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To think school is going to be pretty difficult next year?

(65 Posts)
summernight Sat 23-Jun-18 21:03:17

So ds goes to a big 2 form entry primary school with a very high SEN profile. His class alone had 6 adults working in there last week when I went into help. 3 children have 1:1s, 2 classroom TAs for everyone else (a lot have needs without specific funding I think, I don't know, just guessing) and the class teacher - it was still chaos in there and the staff were tirelessly trying to help everyone that needed it. My own ds is going through EHCP process to get funding as currently he is on a reduced timetable because of as yet undiagnosed ASD and has been excluded multiple times this year. He desperately needs more support at school.

Anyway, the school support staff are 23 strong....and they are being cut by half for September due to the budget cuts. So next year each class with have a class teacher and 1 TA shared between 4 classes (2 year groups). The children with 1:1 EHCPs will obviously continue their support but that will be with set child, not in class helping.

God knows if or when ds will get an EHCP and be able to return to any form of education. And we've just heard that the maximum the LEA will give is £4.5k per year, which pays for hardly anything. I'll bet ds is permanently excluded in the first 2 weeks of September angry and that all the teachers will start leaving....

LaMomeetlememe Sat 23-Jun-18 21:16:40

Its frustrating because for every parent like you who see how difficult it is already, and how difficult its going to become there are 20 who say "They coped fine in my day" or "Teachers don't work that hard - look at all their holidays".

So then the government can avoid pressure to improve the situation because people are mostly too busy shouting about how shit the teachers are.

I only wish people could look past the teachers, pressure their government and improve things this way.

enterthedragon Sat 23-Jun-18 21:37:50

How old is your ds?

summernight Sat 23-Jun-18 21:47:12

He's 7.

I wish I knew where to start to complain. The education system is so unwieldy that I'm pushed in a different direction everywhere I turn.

WombatStewForTea Sat 23-Jun-18 21:50:07

There is no point complaining if the school can't afford it, they can't afford it. You can register your concern about the affect your dc. Personally, and I say this as a teacher, if that was my child I'd be looking for another school where he can get the support he needs.

Allthewaves Sat 23-Jun-18 21:51:30

Our school lost all their non sen support staff 2 years ago

PurpleDaisies Sat 23-Jun-18 21:55:42

It’s happened everywhere. Cuts to education, especially special, are horrendous.

ShawshanksRedemption Sat 23-Jun-18 21:59:33

Have you discussed these changes with the SENCO and what they will do to support your DS going forward to reduce any risk of exclusion?

TwoBlueFish Sat 23-Jun-18 22:02:00

Please talk to IPSEA, especially if they start saying they don’t have enough funding to support him. Sometimes if schools get a reputation for being good with SEN it comes back to bite them on the bum as they then get more SEN students enrolling but still have to find the first £6000 or soforveach student.

NomNomNomNom Sat 23-Jun-18 22:03:05

Bloody hell a seven year old with likely ASD has been excluded from school? That's completely insane.

summernight Sat 23-Jun-18 22:04:43

There isn't anywhere else for him to go that isn't in the same boat. As everyone has seen, SEN and school support is being cut everywhere. He's not a special school candidate (and even if he was, no EHCP yet and no special schools here for his type of difficulty)

It's bad for him all round. We know that. He's most likely going to be permanently excluded or kept at home until the EHCP is in place.

I'm more thinking how utterly hideous it's going to be for everyone. All the children need help and none are going to get. The quiet ones will stay quiet and stagnate/implode. The more challenging ones will struggle louder until something bad happens. Everyone suffers, including the teacher. Surely it's a one way track to all school loosing teachers, failing Ofsted etc.

summernight Sat 23-Jun-18 22:06:51

He's been excluded more times than I can count......

I've spoken to so many supportive agencies and ultimately, the support he needs vastly outstrips the 6k (which he has spent way more than already). Everyone knows he needs and EHCP and he'll be able to access mainstream education fairly easily. But they are taking so long to do anything that it won't be in place for September.

imip Sat 23-Jun-18 22:08:24

There is a petition currently doing the rounds to protest about appalling SEND funding, and a number of parent groups are taking LAs to court. There is a lack of funding, but also LAs are not meeting their legal obligations. This isn’t necessarily due to lack of funds. In my own LA there’s been an astonishing lack of forward planning for SEND which means that a heck of a lot of provision is out-of-borough and more costly. As a Pp mentioned, familiarise yourself with IPSEA and other groups such as special needs jungle. There’s a whole host of really useful info there.

