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In Year Admissions & SEN - advice needed!(5 Posts)
Hi. We are relocating to a village and have 2 primary aged DCs. Both children have SEN although eldests SEN is more complex. Both DC are currently out of year group - DD should be year 3 but is in year 2 and DS should be in year 1 but repeated a year and is in reception.
The local catchment school is a VC school so I submitted applications directly to them as their website stated. I provided a covering letter asking for out of year group admissions and we have now been asked to submit evidence so the school can determine what year group they believe the children should be in. We can then apply for those places but have been advised that there are no places in year R or year 1 but that we could appeal.
The PAN for reception is 13 and they currently have 14 in the class. Once we are at the stage that we are asking for an appeal I will ask about square footage, and the class size of year 1. The school has mixed classes after year R so I need to look at whether once year R moves up to the year 1/2 class going over PAN in reception will push the year 1/2 class next year over 30.
Aside from the above the logistics arguments of 2 DC in diff schools (which I understand dont hold much weight) can I use the SEN in my case and will it hold any weight? Namely -
The logistics of attending numerous appointments and meetings at 2 diff schools
The ability of 2 diff schools to coordinate support for our family as a whole, for our childrens emotional and social needs
The SEN my DD has causes a significant GDD and so she is close to her brother in developmental age and they have an incredibly strong bond. They would both find it very hard to be separated, to cope with starting a new school alone and DD would need significant ongoing support to understand where her brother was & why.
Professionals involved with our family often refer to one DCs needs when discussing the other child - this would be difficult with 2 schools and I feel there is something around data protection in relation to this? I know before DS started school professionals involved with DD would leave the room if details around DS were discussed as he wasnt yet on their case load etc. How would we be able to access support from school and professionals for our family as a whole and for the childrens emotional and social wellbeing if we were unable to provide details of both children to school/professionals?!
So does any of the above hold any weight in terms of an appeal? Is it wrong to talk about the impact on the DD at appeal for DSs place? Any other tips/advice?
Where have my paragraphs gone?!
SEN generally only helps if you can show that the school you want has special provision that is missing from the allocated school and is relevant.
The children being at separate schools shouldn't be a data protection issue. From a GDPR perspective the schools should be able to share data. However, some people are overcautious with such issues so it may cause problems.
Technically, the appeal for your DS should be about the impact on him of not being admitted. If the appeal panel will allow you to talk about the impact on DD you can do so. I suspect some panels would take this into account, others wouldn't.
I would recommend strengthening your case by finding other ways in which your children will be disadvantaged if they aren't admitted to this school.
I would also recommend looking into getting EHCPs for them if possible.
If your DC needs are so complex then I woudl suggest you start the EHCP process....is there a reason why their current school/settings have not done that.?
Do you have to move there? not sure I would choose a small village school with mixed classes etc for children with complex SEN they often have the least resources for support as school funding is per head and then they would be expected to support up to the value of 6k per child by the Local authority....although tiny schools are often friendly and suportive places if that works for your DC more...
you can provide information to professionals - on both your DC however it is important that they are considered as individuals especially related to Education ... you could request Team around the child (TAC) meetings or Team around the family (TAF) to discuss all their needs -
I would approach the SEN department of the council of teh area you are moving too....
Thank you for the replies. To answer some questions - We are already in a small village school so no concerns re moving to another one. We made the move to rural areas specifically to alleviate the sensory aspects of DDs SEN as she was completely unable to cope with a large busy school and actually spent a large amount of time unable to even enter the building.
We have had one application for EHCP turned down due to school putting all the support in place already. We then moved to this area and have been here 18 months. It was a county jump so all the assessments and reports had to be done again. We are just reaching the point where school will be ready to submit again but our landlord has evicted us so unfortunately we are forced to move again.
It is a case of budget dictating where we move next. This is the best option we have so it is necessary. In terms of small village schools we are in a rural county and moving to another largely rural county. The mixed yeargroup classes have been fantastic for both DC as they have made it less obvious to their peers that they have been kept back a year. We have also found the current school to have been amazing in terms of the level of support they have put in place for both DCs SEN.