What can I expect from school for my child with SEN (Dyslexia)(6 Posts)
Hello all. DS aged 12 was diagnosed with Moderate Dyslexia after Ed Psych assessment 6 months ago. Since then I have met the SENCO at the school once, who seemed very switched on and came up with a least three good ideas (use a laptop in class; extra support with spelling; for all his teachers to check his homework diary is correctly filled in so he knows what he is meant to be doing each day, including giving written instructions if necessary). Problem is, none of these things have happened - he comes home regularly with a homework diary full of incomplete instructions, never knows when he has a test, his teachers never give him any written/typed instructions. It is a rather disorganised new Academy (although hard to judge how much disorganisation is DS and how much is School). Obviously I am emailing his SENCO and Form Tutor as well as Subject Teachers regularly (usually every week) but not getting much back. Is this common, should I be pushing harder, or should we cut our losses and transfer him to a more established school. His Academy is only two years old and had a terrible Ofsted recently.
Thanks in advance for all your advice.
What should happen and what to expect are often two different things. I would meet with the SENCO again and explain in person your frustrations that the agreed support is not happening. Ask for an IEP (individual education plan) to be put in place that formalises the agreed support the school will give and then schedule a meeting at a sensible point in time ahead to go back and see the SENCO to review progress and how well things are being carried out. You need to make a complete pain of yourself sometimes to make things happen! If you do want to change schools then I would make sure that you speak with the SENCO at the other schools you visit to ensure that their attitude is positive in the first place. Ofsted reports are one thing, but the willingness of individuals within a system counts for a lot more - your gut instinct will probably lead you to the best decision.
You may find more replies on the SEN Children board on MN too if you want more advice.
My ds is also dyslexic. I had a similar meeting to yours in y7, unfortunately very little was followed up. 2 years later and I have had enough & have been emailing and following up and threatening to complain to anyone and everyone and finally slowly things are starting to be put in place.
The school should have Sen policy on their website or you can ask for it to be sent to you, this should outline what the school does for sen and who is responsible and how to complain.
Through research I discovered academies receive funding from the EFA (Education Funding Agency) for sen. Depending on your son's problems which should be outlined in his report you can ask for provisions to be made. If the school doesn't do this you need to follow the complaints procedure and after that you can complain directly to the EFA. I had to convince them this was exactly what I intended to do before they took me seriously.
I don't think any schools will help unless your son is really behind or you turn hostile.
You should also be requesting extra time in internal exams if it is recommended in his report.
Unfortunately most schools do not have the time or resources to provide adequate support (according to my DH who is a teacher, who has always taught in established schools). We found when we were looking for a secondary school for my very severely dyslexic DS that the amount of support he school could give even though he was on School Action Plus was negligible, and he wouldn't cope in a class of 30 moving at the pace of non dyslexic kids. The other fundamental issue is that many of the teachers will not have had any formal training on dyslexia - so won't have front of mind techniques to help with learning or organisation. While for us the solution was to go down the specialist route, if that had been an option or his needs were not so extreme, I would have asked for an IEP and regular update sessions, but would also have pushed the school to run an inset for staff on how to support kids with dyslexia. There are plenty of organisations out there that can help with this sort of training.
Where roughly are you based Busybusybusy1? I know a SEN teacher who does after school additional lessons and help. Unfortunately, the sad truth is those teachers don't sit the exams at the end of it, your child does. And if the school isn't giving you what you want, there are really two options. This is a problem I faced:
1) You get additional help for out of school and let him continue there
2) You move him from the school altogether.
I'd actually say the first is the smarter move because it's very destabilising jumping schools. Just my opinion, private message me if I can help as I said, if not best of luck with it all x
Thanks for all of this, I had a feeling that we need to keep turning up the heat to make this happen.
CloHutchinson, we are in Camden - we are already doing quite a lot of extra lessons out of school, but always up for more, as I agree, doing this is less disruptive than moving school. Would be great to have those details (Sorry, can't work out how to PM!)
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