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Urgent help! Child not allowed full time education.

(54 Posts)
Yummum19 Tue 07-Mar-17 23:08:49

Hi all,

My DD is 4 and is in reception. She was born with a long list of medical problems, has had numerous operations over her 4 years but as a whole at the moment doing really well. She started school full time no problems and the school seemed confident they could manage her health issues at school just fine. They were told a few months ago she would have a planned operation which would mean no playtime/p.e for 6 weeks, again they said no problem.

Her operation was January and she hasn't been allowed back to school full time since. The explanation being there isn't sufficient staff to supervise her on the occasions she can't join in with the rest of her class. I'm being allowed to drop her off at 2 and pick her up at 3.

My question is, what can I do!?

They are apparently putting in an urgent request for extra funding but headteacher said could take another 6 weeks. Can I fight this decision or is there any way to speed it along? Is this fair or right?

Any advice would be really grateful as this is becoming more stressful than the actual operation was!

Kanga59 Wed 08-Mar-17 07:09:10

Should she have an ehcp if several health issues and she needs extra support? can you request a multi disciplinary assessment from her paed? If the school can't keep her safe then I don't blame them for not accepting her at the moment and presumably you don't want her put at risk. how long til the funding can be in place?

Kanga59 Wed 08-Mar-17 07:15:43

sorry I see you've already answered that as six weeks. speak to your EYSENIT to see if they can speed up the funding process. I'm really surprised that for a child with a long list of health problems who has had several operations that you haven't thought about extra support for her in school for when operations arise. was it a.last minute thing in January? was she expected to recover within a few days but there were complications and now that's not the case. it's so worth having an ehcp. It covers things like this. even if she doesn't need help all the time, an ehcp will mean the school can draw on funding for a 1-1 when needed, like after operations.

SoupDragon Wed 08-Mar-17 07:21:44

When is her 6 weeks of no PE/Playtime up? Is it likely to happen again?

SoupDragon Wed 08-Mar-17 07:24:18

I would say it's not fair or right but it isn't the schools fault they have no funding for 1-1 supervision. I would have thought there would be other ways round the lack of supervision during PE/playtime though.

irvineoneohone Wed 08-Mar-17 07:29:37

The original 6 weeks has passed, so now she can join in normally, right?
Or is it still within that 6 weeks?
Is school too afraid to take responsibility?

My ds took a month off school after operation. It was advised by the surgeons, so he can heal properly without accidents/bumping into other children, etc. After that, he had normal school attendance.

bloodyteenagers Wed 08-Mar-17 07:30:25

She's 4. Legally she doesn't have to be in school.

RebelRogue Wed 08-Mar-17 07:45:21

Can't she be in a different class drawing or looking at books during PE? That's what we do with the kids that forget their PE kit. The same with playtimes,is it being outside that's the issue or making any kind of effort? Could she just sit with one of the people supervising?

irvineoneohone Wed 08-Mar-17 08:20:21

I actually remember I had to have a fight(a bit of exaggeration!) with school to keep him in during playtime due to ill health. I can understand they are under staffed, etc.
But seemed silly to me, they want higher attendance %, yet reluctant to deal with children who are ok to attend, but cannot run around, etc.
It was sorted in the end.

LarrytheCucumber Wed 08-Mar-17 08:24:09

She isn't statutory school age so they don't have to have her full time. They seem to be doing asll they can by applying for extra funding. Have you tried IPSEA for advice?

Yummum19 Wed 08-Mar-17 08:40:31

I have already asked for her to be assessed for a echp and was refused. I had numerous meetings with the school before this operation months and months in advance so it wasn't like I haven't prepared them (or myself!) for this.

You are correct in saying she isn't compulsory school age just yet but she started school in September along with the rest of her friends so therefore she IS missing out. She can't get this year back again.

There is still another 6 weeks left until they 'may' have found a solution but even then is not guaranteed.

SilenceOfThePrams Wed 08-Mar-17 08:57:25

The funding isn't your problem it's theirs. She has a right to be in school full time, and it is discrimination if they are using her health needs as a reason to refuse this.

She needs to be in school, they have to find the support, and then sort things out with the LEA. It shouldn't be you plugging the gap.

Locally, school have to find the first 15 hours of support themselves anyway. I wouldn't be surprised if that's the same for you. If she only needs that support during play times, 15 hours should cover the whole week. If she actually needs it all the time, that's still enough for a full morning or a full afternoon.

TeenAndTween Wed 08-Mar-17 09:26:15

I agree with a PP.

For PE she could go and sit in the y1 class
For play times either sit and watch (if she can be outside) or in extremis go to school office / medical room or similar.

