Help Me. 3 Year old facing exclusion from school nursery(15 Posts)
I have one DS who was 3 in August. In January he started at the nursery class of an independent school. (Background - Prior to this he had attended a day nursery onsite at my workplace. To facilitate the choice of school, I moved home to be closer to the school)
He has had problems settling in at school. When I've collected him from after school care there have been accounts of him having 'meltdowns' and one occasion of kicking the learning assistant. Last Friday, I collected him directly from school and was told that he scratched this same learning assistant quite badly. I arranged to have a meeting with the school on Monday to discuss his behaviour. I also engaged the services of a private educational psychologist.
Following the meeting on Monday, I was given a behaviour book to monitor DSs behaviour which we would be reviewing and we discussed ways of bringing the ed psych in to monitor him in a classroom environment. I do not see this behaviour at all at home, and therefore my attempts to talk to him about his behaviour have been fairly useless.
On Tuesday, I received a call at work to say that he had bitten his teacher and they wanted me to remove him from school (perhaps indefinitely).
I've been home from work with him since Tuesday. I've spoke to the school and the ed psych, and they've agreed for her proposal for her to go in on Monday and for DS to attend briefly for her to perform an assessment. Their initial position before the ed psych's proposal was that I would need to remove him from school, or provide funding for 1:1 classroom supervision. Despite the small class size (<10 pupils), they don't feel that can safely take care of him without 1:1 care.
I really don't know what to do. I need to return to work at some point. I have tentatively contacted the local family information service for details of local childminders. He is going to have to attend school by September at the latest. The local state schools are not good, and this is the only independent in the area. I would have to move him (again) to find alternative schooling provision.
I just don't know how I'm going to deal with all this. It's come completely out of nowhere. He seems like just a normal 3 year old. My family are very surprised at the sequence of events, as it's completely out of character for him. I just didn't anticipate every finding myself in this situation.
Unfortunately you have less protection in the independent sector, especially below non compulsory school age, than in the state sector. If the school nursery accepts early years funding you could ask the local authority early years department for advice on whether the school is obliged to be more inclusive. Check the school's behaviour policy as to whether they have followed its own procedure. Involving an ed psych seems premature if he is otherwise ok. If his previous setting had no issues it might be worth taking him back there if school will not work with you. Also submit a late application for state schools asap, he isn't required to be in full time education until Sept 2018 so you could wait until a place comes up mid year or defer him a year if LA agree.
Independent schools can take who they want and independent nursery schools can ask children to leave. Frankly, go to the local school you can get into. State schools rarely exclude and will work with you. You may have far more understanding staff who are better qualified. I have no doubt you and he will have a miserable time at the independent school if they do not want him. He may settle in a different setting. You have nothing to lose at this stage. Try and speak to the current setting about his behaviour and what triggers it. Does he want to play all he time and not do more formal work? Is he too tired? Would he be better off being part time?
I know this is difficult but getting him settled elsewhere is a priority.
I would be fearful that they are setting up to suggest that going into yr there 'is not going to be a good fit' for your son
Happened to a few girls each year at dds nursery/infant/junior school
It may well be that his behaviour is just average 3yr old stuff or temporary acting out, but they are saying that they are not willing to manage it without additional help and, as they are a business at the end of the day, they wont be prepared to stump up the associated costs
Def make sure you have a LA application in
I hadn't thought about returning him to his previous setting as I didn't want to confuse him. Thinking it about it though, that may be the easiest option. If they can take him back at short notice.
Longer term. I wouldn't be happy with the LA schools here. I'm in Wales so independent provision at Primary is rare. The area I moved to for the independent, has large pockets of economically deprived areas, in amongst some very wealthy areas. I wouldn't have considered this area when looking at state provision. There are some good state schools that are a suitable distance from work, but having moved here wouldn't be feasible logistically. We would have to move again. Which, if he's having problems at school, I'm not sure another house move will help.
My preferred option would be to make it work at his current school, but as you say they don't seem keen to accommodate/help. I hate that he's been labelled as a problem-child when in reality, he is very quiet, kind and extremely easy to manage. I haven't seen their behaviour policy. I've yet to have a formal meeting with the head of prep/head of school to discuss this.
