To hate school for backing me into a corner(400 Posts)
My six year old ds has Sen and is currently in year one at school. Since he started back last septemeber it's been hell. His year one teacher was horrible and made no attempt to try and understand his needs and she was very abrupt telling me his diagnosis doesn't excuse how he behaves. Come October we were called in to see the head who told us they wanted our ds to go back into reception temporarily. We reluctantly agreed just to see if things would improve but they didn't and he had multiple exclusions. He went back after Christmas and again we were called in to see the head who told us they wanted him to go on a reduced timetable. We told her that we didn't agree with it and she told us straight that if we didn't agreed we'd have to find our ds another school!
So he's been on this reduced timetable for five weeks now and things still aren't improving at school and have actually got worse at home. I do not want him at the school anymore and have been to view a couple others but as the local authority have agreed to assess for an EHCP moving him isn't an option right now. But I'll be blunt. This reduced timetable is fucking killing me! Not only is it affecting my ds as he doesn't understand why he's being sent home every lunchtime it's also killing me.
My dh works full time on shifts and I'm at home currently as I had to quit my job. Without wanting to come across as a selfish cow, I need that time when my ds is at school to recharge my batteries. We are currently trying to decorate the house after having plastering done due to ds destroying the house but we can't get anything done as by the time I've dropped him at school, done a bit of food shopping and errands it's like 11.30 and I need to go back for him at 12.00. Plus I signed up to a couple of courses (parenting, neurodevlopmental, sensory problems etc) and I'm now having to mither family memebers to have my ds as my dh is working so can't. I rarely rely on family to help, because my side of the family don't really do babysitting and although my husband's family will help out we only usually ask them twice a year for mine and dh's birthdays so that we can go out for a few hours. I've always paid for nursery and out of school care myself when I was working and the whole point of being at home is that I don't have to rely on people to help, as I hate asking.
I'm absolutely exhausted and whilst I know really it's all about my son and how he's coping but if I'm not coping and feeling tired all the time I can't really help him can I. I feel as though I'm back at the nursery stage having him there a couple of hours and having to rush round to get things done before I have to go back for him. But I've been there done that and didn't wish to go back to it.
School know I don't work so are absolutely taking the piss just assuming I won't mind picking my son up at lunchtimes, but i do. Not because I'm this mean mum who would rather lunch with friends than look after my own child, but because one, he is entitled to a full time education, and two, why do they have the right to back me into a corner and not give me a say in what happens to my son. Aibu here?
Well, it depends. It does sound as if he's struggling quite a lot in school. Is mainstream school best environment for him?
I don't think so but it does sound as if you need an Advocate who would work for a solution for both you and your Son, so you have the energy to meet his needs out of School time and who would fight your corner.
Do you have the option of any other schools locally?
I can't begin to imagine what it's like having a child with significant SEN issues. Can the council not provide a tutor for the afternoons? Or can the LA speak to the school and tell them they're being unreasonable?
If you haven't applied already, speak to social services about Direct Payments. That way they can allocate you with a number of hours you spend on someone who can work with him and take him out etc.
Social Services may also be able to provide respite, for example a weekend at a specialist centre for your son.
His behaviour must be pretty astouding that he has been excluded so many times and is on a reduced timetable. Can you describe some of the things he has done? To go to such lengths, the school will not be doing this simply because they know you are not working, they will be doing it for the safety of all the other little children.
I agree with getting independent advice. You also need the EHCP as soon as possible. How about your health, would you consider seeing your GP about how you are feeling?
School can't enforce a reduced timetable, he has a right to an education. Tell them he's going back full time.
That potentially sounds like the school are using illegal exclusion ( Independent Parental Special Education Advice link about it.)
It might be worth your while phoning their Advice Line
I suggest you post on Primary board so it is more likely that some experts on there will read it. I will use the fancy tag system anyway, you need @admission @tiggytape or @prh47bridge .
I think from what I have read sending your son home because they can't cope is an illegal exclusion . So that should stop if you don't want it to continue. Don't know if that is helpful to you or not.
I'm going to completely honest with you here OP, I know it seems like you are being dealt a crap hand but the alternative it seems is no school placement at all and to home educate him or have him home with you all the time.
