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I still can't decide what to do for the best. :- (

(31 Posts)
mummyloveslucy Fri 10-Jul-09 20:36:41

Hi, I really can't decide what to do.
My daughter is due to start reception at the private school she's been in since she was 2. She has a severe speech disorder and so I don't think this school is going to be right for her primary education.
All the parents of children who have been in the juniours and have now left have all said the same. The nursery and reception are fantastic but from yr1 onwards if your child needs extra help then it's not the best option.
My daughter has a place at our local state school in January.
I'd love her to finnish the reception year and then change schools but this school won't hold a place open.
It seems a shame that she'll only be doing one term at her school in her new class and then leave (especially as I've just bought the uniform) wink
She is going to be accessed by the child development team starting in november.
I'm worried about her starting school in january, as she is very difficult to understand and therefore think she won't make friends easily. She's also still soiling herself regularly.
I'd really like to get these things under controll before she starts her new school.
The head of nursery thinks it would be a huge benefit for her to finnish reception, but is it worth losing a school place? the school isn't outstanding, but it seems nice and friendly. Would the head of nursey help me find a good school for her in yr 1?
There are several schools neerby that I'd send her to. Could I put her name on waiting lists untill a place became availabe?
I know she is doing so well at her school and she loves her new teacher.
My head tells me to take up her place in January, but my heart tells me to keep her there one more year.
I've been thinking about it so much and every time I think I've decided, I change my mind. blush

DLI Fri 10-Jul-09 21:27:13

my ds has speech problems and he is in one of the local schools and just about to leave reception class. there are a number of children in his class with similar problems and they have been fantastic. i think if you are going to change her school early rather than later is best. its really hard to get children into the school you want and if you have a place then i would take it unless you are going to keep her in private school permanently.

LIZS Fri 10-Jul-09 21:35:03

The private school would have no influence on where she can go in the state system, it would be down to wherever a place comes up, and staying may hinder your progress in accessing help from LEA and NHS. imho the sooner she is in the state system the more likely she is to have any issues addressed. November seems a long time off but could perhaps you use her January start date as a lever to get her seen sooner, to get organised before hand ?

In the meantime ask to meet the new school's SENCO and discuss how they would integrate her into the class, presumably she won't be the only new starter in January or they'd brign her date forward, and help meet her needs as they currently stand. Hopefully it will reassure you. Bear in mind the private school don't want to lose you , partly out of interest for your dd but mainly from a financial pov.

hercules1 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:37:19

I would say it would be unwise to go down the private route. You will miss out on a lot of help and I'm not sure of any advantages of keeping here where she is in the long term.

EachPeachPearMum Fri 10-Jul-09 21:46:41

Does the state school have a set intake in january? ie is your dd going to start with other children or be the only one starting?
If there is a group starting in jan I would move her then. so she can have some people in the same position as her.

Is she receiving SALT at her independent school? Because surely you need to start the process for that in the state school ASAP so Jan would be better than waiting until next year.

I think the independent school will be banking on the fact that the longer your dd stays the harder it will be for her to leave and for you to pull her out. I'm assuming (maybe incorrectly) that it is the fees issue that is the reason for the move to the state sector mainly.

DLI Fri 10-Jul-09 21:47:09

i know public schools can now refer children to occupational therapists whereas before they couldnt. my ds sees the occupational therapist and she mentioned it to his teacher and sent her forms out to complete. not sure about private schools.

ingles2 Fri 10-Jul-09 21:50:57

move her for her January start MLL... The quicker the easier in all honesty and I wouldn't give up her state school place if it is at the school you want, you may not get another place.

AramintaCane Sat 11-Jul-09 10:02:25

My dd is unable to speak at all in school but she has made lots of friends. State schools are used to this sort of thing ours has been great. They have gone out of their way to support her. Good luck to you both.

