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Phone calls from ed. welfare INSISTING on visit,and with mention of order to make DS go to school :(

(20 Posts)
logi Wed 14-Sep-11 11:06:54

Basically my son ASD 7 and great phobia of school has been home ed. since 4 years and sees docs regarding his ASD and all docs say school would be good for him and although i do know he would like few friends he would not fit into mainstream education.

We were promised statements which never happened ..long story,now even though he had a tutor provided by LEA at start of year which tutor said he is bit ahead and what i had done with him was great even though he can be difficult to teach.......one comment made by education recently was " your turning ur son into a recluse" even though they hadnt even met DS.......just had call saying they are sending someone out even though i said no,and woman said it could be that im made to send my son to school .....i am fuming but not great at explaining things as i get upset so where do i go for help and advice...i have contacted sons doc to cancel a caf meeting as i feel what i say in meetings/appointments is being used against me...waiting for paed. to call back and welfare officer too.

What should i do next sad

julienoshoes Wed 14-Sep-11 13:53:46

I'd be asking why they are insisting on coming to visit?
I would be asking if this was considered a welfare issue or an educational one.
Do you have someone who can attend these meetings with you? (preferably someone who knows something about home ed)

mummytime Wed 14-Sep-11 14:05:02

Are you in contact with Education otherwise or another Home Ed organisation. I would request a written letter from the LA stating on what ground they are coming for a home visit, and on what grounds they are insisting on this. Are you involved with other Home Edders in your area.
And which country do you live in. I know the law is quite different in Scotland to England and Wales.

AMumInScotland Wed 14-Sep-11 14:12:52

Are you actually legally Home Educating, or is your son registered with a school? In general, if you are doing HE, the LEA don't provide a tutor, which is why I'm wondering about your legal status.

If he is registered in school, then the LEA may be able to treat him as a "truant" if they decide he has to attend and you don't send him. Which is totally different from your legal position if he is no longer on a school register.

logi Wed 14-Sep-11 22:35:47

Hi all thankyou for replies i have been home edding and did consider a small autistic unit for my son on the understanding it was part time say 2 days a week if we could get him to go without distress.

So he went had tutor to get statement (so i was told) only once a week for 3 hours,then tutor took ill and LEA wouldnt replace her saying they werent going to statement him with tutor (but had said they would)

The statement was to try and get a place in very small auttistic unit.......really only ecause my son could do with friends his age or similar to him i thought.

I have spoken to welfare officer today regarding another member of her staff saying i was making my son a recluse and saying they need to check his welfare .

I told her today i took offence that his welfare was mantioned when i have been trying to get help for my son regarding other issues due to ASD and being promised help and not recieving it,so im not hiding him away i just feel that i shouldnt have to prove myself with "work" my child has done (which isnt alot lately as trying a different approach with him ) especially as we have had to manage with him on our own.

My son is a fast learner but very stubborn and doesnt like to be told what to do and likes to be in charge.

I am in England/Devon and not with any groups but wish i was but i do worry about my son saying things that may offend people,he is a great kid,bit quirky and on the last few occasions i have been out park and things with him other kids have been nasty to him which upsets me (ive not developed a thick skin yet),he doesnt really stand out to me but other kids seem to pick up on things .

I am totally happy home educating him and he has contact daily with my 4 granddaughters but he was upset the other day saying he wish he didnt just have babies to play with and had his own friends.....but boys his age are different to him he doesnt like rough play/football he likes peppa pig ben and holly so can be qutie young for his age but can sound quite mature .

Anyway if u read this thanks i have gone on a bit lol

FionaJNicholson Wed 14-Sep-11 23:04:09

Hi

If your son is electively home educated and not on the register of a school, then to make your son go to school (if neither you nor your son wanted this) the local authority would have to go through the process of serving a school attendance order. At any point you could contest the order by demonstrating that your son was being educated otherwise than at school.

Once the order was issued, if you chose to go against it by not registering your son with the school named on the order, then the local authority would have to decide whether or not to prosecute you for breaching the order. Although school attendance order cases are heard in the magistrates court, they are criminal cases, which from one point of view is good because it means you can still get Legal Aid. You can also get Legal Aid for an expert witness (as long as your solicitor knows what they're doing to argue for this)

Basically what I'm saying is that if you don't think school would suit your son, then the local authority has a job on its hands to persuade/coerce you to send him, though the threat of issuing an order and sending an official court-type of letter often has the effect of frightening home educators into doing whatever it was the LA wanted.

