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Please help...6 yr old DS has just been excluded from school, as of this morning

(18 Posts)
mummery Fri 28-Aug-09 10:36:28

Hi everyone,

I posted the other day on 'Parenting' about my DS who has just started P2 (in Scotland) and seemed to be continuing his violent and disruptive behaviour from last year.

Out of the blue this morning, 8.14am, I got a call from the headmistress saying that she was going to exclude DS for a week and possibly longer.

This left me reeling as nobody has ever mentioned the possibility of exclusion before and indeed we have been waiting on ed.psych. assessment of DS, thinking he might have additional support needs (behaviour seems very ADHD perhaps ASD).

More immediately it has left me in dire crisis, as I am self-employed and due to return to work next Wednesday. I work Mon-Thurs most weeks and my only childcare is after school club. I have no family or babysitters around and if I don't go to work I have no income. I said this to the headmistress but it's irrelevant to her concerns about the wellbeing of other children.

To put it bluntly: WTF do I do? Where do I stand? Legally I thought it is an obligation to educate my child, do they really just 'leave us' like this with no alternative provision? Is there any agency who could possibly provide child care while I work? If I don't go to work I can't pay my rent, bills, buy food, it's as simple as that.

I am desperate, this was such a shock. Have been trying to get through to Children and Families but no-one's answering the phone.

hercules1 Fri 28-Aug-09 10:41:22

Any chance any of the other parents could have him for you? I assume there is a long background before getting to this stage. If they have done if correctly then they are entitled to exclude him and it's your problem to look after him.

What support is in place for him in school?

OrangeFish Fri 28-Aug-09 10:42:09

Blimey! what did he do?

Trying to see a positive point to it, the fact that this has happened may be used to speed up the process to get an assessment.

Could do you get the headmaster to describe the reasons of exclusion in detail, in writing, so you can use that to push for the referral?

haggisaggis Fri 28-Aug-09 10:58:44

I would phone the school back and ask the head teacher what you are meant to do next.
If you do not get any luck there, contact your local council education dept. so they are aware what is happening - and check correct procedures are being followed. They should also be able to advise on what you should do next.

MrsMuddle Fri 28-Aug-09 10:59:21

Oh dear. What a shock for you. Can you work from home until this gets sorted?

These people are really good, but I think they may only be able to help if your son has a coordinated support plan or identified ASN. It would be worth a call anyway, and they might be able to tell you how to speed up the assessment.

What do you work as? Do you have any friends who do similar work who may be willing to help out?

hercules1 Fri 28-Aug-09 11:00:34

You will need to have a meeting with the head anyway before your child is allowed back into school.

MrsMuddle Fri 28-Aug-09 11:02:47

Sorry - I'm late and rushing, so can't find the number, but the Govan Law Centre has an education law helpline, and they may be able to help you.

mummery Fri 28-Aug-09 11:56:07

Yes the meeting with the head is scheduled, apparently there is nothing I can do before then, the thing is a week off is not going to change his behaviour or 'teach him a lesson', his problems are more deap-seated than mere naughtiness.

And apparently the school has no obligation to take him back at all.


embuggerance Fri 28-Aug-09 12:02:13

oh good grief mummery, I am so sorry for your situation. I remember your other thread and it really does sound like your child needs help and support, not punsihment. Is equally hard the 'punishment' affects you so badly too.
I hope you can find some solution for the childcare issue next week, but most importantly, i hope you can press for some solid assessment and action from here.

TheDMshouldbeRivened Fri 28-Aug-09 12:05:09

They do have a legal obligation to edicate him and if he has SN they can't exclude him because of those.
Wouldn't know how to make them though.

Geocentric Fri 28-Aug-09 12:05:46

I remember your other thread - don't have any advice but just wanted to say good luck with every thing, I really, really hope you can get the help you need. What an awful situation. sad

gingerbunny Fri 28-Aug-09 12:14:28

the school are well within their rights to exclude him if they feel he is a danger to others and they are not responsible for his childcare during this time.
however a week seems a little strong for a first instance of exclusion, in my experience it usually starts with a day or two and builds up from there.

Celia2 Fri 28-Aug-09 12:33:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mummery Fri 28-Aug-09 18:38:14

Thanks Celia. I have found a lot of case histories online where an appeal has been made on the grounds of discrimination however DS has no diagnosis as yet so any such appeal is at best a long way off.

