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can anyone give me advice re part home-ed/part mainstream inclusion?

(16 Posts)
sickofsocalledexperts Thu 08-Oct-09 18:52:51

I am just wondering what the situtation is if you want to continue doing half home ed (ABA program for my autistic son) and half time at mainstream school with an LSA. The LEA are starting to push me to send him full time, saying their "policy" is that all kids have to be in full-time education by age 7. I absolutely know he couldn't cope full time at school, nor would he learn much, and it would all go horribly wrong. Is the LEA's "full time by 7" policy legal? And if I am legally allowed to take my son out and educate him entirely at home, why can't I choose a half and half approach, which I am convinced offers the most suitable education for him? Can any of you lovely Home Ed experts help or advise me?

englishpatient Thu 08-Oct-09 19:14:10

I know of someone who is home-educating their primary-age son for (I think) one day a week - I don't know but would assume from this that it can't be illegal, as they had to get it agreed by the school or LEA.

Saying it's the LEA's policy is not the same as saying it's a legal requirement. I woud write and get clear confirmation.

(Hopefully some home-edders will come along and give you some proper advice soon!)

FranklyIDontGiveAMam Thu 08-Oct-09 19:16:12

That's bollocks is what it is, especially wrt special needs kiddies. Ask them if they have any children part-time mainstream/part-time specialist provision, - that is essentially what you are asking for.

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 08-Oct-09 19:17:12

thank you English, good to know someone else is doing it. It is so odd that they want to push for this, when they must know it goes wrong so often with SEN kids being pushed into full time too early!

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 08-Oct-09 19:23:13

Thanks Frankly, I thought it was bollocks, but the trouble is if I ask for their version of part-time, they will try and push my son into one of My borough's absolutely crap "units" attached to mainstream schools. These are supposedly a good mix of special ed (in the unit) and inclusion in the mainstream classroom - but actually in reality all that happens is that the little SEN kids get wheeled out to join in PE and for the rest of the time are taught in a useless way in the unit, using a methodology that simply doesn't work for autistic kids, but which is CHEAP for LEAs. The method I use, ABA, is not really available in the state system as they don't believe in it*
(* actually they probably do know full well it works better, but it is more costly so they won't admit it!). So really if I want my boy educated right, I can only combine home ABA and mainstream inclusion with LSA, for the socialisation part. Sorry, probably TMI!

FranklyIDontGiveAMam Thu 08-Oct-09 19:35:06

nope - Thanks for explaining. I know you though wink - well only your posting name before you get worried.

Are they proposing part-time mainstream, part time 'unit'? - or just full-time mainstream?

You'll probably need to find the evidence (I guess that is why you are posting), but what I know to be true is:

You absolutely by law can part-time school, and partime home-ed. The education of your child is YOUR responsbility, but the LA have a responsibilty to give you adequate provision (a bit subtlely different).

If your child has a statement though, the LA has taken over responsibilty for educating your child from you and the roles are sort of reveresed. However, they might be responsible for ensuring your child gets a suitable and adequate education but it doesn't give them the right to make things up and remove a child from a provision that is working iyswim. Sorry for the ramble.

I suppose what I am saying is that I am not an expert, but you are heading the right was and you should be confident in your direction, so you are absolutely not wasting your time asking here and researching.

piscesmoon Thu 08-Oct-09 19:38:42

If you can get a school to agree to it then it is fine.
I don't want to put you off, but if you are sending him to school for the socialisation that is the part that really suffers, simply because he isn't there and the rest move on while he is at home. It leaves him on the fringe. If he can't cope with full time school would you not be better full time HE? I think you would find the socialisation better (you can get very involved with groups)because the rest would all be in the same boat.

FranklyIDontGiveAMam Thu 08-Oct-09 19:41:42

But it has been working fine so far hasn't it sickof? And don't all children who are pt time mainstream and pt time special, have those very same needs. I'm assuming you would be working with the school to ensure that he doesn't fall behind, - or is this considered to be too much work for the school?

piscesmoon Thu 08-Oct-09 19:53:01

I think it is fine for the work-just a problem with friendships-the rest don't go into a cupboard when he isn't there! They are developing friendships without him. OK for the mature, popular, confident DC who can handle it.

