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school suggests to keep DS back a year

(5 Posts)
Tambaboy Sat 23-Jan-16 09:59:47

Hi all, sorry but this is going to be long, I have posted in SN section also.

DS is in y4 with an 30 hours EHCP. He has ASD and he is currently going through ADHD (inattentive) assessment. He is well below average academically but high average intelligence. He is very young for his age.
His current school has been supporting him nicely and they work very well with our independent SALT and OT.

It's transition time in our LA and we have been looking for schools for DS to go into y5. LEA offered ASD unit attached to mainstream but after a visit we didn't think it was suitable. The other 3 special school in LEA are not suitable either.
Our SENCO recommended a small independent school renowned for being really good with children with SEN but after a taster day DS wasn't offered a place as his reading levels were too low. We were gutted as we loved the school and there was a strong chance the LEA would have funded it.

Our LA is tiny, so we've seen all the schools available. No suitable independent special ones within travelling distance. We went to see a very small independent special school 40 miles away that was very happy to take DS. Unfortunately the travelling times in the morning would be about 1h 20minutes and DS wouldn't cope with that.

DS' school is expanding and will go up to y6 but it's a year too late for DS so he would have to leave at the end of y4. But they are now suggesting he repeats y4 and he'd be able to stay up to y6 this way. They reckon his levels would have gone up enough for him to be admitted at the local independent school after that.

They think it's the best option for DS as they don't think he'll cope very well at any of the mainstream schools.The HT has even contacted LEA senior SEN officer and they said they would agree to it if that's what we wanted.

DH thinks is a good idea, DS wants to try a new school and I don't know what to do! We haven't got many options unfortunately.

What would you do? Any suggestions?

lljkk Sat 23-Jan-16 10:08:55

get it in writing from the senior school

tiggytape Sat 23-Jan-16 10:17:13

It sounds like a possible solution but there may be one or two things you'd want to be reassured about perhaps before deciding.

If DS stays back a year, how probable is it that the independent school will accept him after Year 6? Did he narrowly miss the levels they require or would it be challenging to cover enough work in the extra time?
Because the worry might be that if for any reason, the independent couldn't take him after Year 6, your options at other schools may be even more limited.
If the local secondary schools are all LA controlled ones and the LA agreed to keeping DS back, then transfer to secondary should be fine. But if the other independents are ruled out and your local secondaries are academies they may not agree with the LA decision about accepting a child out of year group and you'd potentially face having to skip Year 6 to go into Year 7. In the long run this could be more problematic that staying in the current year group.

Assuming all the logistics for moving school later are fine though, the only other concern would be how your DS would feel about staying at the same school watching his current friends move on without him? Academically it may help and socially he may feel more at ease with slightly younger children but he may (or may not) feel left behind or singled out. That's more a personality thing - some children wouldn't care at all but others might find it upsetting which might mean the benefits are a bit lost if the emotional side of it is difficult.

Tambaboy Sat 23-Jan-16 13:27:31

All valid points tiggy, thank you. DS wants a fresh start at a new school, he has only got one friend at the moment and I think he is secretly hoping to meet more children like him in a different setting.

We are meeting with HT next week and I'll ask all the relevant questions.

Lonecatwithkitten Sat 23-Jan-16 13:36:14

Looking at it from another angle to tiggy, would the independent accept him into year 4 in September. Your DS gets the fresh start he is keen on and he drops back a year something which seems to be desirable for him.

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