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Can a school keep a child back a year without a statement??

(31 Posts)
loujay Wed 28-Jan-09 17:09:29

In effect i think this is what my daughters school are doing.
She is in year 1 of a very small school, they split year one between 2 classes, keeping those children not a quick on the uptake IYKWIM , and special needs children back for the start of yr 1.
i was happy with this as DD has a speech delay which translates to literacy etc, however, on meeting with school last week, i was told that she is falling further and further behind the rest of YR1 and they are very resistant to transitioning her up to the next class to join the rest of her classmates.
in effect she is repeating reception again and, I found out by chance this afternoon, the teacher has been considering not taking her on a YR 1 + 2 school trip as she has not been covering the topic with the rest of them.
I am furious, they are excluding her from a trip to a bloody museum!!
Am I paranoid?? She has no statement, the ed psych said on last visit that she is behind the rest but will catch up eventually.
I feel like the school is failing my!!

loujay Wed 28-Jan-09 17:14:49


loujay Wed 28-Jan-09 17:28:10


LIZS Wed 28-Jan-09 17:30:32

If they are officially combined classes Yr1/ R and Yr2/Yr1 then technically she isn't actually held back a year . The trip thing is odd htoguh, si she the only one being left out ?

TotalChaos Wed 28-Jan-09 17:30:46

I see the statement issue as a red herring - statement or no statement, sounds like the school aren't meeting her needs if they are proposing for her to spend a further year in the Yr/Reception mixed class, rather than give her the support she needs to work with the other kids her age.

HecateQueenOfGhosts Wed 28-Jan-09 17:35:43

Small schools often have this. The infant school my children attended when we moved here did. They had reception, a year 1 class a mixed yr 1 and yr 2 class and a yr 2 class

Or something. blush one was 2 yrs together anyway grin

I did the opposite actually, I wrote to the lea to request that my youngest son repeat yr1 because he was very far behind, and wasn't ready to progress (he has autism and had had undiagnosed anaemia making him ill, he's now on iron and far better!) and I saw no point moving him on when he would just struggle so much, and always play catch up and grow up feeling stupid. sad

So he repeated. He is doing REALLY well. That extra time was just the ticket and now he is keeping up with the work, just like everyone else. (he has full time 1:1 to help him understand and to keep him safe but they don't do the work for him!)

If he had gone up, he'd now be in yr4. He would NOT be coping with the demands of yr 4. He is exactly where he is supposed to be, working at the right level for him.

Perhaps you could meet with the school and talk about it, maybe you'd see it as beneficial for your child, rather than something negative?

loujay Wed 28-Jan-09 17:45:35

I had no problem with her starting the year in the year 1 / reception class but last friday was the first time that the school said to me that she was so far behind the rest of year 1. This despite a parent teacher meeting last term and a subsequent meeting to discuss her IEP (for speech)
She is the only one who has stayed in the reception class and i was fully supportive until last week. The teachers wouldnt come out and say that they had major concerns about her until I brought it up, and actually I got the distinct impression that they would not have mentioned it if I hadnt asked for the meeting.
She would be the only one not going on the school trip!!
It seems to me that the teacher of class 2 wants an easier life - even thought there are 2 teaching assistants and 1 teacher for a class of 17!!
They seem to have written her off and I dont know what to do next!!
even the teacher admitted that she was unlikely to get a statement as she was above the threshold,I just want to scream TEACH HER!!! at them

HecateQueenOfGhosts Wed 28-Jan-09 17:55:14

if she wouldn't get a statement but needs extra help then she should be on school action or school action plus. is she?

And no, they can't exclude her from the trip. That's not giving an inclusive education.

loujay Wed 28-Jan-09 18:01:53

She is on school action plus and I am working at home with her on a daily basis for literacy and numeracy.
I am now looking at kumon for extra literacy and paying for private speech therapy as her school speech therapist has only seen her 4 times in 18 months.
I feel like I am baning my head against a brick wall, with the teacher of class 2 justblocking my every suggestion.

PeachyBAHonsPRSCertOnRequest Wed 28-Jan-09 18:07:04

Keeping her off the trip is discriminatory surely, it is punishing her in effect for having SN.

I begged our LEA to defer a year and am not anti this (we got a no- ds is going to snu now instead) but just keeping SN / less bright kids back is wrong- it makes them seem inferior, breaks up friendship gropups etc- all or nothing unless on specialist SN reasoning imo.

I'd kick up at this (I'd probably be yelling DDA- excluding from opportunities on absis of a disability)

never acceopt the no statement line: they peddle it out all teh time. Apply and read the IPSEA website really well

HecateQueenOfGhosts Wed 28-Jan-09 18:07:44

You don't need the school's permission to request a statement, you have the right to request one yourself. (doesn't mean she'll get one, but they'll consider it straight from you.)

You need some outside support.

parent partnership perhaps?

If the school are not doing everything they should, you need to challenge that. They are accountable. You need to be firm. I stopped caring YEARS ago whether I was liked or hated grin. You need to go in and let them know that they have a legal obligation to educate your child and a duty of care as well and by god they will do right by her!

Speak to LEA. Inclusion officer maybe? Have a chat with them. Bring in outside help, to make school see you are serious.

Point out that you need to work together for the good of your child and you are not their enemy but you will do whatever it takes, including complaining to LEA.

