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Any admissions experts - repeating reception

(12 Posts)
tumtetumtetumtetum Mon 16-Jan-17 23:50:22

As a summer baby DS (4) would have qualified for delayed entry into reception this year but we weren't aware of this until it was too late. He has a significant speech delay. It turns out that the speech delay is actually related to an underlying SEN (not ASD, more a learning disability). He is too young for formal diagnosis but the professionals involved now agree it is more than speech.

He is really struggling in reception, he has made no new friends and plays mostly alone. Children who were all friendly at the beginning have discarded him now as he can't join in on their level. He cannot really understand the curriculum without information being broken down into very small chunks and having someone talk to him one on one. He does have any one to one support and does not have an EHCP, I am about to apply although the school are not particularly supportive, saying he is not extreme enough. At home he has learnt his basic phonics, counting, colours and shapes. At school he switches off completely. The teachers say he is low level disruptive constantly although they agree this is because he struggles to communicate sufficiently to ask questions or become properly involved in the class.

Academically he can write his name (but has done this since 3) and almost letters (inconsistently). He can write the odd word he recognises. Can't blend or decode. He knows a few simple words by sight as he asks me what they are and remembers. He can count to 20 but this is inconsistent as sometimes his speech defeats him and he reverts to babble.

He gets very very little speech support. An SLT comes into school once a term and tells the teacher what they already know and leaves me some basic handouts that anyone can find online.

I know I have missed the deadline for reception but the school is undersubscribed and he has two siblings in the school. Repeating this formative year would make such a difference.

Given the local authority has relaxed its entry rules for summer borns, would it be possible to apply for reception again ? I am guessing not due to funding but worth asking the question.

tumtetumtetumtetum Mon 16-Jan-17 23:53:46

The really frustrating thing is there will most likely be two children in the class below who are older than him.

bojorojo Tue 17-Jan-17 00:07:51

I believe most state schools are not keen on children repeating a year and being in the "wrong" year group. It may well be that the older children in YR will have to move into the correct cohort eventually.

However, I think he is not being given enough support by a speech therapist. What else can you do about that? This is a major barrier to learning and the NHS should be seeing him. Often the EHCP process will highlight what is needed. I think the school could do far more to help. Do you have a school with a department for language delay that could be named on his plan if you get one? I think for a YR child you would be doing well to get one if the school are not supportive. Usually they are keen as mustard because they get more money. He may also need TA time so have you asked the school what they intend to do to support him in Y1. They must talk to you about his needs and how they can be met.

I think others may know more than me regarding admissions but I think sorting out additional help is a big priority.

tumtetumtetumtetum Tue 17-Jan-17 00:28:45

Thanks for replying at this time of night! Our borough has embraced the choice to delay reception for summer borns which was signposted by the government so if we had chosen to delay he could remain with his cohort throughout.

I don't know why the school are so reluctant to push for EHCP. He's just adrift in the class at the moment. Yes the SLT provision has been appalling. I have put in a complaint and asked for a second opinion from another therapist as no-one at the school agrees he is of the level they state.

He did some sessions over the summer with a private therapist which were helpful but for various reasons she stopped working and hasn't started again as planned. I need to find another one but I really need the support in the school framework too as even with the therapy (I learned a lot of the techniques myself) progress is painstaking.

yellowsun Tue 17-Jan-17 00:40:45

I have looked into this recently. In our authority, you need the school to agree plus an educational psychologist and the Sen team. The EP would not agree as apparently research suggests that it has a negative impact on the child later in life as they would then need to catch up. However, this was not for a summer born child.

I think the school are tying to say that getting an EHCP assessment would be difficult as these are supposed to be for children whose needs would best be met in special provision. Just to assure you in spite of your child's difficulties with their speech and language, there are many children in our reception who are of similar ability and remember we are only a third of the way through the year.

Waiting lists for SALT are awful here- government cuts and increased workloads! If you can afford private, I'd be very tempted, not that you should have to.

Have you met with the SENCO to discuss your worries?

prh47bridge Tue 17-Jan-17 09:34:00

You asked if you can apply for Reception again.

The Admissions Code does not say anything about this and I'm not aware of any cases so I can't give a definitive answer. However, given that you want your child to stay at his current school and repeat Reception, this isn't really an admissions question. You cannot, in my view, force the school to allow him to repeat Reception by applying again (although I don't think you are trying to force the school).

I am not clear whether you want to take your son out of school now and start again in September or stay until September then repeat the year. Either way you need to talk to the school and establish whether they will allow this and, if so, what process you need to follow. You may need to talk to the LA as well. I doubt you will need to apply for a place in Reception in September but, if you do, you are correct that you have missed the deadline. It is possible you would still be ok but ideally you want the admission authority (the school or the LA depending on the type of school) to agree in writing that you will be dealt with as an on-time applicant. That way you shouldn't lose out even if there are more applications than normal this year.

bojorojo Tue 17-Jan-17 12:14:07

I am not so sure he could have remained with a younger cohort throughout. Delay in starting does not automatically confer that right. So you do need to discuss when he will go into the correct class for SATS etc.

I was not sleepy last night!!!

I woud b tempted to try and get private Speech Therapy too. It may be he is too young to access specialist provision in another school. In my LA, schools with specialist language delay facilities and better SALT provison start at 6-7. You could argue this is too late, but lots of strategies have been tried before that. You may not have that provision available anyway.

You can always ask the school when they may support specialist provision. Usually schools are very supportive (to the point of being desperate) so I guess they are saying he is too young or not bad enough.

mouldycheesefan Tue 17-Jan-17 12:17:15

You know your dr can refer you for speech therapy outside of what is provided by school,or you can just pay and take your child to a speech therapist?

Kanga59 Tue 17-Jan-17 22:25:03

with an ehcp the school is legally bound to help your child. without it they don't have that hassle/responsibility

BarbarianMum Tue 17-Jan-17 22:36:22

Yes, I disagree that your son's needs are not severe enough for a ehcp and I suggest you make this a priority regardless of whether you keep him back a year. And yy to regular SALT input.

Kanga59 Wed 18-Jan-17 09:19:30

You can actually start the ehcp process rolling yourself. Once the process is started, it legally must be completed within 20 weeks. Contact SENDIASS. Get referrals for SALT, educational psychologist, get on the radar for all the help you can. You can always turn it down if, when you get an appointment, you feel its not actually necessary. Contact your local EYSENIT team to see if you can come under them. Good luck.

bojorojo Wed 18-Jan-17 11:18:57

OP says she is applying for an EHCP. It is just easier if the school is pushing too! Has he seen the school's EP yet? Can you push for this? It concerns me that the school do not think he is bad enough - usually schools really push for a EHCP. It may be his age.

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