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To think the LEA should pay our bloody salary then....

(144 Posts)
springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 15:21:32

Well, not really. But we're so frustrated and upset at our current situation I don't know what to do.

To cut a very long story short, ds8 has had a fairly recent diagnosis of autism and is also gifted. He is behind in social and emotional development mainly and has severe anxiety that makes him explosive in the wrong environment. He's had a really difficult time at school for 18 months and hasn't been full time for a year and now hasn't gone for nearly 4 months as they kept excluding him and his mental health was worsening. He now has an EHCP and needs a new setting.

Small mainstreams all say his autistic needs are too much. Autism school says he's too bright. Provision is poor here. Independent schools are very intolerant and independent specialist schools are all focused on forest school/EBD type provisions which doesn't work for him (we've tried as intervention support). He needs the structure and learning of 'school' but in a quieter, more nurturing environment. The nearest place is over 2 hrs away. He couldn't travel 4hrs a day nor could he board - it would break him and us to rip the family apart - we're what keeps him safe and secure.

LEA have said there don't think there is a school for him. Very'll have to keep him at home and we'll send a tutor in a few hours a week for the rest of his education.....

Apart from everything else (ds wants to go to school, he has no friends at home, we don't want to be responsible for his whole education for the next 10 years and all his therapy requirements - it's terrifying and he's hard work) we need to work ourselves. I've taken a 6 month career break as things were so bad for him thinking we'd get him in to a school by then but I had no idea there wouldn't be one for him. I need to go back to work. We've spent every penny of our savings and we are getting in debt with this 6 month break. Our mortgage is fairly big. We can't afford to move house now and actually, why should we have to? Children without disabilities get to own homes and go to work. I love my career. I can't stay at home for 10 years dealing with everything. I'm absolutely terrified and trapped in an impossible situation and have no idea what to do.

JoMalones Sun 24-Feb-19 15:44:09

That's awful. I totally sympathise as a similar situation. We are now looking at independent schools as they can often offer more for SEN. The LEA would need to pay but as mainstream wont take him and special schools won't either then they don't have much other option.

Is this an option for you? Some do flexi schooling which could be a good compromise.

JoMalones Sun 24-Feb-19 15:45:24

Sorry, just saw you said you've looked at Independent schools. A lot we looked at didn't have very firm boundaries but a couple of smaller ones were happy to work with us.

MyDcAreMarvel Sun 24-Feb-19 15:47:33

Are you claiming dla and carers allowance? Have you contacted IPSEA?

GregoryPeckingDuck Sun 24-Feb-19 15:51:30

Apart from moving or boarding it doesn’t seem like you have any options. Would it work to rent your house out and move somewhere we’re there is a school that is suitable?

GreenTulips Sun 24-Feb-19 15:53:02

There are groups who would support you and charities

Lots of kids don’t fit mainstream and yet here we are all for inclusivity rather than meeting individual needs

Speak to your MP and go from their see what they suggest or even a solicitor who specializes in education

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 15:54:51

We only have a couple of independent schools round here and they are notoriously intolerant so I don't think they'd even admit him let allow help him.

We love where we live and our house and our careers but it's rubbish for ds and his education. We can't afford to move now but we can't afford to live without going back to work. We'll end up losing the house and being effectively homeless. I don't need to work full time...I was part time that fit into school hours beautifully.

I just can't believe I took going to school for granted. Ds is amazing and curious and funny and wonderful but he's been completely shafted by the education system. How can anyone think it's good for a child to be left at home for a decade with limited education and very little socialisation?

KitTheCat Sun 24-Feb-19 15:54:57

I'm in the same boat and had to change my job to working every weekend. Shocking how so many dcs are being failed angry

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 15:56:54

If we went to a suitable school far away, we'd both have to give up work. Dh job is hard to come by so he'd have to stay behind most likely.

BlueSkiesLies Sun 24-Feb-19 15:58:32

Move to near the suitable school that is 2h away?

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 15:58:48

Sorry, yes, claiming DLA and carers but it only makes up 1/4 of my salary that I'm missing.

LakieLady Sun 24-Feb-19 16:00:47

This makes my blood boil. Imo there's a real disability discrimination issue here, and the lack of adequate provision for children with complex needs is a scandal. The blithe way that LEAs suggest home ed because they can't/won't put arrangements in place is a huge pisstake imo.

I'm particularly incensed about it atm because a friend whose son is under CAMHS has just had this shit from her son's school. They say they can't cope with his behaviour but CAMHS are adamant he needs to be in mainstream (he's VERY bright, but has PTSD, anxiety and loads of stuff going on).

She is now getting her MP and councillor involved, and has put in a formal complaint, which CAMHS are supporting.

Someone else I know reluctantly accepted weekday boarding for her son, and after some teething problems, he seems to be doing well.

