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DS's new high school...

(23 Posts)

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notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 00:45:46

I know chat might not be the best place for this but looking for traffic to get some advice. It's a long one mind!

Went to DS introduction night at his new high school tonight. He's away on a school trip so I went on my own. Hall split into 8 sections and I was directed into one of them. All other sections start to fill up quickly, lots of noise and chatter etc Our section is almost dead. I counted seven children. Each section, so class, is led off to their new classroom. Get to outside DS's to realise that out of the 220 children starting they have put him and, I later found out 13 others, into the additional learning form. To give context DS has dyslexia, significant motor difficulties (borderline dyspraxia) and does struggle with lessons, organisation etc Normal things that a dyslexic/dyspraxia child would struggle with. He's currently on an IEP but integrates well into a mainstream class. I was not informed or consulted that DS would be put into this form. I then find out that these 14 children will not be integrated with any of the other 200 odd year 7's apart from PE lessons.... A TA will be with them at all times and they will be taught separately, just the 14 of them, and sometimes children from the ASD and hearing impaired bases will be taught with them too. One of the children from his school that is going in with him is dyslexic too but also very naughty and DS bounces off that, Ds is by no means an angel and can flip out sometimes although this is rare. I'm shocked and I really don't know what to do. My DS is going to be segregated from every other mainstream child in the school. His classroom is right next to the canteen and has 'additional learning centre' in big letters outside the classroom. I can see DS being subjected to a school life full of bullying and god knows what else. I had a chat with his form teacher and she seems lovely, is also the assistant Senco. I expressed my concerns and she said it's not set in stone and that ds May be able to move one day if he passes certain assessments etc. Surely the damage socially will be done by then though? I am not being discriminatory btw, I have fought and even moved ds schools before to get him the help he needed because of his difficulties and DD has ASD too. I can see the benefits of it - being able to access smaller classes, more tailored support, somewhere to go if he need a space, not getting into trouble if he's late/loses books etc But all I can see really at the moment is the negatives. He's going to hate me 😕 I really don't know what to do. Can any mumsnetters advise me please? Thanks

Singleandproud Fri 22-Jun-18 01:12:25

What is his reading age?
He may well be on an intensive literacy catch up programme. Mainstream school is no fun when students can't access the mainstream curriculum because they can't access the texts. Yes, teachers differentiate the work but sometimes the specialist language that is required is just too hard to access for some children.

How many TAs do the school have and how are they deployed? Most schools have a dwindling number of TAs and this may be the best place for your DS to support his physical needs.
How severe are his mobility difficulties? He may be in that class in order to have support from a dedicated TA for practical subjects such as science and DT where he will need support to safely access the lesson without putting himself or others at harm.

Timetables at my school change regularly, for year 7s sometimes it is half termly depending on progress in maths or English assessments.

Stompythedinosaur Fri 22-Jun-18 01:40:19

That sounds awful! I would look for a more inclusive school.

notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 07:25:00

His reading age is about two years below his actual age. His main difficulties are organisational and balance wise, however he is part of a local football team and loves it! I'm going in to see his primary teacher today.

notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 07:41:43

Re read and realised I didn't say about the TA's. I've no idea but there will be one dedicated ta for this actual class. At the meeting with the senco and his current class teacher two months ago they said he could access set 2 is some subjects as his marks were much better!

ReservoirDogs Fri 22-Jun-18 07:45:36

Are there any other local schools with spaces available?

Sirzy Fri 22-Jun-18 07:49:52

I am all for bases like that BUT only when all involved ageee it is in the best interest of the child and when they are integrated, with support, into the mainstream classes as much as possible

junebirthdaygirl Fri 22-Jun-18 08:01:26

This is all wrong. My ds has a dyspraxia diagnosis and if it was available he would have ended up in that unit if just looking at reports. This weekend he graduated from university with a First and all set to do Masters next year. He spent a year abroad. His friends from school range from a doctor to a dress designer ( male) so he had an opportunity to mix with everyone. That is far too limiting for your boy. My guy would have run away on the first day. Just NO.
Do any of his reports say must be in a special unit?
I would fight hard but if he has one blow out they will be on top of you like a ton of bricks. Good idea to get Primary involved. I would fight this on behalf of children l teach who have some difficulties.

