My son is in the dudley area and is 11 years old due to go to secondry school sept 2013. However we are in the assessment stage of attempting to get a statement of special educational needs as he is profoundly dyslexic with a high verbal I.Q, mild dyspraxia, irlen syndrome, hypermobile fingers and sensory issues plus anxiety. The LEA at present are insisting mainstream is the best place for him even though i have had mainstream schools tell me they are unlikely to be able to manage his needs and i might have to look at special schools.But getting the opposite from the LEA As you are probably aware its complicated and long winded process and a fight is enevitable on my part.
Does anyone have any good advice, experience of Dudley LEA and statementing or know of any good special schools or independent specialist schools.
It is difficult though not impossible to get a statement for the ms with SpLD as the main difficulty. I have just got a proposed statement for DS who should be in year 7 but is not able to attend (failed transition from primary) but it is crap - 10 hours in ms with LSA 1:1, small group or whole class - ie less than he has had on SA+ and below the 15 hours from the school's own SEN budget.
We have since seen and have reports from two independent experts that ms is not suitable and recommending ss whilst diagnosed complex neurodevelopmental disorder with 7 elements including 3 SpLD but also auditory processing disorder, autistic spectrum disorder and anxiety disorder exacerbating Tourettes. The draft statement is cut and paste to a large extent and so the SA reports or indepdendent reports need to specify ss and/or raise concerns about the suitablity of ms as well as it being parental preference before the LEA will even consider it. There is an inbuilt bias towards the ms. There are specialist dyslexia schools where children are funded to attend by various LEAs. A lot have won the place following tribunal and have DS with multiple and complex needs - the majority of whom will have had recorded problems over a number of years wrt school phobia. In addition, the key to getting funding would appear to be heavily dependent on the existence of maintained alternatives - ie units in ms schools, appropriate ss etc. You need to find out what exists in your own LEA (and possibly neighboring LEAs).
There is significant pressure on schools to be able to meet a statement and particularly to support SpLD. It is very unlikely that you would obtain a draft that could not be met by any ms school - probably within the school's own budget. It comes down to cost - DC need a lot of support (ie 35 hours 1:1, SALT, OT etc) before it becomes cheaper to meet their needs in ss.
In the North West, there is a fab school - it's site is www.personalisededucation.co.uk Very small so meets the needs of dyslexic children really well. Many staff are especially trained in dyslexic teaching too. Good luck finding somewhere.