My job is at risk because my DS is not allowed/able to receive full time education.(23 Posts)
I need advice. My 6yr old DS was excluded from school for 10 days because of a prolonged period of uncharacteristic destructive/aggressive behaviour. DS has occasional ketotic hypoglycaemic episodes but the behaviour was not linked to this.
DS had a seizure a couple of weeks after the deterioration in his behaviour, an MRI scan showed nothing off concern and he is now being medicated for the possible onset of epilepsy.
School has instigated a gradual re-integration for DS which means that he has only attended school for an hour or so each day for the last 3 weeks with one to one support.
I have had to take lots of time off work to look after DS or been called away from work to remove him from school. My employer has been supportive so far but has made it clear that I am expected to resume my normal working hours in September when my DS returns to school.
The problem is that school wants to continue re-integrating slowly to prevent DS having a melt down but this could take weeks, if it works, which means that I won't be able to fulfil my work obligations My DH has helped out a lot but is not able to take more time off, I work part-time, term-time only and can't reduce my hours further and we do not have anyone else to look after DS. How do I stand if I have to give up work to look after him while he isn't receiving a full time education.
Incidentally the school asked DS's consultant to provide them with an open ended sick note which allows them to have him in school for part days only throughout his re-integration.
Forgot to say that DS has always enjoyed school prior to the behavioural problem and we/school/DS have been unable to identify a cause. The Educational psychologist has been involved, but DS is not guaranteed a statement. Some strategies have been put in place to try to integrate DS back in to school but it looks like he will continue to miss out on an education next term if he can't cope. Can I insist that he is provided with some form of education for the whole school day or does the open ended sick note mean that school can keep him on short days indefinitely?
That is very tough indeed. What does your employer's HR department say? I think ACAS here will be able to offer you advice about your legal position. Or, are you in a union?
None of this is really your employers fault or problem. It's behaviour, not linked to an illness or condition. You said they'd been pretty good about it so far, but they are running a business. You need to either pay for childcare or give up work.
It's very very rough on the op but onesleep has a point. Her employers are obliged to make reasonable adjustment but they aren't obliged to allow someone open ended flexibility to the detriment of the operation of their business.
Can you get whatever DLA is called now to help with child care costs?
I'm sure if it were easy to find childcare that is available and able to deal with these circumstances, OP would have done it. How many childminders do you think there are who have vacancies and who are prepared to drop off and pick up at irregular hours?
My CM is very very flexible but I am aware she is the exception. The point is it isn't her employer's problem to solve.
I'd suggest an au pair but if his behavioural issues extend to home an au pair might not cope.
Have you exhausted your unpaid parental leave entitlement op?
I would look into what benefits are available to you should you have to give up work but to a degree I agree with onesleep , you are quite lucky that your employer has been so good thus far , would it be possible to take a short period of unpaid leave whilst your son is reintegrated ? I do sympathise my DD is out of full time education due to ill health and I really don't know how working parents could possibly cope .
What support are the school offering apart from a gradual re-introduction, btw? I'm concerned that this might be as much about them not having to deal with him as him not having to deal with school. Asking you to get a sick note for him sounds fishy, like they're covering their backsides so they can't be accused of unofficial exclusion.
Unpaid parental leave only goes up to 5 years old unless the child has a disability. If the op has another, younger child she could apply for up to 4 weeks unpaid per year but they have to be taken in full week blocks.
Unless the child is classed as having a disability according to the criteria outlined in the Equality Act 2010 then none of the protection for carers of those with disabilities apply. If he does, then unpaid parental leave can be taken up to 18yo and in more flexible blocks rather than full weeks. Emergency leave for dependents continues regardless but if you know in advance it's not an emergency.
I would try to sort something out with both parents taking responsibility because it really isn't fair that the op's employer is baring the brunt.
Op can you apply for a leave of absence? Or use annual leave?
Re the school I agree you should ask on SN board.
This does seem a very odd way for the school to behave. However, to exclude a 6 year old for 10 days the child's behaviour must have been extreme- I have been a school governor for many years and I've never come across a 10 day exclusion.
How is his behaviour now?
What the school is doing is an unlawful exclusion, and is also discrimination on the grounds of disability. I really hope you haven't got the sick note for them, but even if you have it won't necessarily get them off the hook. Anyway it might be worth going back to the consultant to ask him to do another note saying that DS really should be in school - it can't be good for him missing so much education and he must be getting very isolated.
The bottom line is that DS is entitled to full time education. If they can't cope with him, they should be going to the council urgently to get more support and indeed using the money that the council devolves to them for precisely that purpose. If they really think he can't be in school, they should be working with the council to arrange alternative educational provision for him, via something like tuition or a hospital school.
If there's any suggestion that this will continue in September, I think you should contact the council now to alert them to the situation and ask them to liaise with the school urgently to ensure that DS gets full time education and all the support he needs next term. If you haven't asked for statutory assessment, do it immediately - there's some useful guidance on the IPSEA website for how to do it.
It could also be worth your while to get legal advice, preferably from a lawyer who can take action in your son's name through legal aid if necessary. There are only three firms who are allowed to do this now, your best bet is probably Maxwell Gillott.
An update folks, The LEA have just agreed to giving DS a statutory assessment, all the paperwork has been completed and sent off, he saw the ed psych before school broke up for the summer so it is a waiting game now. Hope it won't be long.
I know I am coming late to this thread but I just wanted to say that I have been through this. DS1 was given an "indefinite suspension" aged 5 years (September birthday so only YR) because the school simply did not know what to do with him.
Fast forward to today, he is a 15 (very nearly 16) year old young man attending a mainstream secondary school full-time and with predicted GCSE grades ranging from A to D. He starts Year 11 on Wednesday.
I had to give up daytime working 10 years ago, due to DS1 not being in school, and have worked anti-social hours ever since (evenings and weekends, when DH is home).
DS was given a place at a special school after a term of suspension. However, his mainstream secondary school are insistent that this should never have happened. DS has a diagnosis of Aspergers but this was only diagnosed at age 13, because his current school pushed for it. His mainstream primary, put quite simply, didn't give a shit what happened to him so long as he wasn't their problem.
Thanks LazyMB, my DS has always been a bit quirky, and some of his personality traits and behaviours made me and my DH wonder if he could be touching on the autistic spectrum. I am hopeful that DS will come out the other end of this and the wheels are in motion to identify the help he needs and provide it. I am having a meeting with the head teacher, the ed psych and the parent partnership next week to discuss how his return to school will be managed.
I have to say that the staff at my DS school have been brilliant with him and us and have worked hard to get help for him, one to one support, specialist advice, and outreach intervention from a school that deals with this sort of problem.
Sounds like your DS is making you proud, I think mine will too.
Please send me a personal message with contact details. I might be able to offer you advice. Thanks Manish Mehta.
Hi all, just providing an update on DS. His statement came through just before Christmas and he has one to one support for the whole time he is in school. He is continuing with the medication and his behaviour has settled down a lot. He is still has some difficulties and is a long way from participating in all class activities but he has resumed learning. As DS hasn't been able to attend full time for 11 months, he has a lot of catching up to do but is starting to make progress. He is in school for most of each day now and we hope will be back full time in the near future.
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