FamilyOfAliens Sun 24-Feb-19 16:01:56

Can you say roughly where in the country you are OP?

We have an amazing school here, which opened a centre for children with autism, but it tends to favour the more able students. It can’t be the only one in the country!

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:02:58

Blueskieslie but moving isn't that simple! We'd have to give up two careers and try and find new jobs nearby. Sell our house and find somewhere else to live. Try and get a place at the school which is an independent specialist (we've not even looked at it, it just seems vaguely appropriate online) which is in a new county so would have to go through all the processes there first. They might want to place in a different school and then we'd go through a tribunal etc etc.

We have no money at all. We're in debt now. We can't afford even the basic scrap of money for petrol to drive 2 hours to look at another school. We'd also have to leave our family who is our only support network.

And actually, it's not about moving and finding a new school. LEA want to name EOTAS and he is effectively home educated.

parrotonmyshoulder Sun 24-Feb-19 16:04:03

What about a mixed special school? We have a couple of very bright and autistic youngsters in ours. It’s not perfect, but we work so hard to meet individual needs. Every child pretty much follows an individualised curriculum.

pappajonessecretchild Sun 24-Feb-19 16:04:33

are you able to say what approx area you are in? some people may have ideas on schools that lea havent mentioned...

namechanger2019 Sun 24-Feb-19 16:06:18

We are in a similar boat. We did trials at the local independent schools and they wouldn't accept my DD who has ADHD and ASD. She doesn't cope in a mainstream school for mainly reasons, some similar to your situation. We home school now and we juggle our full time jobs around it which is hard work, I really do sympathise.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:07:13

Familyofaliens - we're in Devon. Awful provision and they've just had an abysmal OFSTED inspection for their SEND provision as well.

We've complained and put formal complaints into everyone but nothing is happening. It's accepted that there are no schools and what there are can be super picky as they are massively over subscribed.

But we live by the sea and the moors and have a lovely outdoors life that benefits ds in so many ways. Our family is here and we love our house and jobs. Why should we have to give everything up so ds gets an education which every other children without SEN gets without a second thought. It is disability discrimination and people are so accepting of it or shrug their shoulders like that's how is...get over it.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:09:01

parrotonmyshoulder - the only non LD (autism) special school here has said no to him. The others are hugely inappropriate - more PMLD

WhatTheNightBrings Sun 24-Feb-19 16:10:18

I wish I had advice for you but I do have sympathy.
There is a huge lack of help for children with no learning difficulties but who can't manage in a mainstream environment.

Ynci Sun 24-Feb-19 16:10:32

We have an autism specialist provision in our primary school. They have their own rooms but join us as and when is suitable for individual children. Some children never join mainstream classes and some spend a lot of time there. We are East Midlands if you want to PM me.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:10:54

Namechange2019 - I'm so sorry you're going through similar. I've been home education ds in the interim and it is SO. HARD. I'm not a SN teacher and in some ways, he smarter than me. He doesn't want to be educated by me no matter how hands off I am and creative. He wants to go to school and is getting more upset the longer this goes on because he thinks something is wrong with him and that's why no school wants him.

MyDcAreMarvel Sun 24-Feb-19 16:11:35

Sorry op did you say you have been in touch with IPSEA they are really helpful. Yes carers and dla not like a salary.

Lougle Sun 24-Feb-19 16:12:28

What about an online school such as Interhigh or Briteschool? Would he cope with that better? You might be able to work around that, with perhaps a childminder? It's very difficult and you shouldn't have to, but being practical...

GregoryPeckingDuck Sun 24-Feb-19 16:12:38

Could you ask the special school to reconsider/do a trail at least? Otherwise could you downsize into a smaller house so you don’t go bankrupt?

HoHoHolyCow Sun 24-Feb-19 16:12:57

Have you had advice from your local SENDIASS?

It sounds really difficult. I have a 9 yr old DS with ASD. He's doing ok in mainstream school, but early years childcare was impossible. I ended up giving up career to look after him, which I still struggle with now.

Sending flowers

Babyroobs Sun 24-Feb-19 16:13:49

Do you claim DLA for him and when that is awarded you could claim carers allowance ? It wont replace a salary but would be a help. Unfortunately many parents with disabled children have to re-think their careers. is there any way both of you could go part time?

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:13:53

Haven't been in touch with IPSEA actually, haven't managed to speak to anyone there but I'm not sure what they could tell me. I've read so much about the law and what ds is entitled to. There just isn't anything in our county that's suitable.

Sometimes I feel like we're such a burden on society. Ds is made out to be such a monster and we're such difficult parents and we should just disappear and stop being such a nuisance.

Fifthtimelucky Sun 24-Feb-19 16:14:12

What a difficult situation. I can see that boarding now would be too difficult. But would it be an option when your son gets to 11?