Reading between the lines, there is a suggestion that your child has additional needs
The nursery and school are effectively businesses that get to choose who they want, sadly as a parent of a special needs child I can see they don't want your child
Effectively they are trying to manage you out, this is very common and although you are angry right now in the long run it will be in your child's interest as they clearly don't wish to teach him
Right now you need to get an application in for a state place as you're already at the back of the queue, look at state nursery options
You may be lucky and pick a place up for the last term and a half
You need to start looking at legislation to help your son, applying for an ehcp assessment will start the ball rolling
If you come over to the special needs boards there are plenty of folks there who don't judge and have generally been where you are now
Hi, my ds1 was great in pre-school at a private nursery but when he started reception at 4 he was very unsettled. Mainly hitting other kids but he did hit the teacher at one point. Luckily he was at a state school and they did their best to help him make friends, had a behaviour book etc. If he was at an independent they would have asked him to leave I'm sure.
It was an awful time and I was very upset and confused about it as he was fine at home. I just felt powerless to help him.
I can't comment on the school side of things but I wanted to say that this period of bad behaviour did settle down by Christmas time. For the rest of reception and year 1 there was an odd incident (maybe 1 per term) and no problems so far in year 2. He's really settled and is happy. I think some children do struggle terribly adjusting at first.
Obviously pursue the ed pysc etc and do your best for him but he's very young and this could be him lashing out as he's anxious by his surroundings. Don't lose hope as ds1 has grown he has matured and settled so much and he's still only 6.
Did you have any problems with him at your 1st nursery?
There are 2 things to consider ,is this nursery a bad fit for him at this time, too structured, not structured enough. His behaviour is communicating something to you. Just because it's private it doesn't mean good.
The other thing to consider as you are is does he have additional needs which are becoming apparent as he is moving into a different setting with different expectations.
Moving back to the first nursery may well be the best short term option.
By the time he is five he maybe far more school ready. He does need to be in school till the term after his 5th birthday
I too was wondering about some kind of additional needs.
We adapt our parenting to our children almost without noticing, and it is only when they go into an environment outside our control that issues then come to the fore.
Maybe there is something at the new nursery being demanded of him that he just can't cope with. Ask the nursery for as much detail as they can give as to what is triggering the incidents.
Switch back to old nursery and continue to monitor.
I think you need to find a school that has decent progress scores and good quality behaviour management. On what basis are you judging all the local schools? They cannot all be poor? Or is it you do not like the children in them if you are determined to stay private knowing the school are not keen to keep your child? I think I would go where I was wanted. You will also be shunned at a private school for being the mother of the biting child! I cannot see that they want to work with you. They want a teaching assistant out of you. Your money will be vacuumed out of your pocket! In very large amounts. My DC did go private and I saw one school in particular who were utterly unable to cope with more challenging children. I think his welfare is a higher priority than a fancy ill equipped school that does not want your child and is already wanting Ed psych reports without any internal strategists being put in place or any attempt to work with you. It won't get any better in the short term.
Think it would be worth learning as much as possible about the state schools around. They are likely to be accustomed to getting a varied range of children and having to work with them rather than usher them out. DS state school have worked miracles with him. The school doesn't quite qualify for extra funding for deprived intake but a very mixed bag. None of DS closest friends at school speak English as a first language and white middle class families are in the minority. It really is a happy little school that is just right for him and he is thriving, much more so than the Ofsted outstanding he was at before.
There may be nuances to the local state schools that make one a good fit for your child.
You might feel more comfortable if you considered looking at independent again at high school.
I would be interested to see what the Ed Phys says. Some independent schools are very inclusive some just cannot be bothered with children that aren't naturally easy going and easy to teach so it might be they're just wiping their hands of him in favour of easier to handle children.
Are you sure all the state schools aren't good? There's usually at least one decent school in any given area? When is his birthday? if he's summer born you can apply to defer his entry so he starts a year later. This would give him time to grow up and is usually beneficial particularly for boys.
I wouldn't waste my money personally. Private schools can shut the door on children who are not perfect role models. State schools can be brilliant with them. I too doubt that every school in your area is awful. They may not look or feel like what you wanted, but they are often great. Both my DC have had challenging periods and or state school have dealt with it in all cases.
You could consider moving him back to his old setting and then keeping there until he is five. You could potentially apply for a reception place in the independent school for the term after he is five. He would be the oldest in his year rather than the youngest, so a year behind, but lots of independent schools are flexible with year groups. To me it sounds like he is an August born boy who is the youngest in a new school setting, it's likely to be more structured than a "normal" nursery and he's not even three and a half. No excuse for biting etc, but the transition to a more formal learning environment is very challenging for any child.
This school certainly doesn't sound like a good fit for your son.
I would look at the local state secondaries, they are probably a lot better than you think, and more able to deal with challenging behaviour /additional needs.
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