SEN child "managed out"; no schools want DC, what to do!?(20 Posts)
DC has mild SEN (HFA plus a few other bits) and is basically a B grade student. DC has just been "managed out" of our private school as apparently they feel DC would be better with somewhere with more SEN provision. According to the various schools I have spoken to:
-DC cannot be catered for by the schools in the private sector as there is not enough SEN provision.
- In the State sector DC's SEN is too mild to stand any chance of qualifying for an EHCP so the local state school would be classes of 30 and fuck all provision.
-DC is too academically able and insufficient SEN to need a Special Needs school......
So everywhere I speak to is telling me that they are not the right kind of school for him! Home Ed is not an option either!
Does anyone have any advice? I'm feeling quite depressed by the whole situation. I'm so sad and appalled that nowhere seems to want to take / apparently be suitable for a well behaved B grade student with some issues.
I'd love to speak to anyone else who has been through this sort of situation?
Have you actually spoken to the state school ?
Don't know quite how to phrase this so forgive me if I don't get it quite right ... But...
Most prep schools expect their kids to be above average for age - say a year 3 child is expected to be doing year 4 maths..
Your child is below average so at year 3 is doing year 2 maths. She appears " 2yrs behind her peers" in that context.
In a state school kids are accepted ( on the whole !) to be average. The year group overall performs at yr3 level in yr3 - there might be some doing year 4 work but not all. With normal state provision your child could be working at yr2 level, achieving her potential and all may be absolutely fine without extra support. Some kids are just below average - it's got to be the case by the statistical definition. If she is doing the best she can that's what you need.
The private school don't want her " ruining their statistics " that probably all it is. State provision - without much actual extra help might be fine... Hope that helps a bit. Adk a state school and see
Not qualifying for an EHCP does not mean there will be no provision. School Action and School Action Plus provide for pupils with SEN that do not have an EHCP. You need to talk to the SENCO at your local state school to find out what provision will be made.
Helenluvsrob yeah, I agree about differing standards. Yes, I went to see the only State school we could get a place at and the work seemed to easy I actually asked to check what years the various classes were.
I have not heard many good things about the school and I got the feeling provision would be very patchy - I think they basically equate needing extra help with being some way below average, whereas I would say extra help is needed if DC can't reach their full potential without it.... In conversation I was told DC "sounded fine", based on academics!
I have had similar problems with my ds. Not quite the same specifics, but very high ability academically and non-academic issues (in his case, health) which mean that he struggles to keep up in school in the classes that would be the right match academically. Most of the private schools wanted nothing to do with him. Elementary school was painful and I was not able to get any support for him. I put him in a progressive private school for middle school and that went much better. He then asked to go to our local state (public as we are in the usa) high school. I had HUGE reservations as elementary school had been such a disaster. However, the school was more than happy to give him an IEP and support once I had clearly explained what he needed. Since they were mostly used to supporting children with cognitive disabilities, they were not skilled at assessing what my ds needed, but once I explained it (and they realized how little work it meant on their part as compared to the other kids they supported), they were happy to provide it in an official capacity. We have fashioned a combination of in school fun electives and challenging core classes AND (this is important) online classes for the subjects that he needed not to be in a classroom for (math - because he needs to move at his own erratic pace; and coding because they don't offer it at his level). Note that the American system means you study multiple subjects all the way through high school. The part of this that may translate to the UK is that there are progressive private schools out there that may be able to meet your dc's academic needs without constraining themselves by conventional expectations. Also, state school support may get much better when your dc gets older. And finally don't dismiss the online options.....there are sooo many of them these days that you might find that hiring someone to supervise (not educate) and having your dc do online homeschool coupled with social activities can meet their needs. You just have to remember to think creatively and non-conventionally because that's the kind of kid you have.
I would talk to the LA about schools in your area.
some schools have ASD units attached so have very experienced staff others may have excellent reputations for supporting children with ASD (without the need for an EHCP/statement).
State schools must provide for the needs of all pupils with or without a "label" some do it very effectively.
You would probably be looking at classes of 30 without support if he is B grade in the state sector as the limited support is targeted to EHCP and very low level readers etc. However a state school with a strong SENCO and SEN dept will still be a good choice- I used to work in one with a fab SENCO and she would make time for all the pupils, not only those with the most complex needs and ran an incredibly supportive dept where pupils were free to drop in. My current state school has a (small) specialist dept for pupils with ASD.