A friend of mine had a son in a special school at 8 where he was fine, but the school warned early on that, because of his complex needs they wouldn't be keep him him at 11 (although most pupils could stay on until 18). It took her almost 2 years to find a school that she was happy with and that was prepared to take him.

It was about 3 hours drive away, so he boarded weekly. The routine suited him very well and, although she had been very worried about it, it worked out very well.

blue25 Sun 24-Feb-19 16:15:33

But if there's no provision in your area, there's no provision. What do you expect- the LA to build your son his own school using taxpayers money?? Your son, so you need to move or educate him at home surely.

Hertsessex Sun 24-Feb-19 16:16:07

Difficult situation and doubles no easy solution. So suitable school two hours away. How about moving (renting short-term) somewhere in-between? One hour commute to school and one hour for work? Not ideal I know but maybe better than current situation.

Antonin Sun 24-Feb-19 16:16:15

Are there others like your DS?
Could a small school be set up for several children to attend taught by the home tutors. This would be more efficient and economic re teaching and provide social interaction. Main stream home schooler who lived locally could attend cultural and sport sessions etc.

BejamNostalgia Sun 24-Feb-19 16:18:29

Honestly, I think I would at least try the weekly boarding option. If you can drop him off on Monday morning you would only be missing a couple of hours of him eating, doing homework and watching a bit of TV before bed. I weekly boarded and I loved it. For a child who responds well to structure and routine it is a very good option.

Have you asked him what his feelings about boarding would be? If he’s keen and it’s really your own feelings which are the sticking point, you might have to bite the bullet.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:19:42

I don't think he'd cope with an online school - nor could we afford a childminder to be here all the times we were at work. I don't think it would appropriate for him to be with a new person at this stage. He would struggle with finality of it. He thinks he's going back to school and I'm only at home to sort that out.

I don't mind rethinking hours a bit and cutting down a bit but we're effectively in a situation you're in with a newborn when there is no childcare. You can't have a child at home 24/7, be in charge of their entire education and SEN therapy needs and work. It just isn't possible. But I don't want to do it. Neither of us want to be that person to ds. It has changed our relationship dynamic massively. He wants to go to school and have a peer group. It's breaking my ears to see him so isolated and lonely.

BejamNostalgia Sun 24-Feb-19 16:19:52

Plus you would still be able to give him loads of support during the week via Skype etc.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:20:03

My heart even - don't think I could break my ears 😂😂

Lovemusic33 Sun 24-Feb-19 16:20:31

I was in the same situation with my dd, she managed ms at primary but then after there was no school that could meat her needs (or so LEA said). I was pulling my hair out for quite a while, LEA wanted her to go to a school that sat GCSE’s but no MS could meet her needs and the local sn school did not sit GCSE’s. In the end I had to find a school myself and was surprised how many schools are out there that people don’t tell you about. I managed to find my dd a specialist ASD school in the next county where she can sit GCSE, I had to fight hard to get her a place and to secure transport to a different county/LEA but she’s now there and in year 8, she’s sitting GCSE Maths next year (2 years early) and is also in a environment suited to her (small class sizes, secure school, loads of life skill classes as well as accessing maths and English at GCSE level).

Do keep fighting, look out of county, my daughter travels quite far each day but it’s worth it.

fleshmarketclose Sun 24-Feb-19 16:21:50

Have you asked for a personal budget to source your own tutors in the meantime? Dd is also out of school, has been 15 months now, I've just lost at Tribunal and they have named a special school with her peers being up to five years younger than her with MLD and SLD and functioning academically the same level dd was aged 5 (she is sixteen and predicted top grades at GCSE) Dd will not be going to the school regardless so CAMHS have signed her off again and I will appeal the transition EHCP.
I am so sad for dd, she is lonely and isolated and well aware that she should have been sitting her gcse's and going to sixth form like her peers and instead we are in limbo yet again.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:22:06

Blue25 - so if this was your child, you'd just go 'oh ok then, whatever you say'?

Forums like this are where you come and rant about how crap things are. I know what the situation is and what we have to do. Doesn't mean we have to like it.

And actually - yes, the lea are legally obliged to find my son an education and if that means building somewhere, they legally have to.

Lovemusic33 Sun 24-Feb-19 16:22:23

And I do know how you feel, I struggle to work as there’s no child care out there for a child with sn’s so I’m totally stuck during school holidays, I’m a single parent with no family support and I often feel stuck in a rut when it comes to my career.

Fifthtimelucky Sun 24-Feb-19 16:23:00

Now I know you're in Devon, I'm wondering if the school 2 hours away is the same one my friend's son was in, which was in Somerset. They lived in outer London.