More info about School Attendance Orders here edyourself.org/articles/sao.php

In terms of socialising with other home educators, there are several groups in Devon. You can look on the Education Otherwise website and I've got some links to groups on my web page here

edyourself.org/groups/

logi Wed 14-Sep-11 23:49:07

Hi my son is not on any school register ,his doctor thought he was not suitable for mainstream ed......i did try to get a placement for him in an autistic unit because i did agree he could do with a little more socialising (he has asked for friends) ,this does worry me,he goes to a gym class but has had no playdate offers (children are a little younger than him) he has asked them to come to his house but nobody has took up offer.

I have looked for groups in plymouth,and will look at your links thankyou

Saracen Thu 15-Sep-11 07:50:19

I agree with everyone else's advice.

If the LA has begun to threaten you with things you don't want, such as a home visit or a school attendance order, then I think you would be wise to start communicating with them by letter only. This is especially the case if you are worried that you may get upset and then have difficulty expressing yourself clearly, but I think I'd give the same advice to anybody anyway.

There are several reasons for doing it all in writing. You will have proof of everything the LA tells you. If they make promises and then don't deliver, it will be easeir to push them for what they promised. If they make unreasonable demands, it will be easier to challenge them. (And they may back down anyway because they may KNOW they are being unreasonable and may not want to put their demands in writing!) Also if they do ever try to prove that the way you are educating your son is not up to scratch, you don't want them to be able to use so-called "evidence" which they have collected with their bias by interpreting your phone conversations in whatever way they wish. You want to have control of the evidence by writing it up yourself.

If you want any help with this, I am sure you could post draft letters here or on another home ed forum to make sure you are putting your points across in the way you want, get help quoting the law to the LA and so on.

logi Thu 15-Sep-11 15:27:26

Hi thankyou for the advice,the lady from education welfare who has been to my house before has asked to drop some information around the law and home ed to my house monday morning so i agreed to that so they cant say i have refused entry .

When she came here before she said hello to my son and he just went upstairs as he doesnt like to talk to people who he dnt know and generally doesnt ever say "hello" or "goodbye" unless i keep on at him.

Still my crazy house may scare them off as i have my grandchildren most days as their parents work/college and it can be pretty manic here smile

PeppaPigandGeorge Thu 15-Sep-11 15:54:32

Before seeking a school attendance order, the LEA would need to serve notice on you requiring you to provide evidence that your son was being appropriately educated, as required by the Education Act. If they serve this notice, it IS your responsibility to prove yourself in terms of what your child has been learning.

I would not be happy about the recluse comments. Your duty is to provide full time education for your child in a way that is efficient and suitable taking into account his age, aptitude and any special needs. That comment is really a view on whether it is best to educate at home or at school. She clearly thinks school, for the social benefits. However it is not at all relevant to whether you are complying with the duty to educate.

I have to say, I would have concerns if I were the education welfare officer - the "crazy house" comments and your GC always being there would certainly give me cause for concern that you are simply keeping your child at home and not actually home-educating him on a full-time basis as required.

logi Thu 15-Sep-11 20:41:43

Well my "crazy house" as in busy and fun... i enjoy having my grandchildren around and so does my son its good he socialises after all.

The recluse comment was made inappropriately by a professional who doesnt even know my son.But then i have came along a few professional people who make comments without knowing the whole picture.

My son has completed his "work" in the mornings but learning is something that takes place all the time even if others (my grandchildren) are around,sometimes more so as discussions can be had.

My child is not "simply kept at home" he attended hospital school for 3 months to get a statement we were then told they couldnt do this.

Then early this year he had a tutor provided by LEA again to get a statement also to assess his eduction and where he was...............the tutor said she was very impressed with the work we showed her that had taken place over the years and that at my sons age if in school he would be working towards level 2 by september but my son was already there smile he has a reading age of secondary school pupil (although still prefers peppa pig) and has been able to read,write and spell from the age of 3.5 years .......not bad for a child who barely said a word before the age of 3...

So definately not simply kept home.......this is about my fight to get the best for my child and the lack of support from "professional" people.

His tutor sadly took very ill and wasnt replace as LEA then once again decided they couldnt statement him in that enviroment.

Home education does not need to take place all day as in a school setting.

I have recently decided to let my son take the lead a little with his education after reading posts on here as he can be a little difficult at time due to ASD.

I have been to look at a few mainstream schools before the summer holidays and i am pretty confident my son would be able to learn more here at my "crazy house" than my local schools smile

wordsmithsforever Thu 15-Sep-11 22:26:10

I think PeppaPigand George's logic is faulty - clearly Logi you are doing a great job of educating your DS given that even the tutor acknowledged he's ahead and complimented you on what you'd done with him! As for the crazy house and the GC - for goodness sake! It was absolutely clear that you were simply describing a warm, busy family home! My house is crazy in exactly the same way. This weekend we had 10 adults and 6 children happily playing cars, digging in the sand, eating, chatting, having water fights in the garden, watching the rubgy, etc. It was all a bit crazy. Should anyone be concerned? I think not!