It seems as though your son displays some challenging behaviour (I'm taking clues from the re-plastering in your home) and some settings just can't cope with behaviours that challenge.
Keep pursuing the EHCP - I'm sure that school will still be supporting you with this. Once the EHCP is in place and your son has secured some extra funding perhaps school will be better suited to support him (through extra staffing) or you could maybe look at an alternative SEN specialist setting?
Would it be possible for you to be in the classroom with him in the afternoons?
I know that this is still not giving you the time to unwind but it would keep him at school and in the routine he's grown used to.
How long did school say he needed to be on a reduced timetable for?
Can the length of time he's st school be lengthened gradually? ie picking him up after lunch for a week then an hour later etc
He is your child. If you can't cope with his behaviour at home, how on earth can a school be expected to cope with his behaviour PLUS 29 other children who are entitled to stay safe and have an education?
Unfortunately this is not just about your DS, there's a bigger picture of lots of other children.
I am a teacher and currently have a child on part time timetable. Quite frankly the afternoons involved him having 1:1 to stop him hurting himself or others, whilst the other kids barely received an education. He himself couldn't cope in the afternoons and many other parents were rightly irate that their children were getting hurt. I'm sorry you're finding it hard, but it is not the schools responsibility.
They are unofficially excluding him which they cannot do. You should contact the LA, threatening legal action and mentioning the Disability Discrimination Act.
Do you know what code they are using to record your DS's afternoon absence on the school register?
" I know it seems like you are being dealt a crap hand but the alternative it seems is no school placement at all and to home educate him or have him home with you all the time. " - Not true, if he is officially excluded there is a Whilst the statutory duty on the governing bodies or the Local Authority (depending on if it is fixed term or permanent) is to provide full-time education from the sixth day of an exclusion.
It is the school's responsibility to sort things out legally, it may mean that doing so means they have to permanently exclude a child (and provide the evidence that they have done so correctly and with the appropriate heed to SEND requirements) but they can't just decide to try to do things by the back door - there are processes and they are there for a reason.
School can't do that. They have a duty of care to meet his needs and if they can't meet them they have to be actively involved in finding a suitable placement with you and aiding the transition. Google your rights properly, get into school and don't let them bully you. They make you think you don't have rights/options but you do.
On a separate note it doesn't sound like mainstream is right for him just now, or maybe it's just the staff at that particular school. Either way all your lives will improve if you get him into a good supportive school who know how to give him what he needs. Good luck.
Much as you would rather he is in school all day it sounds like he wouldn't cope with that. Explore special schools
Reduced timetable are not illegal, but do have to be agreed.
However, permanent exclusions are also not illegal and that is the next option.
I know it's not easy for you OP and he does deserve an education, but really I think the conversation needs to steer towards alternative provision as mainstream school is clearly not safe for him or others.
TBH if the school can't cope with him and keep him/other DC safe then I'd be pushing for an educational statement asap. It may be that mainstream school is only an option for him if he has 1:1 support and the school can't access that unless he's statemented. His behaviour must be pretty extreme for him to be partially excluded, as he now is, and your frustration is understandable, but you need to work with the work with the school, paediatrician, assessment process to get him the help he clearly needs in order to access education. Without targeted support though I'm not surprised his teacher feels unable to cope with him when it's only her and a TA with 30 DC to care for. If your DS is taking up all their time it's not fair on anyone - including the 29 other DC in the class who are also having their education compromised.
They CAN do that. It has to be agreed by parent and LA, but it's not illegal.
Stop guessing about things you have no idea about.
If you are unable/unwilling to take care of him - 1 single child - then you are being unreasonable expecting a teacher at the school to care for him properly alongside a whole class.
It sounds like he needs 1-2-1 care at the present time. If the school can't provide it, you or his father should do. Leaving him without it for a period of the day is neglectful of both of you and the school.
The responsible thing to do would be to home-ed him until you have secured appropriate provision for him outside of the home.
He is entitled to a full time education. If you want him to attend in the afternoons say that you will not pick him up unless they officially exclude him and they will have to do this every time they want you to pick him up. If they are saying they cannot meet his needs, they have to say this officially and I think they will be reluctant to do so because the LA won't like it.
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