HuntIdeas Fri 22-Jun-18 10:59:58

Surely they can’t put him in what is essentially a unit without discussing it with you first! Maybe try reposting in the secondary eduction section - there’s some experts in there

notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 11:09:04

Thanks everyone! Junebirthdaygirlhour don sounds amazing, massive congratulations on his first. What an achievement! I have a medical condition which required me to be in a wheelchair at this school 21 years ago with a 1-2-1 TA. I suffered for it and ended up being moved to another school where I finally made friendships. I can just see history repeating itself. Is there any way I can get this thread moved to secondary education?

notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 11:09:36

I think it's awful I wasn't consulted, I wonder if even his teacher knows!

TeenTimesTwo Fri 22-Jun-18 11:10:19

I am also shocked they would do this without prior discussion.
I second posting in secondary about this.

If you feel he can access most of the lessons then he should be within the mainstream.

And otherwise, I would have thought it would be preferable to mix these children in with the rest of the year and then for the more academic subjects do 'mixed ability' or 'set' but pull out the strugglers to their own class. So at least for tutor time and arts and sport and tech they can mix and it is less obvious they are getting additional support.

But this doesn't have to mean bullying, it depends on the ethos and pastoral skill of the school.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 22-Jun-18 11:11:10

Use 'Report' to report your opening post to MN and ask them to move it.

DawnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 22-Jun-18 13:28:58

Hi, we're moving this thread over to our Secondary Education topic at the OP's request.

notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 13:36:28

Thank you Dawn

notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 13:40:38

DS's teacher had no idea this had been done. She says that it may have happened because 1) he is on an IEP at school action plus and 2) because of the friendship choices he put down. She is going to email the head of year and say that we think he does need extra help but not at the cost of segregating him from other children. He's currently achieving grade 4C's for those of you who know what that means? She's said that he does need extra guidance, frequent reminding, works better in smaller groups etc and told us that some of the other classes in this school can have some very disruptive and badly behaved children. Slightly torn now.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 22-Jun-18 13:47:19

I guess you have 3 options:
1) Accept situation for now at least
2) Try to persuade new school to move him, and if it doesn't succeed do 1 or 3
3) Find a different school, if you can, or at least get on waiting list

4c in old NC language isn't exactly way behind is it? Presumably soon you will also have his SATs results too.

As I said above, I wouldn't so much mind the segregation for academic subjects if they were mixed in the rest of the time.
Is it 'usual' for the school to do this (ie does every year group have a class like this?) If so can they put you in contact with parents of similar children already in the school?

BubblesBuddy Fri 22-Jun-18 14:23:04

I have to say that my knowledge of SEN isn’t up to date, but when I was working, several of our secondary schools had a unit for children with statements. You didn’t get in one unless you had a statement that named the unit and the school.
School Action plus would not be enough. I think, therefore, there must be children with statements in this unit.

It would appear that, on the information they have, they have made a judgement on your DSs ability and need for support. Your primary school should have been in touch with the secondary as part of transition arrangements. As they are using the old national curriculum levels, I’m wondering if the secondary school thought this was odd and are going use their own tests. SATs will be more illuminating. No-one levels any more so perhaps the secondary is concerned about their ability to assess accurately. Perhaps his primary school could be more explicit about his attainment, progress and needs? The SenCo should be meeting the SenCo at the secondary school too in order to talk about SEN children. Has this happened? Is it going to happen?

I think that being in the unit full time isn’t acceptable either. It is segregation and surely they could do Art, DT and some other subjects together with help from unit staff. Unit staff should also be helping teachers to differentiate work for poorer readers.

I agree you have the options above by TeenX2.

notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 14:25:04

No 4c isn't that bad at all! He should be attaining 4a so I'm pretty pleased with that! Apparently every year group has a class like this. I'm going to try and get him disapplied from the Welsh language though as he is quite far behind in it and I can't see it being a benefit to someone e who has dyslexia in all honesty. I think his time would be better spent elsewhere.

TeenTimesTwo Fri 22-Jun-18 14:31:20

Ah. You are in Wales. Are they still on the old NC levels rather than having moved to a new system like England?

Do you have any other secondarys accessible to you?

Mary19 Fri 22-Jun-18 14:42:21

I would contact SOSSEN. I am sure they told me that a child has the right to mainstream education. This doesn’t,t sound mainstream.

notenoughbottletonight Fri 22-Jun-18 16:06:48

I've no idea if they're still on the old NC marking etc There is one other secondary which is where I had originally said he was going but when we went to look around the Senco told us to talk to her TA's as she was new to the job and didn't really know what she was doing 🙄

Snowysky20009 Fri 22-Jun-18 16:12:21

In Wales so no SATs results to look at either

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