Unless it is more complicated and needs certain trained members of staff to be with her at all times or something.

Drop at 2 and pick up at 3 sounds terrible. Most reception classes do phonics & maths in the morning and free play learning in the afternoon.

Smurfpoo Wed 08-Mar-17 09:50:58

In my experience reception tend to do pe at the end of the day. So I would have no problem doing an early pick up on that day or two.
Not ideal but it's not awful.
But the school should be facilitating her to be there the rest of the time.
Was it the school that rejected the need for an echp or the lea?

Yummum19 Wed 08-Mar-17 10:00:20

It was the lea that rejected the echp. It didn't even get to the assessment stage. They refused to assess based on my letter, schools letter and letters from her specialists.

There wasn't really anything else I could have done to have tried to get the support put in place. It really is as simple as someone supervising her at playtimes and p.e. As far as I'm concerned she's as fit and healthy as she's ever been so to have to take time off work and have her at home every day is just frustrating! I don't believe she would be unsafe at school otherwise of course I would accept her being at home. But she's missing out on so much and I really feel for her.

When I picked her up yesterday she was telling me all the things her friends had got up to that day while she was at home and she started crying. So I know this is affecting her emotionally too.

WateryTart Wed 08-Mar-17 10:07:41

Quite often primary schools have no "spare" staff so it's possible that there just isn't anyone available to supervise, which is why the HT has applied for funding.

Smurfpoo Wed 08-Mar-17 10:49:13

Have you spoken to these people about appealing the lea rejection? www.cafamily.org.uk/advice-and-support/education-health-and-social-care/education/education-health-and-care-(ehc)-plans/

I know ehcps are actually quite hard to qualify for but given she's starting her school journey, the school and her specialist agree it might be worth pushing again.

irvineoneohone Wed 08-Mar-17 10:53:37

Has original 6 weeks past after operation?
If so, why does she still need supervision?
Can the doctors write letters stating she is perfectly safe with normal schooling?

My ds' school made him hold playtime supervisor's hand and stay with her, that was all. No extra staff needed.
As for PE, can they leave her with other year group's classroom reading/ drawing etc, like pp said? Again, no extra staff needed.

Smurfpoo Wed 08-Mar-17 11:13:28

Yes thinking about it at my childrens school if a child has a broken leg the staff take turns in the classroom where they can stay with a friend or two.
Or they walk round with the playground supervisor.

Yummum19 Wed 08-Mar-17 11:21:54

Sorry I didn't word it correctly, there's still 6 weeks left of needing supervision. So in total it will be 3/4 months of missed school.

Thank you smurfpoo I'll look into that link.

Yummum19 Wed 08-Mar-17 11:23:13

Just to add, her specialist has actually written to the school direct and stated he is completely happy with her being back at school but even that hasn't swayed things.

lougle Wed 08-Mar-17 11:25:58

She's entitled to a full time education. It doesn't matter that she is not of compulsory school age. The rules on that changed in (IIRC) 2014. Have you got a paper trail?

I'd be inclined to write them a letter stating

"As of tomorrow, DD will be attending full time. Thank you for you support."

Then arrive at 8.55, hand her over. If they want to exclude her, they will need to do so, with an official exclusion letter. Each and every day.

Then you apply for an EHCP. You case is that she cannot access a full time education.

admission Wed 08-Mar-17 12:05:18

In England, from the school year beginning September 2011, local authorities must accept children into primary school in the September following the child's fourth birthday. However, parents may request that their child does not start school until later in the year or until reaching compulsory school age. A parent will also be able to request that a child attends school part-time until compulsory school age.
So if you have requested full time education and your child is 4 then the school have to provide it. They are relying on you not knowing it is your and your child's right
In effect what you have now is an illegal exclusion and you could argue that the school is guilty of discrimination against someone with a medical issue.
I would not be quite as blunt as Lougle but follow the same principle. Put in writing that your child will be starting full time next Monday. The school needs to get off its backside and do something rather than just be asking for more funding. Then turn up with child next Monday.
To be honest I do not think that you have much chance of reversing the EHCP decision unless there are far more issues than you have alluded to that have not been put to the EHCP panel. The school should realise that and be making appropriate provision from within their own budget.

WateryTart Wed 08-Mar-17 12:19:10

The school cannot magic up a supervising adult from nowhere. It would be rude and counter productive to just insist on something that they cannot do.

They seem to be doing what they can and it isn't their fault it takes so long.

If there isn't anyone who can supervise, what can they do?

irvineoneohone Wed 08-Mar-17 12:26:01

Watery, I get what you are saying, but why my ds' school was capable with not much effort, and op's school isn't?
It's not like she needs constant medical attention or anything.

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