Quattrocento Sat 11-Jul-09 10:04:18

This is really torturing you - I've read lots of your threads on this subject - and the one thing I can say that might be useful is STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. It won't much matter in the longer scheme of things. Go and have fun in the sun.

AppleandMosesMummy Sat 11-Jul-09 12:12:35

Give the state option a go, you can always go back to private schools, the other way around is much harder.

mummyloveslucy Sat 11-Jul-09 17:20:50

Thanks everyone. smile Sorry I didn't get back to you last night, I had a phone call and had to leave for work early.
It does really make sence to take up her place in January. There are two intakes at the new school, so she'll be starting with the rest of the class.
She is having group speech therapy at a centre. But hasn't made much progress. In 9 months, she's been working on one sound, and still hasn't got it. sad
She will have a new speech therapist when she starts her new school.
The private school say they don't take statemented children either. She dosn't have a statement but it's almost like saying, we can't or won't deal with SEN's.
The nursery has been fantastic for her though, I wouldn't send her anywhwere else. The longer she stays there though, the harder it'll be to move her for me. If I can't get her in to a good school, I'll bee thinking, just one more term then all the time.
I will stop thinking about it now and enjoy the summer (saying that it's been raining all day Lol)
Thanks again everyone. smile

scienceteacher Sat 11-Jul-09 17:27:43

I don't think there is a concept of not taking statemented children. Private schools would love to have statemented children and their funding but LEA are bristly about working with private schools, even if they are the best place for the child.

It is perfectly possible to have speech therapy at a private school, just as you can get help with dyslexia. We don't have any children who need speech therapy at school at the momemnt, but one of my friends is a speech therapist and she makes the rounds of independent schools in the area, doing one on one work.

I would be very worried about what to do for the best, MLL. I think you are jumping towards the state sector for financial reasons, whereas you can get high quality care in the private sector for some £££ - and you already know that your DD is happy where she is. Happiness is key to good education.

AppleandMosesMummy Sat 11-Jul-09 17:55:59

Too be fair financial reasons are not a bad one for moving.
You can always go back to the private sector, at any stage.

MollieO Sat 11-Jul-09 18:10:50

Some private schools do take children with SN like speech disorders, dsylexia etc and some run a mile. Ours does and is very good at providing extra support (at a cost of course). Some run a mile and we've had children move from the other private school in town because of that. I think it depends how much the school values pastoral care over their academic results. Ours seems to have a good balance.

I would start her in reception at her current school and see how you go. You should have a good idea before January of whether it is worth keeping her there or moving. Why does she have to wait until November to be assessed?

mummyloveslucy Sat 11-Jul-09 19:52:34

Hi, my friend had 2 girls at the school aged 9.5 and 8. They are now at a good state school. She decided to move them when her oldes daughter opened up to her and told her she was struggeling and nothing seemed to make sence. She then took her to be independently acessed, and they discovered she tas two years behind. shock The school had given no indication of this, in fact told the parents she was doing well.
They had also been keeping her in at break time to catch up.
Now she's at the new school, she's said to her Mum that it's so different, the teacher explaines things then askes if anyone dosn't understand and if you don't she explains it again in several different ways untill you understand. She said I'm not scared to ask questions and I feel that I'm actually getting it now. Her younger daughter had said the same, that they only explain once and you're expected to get it streight away. (which is fine if you do).
They are both a lot happier at the new school and they've said they only miss their friends.

MollieO Sat 11-Jul-09 19:59:04

Sounds like it isn't a very good school then. Paying money doesn't automatically mean that the education your children receive is any good.

mummyloveslucy Sat 11-Jul-09 20:04:05

The senior school get fantastic results. They have got 100% pasess of A*-C and over half were passed at A* or A. They are amoung the top 5% in the country.
There is an enterence test though and apparently, a girl who'd been in the juniour school was told in her final term in yr 6 that she wasn't really ready for seniors and that she should do yr 6 again.