Lovemusic33 Sun 24-Feb-19 16:24:11

And ignore Blue what a stupid reply to the thread, LEA are leagally meant to find this child a school because leagally he should be in education. OP isn’t expecting too much for them to find her ds a school.

Debfronut Sun 24-Feb-19 16:24:17

I had this situation with my eldest son and I had to home educate in the end from 11-16 when he went college on a special course.We lived in Milton Keynes at the time. However my second DS also autistic is in a fabulous state secondary with an autistic unit now we have moved to the East Midlands and actually had the choice of two of them. He has done really well. When you have children who are different sometimes you have to make sacrifices. Its not anybody's fault its just the way it is. I do feel for you OP.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:25:48

Fifth time lucky - yes, Somerset. No idea if it's suitable for ds, we've just looked online.

Ds doesn't want to board at all. Despite being gifted he's a young 8 in terms of social and emotional development. He's very anxious, scared of the dark, needs us there in the evenings on the same floor. He won't even sleep at other family houses etc. Maybe for secondary but definitely not for now.

Lovemusic33 Sun 24-Feb-19 16:25:54

Firth my dd is in school in Somerset too.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:27:43

Some people around the UK are being taxi'd out of county at a cost of 40K a year to schools that cost 100k a year - that's quite a cost to the taxpayer Blue - bet you don't like that either.

Nat6999 Sun 24-Feb-19 16:29:58

My brother & SIL had to fight to get my nephew in a suitable secondary school. He is ASD & has ADHD, our education authority fought against him going to the school that was best for him, it's in the next town to our City, run by the Autistic Society & a place costs over £30k a year. The education authority tried every trick in the book to avoid funding this school place, including getting the tribunal deferred by not bringing their expert witness, but my brother & SIL.won & my nephew has been at the school since last September, he loves it & is coming on in leaps & bounds. He gets funded transport every day & is picked up & brought home by minibus.

StinkyCandle Sun 24-Feb-19 16:34:18

the lea are legally obliged to find my son an education
well, they have: we'll send a tutor in a few hours a week for the rest of his education.....

You just don't agree with their solution, but that's theirs. I am not saying you are wrong to find it unsuitable, but there is a solution.

Many parents with NT children had to relocate to find the right school for their children, many had to change their jobs, their career even to fit with the children requirement. It's difficult, but that's quite normal.

You have the choice to work evening/weekends whist your partner works during the day, you have the choice to relocate to be near a school that would be suitable.

There's no money for schools, budgets are getting slashed more every year. It is shit for everybody, but it's unrealistic to expect a perfect solution. We would all love to have the perfect school adapted to our children needs in our area, near our family and jobs, but most of us don't and had to make sacrifice and big changes.

SiblingDifference Sun 24-Feb-19 16:34:40

Is there any MS that will give it a go with an adequate support package/ funding?

It’s one thing to say no to a child with an EHCP worth 20 hours funding, but I’ve had packages agreed such as funding for TA support through before/ after school and all breaks. Plus therapy sessions, off site opportunities weekly such as climbing and support to adapt an area of the school. THEN it can be managed sometimes, it’s a hard fight... but could any package of care potentially fund MS? For example some lessons tutor led, alternative timetable, therapies....

runoutofnamechanges Sun 24-Feb-19 16:36:54

Are you near Torbay? If you are, I can PM you a couple of suggestions.

NursieBernard Sun 24-Feb-19 16:37:02

Not sure what part of Devon you are in but have you heard of the River Dart Academy which is an alternative LEA provision?

PrivacyPolicyYeahRight Sun 24-Feb-19 16:37:02

Small mainstreams all say his autistic needs are too much. Autism school says he's too bright.

Nothing useful to add. Just wanted to say you are not alone, I’ve seen this so many times!

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:38:22

Stinkycandle - They are also responsible for providing a hell of a lot more that is listed in his EHCP - too much to list here but huge therapy requirements, bespoke curriculum, equipment, even helping peer relationships....few hours of tutoring.....if you think you'd be happy with that you are having a laugh.

Under the section 7 of the education act all children are legally entitled to a full time education. That is not a few hours of tutoring. Peoples apathy is what perpetuates this nonsense and discriminates people with SEN even further. Well done for playing your part in that.

TheSconeOfStone Sun 24-Feb-19 16:38:43

There's a new school opening in Newton Abbot but not until 2020. Have you looked into that? I know it doesn't solve your immediate problem.

We were in a similar position to you with our DD who was permanently excluded in year 5. DD is quite bright, certainly above average but not a genius. Very able with reading, comprehension and SPAG. She is now in a special school. We are also in Devon. Just been for a walk on the moors. It's a fantastic place to live for kids (and adults) that need the freedom of the outdoors.

