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Disastrous College (For Yr 13) Interview & Outcome. What Can I Do?

(13 Posts)
SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 02-Jul-15 01:00:22

Hi. I know that I have to complain, I just don't know who to complain to for best effect.

DS1 is 17. 18 in September. He completed Year 11 at secondary school in 2014 and has just completed a Level 1 course at a local college, having started there in September 2014.

DS1 was refused a place to progress to Level 2 on his original course as the course tutor felt that DS1's heart was not on the subject and advised him to apply for a different course within the same college.

DS1 is autistic and has needed support from a support worker throughout his Level 1 course.

He agreed that he had changed his mind over the year and is now more interested in a different subject. He duly applied for a course studying that subject and was sent a letter inviting him for interview today.

The letter asked him to prepare, bring his Record Of Achievement, GCSE certificates etc., all of which DS1 excitedly did.

On arrival, he was led into a room and told, very bluntly, that he had "burnt his bridges" at this college by needing so much support in his previous course and needed to apply "somewhere where nobody knows what you are" (exact wording used).

I am livid. Fucking livid.

Not that DS1 was not offered a place on the course - I know they have no obligation to make an offer. But because they got his hopes up, asked him in for interview (WITHOUT parental support), just to tell him this. And in this way.

If they wanted to say no, why did they just not send a rejection letter when he applied for the second course?

This has to be discrimination? How can someone treat an autistic student this way?

Is there any appropriate body I can lodge a complaint with? I hate to think that this is how they deal with autistic students as a matter of course sad.

ltk Thu 02-Jul-15 01:18:11

I have no advice but just shock. How awful! Yes, you must complain. Can you sit with ds and record all that happened?

passthewineplz Thu 02-Jul-15 01:34:18

It's discrimination and is part of the equality act, as he's been treated unfairly and discrimination against because of his learning needs.

Look at the college's website and look up there equality policy it might say equality and diversity) and look at the complaint policy.

www.gov.uk/discrimination-your-rights/what-you-can-do

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 02-Jul-15 01:46:58

Thank you both.

All that happened was that DS was lead into a room, expecting an interview, and was told the following:

"Right, I've spoken to your tutor for the past year. You have needed too much support. Basically mate, you've burnt your bridges here. Apply somewhere they don't know what you are."

And, just to recap, the difficulties DS1 has faced over the last year have been down to his ASD and other students attitude towards him. DS1 has still turned up & engaged with the course. He would not have a pass with merit had he not.

TheFirstOfHerName Thu 02-Jul-15 15:12:22

told, very bluntly, that he had "burnt his bridges" at this college by needing so much support in his previous course
This is discriminatory.

they got his hopes up, asked him in for interview (WITHOUT parental support), just to tell him this
And this is bad practice: unfair and unkind.

Rifugio Thu 02-Jul-15 19:14:45

How awful for your DS. The college is completely out of order.

WickedCrip Thu 09-Jul-15 15:33:26

I'm disabled myself and many years ago whilst at uni I twice had individual members of staff try to act in discriminatory manner to me and stop me having support that was agreed/tell me it meant I couldn't do their course because nobody else had it (things like using a laptop to type in exams, support workers to take notes and carry stuff) Both times when I went to the correct member of staff (head of department) who actually had the authority to make that decision they were horrified to hear what I'd been told and resolved it.
I wonder if similar is happening here with someone (current tutor?) overstepping boundaries. I'd definitely complain but I wonder about getting the SENCO or equivalent involved as a first step? If he or she had arranged for the support worker and made arrangements DS1 uses when he joined the college you could ask why he's now being told he's burned his bridges there

SunnyBaudelaire Thu 09-Jul-15 15:38:30

" Right, I've spoken to your tutor for the past year. You have needed too much support. Basically mate, you've burnt your bridges here. Apply somewhere they don't know what you are."

do you have a name for this person?
You should complain in the strongest possible terms, this is really disgusting.

outtolunchagain Thu 09-Jul-15 19:09:48

Just to contrast I have a similar ds2 , also 18 , he has just complemented a L1 course and has an offer for a L2 providing he passes his maths . The maths is a problem as he us dyscalculic and we have had some communication issues over the number of levels he has to pass etc , however broadly his dept has supported him , he has ADD and they have had problems with his attention wondering but we are working on this , his course leader does not mince her words , whcih can be harsh at times , but your story is awful , if this had happened to my Ds he would be in bits .

You should complain to the college SENCo dept and I would also has to the dept head , can his current dept help him ?

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Thu 09-Jul-15 23:21:50

I'm just catching up with the recent posts. Thank you so much for your support smile.

Sunny Yes, I have a name. I have lodged a formal complaint with the college itself, and am waiting for a response.

outtolunch I have spoken to the SENCO (well via e-mail). Whilst she is very apologetic for the way in which DS1 was rejected, and the terms used, she is also quick to point out that he has had support for a whole year, and this costs her department money. Also that no tutor has an obligation to accept any prospective student on to their course, for whatever reason.

Wicked DS1's current tutor (well, the one he had for the past academic year), has been OK. He has said that he would have accepted DS1 on to the Level 2 course had he felt that his heart was still in the subject. He did not anticipate this happening apparently, and would not have advised DS1 to apply for his new course within the same college had he any idea. Apparently, he said good things about DS1 to the new course tutor - but was also honest about the support he would need to cope with certain situations. Also that his opinion was that the new tutor just didn't feel that DS1 would be a "good fit" on his course hmm.

Everyone there still seems to be very much glossing over the issue. The issue being that a simple "thanks but no thanks" letter to DS1's application would have been acceptable. Disappointing, but acceptable. Dragging him in for an "interview", for which he was asked to prepare & bring documents etc., just to take him in to the interview and say what was said is totally unacceptable.

The good news is that we have been to an interview at a different local college today who have offered DS1 a place for September smile. It's a little harder to get to, but that's something we can work out.

Icimoi Fri 10-Jul-15 22:03:07

Does he have a Learning Difficulty Assessment or Education Health and Care Plan? If he has an LDA, ask for it to be transferred to an EHC Plan immediately: that will give him an enforceable right to proper support which will be funded by the LA. If he doesn't have either, ask for an immediate EHC Needs Assessment which is the first step towards getting an EHC Plan.

Phone Ipsea or SOS SEN for more information.

penny13610 Fri 10-Jul-15 22:08:10

This sounds like enough evidence to get him full time support from somewhere specialist like Farleigh College.
www.priorygroup.com/specialist-education/further-education-colleges

totallybewildered Sat 11-Jul-15 01:10:25

He can't stay in the same school and do the same level course, and get any support at all, that is the governmentt rules, nothing to do with the school. It may be they looked into keeping him on as a guest ( unfunded student) but realised he needed support, and so couldn't.

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