Education Plan?(5 Posts)
I imagine a lot of you here have had to do this at some point or another.
DS is 9, autistic, along with many other issues, and has been to a total of 4 mainstream schools in his life. The most recent was fantastic, until a new head teacher came along, and it has now become the same as the others in terms of our problems.
DS is/was relentlessly bullied, we have witnessed this in our own front garden from kids in his class. He was frequently left out of school outings (as we, his parents, were not able to attend with him and this was the condition of participation), he was also left out of activities within the school.
This school has many children with various autistic spectrum disorders and since the new head arrived a year ago, seven (that I know of) have left, a further 4 have gone part-time, spending some time at an education centre, and several other parents have noted their DC being excluded from activities for reasons which they disagree with (not behaviour related, but things like "oh he doesn't like the gym hall echo so he won't be taking part" while the DC in question deny ever having said such thing.
Anyway. I've had enough.
Countless meetings with school staff, attempts to get DS into a specialist school etc have failed.
DS at 9 could not tell the time, his writing is illegible, has no understanding of the most basic maths skills... Well that's just what was obvious to me.
I never sent him back after the summer holidays. I requested that the head remove him from the register and explained my reasons. I stated that I intended to home educate.
And that is exactly what we have been doing.
DS is much more relaxed, wetting the bed less, actually using words to communicate, it's like a different child.
In the beginning, I didn't really have a clue what I was doing and picked up some workbooks from Tesco to go through with him and try to get an idea of where he was at, he managed the books for 5-7 year olds with a lot of help.
As the weeks have went by I have realised that DS simply does not learn this way. He learns very practically and needs visual explanations to understand concepts.
His personal wellbeing and educational understanding has improved massively.
Now the council want to see an education plan, I know that our way is working for DS currently, but we don't really follow a set timetable like they do at school, we don't focus on "it's time to do maths", we take it as it comes.
So I'm not really sure what to put into the plan, or how long it has to be. Can I just list the subjects we're covering and how we are doing so? Is that good enough? Or do I need to be able to show lesson plans and a long term outlook? I found some things online but they were mostly American and I'm not sure just how different the systems are with stuff like this?
Can anyone offer some insight?
I'd write an introduction saying what you've said here about your son's learning style.
Then say something about what he's been doing with you/how you intend to cover maths, English and anything else you and he might find interesting.
I think grouping things under subject headings 'History', 'Science' might be reassuring to them even if that's an artificial way of looking at your approach.
Be specific about what he has done, 'He likes reading Minecraft books' 'We visit the museum, he particularly enjoys...' but don't be specific or promise anything about the future.
'We'll continue to encourage his interest in...' not 'He will be able to read Harry Potter by the summer'.
Do mention how he will socialise in ways that are realistic for him, perhaps working towards talking to shop keepers, perhaps testing the water with the local HE community, visits to cousins - anything relevant, just to show you've thought about it. LAs want to see you're not going to keep him in a cupboard.
Well done Bonesy! Sounds like you and he have risen to the challenge.
As well as what Velvet suggests, remember to say what you've said here, especially how you've worked out where he was at and what has improved for him. LA's love to see "outcomes"!
Just a passerby but do you have to give the LEA an education plan?
Congratulations! Sounds like what you are doing for your son is working really well for him.
Are you in England, Bonesy?
There is no legal requirement for you to provide anything to the Local Authority. However, if they have reason to believe that your child is not receiving an adequate education then they have a statutory duty to intervene. This raises the question of how they would know whether they ought to intervene, if you have told them nothing and they cannot demand any info from you.
Many LAs argue that this dilemma does in fact give them a right to some information from parents. The legal status is questionable. Some parents respond that this is not their problem and refuse to provide anything unless the LA can demonstrate reasonable grounds for believing the education is insufficient. Other parents feel it's less bother to just write a report and be done with it.
These points are indisputable:
1. It is unwise to ignore any communication from the LA. You should respond fairly promptly to comply with what they've asked OR offer some information in another way OR challenge the legality of what they are requesting. If you ignore them, they may begin to escalate matters and ultimately take legal action against you. Some LAs are very quick to do this. They may not be justified, and the court may well find in your favour, but it is stress you don't need!
2. If you do supply information to the LA, it can be in a format of your choice. You don't have to meet with them, fill in forms, or supply samples of work, for example.
3. There is no legal basis for routine monitoring. If the LA receives information from you and doesn't raise specific concerns about the education, they cannot require you to produce regular updates.
Have a look at this document, which outlines the LA's responsibilities: www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/288135/guidelines_for_las_on_elective_home_educationsecondrevisev2_0.pdf It is ten years old but has not been superseded.
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