BejamNostalgia Sun 24-Feb-19 16:38:50

stinky, that’s true, but it doesn’t mean OP has no right to feel frustrated about it.

Marcipex Sun 24-Feb-19 16:39:44

I'm sorry you're in such a fix. If the 4 hours-travel-daily school is a good match, I think I'd do it, at least for a term to see how it went. I know it's far from ideal but it might be the best option you have.

SandunesAndRainclouds Sun 24-Feb-19 16:40:18

I’m sorry to say that you’re not in a unique position sad

Do you have a local support group for families with SEN children? There’s going to be others who have experienced this in your area and may be willing to share solutions.

Good luck. Sadly, I know what it’s like flowers

StinkyCandle Sun 24-Feb-19 16:43:17

I had to relocate my family and we had to make huge changes in our jobs for our kids. It's not discrimination, and sometimes it doesn't matter if it's the right thing or not in theory, it's your kids life that matters.

I am frustrated too that we had to spend a fortune, move away from family and make big changes, but it was easier to move forward than being bitter about it.

In an ideal world, all the schools would be of equal level with the appropriate facilities. No one disagrees, but we don't live in an ideal world. Schools have started to close half a day a week because of budget cuts, and things will only get worst. You just do what is best for your own family in this mess.

Bamchic Sun 24-Feb-19 16:43:22

Hi spring I’ve tried to pm you and not sure if it worked, but I’m a local teacher with and SEMH & SEND background and wondered if you would mind PM’ing me a bit about your location and DS’s needs and age/key stage I think I might know of some places that could work for you smile xx

Blondephantom Sun 24-Feb-19 16:45:13

It won’t help with the education side of things but you are entitled to support as a carer to remain in employment. I would argue that route with your LA as well.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 16:45:41

Stinkycandle - have your children got SEN and you had to move to be near the only school that would admit them? If so, that's discrimination. Every other child without SEN will be given a place at a local school whether it's the one of your choosing or not, there will be one available. For SEN and with an EHCP you don't have that luxury. Everywhere can say no on the basis of your SEN and you are left with nothing. That is disability discrimination.

IWonderedLonelyAsACloud Sun 24-Feb-19 16:47:24

I have taught lots of pupils with ASD in a mainstream setting. It is absolute bollocks that it can't be done. Your childs ECHP should ensure 1:1 LSA support and the LSA should be able to work with your child in a quiet space when things become too much. I taught a boy with ASD, who was also electively mute, GCSE Drama and he got a passing grade. He never really spoke a word, but his written work was beautiful. We made it work. Your LEA are not doing enough. I once heard an autistic lady speak at a conference about what she wanted from education. She said 'dont teach me to be sociable, teach me to be socially acceptable'. It always stuck with me. Your ds needs to be taught to get along in the world, not excluded from it.

Bamchic Sun 24-Feb-19 16:48:09

I do also have details of the sendiass and support groups locally but I’m on leave next week so won’t be able to get them to you until the W/B 04.03.19 but am definitely happy to send them

UnderMajorDomoMinor Sun 24-Feb-19 16:50:21

If you want a school they have to find one and the school can’t turn down an EHCP - it’s the LAs decision and once they have named the school the school must admit. Do speak to IPSEA and in the meantime think about which school is the least bad option. The LA don’t get shrug this off.

Have you tried writing to DfE? A friend of mine did add the letter back, although they didn’t tell the LA what to do, meant she could go to the LA and say ‘Dfe says you have to find a school’ and it helped a bit.

Dothehappydance Sun 24-Feb-19 16:50:39

OP I am sorry you find yourself in this situation, it is all too common sadly.

Hopefully a few of the posters have given you some good leads but I am also saddened at the blasé attitude of some. When you have a child requiring services it is not as simple as packing up and moving, then suggestions of home school all day then go and do an evening/weekend job.

And I don't particularly care if X poster did this, that and the other, so she should too the OP is her own situation with her child with his unique and specific needs.

Blessthekids Sun 24-Feb-19 16:50:57

flowers for OP and others. I have no advice but lots of sympathy. I have a child with dyslexia and there were times I felt I was being bullied by teachers who didn't want her in their class as it took up their time and patience so I can't even imagine the stress of what you are going though. I hope you find a satisfactory solution.

BoomBoomsCousin Sun 24-Feb-19 16:51:08

OP that sounds so difficult and I see why you’re so frustrated. I also understand why you don’t want to move.

But it sounds like you can’t get the education for your DS where you are. That it isn’t just about the LEA “paying your salary”, it’s that the type of educational environment your son needs just doesn’t exist where you are. So the moving thing may be the only way to get your son what he needs. I agree that you shouldn’t have to, but from what you’ve posted, what should happen just isn’t going to.

