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Aibu to think the school should include her?

(54 Posts)
ElasticPants Mon 14-Dec-15 23:01:04

(I apologise as I've also posted in SN education, but it's very quiet there)

My 7 year old neice is at a Sen school. Once a week the class goes swimming at a local pool. The session this week is a fun swim as it is the last lesson this term. SiL has been told they can't cope with neice as she will play up. So she has to keep her at home then drop her at school once the class arrives back from swimming.

Does this happen at other schools? She has a statement and one to one. Surely the school should include her? confused

BackforGood Mon 14-Dec-15 23:04:48

I suspect there is more to it than this.
Without knowing the full story (from the school's pov as well as your sister's) it's difficult to say.
Yes - on the face of what you've posted, of course that's wrong, and if that were all there was too it, I'd be complaining loud and long, but I can't help thinking that it's not really likely to be that simple.

Toffeelatteplease Mon 14-Dec-15 23:07:31

I suspect it is an illegal exclusion. Ask them to put their request in writing and put a call in to ipsea

BlackeyedSusan Mon 14-Dec-15 23:09:28

depends whether it would benefit dn to stay away or not. but yes it is probably an illegal exclusion.

TheSecondViola Mon 14-Dec-15 23:09:34

Of course they should. But we all know that there is no money, so maybe they physically can't provide enough staff. Would it be better if nobody went then? I don't know.
My DC also needs one to one for swimming and many other things. Sometimes if I can't go, neither can she.

ElasticPants Mon 14-Dec-15 23:12:02

She is a very good swimmer. It's a behaviour issue around the pool that has stopped her going. I don't see why she can't stay at school with her one to one and do something.

steppemum Mon 14-Dec-15 23:12:06

if she has a one to one, then the one to one can go in the pool with her, and there should be no problem.

I suspect her one to one is not available as has been pulled off to do something else.

As toffee says, it is an illegal exclusion when they ask you to keep a child at home for any reason (other than illness)

IsItMeOr Mon 14-Dec-15 23:19:16

Sounds like an illegal exclusion. It's not necessarily unreasonable for the school to take a view that it is not manageable for DNiece to join in the swimming this week, but it is their responsibility to sort out something appropriate for your DNiece to do instead.

Info from IPSEA.

Toffeelatteplease Mon 14-Dec-15 23:19:31

It doesn't matter what excuse you are being given you cannot exclude a child from part of the curriculum.

If the school can't meet the child's need they need to apply for a change in the statement to ensure that they can.

They are getting round this by asking your SIL to collect. Ipsea take a dull view of this kind of thing and have helped a few people I know who have had the same problem.

If this was my child I would be asking for the request in writing, refusing to do so and asking the school what is needed to ensure DD accesses all aspects of the curriculum.

IsItMeOr Mon 14-Dec-15 23:21:36

TheSecondViola are you saying that your DC is routinely excluded from school activities unless you attend with her? That sounds highly dodgy if they are in a mainstream school in England.

BooyakaTurkeyisMassive Mon 14-Dec-15 23:27:40

Is she putting herself or anybody else in any danger?

TheSecondViola Mon 14-Dec-15 23:29:51

They aren't in that setting. I wouldn't call it routine but it happens.

ElasticPants Mon 14-Dec-15 23:29:55

Possibly. There has been incidents in the past.

BooyakaTurkeyisMassive Mon 14-Dec-15 23:46:50

I would talk to them about it, see what the situation is and if anything can be done to facilitate her going. If the school genuinely feel there is a real risk that they can't manage and you are satisfied they've done all they can I would leave it. Would you really want her to be in a situation where she was at risk of harm?

arethereanyleftatall Tue 15-Dec-15 00:11:52

I'm a swimming teacher.
On the fun session we get the big floats out.
There are rules that need to be adhered to, otherwise they can be really dangerous - trapping others underneath floats etc.
I'm guessing they feel she could be a danger to others (possibly??).
But, as you say, in bot sure why she can't be in school doing sonething else.