No I didn't think the school would have an obligation to provide 'childcare' I was just shocked they could arrest his education without warning and without an alternative educational plan being put in place prior to the exclusion. The possibility of exclusion has never been raised as far as I was concerned we were just waiting on outside experts to come in and assess.

Thanks for advice it seems my only option is a childminder, but really, which childminder is going to take on a 6yr old who has just been excluded from school on the grounds of violent and disruptive behaviour??

madwomanintheattic Fri 28-Aug-09 19:17:47

what support did they put in place last year? has he had ed psych intervention? (just seen you are waiting - call the ed psychs at lea and demand to know when they will see your son - how long has he been waiting? what behaviour plan/ strategies were they implementing? clearly these are not working, what is their next step to help your son?

i am appalled that they have excluded a child who is waiting for assessments - the school should be beating the door of the lea down to get some support.

how many meetings with the senco (scot equiv, inco?) have you had? has he been referred for any other assessments? how long have you been on the waiting list?

i suspect that you will not have a lot of luck this week - but perhaps in the grand scheme of things you need to accept that you will not manage work this week, and use this week to buck the system up a bit and get some support in place for his return to school.

has he had any 1-1 support in the classroom?
does he have a peadiatrician? call that paed's sec if so and ask for an emergency appointment as things have escalated and resulted in exclusion. if you don't have a pead, call your gp and get one.

mummery Fri 28-Aug-09 23:25:11

DS has been having virtually 1-on-1 support from a classroom assistant, however this was not an organised or funded person it was someone who was supposed to be assisting the whole class but kind of ended up in the 1-on-1 role because DS's behaviours demanded it.

The referrals were made via the school in the spring, to ed psych and occupational therapy. We had no word when ed psych would see him, OT worked out to around October.

I hadn't been to see my own GP because quite honestly his behaviour is not this problematic at home, he certainly isn't violent. But then at home it's just the 2 of us and he has me to himself.

He had a great learning support teacher last year who organised the referrals and put in place breaktime structured play, stress-relieving activities etc, however he is now off sick long term and probably won't be back He knew DS since nursery and I'm sure if he had been here the exclusion wouldn't have happened. The headmistress has only been here since after Christmas and we got off on rather the wrong foot after she started a very personal conversation about DS in a roomful of 'anti-DS' parents (parents' evening) and I complained to her the next day that I thought it was inappropriate. (Trying hard not to take this personally...)

I think she sees this as purely naughtiness and ill-discipline, her line of questioning has been along the lines of "do you put him to bed at a reasonable hour."

As yet we have had no meetings, no assessment from ed.psych and I have no idea who the SENCO is, certainly haven't met them.

hercules1 Sat 29-Aug-09 20:25:57

You need to as advised here get on to the ed psych and really push for an urgent referal. WHat sort of behaviour has he been displaying? WHat were the reasons for his exclusion? You need to also go to your gp. If he were mine I'd be pushing for a camhs referal.

NanaNina Sat 29-Aug-09 23:11:15

What is your financial situation mummery. Do YOU know what is at the root of your son's behaviour. It does sound as though the head teacher has acted rather rashly, and yes a week is a long time for exclusion for a child of this age. My dil is a primary school teacher and has had to cope with very difficult children because the head expects that this sort of thing should be managed in the classroom. Children are very rarely sent home and if so only for half a day. SO I think so much depends on the head teacher. Did you really mean that this head discussed your son in front of other parents. If so this was a serious breach of confidentiality and you should make complaint to the school governors of the local education authority. I do wonder if the head is penalising you for confronting her about her behaviour.

As others have said, your son needs to be properly assessed, diagnosed and treated. While you are waiting for these things to happen, can you afford to pay for a child pyschologist to assess him (they are very costly) or for him to have play therapy whichis very helpful for children with attachment difficulties/anger issues etc.

You mention the possibility of ADHD or ASD. I cannot believe that a school could exclude a child with these difficulties. Your little boy is very young and it is not his fault that he cannot fit into the classroom setting. I think you need to take the head on...........she sounds like she is being totally unsympathetic and lacking in understanding of your child's needs.

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