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Admissions - One twin in special unit

(12 Posts)
DoublyTroubly Sun 07-Jan-18 21:24:03

Hi

I’m hoping for some help from the admissions specialists. My twins are due to start school in 2019. One of my twins is severely speech delayed and may be eligible for a speech unit at a local school. In this case, I would like their twin to attend the mainstream unit in the same school for obvious reasons.

However, we live too far away for the other twin to get in normally and the sibling priority specifically doesn’t apply where the sibling is in the language unit - key wording is:
Note 2: Sibling refers to brother or sister, half brother or sister, adopted brother or sister, step brother or sister, or the child of the parent/carer’s partner, and, in every case, the child should be living in the same family unit at the same address. The elder sibling must still be on roll at the school when the younger child starts school. This sibling ruling does not apply to pupils in our Speech & Language Provision classes. We welcome applications from parents with siblings of children in these classes but would also advise them to apply to their closest school

Does anyone know if the rules would be different for twins?

Thanks for your help x

OP’s posts: |
user1471451866 Sun 07-Jan-18 21:28:59

I have no experience of this myself, but I wonder if TAMBA might be able to help?

KateGrey Sun 07-Jan-18 21:29:09

Speak to county. Does one of your twins have an ehcp?

user1471451866 Sun 07-Jan-18 21:33:50

They campaigned, for years I think, to stop twins being sent to separate schools so might be willing to help you.

DoublyTroubly Sun 07-Jan-18 21:49:44

TAMBA is a good idea, thanks

Unfortunately I’ve been reading my local schools admissions guidelines and it says:
n Please note that if a school is offered to one twin with SEN or an Education, Health and Care Plan plan after it being named on their Plan, the twin without a an EHCP must qualify under the school’s admissions criteria to be offered a place at the same school.
so it’s not looking likely

My DC hasn’t got an ECHP yet - I’m looking into it so it will be sorted before admission time

OP’s posts: |
Frazzled2207 Sun 07-Jan-18 22:05:26

That sounds odd and I would speak to the council to clarify. Round here twins go together and I heard that twins is one of the ways an extra child gets in in an admissions year.

DoublyTroubly Sun 07-Jan-18 22:25:12

Thanks, I will do. To be honest, it’s making me feel physically sick to think of them being in separate schools. However, it wouldn’t be fair to not put the speech delayed twin in the school best set up to meet his needs would it?

I will need to talk to my local school to see what their SEN provision is like

OP’s posts: |
Oywatchadoin Sun 07-Jan-18 22:31:40

“he twin without a an EHCP must qualify under the school’s admissions criteria to be offered a place at the same school.”

But he’d get in on the sibling rule though, is how I read that.

Frazzled2207 Sun 07-Jan-18 22:37:05

If the council isn't accomodating, and fingers crossed they are, in your situation I'd be looking at moving house unfortunately angry

Witchend Mon 08-Jan-18 10:23:56

I would expect a twin to counted the same as a sibling except for the excepted situation where they are PAN and PAN+1 on admissions.

admission Mon 08-Jan-18 11:57:08

I believe the issue will be that the specialised unit is accessed by individual pupils who have an ehc plan and this plan specifies the unit provision at the school, not the school as a whole. The unit provision will have a set number of places that can be offered which is over and above the PAN of the school.

As such the other twin will have to apply for a place at the school in the normal way. They will not receive any improvement in the admission criteria, such as sibling priority as in effect the other twin with the EHC Plan is counted as a totally separate from the other twin.

Having said that you need to get from the admission authority, which will be the Local Authority assuming it is a maintained school, a definitive written statement to clarify what "the twin without a an EHCP must qualify under the school’s admissions criteria to be offered a place at the same school." means. I would read it as the twin will be counted not as a sibling but just as a single pupil but you need a definitive written statement as to whether they would be counted as a sibling or not.

DoublyTroubly Mon 08-Jan-18 17:32:15

Thanks everyone

As per my original post, the school’s admission policy specifically states that children with a sibling in the unit don’t get sibling priority so I think that’s a no go. I will definitely talk to the LA and TAMBA to see if they can help

Our local school is excellent (Ofsted outstanding), so I’m also going to talk to them about their SEN provisions, especially for Verbal Dyspraxia which my DC has been diagnosed.

I really don’t think we are going to be in a position to move nearer the school with the unit, so I think we’ve got a really really difficult decision to make (assuming my DC gets an EHCP anyway)

OP’s posts: |

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