyres and another child rolled one over DD's hand -

With the injury, DD didn't end up going back to school. I am recovering from sepsis which had me in hospital earlier in the year and unfortunately, two days after, I was admitted into hospital myself and diagnosed with Crohn's Disease.

So my husband went in to collect DD's supplies and everything before the end of term and asked DD's teacher what had happened - she 'didn't know' and said 'she wasn't in the room, I didn't see'. Before leaving he (calmly) expressed his disappointment at how DD's care had been, and re-iterated that not treating lows properly would mean DD's cognitive function was impaired.

Well, DD's teacher had a meltdown at this point. Said that she 'didn't have to do anything she didn't want to' and that 'she's only human'. Well yes, of course - everybody makes mistakes, but this is important. And then walked out and refused to talk about it. So DH arranged a meeting for the day before school goes back with the headteacher, and I spoke to her via email when I came out of hospital and she apologised for the situation.

However, headteacher has been aware of all of this and has been largely ineffective. I don't have any faith that things are going to change, I don't feel safe sending DD to school but I just don't know what I can do to change things before September. I'm obviously in really poor health too and the idea of the stress of it all, the going in and out to school all day is driving me to tears whenever I think about it.

Any advice, or just understanding, would be much appreciated. Sorry also if anything has been unclear sad

TeenAndTween Wed 19-Aug-15 10:55:54

This atrocious.

Can you not change schools?

As for forgetting to check levels, can your daughter carry an alarm which beeps at required times?

EnchanciaAnthem Wed 19-Aug-15 10:59:56

The routine checks are fine - DD knows when they need doing and will go and remind somebody, and not leave until it's done! But if for example, when I've checked her when I'm in at t lunchtime and I'm concerned that levels might go up / down. I will say 'Please can you check her at X' and write it in the book to remind teacher, it just doesn't get done.

There were times when we'd be in the playground, DD would say she felt funny and I'd say to the teacher literally as they were going in - could you have somebody check her please, she says she feels low, and they forget! In the space of minutes.

I desperately want to change schools but the only other local school is a catholic one, I did enquire before the end of term but heard nothing and DD isn't christened - not sure if that's why!

Thank you for replying.

Duckstar Wed 19-Aug-15 11:06:03

Enchancia I'm so sorry you've been through this and your daughter. The school don't sound like they are satisfying their duty of care to your daughter at all.

You should not have to go in each day. You should nor be worried your child's health is at risk when at school. I'm Chair of Governors at a local school and we have children with serious health issues and parents would not be expected to come in. The school provides the support (even when we don't have funding).

Sounds to me like you have lost faith in the school. Are there any other schools local? I would suggest looking round and seeing if they have space.

If moving isn't an option make a complaint to the safeguarding governor. The school has a duty of care to your daughter and they are not satisfying this.

Duckstar Wed 19-Aug-15 11:10:29

Enchancia if the Catholic School is a state school they can't "ignore" you. Ring the school and leave a message. It is the holidays so you may have to persevere. I'd also speak to your daughters nurse/consultant about getting evidence to support your daughters need to move schools.

EnchanciaAnthem Wed 19-Aug-15 11:57:26

I have definitely lost faith in the school. The date of her going back is just hanging over me, I feel like I'm doing something awful by sending her there.

DD's nurse is coming next week so I'll ask if there's anything she can do to push a school move.

Thank you.

Goldmandra Wed 19-Aug-15 12:11:33

Write a letter today to the LA asking them to carry out an EHC assessment.

You will no doubt be told that your DD doesn't qualify because she is making academic progress. Ignore that and apply anyway. Her health needs are part of her education needs and they are not being met. The assessment process itself may be enough to get the school to up their game and live up to their responsibilities.

When you have your meeting with the head teacher, explain that your DD won't be returning to school until you feel reassured that she is safe in their care, which she clearly isn't at the moment.

If the only way for them to keep your DD safe is for them to employ a dedicated TA to monitor her constantly, that is what they will have to do.

No one person is obliged to meet your DD's needs but the school as a whole does have to find a way to do it. Who does it is up to the head teacher but that it has to be done is not negotiable.

You need to show the head teacher that you are clear and confident about whose role it is to keep your DD safe while she is in their care and it isn't yours. The plan for next year should not include you coming in to monitor her at any point during the school day.

The LA asking questions and their attendance figures being under threat should concentrate their minds quite nicely.

Goldmandra Wed 19-Aug-15 12:26:35

This link will take you to IPSEA's page on requesting a needs assessment and the right hand tab labelled "Asking for an EHC needs assessment resources" will take you to a model letter you can use.

Although they suggest discussing this with the school first, I think you've done quite enough to ensure that the school are aware there is a problem so I would just go ahead and make the request.

ohrubbishon Wed 19-Aug-15 13:27:01

Hi, this sounds awful. It may not be something that you would be keen on, but have you considered home schooling? It might give you the time to find a more supportive school.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cariadlet Wed 19-Aug-15 16:45:12

This is shocking.

I teach in a primary school, and although I haven't had a diabetic child in my class we have had a few children with diabetes in the school. We have always made sure that the TA in the class has been trained, meets with the parents and diabetic nurse and stays with that class as the child moves up through the school so that the child has somebody who knows their specific needs.

It's ridiculous that you have had to go into school to treat your child, and the lack of care that your dd has been getting (especially at such a young age) is awful.

fuzzpig Wed 19-Aug-15 16:54:04

Shit, that has chilled me to the core. It sounds horribly unsafe, your poor DD sad

Assuming you are a SAHM if you are going into school regularly - apologies if I've got that wrong - I would honestly not send her back if at all possible. Doesn't mean she will never go back, but it could be an interim measure.

