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how does the school hierarchy work?!

(11 Posts)
jamsandwich Thu 10-Sep-09 20:37:34

dd has just started Reception, she has selective mutism.

So far, 4 days in, she is really happy to go and is actually pushing me out of the class room when she is ready for me to go - even before her little pal turned up today! No speech yet but lots of non-verbal communication.

I want to crank things up a bit next week; she's done so well settling so far, that I want to get more involvement from the teacher/ TA to support her to speak to them in my presence. We arrive at school 20 mins before everyone else to get her sorted and talking to me in the class environment. We have 10 mins when all the parents are there with their kids, so I have focused on supporting her to speak to her friends (she so far can only do this when I am there, or playdates). The bit we're missing is me supporting her to speak to the teacher/ TAs as they never seem to come into class until 2 minutes before the children enter (things are already set up).

I would really like for one of them to be available for 5 mins daily before the other kids arrive, for us to show her a picture/ toy etc and get dd chatting. But they're already pissed off with me, so I don't want to go about my request in the wrong way or ask for something unreasonable (are they likely to be having a meeting immediately before? or just a fag break?!) I also want to request a meeting with teacher - it's so difficult to get more than the most basic level of info other than "she's been fine" each day. And some more home visits would be nice as she can speak to them at home, but this might be getting too close to being super-demanding!?

Do I ask the Ed Psych to liaise with them, do I go to the head, the SENCO or ask the teacher myself? How much autonomy do teachers/ SENCOs have anyway? I thought I'd agreed stuff with the teacher at the end of term, only to have it made clear to me that things were not OK with the head (who has since retired). Argh, don't want to mess up again!

Goblinchild Thu 10-Sep-09 20:39:53

Go to the SENCO and be positive about the idea.
She is the one with influence at this stagesmile
Bring in the Big Guns of Inclusion team and Ed Psych if you need to later on.

jamsandwich Thu 10-Sep-09 21:36:48

thanks Goblinchild.
anyone else?

dogonpoints Thu 10-Sep-09 21:50:16

Re meeting with the teacher - phone the school office to request a meeting and the teacher should get back to you to fix an after-school appointment. SHouldn't be a problem with that.

charmander Thu 10-Sep-09 21:53:46

I agree with goblinchild ( i am a teacher).
Mind you, nothing wrong with dogonpoints idea.

Goblinchild Thu 10-Sep-09 21:54:56

My son has AS, and I've always gone in soft and encouraging at first. It's surprising how much you can achieve with a few positive comments. Teachers are used to being under attack from all quarters most of the time. Poor things welcome a bit of dialogue rather than a full on rant.
The trick is to have all your ammunition lined up and ready in case you need it. Then if you do, you are ready with SENCOP, parents for Inclusion and the rest, but I've only had to do that a couple of times. Usually asking works.

Goblinchild Thu 10-Sep-09 21:57:26

I thought I'd agreed stuff with the teacher at the end of term, only to have it made clear to me that things were not OK with the head (who has since retired). Argh, don't want to mess up again!

The joy of the file. next time, take notes at the meeting and get them to agree what has been said, initial it and give them a copy. Just tell them 'It's for my records, just like I keep copies of all the IEPs and stuff from the S&L team'
Written evidence nails them to the facts.

jamsandwich Thu 10-Sep-09 21:58:26

sorry to seem so clueless - schools are a different world and it feels like nobody clarifies who you should speak to and when as a deliberate ploy to keep parents at armslength. Or am I being paranoid?!

Goblinchild Thu 10-Sep-09 22:03:15

Problem is that it's like jargon, you forget that not everyone knows how things work. Teaching's a very insular sort of job I find. I'm always amazed by the number of threads on 'My daughter got a 3a, what does this mean?'
The more informed you are, the more you research and find out, the better to fight your daughter's corner. I know a million times more than I did about ASDs since my son had his dx, and most parents of SN children will say that they know more than the teachers. And they're usually right.

jamsandwich Thu 10-Sep-09 22:10:14

it's wearing though, isn't it, having to become a world expert and advocate on a something like AS/ SM in addition to the normal worker/ mother/ wife/ daughter/ carer etc roles. It would be so lovely if we could rely on professionals to sort things out!

Goblinchild Thu 10-Sep-09 22:23:32

Nope, I've learned so much more from the parents of sn children I've taught than I could ever have learned on a course.
So when I'm wearing my parent hat, I like to think that my relentless focus on my son's best interests is informing and educating said professionals, Whether they like it or not! grin

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