HandPickedEklderflower Sat 23-Jun-18 22:09:33

1:1 EHCPs

I would be surprised if there are any 1 to 1 EHCPs.

Poodletip Sat 23-Jun-18 22:10:13

The current thinking/latest research apparently says that TAs don't help. Along with budget cuts that mean there are less and less of them things are looking a bit bleak. I know in my school two year groups (90 children, lots of SEN diagnosed or not) had no TAs at all this year, another just had one part-time, and it's been a disaster. The teachers are tearing their hair out trying to provide for children that need lots of extra support when they have nobody available to give that support. The few TAs there are in the school get shoved around trying to plug gaps but then there are gaps left behind. This is what austerity looks like in education. You need to find a school where there are less SEN children fighting for attention. Then next time you get a chance to vote...

imip Sat 23-Jun-18 22:11:21

You can apply for the ehcp yourself, unfortunately the 20 week process doesn’t include holidays. Ensure it’s done in 20 weeks and make sure you have adequate provision - IPSEA will help. The ehcp process really should have kicked off around the first exclusion when it was clear your son was struggling in his environment at school.

summernight Sat 23-Jun-18 22:17:20

Sorry, should have said - we are in the midst of the EHCP process. It's all underway and are waiting for a draft but they are 'running behind' etc and holidays in 4 weeks when it will all stop so unlikely to be in place soon. I've been reading IPSEA/SOSSEN/Special Needs jungle etc but I can't force them to go any faster (even though we are making it as difficult as possible to forget us!)

But what about everyone else?! The children who don't need an EHCP, they just need some support in school from time to time like every child does - there's literally none. You either get what the teacher has said or you don't.

It's so difficult. All the schools in our area are completely full. If he went to a predominantly non SEN friendly school he'd have been permanently excluded months ago and we'd be worse off. At least in a SEN friendly school they want to work with him and understand him better as they have more training. They just need the money from the LEA to do it.

fleshmarketclose Sat 23-Jun-18 22:21:48

The LEA have to meet the timescales so the holidays make no difference. If they aren't sticking to the timescales then there are template letters on IPSEA that you can issue and if that doesn't get action SOSSEN can help with a pre action protocol letter if necessary.

HandPickedEklderflower Sat 23-Jun-18 22:23:54

The high needs funding block is desperate nationally. Badger your MP about it. It willingly get worse now that education is not a government priority and the NHS is.

DemonicSow Sat 23-Jun-18 22:24:59

My DC's school lost all their TAs last year.

They put all the special needs children in one class and gave it a fancy name (nurtured room?).

Bibesia Sat 23-Jun-18 22:27:39

You really can force them to go faster, by threatening judicial review. Have a look at the information sheet on it on this page -

Bibesia Sat 23-Jun-18 22:28:26

Sorry, that post related to forcing your local authority to comply with the law about producing an EHCP on time.

Loandbeholdagain Sat 23-Jun-18 22:32:22

So many parents don't understand that the school has to fund almost all SEN provision itself. There's this perception that if children have SEND they will get funding. In the vast majority, they don't. Schools managed (with some difficulty) before by having general class TAs and, in bigger schools, learning mentors and part time teachers to support. These have gone. It impacts every child. Why parents are accepting it is a mystery to me.... Brexit has been a very successful distraction technique.

Fruitcorner123 Sat 23-Jun-18 22:33:36

it really is awful. I am in secondary and we have lost so many much needed teaching assistants because of budget cuts.

I really have no advice other than writing to your MP about school budgets and voting for someone who will properly fund education. So sorry this is happening to your son.

summernight Sat 23-Jun-18 22:34:47

Thank you for all the pointers. We haven't breached the dates yet but they've told us that they will. I have threatened with judicial review so as soon as they breach, we will go down that route. Then it's battling over the content and they money they pretend is the maximum they can give etc. Drags everything out for so long.

Even with extra support for him, the school is going to feel very different with half the number of support staff.

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