FWIW, I took my DCs out of school in Feb to home educate and we haven't looked back. They have a better social life by far (just mentioning that as I know it's often a concern) despite DD being worried about leaving her friends, she is much happier now.

Littlefish Wed 19-Aug-15 16:54:29

I agree with Goldmandra that your dd needs an Education and Healthcare plan (EHC) in order for her medical needs to be officially documented and a plan written as to how they will be met.

The teacher is right in that she does not have to give your daughter any treatment or checks herself, but the school as a result is responsible for your child and they are not meeting her needs at present.

fuzzpig Wed 19-Aug-15 16:56:17

(also, I have a chronic illness, so this was a concern of mine when I took them out - but it actually fits really well, as we can be much more flexible)

Hellocampers Wed 19-Aug-15 16:59:42

Awful op. Can't add to try already good advice but I wouldn't send my puppy to a kennels I didn't trust let alone my kids to a school that quite obviously couldn't give a crap about their health needs.

They sound dreadful.

VeryEarlyDays Wed 19-Aug-15 19:06:16

poor you op this is dreadful. yanbu to keep your child off with concerns from her safety but you need to make sure you go through all the right channels. applying for an Ehcp is a good start, your nurse should be able to help with that (although as it's all new they may not have much experience with them).
your story makes me sad on so many levels. the teacher was clearly very poorly supported both school (as was your daughter!!) but to openly say to you she forgot to take bloods is shocking. it's like saying I forgot to count the pupils on a trip when I know we have a wanderer or forgot to put the kettle away when you have little hands grabbing stuff, totally unacceptable.
Type 1 diabetes is often very unstable in pupils in ks1 and I've worked in several schools where there have been pupils requiring regular bloods etc. schools have a duty of care to meet the needs of all their pupils. Making you come in is a sign that no one wants to take responsibility which is in turn a sign that they feel very unsupported in their jobs. sorry I'm ranting, back.to helpful advice:
Complete initial paperwork for echp
send a letter to the head outlining All your concerns about your child's safety. Keep the letter focused on Dd and the school jeopardising her safety, keep to the facts but explain. you will not send her back in untik her safety can be guaranteed.
send a copy of this letter your nurse and to the chair of governors.
good luck op. there are lots of schools out there who would completely take your dds condition in their stride. don't loose faith

Sirzy Wed 19-Aug-15 19:13:33

I wouldn't be sending her back to that school unless you has guarantees things were going to be done properly.

The school DS goes to have gone out of their way to keep DS safe with his severe asthma and I am confident he is safe, he needs daily meds in school and these are done without fuss from the school. His Ta for next year was trained in them all at the end of the term and is prepared for September. If I wasn't confident I would home school until it was sorted or a new school found.

Good luck sorting it.

Icimoi Wed 19-Aug-15 19:21:40

I completely agree with applying for an EHC Plan. I have heard of people getting them ordered by the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal if local authorities refuse. The simple fact is that the school appears unable to meet your child's needs and their failure to do so will undoubtedly affect her ability to access education. What on earth would they do if you didn't go in to look after her? Would they be prepared to let her become seriously ill? You shouldn't have to go in anyway.

In the meantime, contact both the head and the local authority and say that you need them to work out between them precisely what they are going to do to ensure that your child remains safe and healthy in school. If that means one of them paying for a nurse to go in and do what you are doing, so be it. Tell them that until you can be sure that she will be safe the LA will have to provide home tuition.

Icimoi Wed 19-Aug-15 19:22:27

I forgot to say - copy things to the safeguarding team at the council. If your child is not safe in school, they need to know.

ChanandlerBongsNeighbour Wed 19-Aug-15 19:31:45

As a primary school teacher myself.im completely shocked that a school would behave this way to a pupil with additional needs! For the teacher to respond like that too is just not on! All of the above advice is spot on so nothing extra to add other than I hope you find a solution to keep your child safe!

auntpetunia Wed 19-Aug-15 19:46:27

That's outrageous, I'd be emailing head of sen at the school, copy with letter to chair of governors the la and asking your diabetic nurse /consultant to do the same. Also get in touch with the school nurse. We have a diabetic in our school her teacher and 2 tas know how to look after her and one of the tas is moving class with her next year to make it easier especially as child in question is EAL with v little English.

paulapompom Wed 19-Aug-15 20:31:22

Agree with pps ^^

Board of Governors and Local Authority need to be told. If you have dates/notes of phone calls/documents include all details. Sorry if someone has already asked but does the school have a nurse/medical officer? I might be out of touch here, the last school I worked at had a school nurse.

I think the teacher is being totally unreasonable - fair enough if she struggles, but to forget is just not right. She should never have agreed to look after dd if she can't provide appropriate care.

The schools attitude to injuries seems a bit too laid back for my liking too. When one of my dds was injured (little white board flew from teachers hand and hit dd in the head! ) the head teacher called me in for a meeting and for the teacher to explain /apologise. It was fine, just a mishap, but I felt they took it seriously, and that gave me confidence.

As a mum I would say if you don't want to send her back until her diabetes care is in order then don't.

Could your gp and the diabetes nurse support you in this.

Also op look after your health
flowers I have had sepsis and it really took its toll. Best wishes to you x

paulapompom Wed 19-Aug-15 20:38:12

Also catholic schools often accept a percentage of pupils not of that faith, if that school is one you would consider.

Gooseberrycrumble2 Wed 19-Aug-15 20:43:44

Write to the governors and the LEA outlining that the teacher is failing in her duty if care to your child. List all the incidents. Give brief details about the outcome and what was discussed.

cestlavielife Wed 19-Aug-15 20:45:28

www.gov.uk/government/publications/supporting-pupils-at-school-with-medical-conditions--3

Download the statutory guidance if they not following it talk to board of governors and Lea.
Look at moving school.

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