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Special Schools or Special units within mainstream - how do you find them?

(19 Posts)
BobbieB123 Sun 16-Apr-17 17:34:57

My son has an EHCP for learning difficulties such as dyslexia, short term memory issues etc. and also Social, emotional behavioural issues (scored borderline on SCAS Autistic spectrum but not diagnosed). He is in Year 7, but academically is around Year 4 level.
His school feels he needs more specialised help than they can offer:-he has become very disruptive and is constantly out of the class or in detention. We live in Camden, London. Can anyone recommend a maintstream school with separate specialist unit, or Special schools within approx 1 hours travel from Camden? We can't afford private but are looking for recommendations of schools which the LA may fund.

Babbaganush Sun 16-Apr-17 17:41:47

You may be better off asking for this to be moved to the special needs board.
Most local authorities list their special schools / resource units on their website. A quick google shows this for Camden
Looking at surrounding boroughs should bring up similar information.

EggysMom Sun 16-Apr-17 17:43:11

I believe the "Local Offer" that councils are now obliged to detail, should list all the specialist education provision in the area.

Fairylea Sun 16-Apr-17 17:45:30

To find the one my son is starting at in September I literally just googled "special schools in xxxx" and "complex needs schools in xxxx" and went from there. Then I made appointments to visit the schools and asked how to get a place when I was there (ehcp - which I applied for myself and then apply through ehcp co ordinator at the council).

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sun 16-Apr-17 17:48:35

In theory your County should have a 'local offer' which would make your choices crystal clear to you. In reality these, and other sources of info are deliberately vague. Your SEN Panel want to hold the cards.

It doesn't sound like your DS would be academically weak enough to access a SS for cognition reasons and there are not many SEMH mainstream inclusion units around.

If you go for specialist SEMH provision you need to give thought about the peers he will have and what the learning environment will be geared to. Settings vary widely so you need to look at them really carefully.

What does your casework officer say?

Lowdoorinthewal1 Sun 16-Apr-17 17:54:18

Google throws up this as your local option.

BobbieB123 Sun 16-Apr-17 19:07:45

How do I get this moved to the Special needs board?
Thanks for the link for Camden's local offer. From what I can find Camden doesn't have a Specialised school as such - they have some special units / PRUs - those for SEBD or SEMH tend to be for children who have been excluded or have poor attendance etc.
My feel is that if he had sufficient support academically, his behaviour would improve dramatically. Not sure any specialised dyslexic schools would take him after looking at his record

BobbieB123 Sun 16-Apr-17 19:12:19

We've asked for an early Annual review - I want to have some suggestions for schools to put forward. From surrounding boroughs eg. Barnet, Harrow, Brent, Ealing, Westminster, - depends on distance. Has anyone heard of Insights school and skills academy in Ealing?

Devilishpyjamas Sun 16-Apr-17 19:14:01

Try to talk to local parents - they can be a great source of info - then go and have a look.

tshirtsuntan Sun 16-Apr-17 19:15:32

Have a look at stormont house and mossbourne in Hackney.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 16-Apr-17 19:16:06

You'll know the right school when you see it. Look for children who are like your son and see how comfortable they look in the class.

But definitely pick local parents brains if you can

Millybingbong Sun 16-Apr-17 19:16:29

Does eduBase still hold this kind of information? I'm sure you could search by postcode and type of provision.

bottlehead Sun 16-Apr-17 19:29:26

Stormont House in Hackney might suit him. Something like the Moat School in Fulham would be good, and I know a parent who had the fees paid through their EHCP, but it was very difficult as they were initially turned down so had to appeal at a tribunal.

bottlehead Sun 16-Apr-17 19:30:51

tshirt I think Mossbourne will not be keen to take him if he has disruptive behaviour.

BobbieB123 Sun 16-Apr-17 19:48:58

Thanks for the suggestions - really helpful. It's very difficult because my son can behave very well when he's confident / engaged. Eg. in Food technology he is a model student who enjoys helping others. If he could get the right support in other lessons, I don't think there would be a behaviour issue. His record however, shows alot of disruptive behaviour

Pennina Sun 16-Apr-17 19:54:24

Try JCoss in Barnet. It is a Jewish school - very good with an excellent unit. I think it is cross denominational though. If this isn't suitable for you then I'm sure they will be able to point you in the direction of similar schools.

SmileEachDay Sun 16-Apr-17 19:59:51

Do you have a caseworker? They should be supporting you with this - they are locally based so should have a good idea of what is available.

What is the current provision for your son? How many hours does he get?

tshirtsuntan Sun 16-Apr-17 20:19:53

Thanks bottlehead- I thought maybe mossbourne because of their good reputation with SEN and the asd unit, didn't know they weren't keen on behavioural issues. (Have been looking for a friend.)

CatsDogsandDC Sun 16-Apr-17 20:50:31

Some children from Camden and Islington (and Brent) go to this special school placed there by their LA because of a shortage of provision locally. Most travel by taxi paid for by the LA

My DS went there and I found it an excellent school. They are great at managing behaviour and t helping children achieve their best. PM me if you would like more details.

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