CarGirl Sat 11-Jul-09 20:06:39

Have you thought about getting her assessed at the Meath School in Surrey? They are an ican school specifically for children with severe speech problems I know they take children for assessment so you know what you are dealing with as a parent.

Here is some info on them

I think mainstream is the way to go, stop stressing about her having to leave her lovely foundation teacher and perhaps focus on getting the correct help and support she needs because that will make a big difference IMHO

CarGirl Sat 11-Jul-09 20:08:18

There is a mum on MN who had her son assessed at the Meath and she said it was worth every penny.

mummyloveslucy Sat 11-Jul-09 20:11:08

Thanks CarGirl, you're right and without having to pay the fees, she can even have extra help privetly if she needs it.
I'll look at the sight now.
November is a long wait, if she can be asessed sooner that would be a lot better.
I'll keep her other appointment too, as she has other difficulties appart from speech.

Heated Sat 11-Jul-09 20:17:10

Moving from anywhere is scary - for the parents more so than the child though smile

If I could have kept ds at his lovely nursery for another year I think would! And even in the first half term after starting school I was still all anxious for him, but I look back now at at full year and all he's achieved I now know it was time, even though it didn't feel it to his pfb mother! But he's just read me a stage 7 book as his bedtime story so he was more than ready.

Then jmo but I'd definitely look to move your dd in January because a) she'll be moving with other new starters and they can all settle in together & make friends b)the earlier action can be taken on the speech delay, the better - a lot of primaries are geared to helping reception children with speech, working in small groups and 1-2-1 and are clued in to accessing the right support c)you don't want to lose dd's place d)it's very easy to move back into independent - although it doesn't sound very supportive to your dd's needs.

mumwhereareyou Sat 11-Jul-09 20:18:40


My son started at our local state school 2 yrs ago this Sept unable to speak at all, could only grunt, 2 yrs later what a difference he can now speak 3/4word sentences not always clear but enough to be understood.

I think 2 things made a big difference, one the children at the state school were used to all different kinds of children and therefore talked to him and did not ignore him. The other thing was private SALT as NHS could not help him or so they said. We used to go fornightly for private speech. Till Jan of this year when she emmigtrated, we now have block sessions with NHS.

If you are paying for a private nursery and that will stop in Jan i guess you could just use that money to pay for a private salt.

I personally think you will get more help at local state school.

Hope this helps.

frogs Sat 11-Jul-09 20:33:33

MLL, do I remember correctly that this is SK school in T? There's a real mystique about it, and people do love the atmosphere and the charismatic head, but from all I know of it (several families with girls there) it's not particularly well-run, and doesn't always do well for girls who don't fit the mould (either by being exceptionally bright, or by having particular needs, or by being a bit awkward).

It's really not considered an academic school, a lot of the 11+ intake in particular is girls who didn't get into the grammar school. They get good results at GCSE cos they have averagely bright girls and teach them to the test in very small groups. I know several girls who have been/are there in the senior school, they are all lovely girls, but distinctly underwhelming in terms of their general academic level. One girl I know left after GCSE and despite a good clutch of results has really struggled at a more academic private school in E.

Honestly, if you've been offered a good state school place with proper SN provision for your dd, I'd take it and not look back.

mummyloveslucy Sat 11-Jul-09 21:08:19

Thanks frogs, it's good to her that from someone who knows the school. It does have a lovely atmosphere and the nursery is just wonderful. She has had a really good start there. She is a lovely caring little girl who shows real strenth of charictor and true empathy for people. To me this is more important than anything else.
I do worry mainly about teasing in her new school due to her speech and toileting problems.
If I could afford to keep her there until she's 18 then I'd do it definatly.

LIZS Sat 11-Jul-09 21:14:46

You run the risk of teasing wherever tbh but the sooner she has a peer group who will move up with her longer term the better chance she has to make friends and allies of staff who will support her. It could be worse to have to move her later on (if she needed support beyond the private school, your finances were exhausted or they felt they could n't accommodate her needs any longer) and her have to integrate into an established group.

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