Alternative education options for 4 year old(25 Posts)
So it looks like my 4 year old is going to be 'invited' to reduce his school attendance to 3 days a week due to immaturities and behavioural issues. This causes me a problem because we both work and simply having him at home for 2 days a week isn't an option. He loves learning and talks enthusiastically about what he is learning, it's just the school environment that is challenging him. What are my alternatives for placing him somewhere for those 2 days a week?
Ignoring the rights and wrongs of 'inviting' a child of school age to reduce attendance (pretty sure it's illegal if they are reception age, they should be supported in line with the school inclusion policy, but in reality I know it does happen and can be hard to fight as a parent), a child not of statutory school age will be able to access a preschool. Alternatively, my immature just turned 4 son is (so far) thriving on 4 days per week in a Montessori primary school. Of course as your son is not of statutory school age you could also use a childminder or nanny like any other preschool child.
Just say no. They can't force you to do this. If you both work ft you have to say no.
This is only the beginning. There's no guarantee when or if they'll take him back ft if you agree to this now.
I wouldn't agree to that the school need to be supporting him in school not excluding him.
I would repost this is SN children or sn chat so you can get some proper advice. Maybe worth contacting your lea.
Assuming he is in reception, this would constitute an illegal exclusion; this may be why you are being 'invited' and not compelled to keep him at home for two days a week.
Decline the invitation and ask what support they will be putting in place to meet his behavioural needs.
If this is a state school and your dc is in reception then he has a legal right to full time education from the start of the September term. The school cannot insist he reduces his hours without formally excluding him. Make sure you let the school know that you are aware of it.
I feel for you as it's horrible when your dc don't settle in the initial reception period. But by insisting that your dc attends school full time you are more likely to get any specialist support that he needs, as the school will be forced to address any underlying special needs themselves rather than delay this support by relying on you to take him out of school.
Do you agree with the school that it is immaturity/ tiredness or do you think there are other underlying issues?
If the former then maybe a term or two of mornings at school and afternoons with a childminder would help. You should be able to claim his 15hrs if you can find a childminder who qualifies to draw them down.
If you feel it is the latter IMO you should insist they they keep him in school full time and start pulling in specialist help to unpick the issues. Early identification of SEN is really valuable.
Are there any outdoor nursery schools nearby? A very different learning experience for a child, builds up lots of confidence particularly physical with a great opportunity to learn in a very different atmosphere. IMO not all children are ready for learning in a formal atmosphere and learn far better outside.
"maybe a term or two of mornings at school and afternoons with a childminder would help. You should be able to claim his 15hrs if you can find a childminder who qualifies to draw them down."
I agree that this could be a good environment for the child, but unfortunately you won't get funding for it. When a child starts attending a state school, his preschool funding is used toward the cost of the Reception place. You can't send him to Reception and simultaneously claim the funding for top-up childcare elsewhere.
Can you defer him a year and keep him in something more play based? Unless you suspect sen etc. We do start school so early here.
I'd love part time schooling but I can see you need childcare if both full time.
I'm another one who would decline the "invitation" unless you think 5 days of school is actually harming him. Our school didn't do this and just worked out ways to help those not quite as ready children to cope and enjoy themselves. What is the school doing to help?
Thank you all for your thoughts. I had a meeting with the school today and they agreed it was not tiredness, just a lot of immaturity. I agree. They suggested that his problem now is that he is being avoided by the other children as he's so unpredictable and this is making him isolated and unhappy and even more likely to do stupid things. So the question I have is how to recover this situation? He has been sent home today as he's done some unacceptable stuff. I will keep him at home tomorrow morning and again on Friday to get some breathing space but I just don't know whether keeping him away is best or reducing his hours or finding him a different environment. The school are not forcing me to do anything and will support my decision but I just don't know what tondo frontage best
No real suggestions, but does he have a friend? Or one child who he gets on with more than the others? If so, maybe ask the child round to play, or meet up in the park, so that he can form bonds with a least one child. It might make it a bit easier for him socially.
Can you tell us a bit more about the behaviours they are talking about?
How did he get on at Nursery before he moved to Reception?
I wouldn't keep him away.
Phone them tomorrow and ask for their plan to re-integrate him when he returns. Also ask them what steps they are going to take to help him overcome his behavioural difficulties. Do they think he needs an external assessment. Ask to speak to the SENCO.
Do not let them lay all the blame on you and him - schools are supposed to help children with their social difficulties, and if it really is out of the ordinary they need to bring in outside advice.
Agree with mummytime. Immaturity is hardly a rare trait in 4-year olds. The whole reasoning behind having children there for the reception year is to learn "school". All the behaviours needed, holding a pencil, making friends, understanding the concept of numbers are all equally important and very much the school's job. If they really can't manage they need to get help.
I would sort out something else for him on the other days.
School is not child care and your DS's well being is important. It's all very well some saying the school should support him but if he is not ready then he is not ready.
I work in a reception class and would say there are a large number of children just not ready for full time school (very young cohort) When my summer born DD started school 15 years ago now) she didn't start reception till the Spring term and then only part time till March. It was what she needed.
Yes in reception there is a lot of play, very little formal stuff especially at the moment but all day is just too much for some and lots of the children (mainly young boys) are just not coping. The staffing in reception classes is often two adults for 30 pupils. It's all very well saying that school should support him but the adult child ratio in reception classes is just not enough to cope with DCs who are not coping.
I also work in a year one class where there are many just 5 year olds. It breaks my heart that they are already chained to desks doing formal work and bloody never ending phonics so the school can keep their phonics screening data up when they should be playing...
Hate the new primary curriculum. Just switches children off learning. Other European countries don't start formal stuff till 6 or 7 and their pupils outstrip us in the long run.
Sorry your little one is struggling. Hope you can find something that works for him.
You have a lawful right for your child to be educated full time in his school. Ignore the invitation to reduce his hours.
Instead Invite them to find a solution within the school
What sort of things is he doing? How was he in his previous setting?
They can provide 1:1 in school and a individual curriculum. What HAVE they done to support him?
Zzzz they may not have the funds for 1:1 until he is statemented. But I'm sure they can hobble something together if they give it some thought.
They have the funding
They have channels to access additional funding should it be needed
Child with SEN does not get to attend school is NOT the answer
Bloody hell OP! What sort of school is this????
He's been at school only two weeks and they can't cope????
It's Reception. Reception gets LOTS of kids who struggle with transition, who have challenging maturity and behavioural issues.
If this was my child, I would be saying no and then finding a new school sharpish!
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