Reduced timetable ... anyone else had this?(29 Posts)
Reposted from the Behaviour section after a suggestion ...
DS1 has been having behaviour problems at school. He started school in Sept aged 4.1 and since then things have been getting steadily worse. He's rude, disruptive, aggressive and violent to his teacher and the headmaster, although he has been doing well academically.
The school have now brought in a range of professionals to help, both at home and at school. Of course, we have been fully co-operative with all of this, as we are keen to see DS do well and get on at school.
Last week we called a meeting with the headmaster as we had not actually spoken with him about DS at all. This was scheduled for Friday. On Weds we were approached by the class teacher and asked to come in to "discuss what we were going to talk about" on Friday.
We did this, and they told us that since DS's behaviour had gotten so much worse since he has been doing full days, they were considering a reduced timetable for him. The headmaster said "I think probably afternoons". We readily agreed to this.
On Friday, they had drawn up some papers with the reduced timetable on, along with three objectives that DS must meet before he is allowed to proceed to the next milestone, and more time at school.
However, far from being afternoons, the first two weeks consist of Monday, Weds and Fri 9am to 10.45. If he meets his objectives, this will increase by 15 mins, and so on. If DS meets his objectives on target, he won't return to full time school until July.
We were assured by the headmaster that this strategy had worked with other kids, so we agreed to it. They said they would send him some work to do at home that would tie in with what the class are doing, but all that came back with him in his bag were two extra reading books.
The reduced timetable started on Monday, and DS had a bad day, mainly because I made a mistake and told him we could go to the local park, take photos and put them in a scrapbook. I thought it would be a good way to get him looking at nature and writing about things and drawing pics of the things we saw.
The SENCO lady at school told me I should not have done this as it made him uncooperative at school and just want to go home. Lesson learned, I thought I will not tell him of anything we will do during his home time.
However, tonight we were visited by the home school liaison officer, who is helping us to learn new ways of managing his behaviour at home. She informed us that it is in actual fact illegal for DS to leave the house during school hours while he is on the reduced timetable!
I was amazed. No one had told us this during either meeting at the school, and it essentially means that me, DS1 and his little brother, who is 18mths, are under house arrest for all but 5 1/4 hours a week! I can't go shopping, I can't take DS2 to playgroup, I can't visit my sister, I can't even take him out for a walk when he needs some exercise.
If I had known this I would have been much more reluctant to sign off on the reduced timetable. We live in quite a small flat and having two kids alone all day, particularly one with challenging behaviour, is going to be extremely tough. I am feeling daunted and a bit depressed.
Has anyone else had this? I feel like I need a little support from someone in a similar position.
Have you tried posting about this over in home education? There are some legal whizzes over there who will be able to advise you on what is and isn't legal.
My ds (August baby) only did half time (mornings) at school for the whole of reception because he was absolutely exhausted by the afternoon from trying to 'behave' and was also quite a handful when he was there (Asperger's). It was their idea - I went along with it fully and he was then allowed to repeat reception when he turned five and when we had managed to get a Statement detailing his repeating the year and 1:1 support.
There was never any suggestion that I couldn't do exactly as I liked with him in the afternoons. We and school just treated it as if he was doing a pre-school year in the actual school (they don't have a nursery class).
So why did they change from what they originally proposed? It's kind if beside the point that the other method worked for other kids. If it works why did they not suggest it to start with? Does the other method work better for some kids - ie yours - would he benefit from the consistency in going every afternoon? or is it just convenient for them this way around in that they don't have him for as much time this way?
They are also being very remiss in supporting you - if it's so important to be
imprisoned at home (with implied legal sanctions if you don't) then they should have told you; it's not the sort of thing that you as a parent would just know. Likewise they should have told you ahead of time to keep things boring at home and not to big up any fun that you plan to use in lieu of school to educate him. These are all factors that, if I was in your position, would significantly impact on my decision to agree to part days.
And they have to remember that whilst they want things to revolve around making life boring to make school great, he is your son and you need to be able to have a normal loving relationship with your son, and not be put in a position where you are risking family happiness in order to do the school's dirty work so to speak.
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