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School won't let me see my SEN child's school books - any advice please?

(19 Posts)
NickyHazel Wed 04-Nov-09 13:26:04

Hi, My child has special educational needs. His Statement is currently being reviewed. The school says he is now 'average' but we disagree, but school won't let us see his school books as it is too much work for them if 'every parent' wanted to look at their child's work. They have said we can view them at parent's evening in January 2010. The annual review is taking place in November so January is too late as Statement will be finalised by then. He is in Year 6 so this review is crucial as he will be transitioning to secondary. Any advice or guidance would be appreciated. It's my first time on Mums Net. Feel very frustrated! Thanks, NickyHazel

Hulababy Wed 04-Nov-09 13:43:38

Put your request in writing to the head and CC the gvernors.

State that you need to have some evidence, icluding your DS's work this term, prior to the review in November. If they cannot provide them, then can they provide other evidence for you?

NickyHazel Wed 04-Nov-09 13:49:20

Hi - thanks for that - I will definitely write to the Head and copy in the governors. Requesting evidence to back up their claims is a good idea - they do have SATs results, but due to his difficulties, work he produces in a busy class focusing on lots of areas is often of far lower standard. Thanks again - really appreciate your advice

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Wed 04-Nov-09 13:58:37

Who is conducting the review? Will they be collecting evidence direct from the school?

I agree that you should put your request in writing to the HT (or get whoever is conducting the review to write to the HT) but I don't think cc-ing the letter to the governors will achieve anything. The governing body never discusses individual children and this would count as a school management issue, which is the HT's responsibility and not the governors'. Offer to go in and photocopy the books if the school won't let them off the premises.

NickyHazel Wed 04-Nov-09 14:08:19

Hi Thanks for the advice. The Head Teacher, SENCO, Assistant SEN Manager from the LEA and Thomas's teacher are all involved in the review. I will offer to go in and photocopy the books but currently they won't even let me pop in and see them in the class or make them available in the Annual Review let alone get my hands on them to photocopy them.

I suspect it is because previously I used his classwork as evidence in the Tribunal and I won the case so they know his books are compelling evidence against their insistence that he is now 'average' in literacy....which means both the school and LEA need to spend more budget on his intervention...

tinks77 Wed 04-Nov-09 14:37:57

You are perfectly within your rights to request this information and its a disgrace that staff wont co operate. definitley put it in writing to head and govenors as mentioned already. I was parent govenor and I worked in a school before new arrival and closely with SENCO, we were more than happy to share the pupils books with the parents so that we could work together for the child. It would seem that the staff concerened are just being difficult!!! they definitley need to provide evidence of their claims. good luck and be insistent that as your childs parent you are entitled to see information regarding your child.... Quote the freedom of information act if you need to.(hopefully it wont come to that but its always good to keep up your sleeve!!)
Good luck x

NickyHazel Wed 04-Nov-09 14:43:35

Hi tinks77 - really appreciate your support. I will definitely keep that up my sleeve!

gorionine Wed 04-Nov-09 14:45:07

I have no experience with SEN children, but I think Hulababy is right, go higher until you get what you want as by the sound of your post it ic really crucial that you can see his book before his next review and next school stage (high school).

I hope you will get what you want.

I find it strange that the school does not appreciate the fact that you are involved/concerned with you child's future!

CarGirl Wed 04-Nov-09 14:47:30

That schools behaviour is awful I am so angry for you.

NickyHazel Wed 04-Nov-09 15:17:05

Thank you - that means a lot. Is is soooo frustrating !!!! However, I will keep trying different ways to find a solution.

mrz Wed 04-Nov-09 19:36:29

What exactly do you think the school has to gain from withholding his books?

PrettyCandles Wed 04-Nov-09 19:41:59

This is extraordinary! How on earth can it be 'too much work' to show his books? If the school is anything like ours', each child has a tray or drawer in which to keeep their books. Hardly a great labour to get the books. Very dubious behaviour.

Sorry I do't have any suggestions for you, but am quite shocked at the school's antagonistic behaviour.

cornsilkwearscorsets Wed 04-Nov-09 19:43:45

Have you phoned the parent partnership officer?

jomummy2 Wed 04-Nov-09 21:46:01

You are well with your parental rights to view your sins school work at anytime. I am a teacher and am often asked by parents to see there books if which. Gladly oblige. I have nothing to hide.

I would question their refusal and definately take it further.

Astounded by this!

jomummy2 Wed 04-Nov-09 21:49:16

Sorry for mistakes..posting from iPod so hard to type and has predictive text gone mad!

moondog Wed 04-Nov-09 21:52:50

That's nuts and well out of order.
So they are trying to pretend he is making better progress than he is? hmm

Have you asked for a formal reading assessment?

sunnydelight Thu 05-Nov-09 04:21:40

I know it is his school work you are looking for but it may be useful for you to have access to all the school's records about him when preparing for his annual review. I found this on a trawl through information on the freedom of information act:

Educational records
Parents, and pupils who are 16 or over, have had the right to see local education authority (LEA) school records for a number of years. The DPA has now extended this right to younger pupils. There is no minimum age: any pupil who makes a written request to see their school records is entitled to do so, unless the pupil does not have the ability to understand what they are asking for. The right applies to any information produced by a teacher, an education welfare officer or an employee of the LEA. Access must be given within 15 days.

In addition to the general exemptions in the DPA:

Information likely to cause serious harm to the pupil or someone else's physical or mental health is exempt.

Information about a possible risk of child abuse can be withheld from a parent if disclosure would not be in the child's best interests.

Educational records can be inspected free of charge. Photocopying charges are limited to a maximum of £1 for the first 20 pages, plus a further £1 for every subsequent 10 pages, up to a maximum of £50. This maximum applies regardless of how many pages are supplied.

It looks to me that by denying you access to information that will help you ensure he can access to appropriate support in school, there may bea HRA (Human Rights Act) argument as well. I haven't got time to read the whole secion on "right to an education" but it might be worth your while going through it to see if there is anything you can use. Mentioning the HRA normally puts the wind up people anyway - it might be enough to get you what you need grin

Arwenwasrobbed Thu 05-Nov-09 09:55:05

Ring your LEA Head of inclussion and ask for advice in a quizzical sort of way - ask do you need to get leagl advice or speak to your MP to get a copy of what you need ???

NickyHazel Thu 05-Nov-09 11:18:18

Hi all, having just spoken to the Advisory Centre for Education, they have advised me to refer to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as he has dyspraxia,dyslexia, ADHD and Neurofibromatosis 1. So hopefully, fingers crossed, and along with all the other tips I have gained from this site, we will get to see his school books. Thanks again for everyone's support.

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