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High Attainment 8 mainstream school with great SEN support? Moving from US in June.

(7 Posts)
USExpatMum Mon 01-Apr-19 15:01:02

Moving from US to London in June, after most admissions have closed and many schools are waitlisted. Does anyone have suggestions for how to get into a high scoring Attainment 8 mainstream school with SEN support near London? I automatically assume good state schools won't have a spot available in June. Our child is high functioning Aspergers with ADHD, attended an international school IB curriculum in Scandinavia from kindergarten to Year 2. I cannot find any international IB curriculum schools that have SEN support. Do expats hire educational specialists to help them navigate through this? We don't even know where we are going to live yet, we were going to base it on the school. But the school admission depends on you Local Authority? I am very confused.

Does anyone know if an IEP (US - individualized education plan) provided by the school would convert to an ECP? We already paid to have our child thoroughly and professionally assessed last year outside of school. Would we be expected to assess again in the UK?

Is declaring an ECH limiting when looking for high scoring Attainment 8 schools? I keep reading that these schools can use lots of excuses not to admit your SEN child or it is a fight to have to prove no other school can provide what they can.

I am starting to think it will be a very tough experience in the UK...perhaps impossible.

OP’s posts: |
malmontar Mon 01-Apr-19 17:04:00

This is a tricky situation. Your son having an IEP will defiantly not get transferred to an ehcp. This is a legal document that takes around 20 weeks to produce and it’s really up the LA you’ll be dealing with wether you will have one or not. It’s difficult to prove whether your child needs one without them being in a school here. There’s plenty of children with that diagnosis just on Sen support. It’s best to call the Sen department of the la you’re going to live with. Best way I can compare this is different states have different ways of doing things. All LAs have the same law but they bend it a different way.

Spottyowl Mon 01-Apr-19 17:28:37

Agree your first port of call should be the LA to find out what the process is and whether the existing IEP can help speed things along. You will probably find that any conversations are fairly hypothetical until you actually have a UK address though.

It's worth speaking to potential international schools regarding your son's needs, if you are keen for him to study IB. Some schools are more willing than others to look at ways of making things work.

I sympathise as we were in a similar situation once (moving from the UK to EU with an academically able child with complex SEN). Stressful. The need for an address to progress with the LA while wanting to choose an address based on finding a suitable school is particularly difficult- we ended up renting somewhere short term while we sorted everything out, and then found a more permanent home.

HotpotLawyer Wed 03-Apr-19 08:56:57

How old is your child?

My advice is:
Get suggestions for a school that has an excellent inclusion department.
Move right on top of the school and immediately apply
You will go on the waiting list but they are held in order of how closely you meet the published admissions criteria, not how long you have been on it. Hence move as close as possible to the school.
When they turn down your application and put you on the waiting list you can then appeal, brandishing your current assessment/ diagnosis and quoting the school’s good SEN / inclusion practice.
And if possible move to a LA where the majority of schools are good so that if you don’t get your preferred place the place you do get is also good.

People talk about Richmond, and Sutton for example . But I can’t speak for experience there.

The population of London is very mobile, places do come joy.

USExpatMum Thu 25-Apr-19 21:39:41

And would it be better to start looking for a rental in May or in July in the Surrey area?

OP’s posts: |
malmontar Thu 25-Apr-19 22:14:35

Just get an address ASAP wherever you go and take it from there. Regardless of the area you sound like you have plenty of evidence so whatever borough you end up in you will be able to appeal if they don’t give you an EHCP but you can’t start that process unless you can prove your child’s educational setting is not meeting their needs. SEN support is there for a reason and the school gets a £6k top up for each child on SEN support, hence why EHCPs are few and far between. He needs to be in an educational setting with preferably a largish SEN population as that means there’s lots of kids with this £6k top up and there is a bigger budget to play with. I only know schools north of the river so can’t advise on south london. I know you want to base your home based on school but I would strongly advise against that and move close to work. There’s so many appts and last minute meetings you need to attend so not having a stressful commute is so important. In my borough there are some schools that are practically ‘famous state schools’ that have a diabolical SEN provision. There’s some that don’t have a great rep but are amazing with SEN so I would really take anything you read here with a pinch of salt. Get a place to live, contact the SECOs in the local schools and ask to visit, normally they are very busy but in my experience very flexible with things like this and often a sign of great SEN support. ‘Normal’ kids don’t get to have school tours outside of open evenings, at least not as far as I know.

tanpestryfirescreen Fri 26-Apr-19 03:00:23

SEN support is there for a reason and the school gets a £6k top up for each child on SEN support, hence why EHCPs are few and far between. He needs to be in an educational setting with preferably a largish SEN population as that means there’s lots of kids with this £6k top up and there is a bigger budget to play with.

That isn't accurate at all.
All schools have a notional SEND budget (a % of income) from which they are expected to fund SEND support, including the first £6000 or any specialist additional support which would include provision identified in an EHCP (if it is an LA where an EHCP determines funding)

Additional funding for pupils with SEND is from the LA high needs funding block. This is usually allocated on a 1 to 1 basis, including to pupils with an EHCP. The amount of this additional funding varies immensely by LA and by pupil need.

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