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To expect school to admit that it's not the right place

(96 Posts)
Becks84 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:13:13

I have a six year old boy with special needs (ADHD) in year one at a voluntary aided primary school. He had lots of problems throughout reception but as he was only diagnosed in September the school felt prior to this there'd be no point apply for an ehcp or top up funding. We went back to school in Septemebr with his official diagnosis and the Senco and head teacher told us that there's no point applying for an ehcp as it wouldn't change anything and it wouldn't be a good idea for our boy to have one to one as he won't learn to work independently. Well from that point on things went downhill for my son at school. His behaviour become drastically worse ie hitting teachers other kids and staff, spitting, swearing etc and he's tried to run off school grounds numerous times.

By October there'd been a turn around and all of a sudden school decided it would be best to apply for finding and the ehcp. They have referred him to the behaviour improvement team and had specialists come in and observe him. All this in my opinion, has come to late as my son isn't coping. Hes been excluded from school four times this term and his last one which was for a full week (the last week before Xmas) had a terrible affect on him as he was crying constantly asking why he can't go to school and see his friends. In my opinion school have purposely given such a long exclusion so that he was out of the way the last week before term, and they more or less admitted this when I confronted them. They said that what with all the change that week would bring they felt he wouldn't cope.

My issue is that despite the fact they keep excluding him they won't admit they can't cope and that it's not the right school for him.

Because of the mixed messages and crap communication from school I've had to seek independent help from an organisation who are specialised in school procedures, law, exclusions etc. A woman contacted me back and agreed to come to all of our school meetings as a back up for me and to make sure they are doing things to the letter. The Senco is completely hopeless if I'm being honest and won't tell you straight how things are and dodges any questions I have. School have applied for ehcp and top up funding but this was only two weeks ago and the deputy head has told me that they may have no choice but to permanently exclude my son before any of the support (from the behaviour team) or funding and ehcp can be put into place. The deputy head was the only one to tell me straight and how serious the situation is, and whilst I appreciate that I can't help but panic now as I know my son won't last long in January before he's excluded again. I just don't udberstand why the school would apply for all this extra support but then are willing to exclude him before it can start. Surely they need to give him a chance and to see if things improve before threatening us with permanent exclusion. Am I being unreasonable here?

catwoman0815 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:17:54

have school applied for an EHCP? or are they just intending to? If not apply yourself.

I hope you got also exclusion paperwork every time he was excluded (most exclusions are in fact illegal) and they must provide paperwork for every inclusion. this often doesn't happen.

I would also have a look at other schools, your school doesn't sound ideal.

BIgBagofJelly Tue 27-Dec-16 16:20:15

YANBU. Your poor DS. I'm glad you've got the help of the organisation for expert advice. I can't believe they're excluding him for their failures to cope with his SEN. Good luck for the future sounds like you're a great advocate for your DS.

Becks84 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:23:25

Hi. Yes school have completed the paperwork for ehcp two weeks ago and sent it off. But as you probably know the La won't necessarily agree to assess and if they do it can take up to 20 weeks in total. The deputy head has made it clear that my son doesn't have 20 weeks though. I do have another school in mind but I've been advised to not remove my son as I would just have to start from square one. Also that if he is excluded it's the LA's responsibility to find us a suitable school. I'm not sure if that means I can then request a specialist school? I'm not sure if he needs one or not really or if he just needs a better, more equipped mainstream. My only issue with that though is that I also have dd in year six who only leaves for high school in July and as her school is four miles away (so I drive her) I wouldn't be able to drop off and pick up two kids at two different schools at the same time.

Becks84 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:24:00

Thank you. He really is struggling and doesn't know if he's coming or going.

lovelearning Tue 27-Dec-16 16:40:27

request a specialist school

Specialist schools are well-funded, and tend to have good Ofsted ratings.

It's possible that transport would be provided.

catwoman0815 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:42:38

but I've been advised to not remove my son as I would just have to start from square one.

who advised that and with what would you have to start from square one?

I don't think it affects the EHCP process.

By any means, I would look around other schools. you don't have to change now but even having a look may be eye opening.

Becks84 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:47:34

Ipsea (formally parent partnership) advised me. They said that I of course have the right to remove him but then he'd probably start with no support in place at first. My da goes to a school four miles away in the next town and if I did move him I'd want him at a more local primary so therefore in the LA we live in. I was told as it'd be a different LA we'd have to wait for the correct support to be put into place.

Msqueen33 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:50:09

I would be fuming. I have two DC. Both with autism. My six year old has autism and ADHD. We applied for her ehcp before she went into school. I'm very surprised school have left it this long. What provision is in place? They should be able to find 12.5 hours of 1:1 for him from their budget whilst they go for top up funding. I'd ask for a meeting and see specifically what they're doing. My six year old has ft 1:1 and can be a handful but has never been excluded. It sounds like they're failing your son and they need to put provisions in place to help him.