There are lots of posters on MN who have lots of experience trying to find good environments for their DCs with additional needs, they can be quite a resource. For your son’s sake you are probably best off trying to identify where could fulfil his needs and then focusing on changing your lives (location, jobs, etc.) to make that possible. But talk to some of those other parents first.

More immediately you have financial issues to resolve. It sounds like you can’t sustain your current living arrangement with your current income. Do you have the potential to earn more than your DH if you were working full time? Could you take on weekend or evening work that would be sufficient? Or work from home with DS there? Can you downsize or take in a lodger (appreciate lodger might not be good for DS)? Now that you know you won’t be returning to your job as you had planned this all becomes a bit of a priority in order to give you more options down the road.

It’s awful that we provide so little support in these situations OP. I do hope you can engineer something to work out for you all.

IntentsAndPorpoises Sun 24-Feb-19 16:51:29

@blue25, yes that is exactly what I expect to happen. Because my dd has as much of a right to full time education as any other child. And like any other child it should be available locally to us. Anything else is discrimination.

@StinkyCandle were your children able to access the education at the local school? Did you move because the school wasn't as good as you'd like?

We can't afford to move either, we can't afford to give up work. It is not acceptable to tell the parent of a disabled child that have to home educate.

Peanutbutterforever Sun 24-Feb-19 16:53:06

Is Shebbear College reachable? That is a v supportive environment.

GandolfBold Sun 24-Feb-19 16:53:07


The Education Act states that you have the right to a mainstream education. There are only a small number of reasons that schools can refuse to admit him, what are they saying?

grasspigeons Sun 24-Feb-19 16:59:44

Moving because you dont like the perfectly accessable mainstream school on offer (normally because its a bit rough) is incomparable to a LA saying we dont have a school at all. There are thousands of children being told there is no school at all. Its a national disgrace.
I really feel for you.

cheminotte Sun 24-Feb-19 17:00:19

Similar situation here, so just following to hear others advice.

hmwhatsmynameagain Sun 24-Feb-19 17:07:17

Although this is of no help in the here and now, there is a new autism specialist school opening in Newton Abbot in September 2020

reefedsail Sun 24-Feb-19 17:28:37

Are none of the Devon bases appropriate?

Ouryve Sun 24-Feb-19 17:28:59

@StinkyCandle I can't believe that you are trying to compare finding "the right" school for an NT child to finding any school at all for a child with complex needs. OP's ds is not the only bright child with ASD unable to attend school because the provision isn't in place and it's scandalous that so many children with so much potential are being sidelined.

No NT child with no additional needs would be turned down by every school in their LA.

DobbinsVeil Sun 24-Feb-19 17:31:51

Do try IPSEA or SOS!SEN.

If the LA is proposing EOTAS, are there other therapies/services you could ask for to help him be able to return to education? Occupational Therapy/mental health support/Ed Psych visits etc. I think it is possible to negotiate a package and may keep the LA focused on getting him back into a formal setting.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 17:34:43

The CAIRBS aren't suitable unfortunately. They're within quite large schools and the focus is on getting them into the Ms classes which at this stage he won't cope with (maybe in the future). They've said no at this stage.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Sun 24-Feb-19 17:35:10

The issue is that, generally, provision for SEND is crap and getting worse because of cuts in budgets and loss of expertise of TAs and teachers who have/had specialist knowledge.

Some schools try harder, some schools can’t or won’t, some have success and some ar so entrenched in data etc, that individual provision goes out of the window.

None of which helps the OP and of course every child is entitled to access an education. Of course the LA will say they’re providing that through a tutor. If there is a school opening in Newton Abbot next year, is it possible to consider that for the future, when he will presumably be 10 years old. The issue then is, what to do in the interim. There must be a sum of money attached to the EHCP. Is it possible to use that for the therapy needed and to provide 1-1 support in a primary school. I have no idea about the circumstances in Devon, but surely, you should be able to name a school according to the EHCP.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 17:36:22

If they force us to have EOTAS, I'll be saying they need to pay for our salaried hours during school time or pay for a suitably trained TA or childminder to look after him! They know he has a legal right to be in a school and by not finding him one and forcing us to home educate is against the law.

Sockwomble Sun 24-Feb-19 17:36:35

A friend's child was permanently excluded last term because the mainstream school didn't want to be named on the ehcp. The school suggested the parents home educate but they refused. No special school place available ( and this is a child who has a standard special school profile). Alternative provision isn't suitable so now on home tutoring. The only way out of it is tribunal to force a special or mainstream school place.
My friend works nights so is regularly going at least 36 hours without sleep and looking after a disabled child.
There must be lots of cases like these but I think most people don't have a clue that it goes on.

StinkyCandle Sun 24-Feb-19 17:38:02

I can't believe you don't realise that all children have various needs and the entire school system is not enough to support them. It is scandalous that the kids potentials are being ignored because of the lack of budget and support.