Morganly Tue 15-Dec-15 00:16:30

Is her one to one allowed to supervise her without a teacher being there as well? We use one to one support assistants but they are always under the supervision of a qualified teacher.

However, I don't think this is really your problem. It's the school's responsibility to provide an alternative to the fun swim for any pupils who can't cope.

It's worrying that an SEN school, who will be used to children with behavioural difficulties, is excluding a child on the grounds of behaviour. Is her behaviour really extreme? Is she a danger to herself and/or others? Is she coping in this school day to day or do you maybe need to look at more specialist provision?

Dipankrispaneven Tue 15-Dec-15 00:18:27

It's an illegal exclusion and disability discrimination. Your SiL should tell them that her daughter will be coming to school as usual, and that she expects her to be fully included in the swimming using the one to one help funded through her statement.

By the way, if you want traffic in the SN section you should go for SN children.

MidniteScribbler Tue 15-Dec-15 00:45:40

Just a thought, but can the TA swim? If she is unable to swim herself, then she wouldn't be able to supervise the student in the pool, and she would also need to have a lifesaving certificate (or at least we do here). We've had to use different assistants at times if the TA doesn't have their life saving cert.

ComtesseDeSpair Tue 15-Dec-15 00:56:53

When you say there have been "instances" of others being put at risk, how serious, do you know? How many instances? Has she had to be restrained in the pool before because her behaviour was putting others at risk? If so, I can understand why the school, for her own safety and wellbeing as much as anyone else's, have opted to exclude her from swimming: the restraint would be distressing and unpleasant for her, particularly if it was required regularly.

I think your SIL needs to speak to the headteacher and get a full debrief on what led to the decision for exclusion. If it's just that they find her difficult then that isn't acceptable and it needs to be taken further with the LA and governors. If it's because of persistent dangerous behaviour and it can be agreed that participation isn't advisory then your SIL needs to liaise with the school to find an alternative to your DN being kept at home.

honkinghaddock Tue 15-Dec-15 05:53:31

If the activity really isn't suitable for her then she should remain in school with her 1:1. Her going in later is an illegal exclusion. Your sister should inform the school that her daughter will be going into school at the normal time and then do it.
I think the school would be better off having a less fun session that all the pupils can participate in.

honkinghaddock Tue 15-Dec-15 06:00:50

If she needs 1:1 in the pool with her then she should have 1:1 in the pool. Ds has always has this even in mainstream.

Domino777 Tue 15-Dec-15 06:10:31

Surely she needs 1;1 for that period. Maybe the school can ask for a volunteer to help? Or use a TA

Berthatydfil Tue 15-Dec-15 06:20:37

It is possible they are using her one to one as an extra body to supervise the swimming session and have hit on the idea of keeping off school to allow this to take place.
This is clearly wrong.
It may be that they don't want to upset her when they all go off to the pool and leave her behind and think by coming in later she will avoid getting upset.
However it may be more complex than this.
On going the school should do a risk assessment for the activity. I'm not sure if her 1-2-1 could be forced into the water with her. What if she's not a confidentswimmer ?
Swimming is not without risks for both the adults and children and a fit physically strong 7 year old could cause potentially a drowning incident for themselves another child or adult and it may be that the mitigating actions to manage the risk are just unworkable, ie she may need 2 adults both of whom are strong swimmers or even life guards. An issue with behaviour may be more of a problem in a swimming pool because of the risk to herself and others caused by the behaviour.

Your sis needs to bottom this out with the school to find out exactly why they are asking this.

honkinghaddock Tue 15-Dec-15 06:38:14

Going into school at the normal time should be non negotiable. It is the schools job to manage any problems that occur because her daughter is not going swimming. The only discussions should be about the swimming.

SisterViktorine Tue 15-Dec-15 06:51:29

if she has a one to one, then the one to one can go in the pool with her, and there should be no problem.

You could easily need 2:1 or even 3:1 to keep a child with dangerous behaviours/ no sense of danger safe in and around a pool. This is a Special School OP is talking about- they will not have taken this decision lightly.

However, I agree with PP that she should be able to go to school but do something else rather than swimming.

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