HecateQueenOfGhosts Wed 28-Jan-09 18:08:26

erm, like Peachy says. grin

PeachyBAHonsPRSCertOnRequest Wed 28-Jan-09 18:15:47


loujay Wed 28-Jan-09 19:16:01

Sorry for the delayed reply, doing bedtime!!
I am going to ring the ed psych dept tomorrow and insist that they see her prior to half term rather than the march date that i was given today, as i feel that is just delaying everything yet again.
i am also going to look again at her iep and go back to school after her kumon assessment to keep them in the picture.
Apparently neither her teacher or the head are available to speak to ed psych in march after the assessment so i have insisted on a meeting myself with her.
Will keep you posted and many thanks for your replies xx

Littlefish Wed 28-Jan-09 19:16:50

Is this a private or state school?

loujay Wed 28-Jan-09 19:22:36


anonandlikeit Wed 28-Jan-09 19:25:07

HI Loujay.
I would echo what the others have said, that combined yr classes are common but if she is being held back to repeat a yr this is a different thing all together.
And you must consider, legally she will still have ot move on to her next school at the appropriate age whatever her academic achievement so seperating her from her age group may both effect her confidence & isolate her from ehr friends that i'm guessing she will move through school with.

It is far better that she gets additional help to allow her to work at her own pace within her correct age/year group.

Contact your local LEA & request a statement, the teacher really is not bet placed to advise on who is or is not entitled to an assessment.

Do seek support from parent partnership & IPSEA.

Littlefish Wed 28-Jan-09 19:31:11

Agree completely with anonandlikeit. It would be completely different if half the class were being mixed with the Reception chidren.

You need to get on to this asap.

At what stage have the school propsed to return her to her correct year group? LEAs generally look very unfavourably on children being held out of yeargroup.

loujay Wed 28-Jan-09 19:31:40

Thanks, just looked at IPSeA website.
As you have said (better than I could) she just needs to be with her friends on a daily basis, not necessarily working at the same pace as them.
teacher comments to me like "we dont think she would be able to sit on the carpet for the required amount of time" or "we dont want her to feel like she cant keep up" are to me unreasonable. give her a chance to show what she can do and tailor her work accordingly!!
Again thanks to all that have replied to my ramblings, am off to do tea for DH and to discuss our next moves.xx

Littlefish Wed 28-Jan-09 19:41:51

It is up to the class teacher and teaching assistants to find ways to fully include her. There is no such thing as "the required amount of time" on the carpet. I have children in my class whose target it is to join in with class discussions for 5 minutes at a time. As for "we don't want her to feel like she can't keep up" - that's entirely down to the attitude of the adults in the classroom! What is there for her to keep up with? They should be measuring her individual progress and ensuring that that continues. It's not about her keeping up!

You've already said that there are 2 TAs and a teacher. This is a fantastic ratio. Are the TAs general class TAs or are they assigned as support assistants for particular children?

anonandlikeit Wed 28-Jan-09 20:32:45

They should be looking at the individual learning & not the ability to keep up.
By putting her with reception this is not helping her to "keep up" as the yr1 children are still progressing as well.
She is still vedry young & maybe not aware that she is being kept back particularly if some others have spent part of the yr in reception as well.

If they have concerns about your daughters ability to, for example "sit on the carpet" all the more evidence that she would benifit from some 1 to 1 time & maybe a TA to kepp her focused without the teacher constantly telling her to sit down which can be very negative.

You ar eabsolutely right she should be given the opportunity to be educated in the class with her peers, if they ahve to amke adjustments so be it, that is what inclusive good education is all about.

You know your daughter best so push for what YOU believe she needs.

PeachyBAHonsPRSCertOnRequest Wed 28-Jan-09 21:20:18

OOh yes the TA's might not actuallly be for all kids

I have to brave the queue of mums wanting to speak to the 'Class TA' every morning- er nio, ds3's TA.

Am wanting someone to challenge me now I know he is going to snu LOL

lingle Thu 29-Jan-09 10:13:59

"She is the only one who has stayed in the reception class and i was fully supportive until last week"

Loujay, having a child in reception/Year 1 at her age is fully compatible with having high expectations of her. So don't focus on the year group she's in. In all probably that's the right one for her and remember in Europe she wouldn't even be at school yet. Focus instead on whether the teachers have appropriate expectations and commitment.

I have two boys with language delay aged 6 and 3. DS2 will start reception a year "late". School fully support this decision but it was important to point out to them that DS1 had had similar issues with language. I could see the surprise in their faces as DS1 is now a star pupil. They need to understand your confidence in your child and to show that they have confidence too. But don't confuse that with putting her in the Year 1 group or sending her to the museum.

loujay Thu 29-Jan-09 11:53:16

to reiterate, I had confidence in the teaching staff keeping her in the reception / year 1 year group as i was given to understand that she would be spending time with the rest of the yr1 class and that her work would be set just below the standard of the rest of yr1.
unfortunately this has not been the case, with the staff not informing me of her progress (or lack of) until I approached them about a meeting.
My problem with it all is that they have written her off and are now excluding her from "fun" year 1 excursions on the basis that she is spending the majority of her time in another room.
no attempt has been made to even try and integrate her with the rest of her yr1 friends and there is resistance to even try.

As an update I will be speaking to ed psych today to try and bring the assessment forwards (it is planned for march!!) and I am going to schedule another meeting with the school.
Thanks again xx

lingle Thu 29-Jan-09 12:12:25

sounds like you very much feel that the Year 1 group are still her "true" peers. So our situations are different in that I feel the younger group is full of my son's true peers (he is near the borderline anyway - late August birthday). I'm having his education permanently "offset" to reflect this.

Best of luck with the ed psych today.

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