It is a disgrace, but let's stop pretending that some have it easy

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 17:40:17

The school in newton abbot is a possibility next year. It's quite similar to the one that has said no due to him being too bright so I won't pin all my hopes on that being possible at this stage but worth thinking about.

His EHCP money is going directly into the pockets of the MS school he's still on roll at and he's seeing none of it for his education or therapy. School say it is LEAs responsibility to sort out and LEA say it's the school. That is a fight we are in the middle of. Devon have cut EHCP funds massively so even as a 'top tier' he only gets a few thousand a year which isn't enough to provide more than a few hours TA support. To get more you have to go to tribunal. As I said, Devon have just had an utterly disgraceful ofsted due to how children are being treated so things may change in the future.

Goldmandra Sun 24-Feb-19 17:43:00

Have you considered the bases suggested by reefedsail above? If not. Request permission to visit all of those within a reasonable travelling distance.

it’s the LAs decision and once they have named the school the school must admit.

There are reasons these schools can cite for not accepting pupils with additional needs.

Have you considered the option of him attending a local special school which can deliver the therapeutic curriculum and having LA tutors brought in to teach him a more developmentally appropriate curriculum?

Another option could be a dual placement where he accesses therapy in one school and the academic curriculum in another.

You could also look into the option of him boarding two nights a week and attending the specialist school four days a week, i.e. Go to school Monday morning, stay Monday night and return home after school on Tuesday, repeated on Wednesday to Thursday and staying home just on Fridays.

None of these is ideal but it doesn't seem like an ideal solution is available to you. No judge will order the LA to build a school for one child.

Have you considered registering an appeal with the SEND tribunal?

mumwon Sun 24-Feb-19 17:46:25

reefedsail Sun 24-Feb-19 17:49:07

Have the CARIBS said no due to challenging behaviour?

There is a real lack of placements for cognitively able pupils with behaviours which challenge others- with and without autism.

In your shoes I think I would go to tribunal for a reasonably adjusted CARIB place (i.e. not focused on MS integration). CARIB might have a few things to get their head round, but I'm sure your DS would not be the only one to benefit.

If you need a model of a MS base which runs 'satellite' classes (small classes each with own FT specialist teacher + TAs with full curriculum offered in base) to demonstrate to casework that it exists and can be done, PM me!

reefedsail Sun 24-Feb-19 17:53:07


My head wants it to be carib... like Caribbean!

Buddytheelf85 Sun 24-Feb-19 17:54:25

But if there's no provision in your area, there's no provision. What do you expect- the LA to build your son his own school using taxpayers money?? Your son, so you need to move or educate him at home surely.

What a stupid fucking comment. The LEA is legally obliged to educate the OP’s son. That’s the law in this country. We pay taxes for many reasons, but two of them are: a) to educate the country’s young people (our future workforce) and b) to support the more vulnerable in our society. Yet there’s a lacuna in the education system in the OP’s area that means that a child that’s too autistic for mainstream school and too bright for autistic school is effectively being excluded. He’s slipping through the cracks. It’s a disgrace.

As for ‘if there’s no provision, there’s no provision’ - well, let’s shut down your local GP and hospital. And stop your rubbish collection and road maintenance. What do you mean you don’t like it? If there’s no provision in your area, then just move or give up your job and do it yourself, stupid! They’re YOUR health problems.

Goldmandra Sun 24-Feb-19 17:55:42

In your shoes I think I would go to tribunal for a reasonably adjusted CARIB place (i.e. not focused on MS integration).

That sounds like good advice.

You may be told that it isn't how the bases work but a tribunal judge won't be tied down by their local policy and will expect a proposal that meets the provision set out in his EHCP.

NotAnotherJaffaCake Sun 24-Feb-19 18:04:11

I'm sure you are doing this already but you need to shout, scream and make an unholy fuss, ideally involving your county councillor ( education is primarily LA funded) and your MP, and threaten legal action.

Small mainstream primaries are absolutely capable of meeting the needs of your son, they just don't want to.

SinkGirl Sun 24-Feb-19 18:06:36

I’m so sorry you’re in this situation. I have 2.5 yr old twins both diagnosed with ASD but who present entirely differently. I am absolutely petrified about schools already.

Staggered by some of the comments here. Finding the best school for your child is nothing like being refused a school place.

The state should absolutely have to support you if they’re forcing you to stay at home and home educate.

EvaHarknessRose Sun 24-Feb-19 18:07:27

I think there's a huge gap for something like kitchen table or church hall schools (or schools within schools) set up where two adults support a small group of children (maybe with anxiety, ASD or SEN) to access online education and meet their need for routine, PHSE, activity and socialising. There are so many dc not being able to access what they need.

