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Can any teachers give advice on when to apply for SA???

(28 Posts)
Becaroooo Mon 10-Oct-11 19:17:44

Hello.

My ds1 is 8 and in year 4.

At the start of year 3 he was assessed as being a 1b for reading, 1b for writing and a 2b for maths.

At the end of year 3 he was a 1a for reading, 1b for writing and 2a for Maths.

An EP has just dx as him dyslexic - no great shock to me as I have known this since he was 6!!

His school seem to think that this shows he is making adequate progress. I do not.

They are not providing any 1-1 (despite the EP report recommending it) and no specific interventions (due to funding and staffing issues - no SENco atm).

It is parents evening in 2 weeks time and my question is;

If ds1 has made no more progress should I apply for SA myself?....school say he has to be seen by the STS twice and have made little/no progress before they will apply for SA....so this could be in 18 months time by which time he will be getting ready to transfer to middle school and year 6!

(he currently gets 3 x 20 mins group phonics sessions per week and his table has an HLTA on it all morning to help him and the other children on his table)

I am unsure what a teacher/school would consider adequate progress tbh.... I had understood it was 2 sub levels per academic year and ds1 has not achieved this and of course, he is falling ever further behind his peers sad

TIA

DamnedEdna Mon 10-Oct-11 19:33:12

Hi Becaroooooo
Try posting this in SN kids section as I'm sure you'll get loads of good advice. I would say that you should apply yourself now and ignore the school. I applied myself and school said I would not get a statement for ds - after a battle I got him 22 hours support and he was not failing academically at all! As the EP has recommended a 1-1 this will go in your favour as LA's tend to take note of what their EP's recommend. Keep pushing for the support your ds needs -good luck.

KATTT Mon 10-Oct-11 20:07:15

Remember meeting the educational needs of children is a statutory duty on a local authority - they can't use the excuse of cutbacks, they have to do it.

snowball3 Mon 10-Oct-11 20:29:57

Was the EP a private assessment or through school, if the latter we would automatically place your child on SA+. Even without, I would consider any child in Yr 4 working at level1/2 should certainly be having additional support with interventions in reading and writing ( and probably maths although the school MIGHT argue that a 2A is not far enough behind) and so be at SA level. However 1;1 support is entirely different, in my authority this is only funded if a statement of over 15 hours is agreed and without funding any 1;1 support depends entirely on school budgets. Unfortunately most school budgets are run on a knife edge and giving your ds 1;1 would mean taking a TA from someone/somewhere else.

KATTT Mon 10-Oct-11 20:41:29

Just following on from snowball -........ which is why you probably need to go for a SA. If the school can't meet your child's needs out of normal budget it has to come from LA - and you need a statement to access those additional funds.

snowball3 Mon 10-Oct-11 20:53:01

I've just had a statement application for a year 6 turned down. She is working at level 1a for reading and writing and level 2b for maths. She also has epilepsy and subsequent memory loss. Yet because she has moved one sub level in a year she was deemed to be "making progress with school support" and therefore didn't qualify for any 1;1 funding confused

KATTT Mon 10-Oct-11 20:57:20

snowball the LA's are turning pretty much everyone down, appeal it (or get parents to appeal it), given what you've said they'll win.

LA's are fighting a war of attrition; if they can put a good percentage off by turning them down at the first round (even when they know they haven't got a leg to stand on) they'll keep doing it.

mrz Mon 10-Oct-11 21:02:43

I've been turned down for two children with lower levels by my LEA

KATTT Mon 10-Oct-11 21:03:06

Just by the by. I was talking to a head teacher of a school in a county down south and he told me that his local authority had employed someone with the specific job of finding ways to cut down the number of statements issued.

I then mentioned this to someone at IPSEA and she said - a-ha that's why we've had a surge in calls from that county.

Your child is protected by the law, not by the LA.

KATTT Mon 10-Oct-11 21:10:11

mrz - we've had this discussion before. Don't be put off by the LA turning your pupils down, don't be put off by their bands, their blanket policies - these aren't based in law. They are used to try to put parents (and teachers) off. Your LA knows it and these are cynical attempts to try to avoid helping kids.

sayithowitis Mon 10-Oct-11 23:45:45

Even if you make the application, you need the support of the school and EP, as they will be asked to provide reports. These reports, when done properly, take a long time to prepare as there are a lot of documents the school has to provide to evidence lack of progress, as well as what they are already providing. On top of that, the SENCO will be expected to prepare a report about your child. If they are not on board re: the SA, they may not be as careful about there report as you would hope.

Also, in this area, whilst 2 sub-levels progress per academic year is the usual expectation, for Y3 and only Y3, the expectation is actually only 1 sub-level. Something to do with the difference in expectation, test style etc. So based on that, in this authority, your child would be deemed as having made sufficient progress in Y3. Also, the phonics group and availability of an HLTA are exactly the type of support that our EP tends to recommend for children with dyslexia, so again, the LEA would probably argue that appropriate support is already in place and would not give more.

I think in order to stand a good chance, indeed any chance of getting a statement, you are going to have to show exactly what can be done that isn't already in place.

Good luck. (sincerely)

Becaroooo Tue 11-Oct-11 08:00:05

Thanks all x

mrz Tue 11-Oct-11 09:57:48

KATT well it seems to be working because the appeal has also been turned down as we (the school) are ensuring the children make progress. So either we stop helping children so they are far enough behind to qualify for additional funding or we continue to do as we are now staff providing additional help in our own time outside of school hours and stop the gap widening ...

