attendance legislation and duty of care.(14 Posts)
is anybody aware of any legislation or guidelines for primary schools in wales that clarifies in the event of an unresolved, ongoing complaint about duty of care (or lack of, in our case) that until the issue is resolved to a satisfactory level for everyone involved, there is an exemption to attending school during this time....
there is many issues in school for us right now, mainly surrounding my son having meltdowns in his class. the school have never informed me of this concerning behavior, nor have they attempted to address his needs whilst in their care by referring to the ed psyc or... anything, actually :s
this is not a new or unknown issue to them. they have always been aware of these things with my son.
basically, the situation has built up over the last few months with bullying that has gone unresolved, and inhalers not being allowed when requested or necessary, to the point that yesterday he came home and told me that dispite the fact he told his teacher he was very cold and getting wet, the teacher refused to close the window he was sat in front of or allow him to move seats (if the window needed to be open for a reason this would also have been an adequate response to the situation), however, all afternoon my son was left, made to sit in the rain, next to an open window, freezing cold.... he has also aged 8 been made to do laps of the playground whilst his class did PE because he is excluded from PE due to asthma... go figure... -_- i know...
so, this morning i didn't send him into school and have informed the school he will simply not be returning until they are prepared to address these issues and not be cruel or detrimental to his health. (i also stated i would like work or guidelines for work i can do with him during this period)
it is also worth mentioning that i have waited 5 weeks to have a meeting with the senior members of staff at the school to discuss these issues, for the school to cancel the meeting 24 hours prior because they felt 'uncomfortable' discussing anything with me whilst a complaint is ongoing.
it is also worth acknowledging i only submitted the complaint after it was evident that i wasn't going to get a meeting to discuss these problems until i complained. it all feels very swings and roundabouts.
and in the meantime, i am expected to just send my child into school regardless of these ongoing and progressively baffling incidents and treatment and issues happening DAILY almost, with no resolution or communication from the school.
therefore, i guess my question stands as;
what would you do if this was your child?
does anyone know of the appropriate register marking for such an event, because i don't think it should be an unauthorized absence when the school have left me with literally no other choice other than this for the saftey, wellbeing and welfare of my child, and my own bloody sanity...
and is there any existing legislation that states in the event of a complaint or until an issue can be resolved, if the circumstances are detrimental to a childs' wellbeing or welfare, then i am not obliged to send him into school...
I'm afraid there is no such exemption in the legislation. The relevant sections of the Education Act 1996 apply to England and Wales. The parent is guilty of an offence if their child fails to regularly attend school. The only exemptions are where the school has given leave of absence, the child is unable to attend due to sickness or some other unavoidable cause, absence for religious observance and where the child is entitled to free transport but it has not been provided.
You could home educate but that could result in your child's place at the school being given to someone else.
If this was my child I would be looking to move him to another school as soon as possible. I would make sure I had copies of all correspondence with the school demonstrating the problems and I would use that if I needed to appeal for another school.
''there is many issues in school for us right now, mainly surrounding my son having meltdowns in his class. the school have never informed me of this concerning behavior, nor have they attempted to address his needs whilst in their care by referring to the ed psyc or... anything, actually :s''
I'm confused. How do you know he's having meltdowns in class if they've never told you? How do you know it's severe enough for an ed psych if they've never told you about it?
There is no way they'd deny him an inhaler. I'd imagine you're getting a very one sided view from a child.
I think that in the circumstances that you describe, that you should be making a formal complaint in writing, which I think from your posts you seem to have done. The idea of waiting 5 weeks for a meeting that is then cancelled as you have submitted a complaint is bizarre, that is the whole purpose of such a meetings isn't it to get to the bottom of the complaints.
I would now escalate by writing to the Char of Governors, alleging that the head teacher is failing to deal with your concerns and complaints. If there is no response from the Chair then the next port of call is a formal complaint to Estyn. That will be logged and if the school has not been inspected recently just might precipitate an inspection visit, especially if they receive multiple complaints about the school.
But before you do anything, can you actually prove everything that you are saying or is this just what your son is telling you has happened.
Have you managed to have a meeting with the class teacher or the SEND teacher? They should be talking to you about your child's difficulties and working out how they can be addrssed. If you have not instigated these meetings prior to complaining, then it coud be a problem although I think they should have contacted you.
Ed Psych appointments are paid for by the school and depending what Ed Psych time they buy, they may have many children queing up to see the Ed Psych. Also, Ed Psychs expect teachers and schools to have tried out various strategies before they see a child. They are not the going to see a child where the school has done nothing to improve the situation. What have they done, is what you need to be asking, and what are they going to do?
I agree that your only avenue is now the Chair of Governors. You must try and investigate what your child is telling you. What sport is your child allowed to do with athsma? What have you told them about his condition? What are their rules about medication? Have you ever talked to them about how his condition has to be managed? It seems that a lot of assumptions are being made by the school but is this in the absence of clear information from you?