AzureApps Sun 24-Feb-19 18:12:28

How much home tutoring can you get? I am would totally max that in your shoes and look at changing working hours.

instagland Sun 24-Feb-19 18:12:45

I'm pretty sure that legally the LA must provide an education to your child. When you sign a birth certificate, you are signing up for these benefits for your child. They cannot refuse you a place. I would get some legal advice around this.

Hope this works out for you. flowers

colourrunruinedmyhair Sun 24-Feb-19 18:15:13

I noticed you’ve mentioned a few times the smaller schools have no places for him and can’t cope with him, how about the larger schools?

I have a ds (8) with autism and I was of the same mindset to you that he needed to be in a small nurturing school and that was where he would thrive and don’t get me wrong he loved it, the teachers treated him so well, they treated him as nicely as his aunties and includes treated him he’s got a way about him that really innocent and he manages to have everyone wrapped around his little finger really quick.
My ds has severe speech delay but is classed as gifted in mathematics (can definitely outsmart me already) and in spelling, writing, map reading etc. It’s just more the social side of things.

I had to move his school and didn’t want to and the only school taking on was the largest school in the borough. It had good reviews but is huge I was so apprehensive I was looking into home schooling’s bd quitting work etc but I thought I’d give it at month.
He’s been there 2 years now. I can’t fault it and he’s come on absolutely leaps and bounds.

What I didn’t realise about a massive school like that is that it has so much more provision than a smaller school can have the funding to provide.
He has some lessons in his class, then some lessons in a class with children with speech delay and other social problems. They even have provision for children who can’t quite cope in a class and have a sort of ‘reception’ style classroom where they learn more through play.

When I took my son they were quite clear he definitely wasn’t the most ‘needy’ child in school by a long way, whereas at the last school he genuinely was. There are two SENCOs too and he has his own one to one worker too that again the previous school struggled to provide.

If you have brushed aside bigger schools thinking they won’t be a good fit for your child I would strongly urge you to explore this as I was genuinely expecting that this wouldn’t be a good fit for my son and I’d go so far to say that it’s even better than the smaller school for his development and learning needs.

colourrunruinedmyhair Sun 24-Feb-19 18:16:25

I tried two independent and a village school before trying the large one too and none were as good a fit as this one

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 18:17:03

Will definitely look further into specialist bases. It might worth going back to them as a different model. We weren't given a great impression when we visited but I think it was that they didn't want us to like it.....MS schools were the same. Made ds sound like a monster and they would have to exclude him if he did anything wrong. We haven't been to single place that has made any indication that they would welcome ds.

We art making an holy fuss honest. Calling every day, formal complaints in. Constant emailing to all parties etc. It just doesn't move. Everyone is very shocked and saddened that a school can't be found....and that's about it.

SinkGirl Sun 24-Feb-19 18:17:48

I was going to say, if the provision is so bad there, there are probably other parents in a similar boat - what do they do? Is there a home educating community you could tap into?

TowandaForever Sun 24-Feb-19 18:18:00


What a disgusting response.

springintoaction Sun 24-Feb-19 18:23:18

Provision is very poor here and a lot are forced into home ed. But usually by giving up on the system so not the same as EOTAS. Despite this, the home ed community is sparse. I think everyone has become a recluse due to the system and these children are getting used to being alone at home. That's certainly the case for ds. 18 months ago he went to school happily every day and went to after school clubs and wraparound care at school. Now, he doesn't really leave the house, see anyone or do anything and that's the life he is used to.

Bamchic Sun 24-Feb-19 18:24:04

I’m not sure if any of these will help, but I know some of them have fairly high functioning/ able students

Cambian Devon school, age 9-19, Paignton: SEN & SEMH Provision
Paignton community academy ages 11-19, Paignton: Mainstream with a really good range of Individual curriculum stuff done, it has the highest number of EHCP’s in south Devon and caters for them fantastically and is an utterly fab school all round, a great feeling on site etc.
St Luke’s High, Ages 11-16, Exeter: Mainstream, with a really high number of EHCPs and lots of 1:1’s and thehighest TA ratio of any school in Exeter iirc. Really accessible and I am aware of kids traveling up to 20+ miles to go there.
St James’ high again 11-16, Exeter: Mainstream with really great work with EBD kids as well as any children with S&L difficulties, as they work with lots of EAL children.
Orchard manor all through, Dawlish: DCC special school, formally 2 schools, ratcliffe and Oakland’s Park I think, it’s a school for cyp with a range of ECHP’s. Admission is solely through the social care 0-25 team though, but I would seriously suggest giving them a buzz about this whole situation because they might offer help. They can be reached on Exeter 383000.

I can offer lots more suggestions if you’d like but I need to sort out supper.
Just shout if there’s anything I can do.

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