Question for teachers/TAs(9 Posts)
If a TA supporting a SEN statemented child (very tight and specified statement) was attending training for x number of weeks on a particular day would cover be provided to the child by a different TA for those weeks?
Would a TA supporting the same SEN statemented child be encouraged to mislead the parent regarding a "fictional" training so that she could be placed elsewhere leaving the statement unmet for however long it took for the "fictional" training to take place?
To clarify when I was told about the "training" I was reasonably understanding that cover might not be available. However because liars have to have good memories and both SENCo and TA hadn't got their stories straight after 6 weeks I discovered that TA wasn't training but supporting elsewhere after an incident that occurred regarding dd because of the TA being elsewhere. SENCo now seems surprised that through the HT I am now demanding all absences covered (so as to discourage any more lies) and the missing hours are paid back as well which I will get because of past history.
So what happens in your school?
I would definitely try and keep things convivial. It could be that the TA was covering another TA who was in fact the one who was doing the training. It might be argued that she was training on the job - perhaps supporting a student doing a controlled assessment for the first time. If your DD cannot manage to be without a TA at all then I would try and get reassurances that it cannot happen again. Ask them what will happen if all the TAs are needed to scribe for GCSEs (during Maths and English it might need to be all hands on deck for example). I would imagine that they want the best for your DD and may have made a misjudgement when they left her alone. They are probably under staffed and over stressed.
I think it's the lies that have annoyed me the most tbh. Although I was seriously unimpressed that dd was threatened by another student in her TA's absence because obviously dd's TA generally keeps an eye this challenging student as well whilst supporting dd. So what in fact happened was that the group remained the same without her TA and dd was threatened by another student.
Dd's statement is so tight that there isn't room for her support to be elsewhere they have to rely on my goodwill to be understanding and tbf I have been previously when her TA scribed during GCSE's. Obviously I am far from feeling the inclination to be agreeable when I've been lied to and intend to insist that any absence of her TA is covered from now on (for the time being anyway)
What concerns me, I suppose, is that I've been very understanding about a safeguarding fail and a serious breech of confidentiality (allowing the HT to address matters rather than pressing formal complaints) that they are supposedly trying to do things properly overseen by HT and yet still think it's acceptable to play a fast one because I suspect the HT knew nothing about the TA's absence from his reaction tbh.
Perhaps they also need to ensure that this other student always has a TA there to protect the other students. This may or may not be your DD's TA. I would hope that the class teacher was able to intervene quickly. Is there any chance of your DD being left alone with the idea of making her more independent and less dependent on a TA all the time (as long as she is not near dangerous students)? If she ever does need to be left then she could be sat right underneath the teacher's nose and paired up with another reliable student. Try and keep it all on friendly terms.
I worked at a school with a lot of SEN but our borough ensured that no statement ever stated specific numbers of hours specifically with a TA 1:1. It would say a certain number of hours of support but this could be in any setting and it was up to the school to decide the best provision. So we never had issues like that because the provision would constantly shift. Our senco felt that 1:1 was not often in the child's best interests because it didn't allow them to become more independent. I guess it depends on how your school works.
I'm pretty sure school's and LA's prefer unspecified and unquantified statements because it allows them to take liberties but my only priority is my daughter and so used the advice available to me to ensure dd's statement is tailored to meet her needs rather than to suit the school's resources. Having said that in Primary I gave them an awful lot of leeway because they consistently demonstrated that they could support dd effectively without being constricted by the terms of her statement.
Unfortunately in secondary it's been one disaster after another and I have none of the confidence that I did in Primary and so have used the statement to force them to meet her needs overseen by the HT after the safeguarding and confidentiality issues. Lies and deception further erodes my trust in them and makes me far less inclined to give them any leeway with her statement tbh.
My teaching career included 8 years as a Special Education teacher. The class was placed in a school that had the space and funding went with the class. Funding for 1 teacher,1 full time TA, equipment, supplies, books- everything . The funding was separate from the school's budget but the school immediately took the TA 1/2 of the time every day and full time on many other occasions. The budget for supplies was also stolen and used for whatever the Admin wanted to use it for. If I was informed , it was at the last minute when i cd not do anything about it. So i wd say stay on the ball as the parent has a better chance to stop this theft than the teacher.Speak calmly with the SEN statement in hand and make it clear that this must be followed or you will continue up the line. This will be happening to a greater or lesser degree to almost all SEN students in almost all schools and will be well known to the teachers and TAs , but they will be unlikely to admit it to a parent. You may have a powerful ally in a Parent group , either local or national , that has organised to help SEN students. Consult them as to the best way to deal with it, but be aware that some such groups have been co-opted and are of the 'don't rock the boat ' variety.
amarmi I know it happens although I would hope it wouldn't happen with dd because the TA is forced to document all the support given and so it is very easy to check that her statement is being adhered to.
I suspect that the HT will order the SENCo to do as I have asked as he has in the past because he knows full well that I will go as far as is necessary to get what I want. I am almost certain he knew nothing of the deception and think suggesting that I inform the LA of the failure to meet her statement (all documented because of my insistence it is done properly) whilst at the same time mentioning to the LA the safeguarding and confidentiality issues (again all documented) and pondering with them what Learning Support are doing with the support of the poor kids whose parents are totally oblivious to the school's responsibility will be all it takes.
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