FranklyIDontGiveAMam Thu 08-Oct-09 19:55:29

ah, - yes piscesmoon. You have a good point, - but still, - how do the schools get over this with pt/time mainstream pt/time special kids?

I'm interested because I am likely to be in a similar position to sickof, but I am at the preschool level atm and wondering what difference it makes to my ds that he attends 2 sessions a week when most attend more.

piscesmoon Thu 08-Oct-09 20:02:19

I think it depends on your definition of a friend. I think they can be friendly and join in, but I would term it more aquaintance. With HE the rest of the DCs would be in the same situation, they aren't seeing each other all the time and it is a level playing field. If the part time DC is the sort of DC that everyone wants as a friend then there is no problem-if they are shy there is. My nephews did part time and socially they found it difficult-they didn't make real friends until they went full time, although DC were friendly when they were part time. I don't think I'm explaining too well!

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 08-Oct-09 20:05:16

That is v useful Frankly. They are just proposing full time mainstream, which is ludicrous as you could be with my boy for just 5 mins and you'd realise he couldn't cope for 7 hours a day, including lunch, in a class with 30 kids, nor would he learn f-all. He does have a statement though, but the wording in that is such that he should only go full time when he has made "appropriate progress". So I guess that works in my favour? The strange thing is that they would save no money moving my son full time, so why are they so bothered? I have a feeling they just like a "tidy" file! At the moment, it is working pretty well, so why change it and risk a meltdown, at which point all I will do is take them to tribunal to get a place at one of the very few ABA schools in this country, costing £50k a year!!!!! They really don't think things through! I have so much evidence that ABA works, therefore I think a tribunal would see I need to keep using it!

grumpypants Thu 08-Oct-09 20:08:35

I don't know of many part time special school/ mainstream placements but try googling 'flexi schooling' or 'part time schooling' which should throw up some answers. You need to get a school onside, which may prove difficult if you don't intend to increase to full time.

FranklyIDontGiveAMam Thu 08-Oct-09 20:14:39

Hmm, well they wouldn't be able to fill the other 50% of the school time that your ds isn't using, but they'd probably have to pay the teacher still etc, so perhaps it does cost more hmm - not sure though.

I don't think you have anything to worry about tbh, - just stick to you guns. I would say it was worth thinking about pisces points too though and what exactly it is that you are trying to get out of the school experience for your ds.

Also, the school won't be able to accept any suggestion that could disrupt the education of the other children, so they won't want to be going over stuff unnecessarily, or dealing with behavioural problems between the children that are a result of your ds being out of the school for half the time.

sickofsocalledexperts Thu 08-Oct-09 20:14:42

This is all v useful to read, thank you. I think Piscesmoon (btw I am Cancer moon so we would get on well) that eventually at 11 I probably will make him full-time home ed as I just can't face teenagers taking the piss out of him at some horrible faceless secondary school. But the truth is that his autism is such that he isn't really (or not yet) forming friendships as such, it's more just the ability to be around other kids, to start to take little glances at them, to start to use words to request stuff off them, to maybe join in when they sing songs in class or do simple lessons. It's much less about actually forming friendships or acquaintances, as his lack of much speech means he doesn't really relate in the same way. But even despite all this, I think that his being with 30 mainstream kids every day, just doing some of the same things and understanding school routines, is invaluable for him knowing how to exist in a mainstream world, how to be in busy environments. And it is lovely to see the other kids (esp the girls, as he's a handsome little fellow) try and talk with him or get him to join in. And if my dearest wish happens, and he starts to talk more, then the friendships may come later. The real work he does comes in the mornings with his intensive 1-to-1 ABA tutor, who will work on the academic targets set at school. Hope that all makes sense?egns wi

piscesmoon Thu 08-Oct-09 22:08:51

It sounds as if, in your case, it is working well. I can't see why it needs to be changed. I expect it comes down to funding-it generally does.

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