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Will my LEA refuse permission (Scotland)

(7 Posts)
mummery Tue 30-Nov-10 17:13:38


I've read the general info about HE in Scotland and note that you have to ask permission to do this.

My son is 7 (P3) and I've been mulling over HE for some time. However I'm slightly concerned I'll be refused confused. I'll throw a few details at you and see what you think!

DS has had a few behavioural issues at school over P1 and P2. He's been excluded twice. People who know him well have commented that he seems to have a few autistic attributes and I (just a layman) would tend to agree, although we never got as far as having a diagnosis. I could have pushed for it apparently but at the time was just concerned with resolving the exclusion issue and getting him the learning support that was required, and was advised that having a medical diagnosis would not improve or add to the no. of hours learning support he received, and in fact might work against him in the long term, ie having the 'label' of being autistic.

In short - he works very well with one-on-one attention and in a quiet environment. At school he is apparently a different child. Messing about, wandering the classroom, hiding under tables, refusing to cooperate, rude, annoying to teachers and children. I must emphasise this is not the same child I have at home! He will sit and do his homework attentively and without argument and concentrate well. He is helpful, cooperative and well-mannered with me, in fact there is nothing I would change about his behaviour. But I continuously get complaints from school (teacher and Head) about his disruptiveness.

I strongly dislike our Head and am worried that this will come across in any communication with the LEA and I will be portrayed as paranoid or defiant. I am a single mother and the Head clearly interprets my son's behaviour as a failing on my part, in one phone call she even said "If there is no change then we will have to think about calling Social Services." She has walked out on and not turned up to review meetings for DS, been uncommunicative and generally disinterested, as well as doing things like making him sign 'good behaviour' contracts which I can see the sense of for a teenager who has been excluded, but not so much for a 6 yr old who has no concept of what a contract is or means. Anyway - I'm worried that the LEA will speak to her and she will convey her image of me as a failing parent and that this will have ramifications either with regards to my plan to HE or in other ways sad

The other concern is that DS is behind in the majority of his schoolwork. His handwriting is poor, spelling worse, he can read well, maths is bad. From my POV he would probably do better with one-to-one. But perhaps from LEA's POV he would be better off in school if only to stop the risk of any further downwards slide in attainment level.

Friends - DS has no friends. Well, he's got one, and they cause trouble together. When I'm there he's great, has fun, knows how to behave. He is thought of as 'bad' by kids and parents at school and doesn't really socialise with anyone except this one boy. I don't think that HE'ing will lose him any school friendships (because he hasn't got any) but in fact could help him build friendships via new networks (HE groups etc). However will the LEA disagree? Is this aspect any of their business? I'm thinking they could say that because he's an only child, I'm a single mother, we have no family living nearby (his dad lives locally and there are 2 kids on that side of the family whom my son sees regularly, but no others).

OK this is quite long enough for now smile thanks for reading. I'm just really wanting to know if and on what grounds a (Scottish) LEA can refuse permission. How they can enforce refusal of permission. What the ramifications might be if you draw attention to yourself as wanting to HE. Eg in my case, will they inform the Head, could that impede our relationship further if it turns out DS will have to stay on at school? I don't want to make his life any more difficult than it already is.

It goes without saying that DS hates school. I know this is common among seven yr olds. However he has constantly said over his whole time there that he never feels as though anyone is listening to him. He finds it hard to explain himself (not helped by speech problems, slowly improving). He feels bullied (I think he is using the word wrongly, he is not victimised by other kids in a systematic way, however he is often used as entertainment, deliberately wound up, blamed for things he hasn't done (and I have witnessed this type of thing, not just being defensive in a motherly way). He's a bright kid, loves learning, museums, science books, constantly asks questions. I had a great school experience in fact it saved me in a big way from a poor home experience. Sadly though DS is not getting the same reward sad

Honestly...thanks in advance if you can make head or tail of this smile

AMumInScotland Tue 30-Nov-10 17:37:22

Hi - I'm in Scotland and HEd for a while, but we didn't have to seek consent, so I haven't been through this myself. But first - make sure you read through everything at Schoolhouse - they really are the place to go for accurate Scottish information, as anything legal you read on English sites may not apply up here.

They can refuse consent if they have child protection concerns - but that would only be if you had already been referred to SS for child protection reasons which you haven't been.

Apart from that, it is a matter of showing how you plan to provide a suitable education - eg you would be expected to mention things like how he will have opportunities to interact with other children and adults - see this page for more about what they need you to provide -government guidelines

They should only refuse consent if you are completely unable/unwilling to give them a reasonable plan of how you intend to cover the kind of areas the guidelines list.


mummery Tue 30-Nov-10 18:01:54

Thanks, am reading Schoolhouse now - very useful smile

samay Tue 30-Nov-10 18:23:06

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mummery Tue 30-Nov-10 22:05:43

Thanks Samay, your experience sounds very familiar. DS too has had problems since nursery. We were optimistic at first because we had a great Headmaster and head of learning support who both valued DS and saw his potential as an individual. Sadly the former retired, the latter died sad. The incoming Head turned out to be much more of a 'manager', she is not really interested in education as a critical life experience. Add to that the fact it's a city primary facing the usual budget cuts, staff shortages, maximum class sizes, etc etc.

DS for his part cannot explain his behaviour. When you ask he says 'I don't know' and cries. He doesn't get angry about school, just sad. He has very low self esteem, is constantly calling himself names. I think this is at least in part because the school learning system does not suit him personally. He's forever playing catch up, academically, never feels understood by staff or kids, feels quite lonely and helpless I think. Which is such a shame because his thirst for knowledge is immense and beautiful.

I'm not even sure what I'm supposed to do to correct this. I've tried talking to him, telling him off, enforcing punishments. The Head writes to me with lists of 'incidents' and I'm clearly meant to solve the problem. My inability to do so obviously shows me up as failing in my parental duty. But none of the above work, they just make us both unhappy. Taking school out of the equation I think could be the answer. Although I hasten to add I'm not considering HE only for these negative reasons. I also relish the idea of educating DS myself and spending more time with him.

samay Tue 30-Nov-10 22:29:04

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samay Tue 30-Nov-10 22:30:28

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