Becks84 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:50:10

That's the thing though catwoman, I'm not sure I can simply just request a specialist school. For starters I'm sure you need an ehcp in place first and at present my ds doesn't. The educational psychologist put in his report that my ds should be able to remain in mainstream but only with a high level of support.

catwoman0815 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:52:42

IPSEA know their stuff

sending him to a school in a different LA may become a battle. it's all about finding.

Becks84 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:54:41

My ds is in year one but has been put back into reception temporarily as the head said he isn't coping with the demands of year one. He had no support whatsoever in place up until last month (when I contacted Ipsea who came in and told school what's what) but then they suddenly decided he needed one to one. He's now in reception having one to one with his year one TA but only in the mornings as she has to go back to her own class in the afternoon. It's got that bad school have requested support from outreach. This means a highly trained teacher from a Sen school will come in on a weekly basis and do work with my ds. Another team is involved who come into schools to offer advice and liase with staff when pupils are on the verge of being permanently excluded. Unfortunately though I think it's too little too late.

Becks84 Tue 27-Dec-16 16:55:28

Yeah Ipsea are great. I just feel so helpless and don't know what to do for the best.

superram Tue 27-Dec-16 17:07:20

You won't get a space in a special school with ehcp funding. Your la can refuse to find a space in an alternative la (but many do if school meets needs). The problem is the LA may not think an ehcp plan is necessary.

FrayedHem Tue 27-Dec-16 17:12:31

The situation sounds very difficult and complex. Most of all I'm sorry that your son is distressed (and you). Try and remember it is not forever; it may take time but now you have IPSEA's help you can get informed and try and control the things that are within your reach (keeping on top of timescales, finding out what the LAs duty is if/when your son is excluded etc).

Things must feel bleak now, but keep on the ECHP path and look into all the possible school options (taking account of IPSEAs advice on changing LAs and the implications). At 6 this situation can be salvaged and the right support for your DS is out there.

The school have to show they have done everything that can to support DS and although it may all feel a bit too little too late, hang in there. Getting the ECHP is for your son as it is about his needs and will benefit him in the long term.

teachergirl2011 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:14:42

An ehcp does not provide any extra funding unless ttheir needs are extreme. We only apply for them if the needs are extreme as they are now rarely funded and are not awarded for behaviour. All that happens in these cases are that the child is "labled"

Becks84 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:23:26

Ah right. My son just doesn't display bad behaviour. He's extremely behind with his education and is struggling socially. Just out of interest what exactly is the criteria for ehcp's? Plus wouldn't the fact he's attacking teachers and other children on a daily basis, trying to escape the school grounds and having been excluded four times in the space of six weeks not be classed as extreme? x

Notmyname123 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:26:50

Have a look at the official school exclusions guidance published by the Department for Education. There's a lot of emphasis on the fact that school exclusion must be an absolute last resort, and in particular schools should hesitate long and hard before excluding a child with special needs. I strongly suspect that they could apply for emergency funding for more support to avoid exclusion.

Cakescakescakes Tue 27-Dec-16 17:28:08

Teachergirl please don't talk about 'labelling'. If a child has a medical diagnosis e.g. ADHD then it's not a 'label' and I get really hacked off with people thinking that not 'labelling' my son will somehow make his ASD less severe or something. He has significant needs whether he is 'labelled' or not and terminology like that demeans the validity and seriousness of whole process (which I have been through).

catwoman0815 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:29:12

teachergirl only has 'teacher in her nickname

Msqueen33 Tue 27-Dec-16 17:56:14

I don't care about labels. But they do mean access to more support. My dd doesn't hit other kids but has to have a 1:1 to keep her focussed. I'd say he needs an ehcp as he has complex needs and ehcp are more comprehensive.

Msqueen33 Tue 27-Dec-16 18:08:41

I don't care about labels. But they do mean access to more support. My dd doesn't hit other kids but has to have a 1:1 to keep her focussed. I'd say he needs an ehcp as he has complex needs and ehcp are more comprehensive.

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 27-Dec-16 19:06:13


teachertgirl may only have teacher as part of her nickname but she is correct in that having an ECHP does not guarantee extra money, as the diagnosis may not fit the requirements/criteria set by the LEA.

catwoman0815 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:14:08

boney, the funding that comes with an EHCP is nothing for the parent to worry about. an EHCP clearly sets out the level of support the child is to receive and is legally binding. Doesnt matter who funds it. It has to be delivered.

There is also no 'diagnosis' that warrants an EHCP. it all depends on the level of need and you don't have to have a diagnosis at all. plenty of children out there with complex needs without a formal diagnosis.

teachergirl2011 Tue 27-Dec-16 19:16:43

I am Teacher in a PRU having previously been a Senco so I know a little. There is no money in Education at all so a EHCP is rarely given and when they are they rarely come with money attached. The School would offer what limited support they could without an ehcp which is only likely to be some TA support within a class which wouldn't be individual.

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