KATTT Tue 11-Oct-11 10:17:12

mrz
The law is all based on the idea of the educational needs of the child being met - if you're doing that, you're meeting the child's needs, and the child is making progress then you're right, you won't win on appeal.

But what's absolutely wrong is to assert that a child can't get a statement because.

1. they're not 'far enough behind'
2. the school won't support an application
3. they don't meet the 'criteria of the LA'
4. there's lots of support in place already.

Becaroooo Have a look at the IPSEA website, loads of good advice there.

mrz Tue 11-Oct-11 10:35:02

Well as a SENCO I'm continually being quoted 1 & 4 (I gave parents the contact details for IPSEA) and still failed. You might say it is wrong but it is happening all around the country judging by the moans from other SENCOs


What we have achieved (because staff are teaching these children in their own time unpaid) is to move one child from the 0.01 percentile to the 4th in 6 months so he has twice been turned down for a statement.

KATTT Tue 11-Oct-11 10:43:07

mrz
If a SEN Tribunal is using these arguments you have grounds to appeal to the High Court. If the LA is using them, just ignore them and appeal.

If you are in a primary school mrz I would worry an awful lot about what happens to this child in the next school, will they continue all the extra effort you're putting in? It's a discussion worth having with the parents. If it were my child I would want that extra help guaranteed by law. In my case my child was let down terribly by her primary school - but in the long run it may not be such a bad thing as she's now got a statement at secondary level.

mrz Tue 11-Oct-11 10:49:14

Yes we are in primary and our main worry (and the parents main concern) is what will happen in secondary school.
My application has been turned down (LEA EP diagnosed 1 child as having SpLD working on 0.01 percentile other child has a diagnosis of ASD with SpLD working at a slightly lower level) Mum of first child decided not to appeal (IPSEA were contacted but I don't know the outcome) currently working with second mum as child is in Y6 ...

silverfrog Tue 11-Oct-11 10:54:32

as a parent I have been there wrt letting a child fail in order to secure a statement that is actually worth the paper it is written on.

it is the hardest decision I have ever had to make, but ultimately it now means that my daughter can (and will) learn throughout her time at school, and so (for us) it was worth it.

mrz: could you keep different notes and records - ie what the child achieves via in-class provision and via what the child achieves with the extra (in out of hours) help that is being provided?

your position is surely to prove that the child is able ot make progress (and is doing so with the extra unfunded help) but not within standard provision.

KATTT Tue 11-Oct-11 11:01:50

Catch 22. You can't stop helping the children but by doing so their needs are being met by the school so you can't argue they're not.

The best advice I would give is to Appeal the turn down (there is really no alternative). Gather together all the evidence you can of the huge amount of support that you're giving the children and use this as evidence of how severe their needs are and how they need x hours to maintain their progress going into secondary level. Be honest to the tribunal and say you want to help protect the child from failing.

becarooo - sorry for the highjack

Becaroooo Tue 11-Oct-11 11:07:54

This is my main worry....my son goes to middle school for year 6 which means he has less than 2 years left at primary school.

I genuinely think that primary schools just dont want to know wrt dyslexia....they assume the child will get help in middle/upper school but of course by then they are so far behind (my friend is a middle school teacher and she often has kids coming up to her who cant write their own name!) its a bit of a moot point.

Thanks for the info re; Y3 being different wrt levels. I didnt know that. Thats obv why the school are saying he made adequate progress in Y3 as he did move 1 sub level in reading and maths (that was after him completing 2 courses at home of therapy for kids with reading/writing/listening issues......)

This school do not approve of me providing my son with 1-1 outside of school or looking into specialist dyslexia tuition hmm

Sigh.

Seems so sad I just have to write off the next 2 years of my sons education sad and try and get him the help he needs at his new school.

mrz Tue 11-Oct-11 11:10:55

I feel the children and school are being punished because staff care enough to freely give extra help outside the school day

KATTT Tue 11-Oct-11 11:18:27

Becarroo

Don't give up, you are your child's only and best advocate.

I'd start the paper trail. Evidence of help or lack of it. Evidence of progress or lack of. Assume not only that you will apply for a SA but that you will end up in court, start getting your case prepared.

Hopefully you won't go to court but this is the language the LA's understand, it will be what they are weighing up - is it worth us fighting this one or will we just cave in a week or a day before the court date.

Becaroooo Tue 11-Oct-11 11:21:53

mrz Yes, thats not a good situation for anyone.

My ds1 is happy at school and that is great, he is not being made fun of because of his difficulties which is also great but school is not just about having fun with your friends, is it? Primary schools that fail to teach kids to read and write fluently by the time they leave are IMO failing in their most basic function.

My sons school currently has no SENco as she is off on long term sick leave. They do not have the staffing levels or funding required to give my son the interventions and 1-1 he needs and he will not get a statement as he is deemed to be making adequate progress. At the same time, the school are not happy about me providig him with 1-1 each day or that I am trying to get him specialist help.

I could weep, honestly sad

KATTT Tue 11-Oct-11 11:23:02

mrz

There's another way to look at this - you are stopping a child falling into the abyss, with all the psychological knock-ons that has (I know, my child got to that point and it has lasting damage for self esteem).

When a child fails it's not just about reading sub levels or sat scores, it's about how that child views themselves and the world. How powerless and frustrated they feel - feelings they take out on themselves.

So don't stop helping mrz.

Becaroooo Tue 11-Oct-11 11:25:57

KATTT

Dont worry, I wont give up! (weak) smile

If school dont like what I am doing then that is really too bad for them grin

I will continue to help my son at home, continue monitoring his progress (or lack thereof) and if things dont improve I will be applying for SA in Y5.

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