I am educating two DC at home - why does a child have to be at home alone for successful home ed! Bizarrely, this has been suggested to me along the lines of, "But how can you educate two children of differing ages when everyone knows that teachers in schools teach children of a single age?" Of course, it's nonsense. I don't need to be peering over their shoulders every minute of the day. I facilitate learning for them, sometimes together, sometimes separately in bits and pieces during the day, and they get on with loads on their own, following what they are interested in.

Logi, I hope you make successful contact with the local groups to get some good support from people who know about HE in RL. When we started home educating, I contacted a woman who runs a support group for HE pre-schoolers in our area (my son was about 5 at the time) and she kindly put out the word that I was looking for support and to meet people. A good few mums in our local area replied to me via e-mail and many of them and their DC have, a few years down the line, become good friend of ours. I preferred initially to meet families one by one than en masse at a big gathering although now we do quite a few outings with lots of families.

Of course the recluse comment was just ridiculous but if your DS has expressed an interest in older friends then local groups might be a way of exploring this avenue for him and finding friends who are a good fit for your DS. In my experience, many home edded boys don't like rough play/footie (although of course some do!) so I'm sure you will find some suitable children. My DS also loves playing with like minded little girls and of course this is the beauty of home ed - they're allowed to play across gender/age. Better stop rambling! Hope it all goes well, Logi.

wordsmithsforever Thu 15-Sep-11 22:33:42

And Logi, stay strong!

logi Fri 16-Sep-11 00:15:01

Thankyou Wordsmith for your lovely post,thats is exactly what i meant as a "crazy house".Your house sounds very much like mine

My son prefers to play with girls,probably because i have 4 granddaughters smile

He usually asks for older friends when things dont go his way or the girls arent following his instructions (hes a bit controlling)

We have had one or two boys his age here but they didnt really get on as my son isnt into boys television or games.So i think he would be better off meeting with new children but still slightly younger.

I did say to him would you like to go to school maybe once or twice a week to meet friends ,he said no thankyou i will meet some on a weekend smile

Yes i agree with being able to play across gender and age my son has a pram and had a barbie last year although only played with it for a short while....i think its one of the best things about home ed for me that there is not the peer pressure children get in schools........especially as my son has very long hair (sensory issues) and has received negative comments from children at times when out and about...sadly adults too.

Its great that your children get on with lots on their own ,i have recently started giving my son very small pieces of written work to do on his own as he has been a little difficult lately.....he doesnt seem to have any strong interests apart from mr. men and you been framed programme lol

I have often been surprised at some things my son does know even though we dont do lots of strutured work,we have always only did an hour or so of work,but do play lots of board games,treasure hunts...and he likes to make up his own experiments which are quite simple things like melting foods and timing them and we take some pics to stick in a scrap book.

Thanks again for your postive post and i hope i do get to meet some home ed. families local to me to compare notes and gather some new ideas,take care.

northernmumto3 Fri 16-Sep-11 17:46:44

Don't have much time to add anything but just wanted to post and say to keep all correspondance.
Send any correspondance from you signed for (it shows you mean business if nothing else but also means they can't claim to have not received it) and keep a copy of it.
Keep as much communication in writing as you can - that way you have time to think about how you want to word it and you cannot be misquoted...and you also have an accurate record of their communication with you..
If you do end up speaking over the phone ..or whatever then make notes asap and keep them.
If you do end up having a meeting, take your time and make notes - it would be good to have a witness there who can note take for you. You can later go through those notes and address anything that has been said that you disagree with or would like to clarify and didn't get chance to say at the time.

ommmward Fri 16-Sep-11 17:49:13

Where are you based, logi?

My children would love your son smile

SDeuchars Sat 17-Sep-11 13:10:39

There are people EHEing who understand your son's issues on the mail list associated with www.he-special.org.uk. You may find it helpful to join that list.

logi Sat 17-Sep-11 22:49:54

Yes northenmum think i do need to keep to writing as it does seem that things i say are being used ie. at times my son does seem a little lonely (i have mentioned this in meetings) but then it appears to be taken to mean my son has no contact with people ...which is not the case it appears to be like this with alot of professionals today your half afraid to make a comment without worrying about how it could be taken.

Hi ommmward we are in Plymouth smile

Thankyou SDeuchars

ommmward Sun 18-Sep-11 16:49:17

bah, that's a bit too far south-west for us to come and play sad

logi Mon 19-Sep-11 00:18:50

ommmward...thats a pity.

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