Can anyone help with regards to not making my Ds do sats pls?(46 Posts)
Ds is due to sit year 6 sats. He has ASD but high functioning so more than able. School have said he will get special provisions e.g. A scribe, seperate room, learning breaks etc... HOWEVER its causing so so many problems. He has severe anxiety. Camhs are going to start him on fluoxetine it's that bad. I spoke to the head about withdrawing him and all she said was he had to do them and if I kept him off that week he would have to do them when he was back in.
There are a lot of other factors going on at home that are contributing to his anxiety and I really don't want him sitting them as it's making him worse. Does anyone know where I stand legally? Or if there's anyway to make sure he doesn't actually have to sit them? I know schools can take a particular child out of the equation but they are saying he has to.
I'd appreciate any help or where I can go for guidance on this?
I should add husband attendance is already poor and he's already said he won't go in when it's the papers and Iv said he will hVe to do them at some point but I know he will refuse to go back. He missed probably half of year 5 and was under the attendance board. Iv been on .gov website and can't find any answers there?
KS2 Sats have to be administered on set days. There is a provision in the guidance to say that if the pupil returns within 5 days of the date they were due to be sat then they can be done but if it's outside of the 5 days then not. If you google Sats 2017 and look at this document: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/601108/2017_KS2_ARA_v2.0.pdf. these are the statutory rules that schools must abide by. Hope this helps
It talks about 'reporting' the parents. Who would I be reported to??
Yes, you would have to keep him off for the SATs week itself and the following week, which would be marked as unauthorised absence. Local authorities will differ on their approach to dealing with unauthorised absences, but there is the possibility you would be fined. Presumably though you are aware of how they deal with UA from the year 5 experience?
Yes... I didn't get fined but most of year 5 was unauthorised. Is there no way round the head teachers decision is what I want to know..... I don't want to keep him off those 2 weeks, it's hard. Enough getting him in and had Easter and then off this week as he's had surgery so I don't want to have to keep him off 2 weeks more. I can't find any guidance on these circumstances but Iv read it's down to head teacher. I know heads don't have to put children in that aren't achieving etc.....
The Head has the final say on who does and doesn't do the tests I'm afraid. This can include children who haven't reached the levels of the tests, as well as children who have but who can't access the tests for reasons of medical needs/impairments/emotional or social issues (which would appear to include your son.)
All you can do is make a renewed appeal to the Head I think.
Yes I'm trying to obtain as much info as possible before approaching her tomorrow. Any tips on how to word it etc? It was only a couple months ago I spoke to her saying I don't want him to take them due to his anxiety but she still said he had to...
What's your long term aim for him? Is he likely to need to do GCSEs? If so, I would try to find a way to get him to do at least a bit if the sats- maybe his best subject. It's only by having a go that he will find out it wasn't as bad as he thought (probably) and that he survived. If he avoids it completely it sort of reinforces that it was something so awful he could not do it...and then how will he manage any GCSEs down the line? This is his first "go" at a formal exam, it doesn't affect his future prospects if he struggles, but just managing to get him there for a bit at least, and having a go is in my view important for desensitisation.
I would make it clear, politely, that you are aware that the 2017 Assessment and Reporting Arrangements guidance for schools make it explicitly possible for a Head to withdraw a child from the tests. They may not want to (if he is achieving well normally then they will want his test scores!) but they certainly have the ability. I would lay out clearly the worsening in his anxiety over the last few weeks, and your inability to force him to attend and sit the exams; and that your reluctant alternative will be to keep him off for the fortnight, which you really don't want to do.
The relevant paragraph is -
" Schools should consider using access arrangements (see section 5.3) to enable all pupils who are working at the overall standard of the tests to take them.
If a pupil is working at the standard of the tests but is unable to access them, they must be registered in the ‘Pupil registration’ section of NCA tools but should not take the test. They should then be marked as ‘U’ (unable to access) on the attendance register provided with the test materials.
Some examples of pupils who may fit this category are included below:
- pupils who have a disability or a sensory impairment
- pupils with specific medical needs or who have spent time in hospital towards the end of the key stage
- pupils who have been educated at home or excluded from school and need time to adjust to regular school life
- pupils who are experiencing or have recently experienced severe emotional problems
The headteacher makes final decisions about participation in the tests."
There are other major major issues happening At home (don't want to discuss on here as identifying) but the head is aware of that and it has got worse. He has suicide ideation, the head is aware of that, she's also aware he will be being put on medication soon for his anxiety.... to me he comes under that last point ; 'experiencing severe emotional problems'.
old I genuinely don't know about GCSEs. I hear what you are saying but he is in an awful awful place right now and his mental health is more important to me than his education or worrying about GCSEs etc
PatriciaHolm's advice is spot on.
If the HT continues to insist that he take the tests, could you ask the GP to sign him off in a similar way to an adult with MH issues? I assume the GP could do that and then the school would have to put it as authorised absence.
Good luck, I hope you can get the HT to consider your child's needs ahead of the school's desire for good results....
An alternative is that you could possibly withdraw him to Home Ed until he starts secondary? Some time out might help his mental health too- if you could do it.
I don't really want to withdraw him, I don't think I'd ever get him back in. Plus it wouldn't do me any good either.
DS didn't do his SATs, I took him on holiday instead and he is now nearly 17 and has good GCSE grades, so it's not necessary for him to take the tests iyswim, they are an indicator of how the school is doing rather than how individual children are doing.
However with SEN it may be different, I withdrew DS from the tests on a principle rather than because of a disability. Legally there will be no comeback other than perhaps a fine for unauthorised attendance, but as a PP said there is the issue of formal exams and whether this will hinder his coping with anxiety in a test situation in the future where results do matter.
I think when you quote that exact paragraph to the HT she'll back down.
It is possible she hasn't read the 2017 code. I think that clause might be new. But there's really no way she can force him to sit the tests once you've shown her the code.
Thank both, I do hear what people are saying about his lack of ability to cope etc and Iv thought about this for over a year. There's so much going on at the moment and this is adding to it. I want him at school. Sats will mean he will refuse even more to go and his attendance I think has now dropped to just below 80% anyway so I want him in school as much as I can get him in.
Surely the head would've known that paragraph though?? I don't want to make our relationship any more strained but Ds is more important. Should I say something like Iv read the clause and believe that covers Ds......... volunteer to go into school when sats are on and sit with him doing something else??
I wouldn't be looking ahead to GCSEs at all, you need to do what is best for him now not in 5 years time.
I wouldn't want him doing SATS if he were my son based on what you have written.
I just really need the head on side but when I asked few months back she was adamnent he HAD to do them and I said what if he was off that week? 'He'll do them when he gets back. I haven't had one child refuse yet and I won't have him refusing either'
I would write it down, ask to see her, tell her you don't want him to do them, quote the paragraph and leave her with a letter that makes your wishes clear. Ask for a response by early next week at the latest advising that should she not agree you will be seeking a medical opinion.
Firm but polite, you know him best.
It sounds like your child is very able.
Obviously if they think he can do well then they will want him too.
Can you see GP about anti anxiety medication - short term, to get him through this period?
OP - are you on Facebook as there are many ASD groups on there who will be able to advise you
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