Where I am a governor, many inhalers go on school trips that I participate in. Each one in a box labelled for the child concerned but these children do partipate in sport. So why is your child not doing sport? I think you have not really heard the full story about the open window. Was he soaking wet when you picked him up? Have other children verified this story? Have you asked anyone? It seems rather extreme to me. Would your child rather be at home?
I think I would find another school. If you can.
"Freezing cold?" It's June!
But that alone has made me wonder if there's some exaggerating going on here. Not saying there aren't some issues that you could seek clarification from the school about, but be prepared for another side to the story.
sorry, we've had a long weekend full of roast dinners and fun
i'll reply to all the valid points you guys have made in comment order;
'I'm confused. How do you know he's having meltdowns in class if they've never told you? How do you know it's severe enough for an ed psych if they've never told you about it?
There is no way they'd deny him an inhaler. I'd imagine you're getting a very one sided view from a child.'
i know he is having meltdowns in class because he has had them all his life at home, and the school have recently submitted a referral to social services outlining this, so instead of supporting my child in school they've just told social services... which is helpful... i am not sure the school realized the actions in their referral tbh, because all it seems to me they have done is accepted liability for neglecting his needs. obviously they are aware of it. they should have informed me of it. it's happened more than once, none of which i knew about.
i know it is severe enough for an ed psyc because his previous school got the ed psyc involved immediately, they also used to immediately ring me if e started in school, so i would go and act as a TA until he calmed down so he didn't miss any school time for the period of time he was being statemented. this school however, isn't like that at all. but from what i have seen with him at home, and in his previous school i can imagine what they've had to deal with. either way, the ED.Psyc should be involved. and the school have been aware of this from before they had accepted my son to their school.
the school actually accepted there where times he hasn't been allowed his inhaler. there have been times my son has asked the teacher and the teacher has not acted on it or thought he was bad enough to warrant having his inhaler at that point, there have been times the request has been lost in translation through a TA who got sidetracked and didn't get the message to the teacher, it now stays in my sons desk and he has free use of it.
What sport is your child allowed to do with asthma? What have you told them about his condition? What are their rules about medication? Have you ever talked to them about how his condition has to be managed? It seems that a lot of assumptions are being made by the school but is this in the absence of clear information from you?
So why is your child not doing sport? humidity, hayfever and damp are all massive triggers. our school cuts their grass every bloody week, and they're not so great with the listening to when he needs his meds... the school actually have a medical note stating this, and advising for the summer months they do PE outside that he isn't advised to do it. so they made him walk laps around the playground instead with the kids who forgot their kit. so not only is he still being made to do outside stuff, he is also being dumped with the kids being 'punished' for something he can't control. i mean, ideally when they have a GP note stating that they would rather he didn't do PE in these circs because its affecting my sons health he shouldn't be made to do anything outside. how is laps different to Pe?! and yes, other children confirmed this.
Was he soaking wet when you picked him up? he was damp when he was collected. other children have clarified the window was open. and this is pretty big because although it may be June, this week in wales has been horrific, wet, cold, miserable. and he has sensory issues and asthma. freezing may have been an exaggeration, however, cold and wet i wholeheartedly believe.
i have had specific meetings at the school to discuss his asthma, i have got a GP letter and signed the medical forms the EWO asks for as well as provided prescription copies of the steroids he is put on regularly (prognozone? don't know how it is spelt, but an adult can only get 8 tabs a day and finnley gets anything from 6-8, and he is a small 8 y/o boy!). it is really not an option to even consider that i haven't given them enough information, if anything it's the opposite...
OP, does he have a statement? You mention for the period of time he was being statemented. Is he currently seeing the Educational Psychologist, does he have an appointment coming up that you could discuss these matters at?
he started being statemented at his previous school, we had to move part way through the statement but was assured it wouldnt matter, yet the school did not follow through with this promise once we had moved... so no, he does not have a statement.
I recommend posting the part of your query that relates to his SEN on the 'special needs children' board. You'll get really good advice there.
Do you have a Parent Partnership you could speak to, try your local council's website for details. They give great advice and can go into meetings with you I think, it would be worth pushing for the statement and they could advise you on this.
Sorry to phrase it this way but this all sounds very one sided and consists of 'I just know' and 'I was told'. No-one ever wants to hear it but the narrative you receive from a child is often very different to a fuller picture of events.
List of things you think need to be discussed and agreed upon - factual, dispassionate, no extended history or he said she said. Sit down formally with the school and explain what is wanted. Put it in writing, factual and emotionless. Then you have a starting point. At the moment the school probably thinks you're a slightly hysterical parent going off half cocked.
lol. maybe. but if that's the case i have a lot of people who've seen the paperwork and agree, and alot of other parents at the school are having the same kind of... issues. teachers not listening to their child, the school not acting appropriately, etc...
i've been given a meeting with the head on the last day of term. which is convenient. we made an agreement over email where the school will make work packs for the kids and they don't have to physically be in school until the meeting we can make some suitable resolutions for all.
it's nice home schooling again. i've missed this time with the children<3 it's alot more chilled out. i may take this as an option.
Having friends who agree with you does not make your case.
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