How much support does he need though? Is it support to boost grades or to help with focusing on/ understanding tasks?
Sounds like current school very unhelpful. Have you tried all non selective private in your area. My dd has a physical disability and is in a small non selective catholic private. Wouldn't have qualified for assistance in state la told me she would manage. I didn't want her to just manage. I know several children in school have additional needs and parents choose the school for attention and small class size. Ethos is very caring and getting each child to their potential. My dd's year 5 class has 17 in class with teacher and full time ta.
I've not come across anywhere that gives official places in ASD resource bases without EHCP, although informal support may be given to a pupil with a dx if there is capacity.
What year is your DS in and what are the issues the current school have said they can't manage?
If you can afford boarding and your DS would like that there are Independent schools with great reputations for SEN. Shiplake for example or Bredon if his needs are a bit more significant.
In my area it was possible to get a place in an ASD unit without a statement or even formal diagnosis if the ASD team considered it beneficial
Go and look at all the state schools that you could reasonably get to. Have a full and frank talk/with the SENCO. Then put your DS on the waiting lists for the ones you think could work.
Schools should differentiate the work. I helped with reading in our local school year 2. Some were still learning letter sounds. One was reading the Hobbit. Lots were free readers reading he kind of books you might expect at 6/7 Ronald dahl, David walliams .fairy books etc.
Even if you child doesn't qualify for a EHCP that doesn't mean no support. The first £6000 I believe goes to the school for support.
State schools often have a lot of practice with special needs. Also don't turn you nose up ( ot saying you are) at the schools in poorer areas. Again they are often very experienced at getting the best from pupils without the luxury of parents tutoring in the background.
BTW outside the normal admissions round if a school has space they should give it to you even if its not your catchment school
The £6000 is notional ...it doesn't actually exist but schools seeking additional funding would need to demonstrate they have spent £6000 (much more in some authorities) from the school budget before it would be considered.
There is much more provision for SEN in most state schools than in private. You dont need an EHCP to be on the SEN register and qualify for extra help
Thanks everyone.... I think the chances of DC getting a place in a different state school from the one already mentioned are remote without an EHCP.
Boarding isn't really an option. I think we are starting to look at Indies in a bigger geographical are though.
I'll let you all know how it goes!
The Good Schools Guide has a section for SEN. That might be worth a look.
Check with the schools. We have 25 in most classes and cut off at 28 so no classes of 30 plus here. We also have TA, STA or HLTA support in each class every morning and some afternoons. We have several staff experienced in working with SEN pupils including ASD. Some of us have certificates in SEN general and specific so don't write off state schools. Ask to visit. We are only too happy to escort people around for a visit and we don't mind if they don't chose our school.
You've posted about this before haven't you? Is it worth looking at an autism specific school such as one of those run by the NAS. I gather they cater for a huge range of abilities. I know a man in his 20s who attended one and who is now doing a degree. It doesn't seem to have held him back at all.
I have had painful experience of this with my child having his place withdrawn at a private school. Like you ds would not qualify for a echp. However we have found a lovely small state school and the teachers are streets ahead with managing sen and have arranged for a visiting slt in the first week and are happy for me to bring in a private slt alongside.
That sounds like a difficult process for you all. I do find it disappointing how few private sector schools support pupils with different needs, even though they could chose to use their wealth of resources in this way. There are some that do a fantastic job of it but so few and far between.
Perhaps writing a list of expectations or priorities would help? Making the transition from private to state school can be challenging, it depends why you were hoping for private education initially. I think it's difficult to judge from seeing work on a visit what level the work is set at as usually teachers extend activities for the more able pupils and simplify for those who need it. It is worth trying to speak to the senco and explaining your worries.
What I would say is a state school doesn't need to be outstanding on paper for it to be the right place for a child to thrive. Each child responds to different environments /culture of learning/teachers etc, I went to a pretty average state school with a poor rep, however the school had a fantastic science department and churned out future doctors at a rate of knots. Does your son have an interest in a particular area of his education? Perhaps there is a school that can help encourage his interests.
Whichever new school you find I hope they encourage and affirm your son, and give him an environment where he is an appreciated part of the school community, not 'managed out'
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