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Single mum and problems with agreeing on secondary school with child's dad

(16 Posts)
neonpicksie Fri 09-Oct-15 10:40:49

Hello everyone,

I'm a bit new to this, the last time I logged on must've been about 10 years ago when my son was just a baby.

I was wondering if anyone else had been in a similar situation and how they resolved it. My son is on the the autistic spectrum and has additional emotional needs, however, academically he is extremely gifted and I'm certain that he will be accepted into a grammar school now that he has completed his 11+
We have gone to all of the open days, spoken with all of the SEN reps and head teachers and he has chosen his favourite school which just so happens to be the perfect school for his emotional, social and educational requirements.
However, his father whom he sees once a week and who also has custody of him, has decided otherwise. He believes that the local (all-boys) grammar is best suited to him, he has not visited any open day nor has he spoken to any of the schools, yet he is adament that our child will be going to this school out of sheer bloody-mindedness.

I don't know how to resolve this, and if like usual I will just crumble under the pressure of fight after fight and give in. I just wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions or had similar problems in the past,

Thank you lots,
S xx

HSMMaCM Fri 09-Oct-15 11:42:26

Does he have a statement and could it name the best school? Who will be filling in the school application? Can you smile and nod and say you will put his favourite on the form and just put it at the bottom?

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 09-Oct-15 11:51:54

Ultimately you can go to court and let them decide if you can't agree, however not suggesting that this a good idea.
It maybe worth a mediation session and the mediator can talk to your son first to get his point of view. This could be worth while as s third party who listens to the fact that you have done all the research and he hasn't may help.

SarahTU Fri 09-Oct-15 12:45:55

Thank you both, both are good suggestions, however slightly different approaches hehe smile

I think mediation may be the key, we're incapable of talking without him losing his rag and shouting so I think that may be the best option. However, I think that it's important that he listen's to his son's point of view instead of trying to live vicariously through him. This doesn't get any easier does it? hmm

StillRainingInMay Fri 09-Oct-15 13:19:08

I'm sorry to hear you're going through all this with your son's Dad, and I know how important you must feel it is to keep the peace, but since your son is mostly with you, you know him best and know how his needs have to be met.

Mediation sounds like a good first approach, but if that fails the choice is yours and not your ex's (especially as he hasn't shown any open-ness to any other choice and isn't really giving a balanced argument). Is there any way you can take him round the school you and your son had chosen and try to convince him?

If he won't even try, you will need to stand up to him, however hard he shouts - this decision is unfortunately just too important for your son to be bullied into it in my view.

titchy Fri 09-Oct-15 13:53:15

Given that you've got less than three weeks to resolve this I'd just get the application done to be honest. Put his dad's choice last.

Then up to his dad whether he takes it to court.

catslife Fri 09-Oct-15 15:53:24

Please don't just give in to your ex on this one OP. As your ds has ASD it is particularly important that he attends the school that will best meet his needs. Both you and your ds agree that this school is the best option so your ex has been outvoted 2:1.
I would put your application in now as suggested and say which schools you have listed but not the order you have placed them in. It's now up to the LEA to process the applications so which school he actually gets offered a place at depends on the admissions criteria. You don't say whether he has a statement or whether the preferred school has a medical/social admissions category. If the latter applies you would also need to submit additional paperwork at the time of your application.
Am afraid if you don't stand up to your ex it could only get worse. Would he insist on choosing your ds' GCSE options for him for example.

AnotherEmma Fri 09-Oct-15 16:08:13

Ignore your unpleasant ex and just apply for the school that you and DS have decided on. You've done your research and made an informed decision. It's non-negotiable.

As for your ex, if he can't discuss things without being abusive, stop discussing things with him. Stick to the minimum essential communication and do it by email or something. Don't stand for the abuse!

brokenvases Fri 09-Oct-15 18:15:43

Put the school you feel matches your sons needs best. Let him try and take you to court after offers day and argue his point then.

cathpip Fri 09-Oct-15 18:38:37

My friends ds went to the local grammar, he's autistic and has some processing problems but is deeply intelligent. Needless to say they couldn't cope with his extra difficulties and were just interested in exam results. He's now at the local comp and thriving as the pastoral care is amazing. I think people get to blinkered about grammars and forget that just because your child's bright enough to attend one doesn't mean it's the correct school for them, your ds is gifted, it's clearly the social and emotional side you need to get right, which is what your ex is clearly not focussing on....

swingofthings Sun 11-Oct-15 14:10:19

What are his arguments that the other school will be better for your son, and what yours and your son's to go to the other school? Ultimately, not any of you three can be sure which one will be best, so it is about choice based on your views. Maybe you need to sit down together and discuss them.

AnotherEmma Sun 11-Oct-15 22:46:11

"Maybe you need to sit down together and discuss them."
swingofthings you've missed the point somewhat, if you (re)read the OP's posts you should see that the OP has tried discussing it with her ex, but he doesn't listen or respect her pov. When someone is as unreasonable as him you have to draw the line somewhere and make it clear it's no longer up for discussion.

AnotherEmma Sun 11-Oct-15 22:49:27

swing here is the key bit in case you missed it: "we're incapable of talking without him losing his rag and shouting".
So this not the kind of man you can just "sit down together and discuss" things with.

Teddingtonmum1 Sun 25-Oct-15 19:53:45

Had the same problem last year ds got offered a generous bursary for an independent but it was weekly boarding ex was dead against it and refused to give consent so I took him to court and they judged in my favour as it was apparent it was nothing to do with the boarding but my ex trying to hold something against me ... But what he did do is totally disrupt my ds first year but he managed to make it thru the year , now yet again I'm back in court as he is still trying to get him out of boarding but he has nothing to offer , no school place, it's just pure spite on ex's part . He refuses to mediate and basically wants to make all the decisions but do non of the work. Am telling the judge this time if they continue to allow his application I'm going to sue for time wasting it's a total joke but Ds is doing well so I know after 18 months no judge is removing my son from a great school where he has 16 in a class to dump him in a comp with spaces. Do what you have to do , as I say step up and take responsibility or step the hell off. grrrrrrrr

rosesarered9 Mon 26-Oct-15 21:13:37

If you share custody, most LAs require that the application is filled out by the parent with whom the child resides on the majority of school nights (Sunday night to Thursday night inclusive). Therefore, you could fill out the application form without telling your DS' dad wink.

^Please don't take this advice seriously^

rosesarered9 Mon 26-Oct-15 21:14:23

Don't know what happened there confused... That last bit was supposed to be in italics.

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