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Moving from sutton to Hertfordshire : SEN

(16 Posts)
Augustus77 Sat 11-Mar-17 02:34:11

We are planning to move to Hertfordshire from Sutton Surrey, simply because of the worst service our dd has received from the LEA in sutton. We are amazed at the number of SEN schools that surround this Borough, but the service is the most appalling. There seems to be a new team in the SEN department and most of them are sh@^* to say the least. Our dd has been moved from one school to another with each school complaining that can't cope with her needs and that they are not getting the support from Sutton LEA. These have been main streams. The teachers have been horrible and nit helped. Our dd was thriving in nursery until she started reception. It is heart breaking because she is not severely ASD and has huge potential but the Surtin LEA has let her down so badly. Initially my dh was offered a fantastic job in Birmingham, but we were not sure of the SEN provisions there, so we thought we would remain closer to London (for work) and move to Hertfordshire to give our dd a fresh start. Any comments about SeN provisions in the Hertfordshire area esp around welwyn garden city would be appreciated. We really need to give our dd a fresh start because she has had it so rough and bad in this area. It's traumatised my whole family.

user1466518624 Sat 11-Mar-17 13:30:08

So sorry to be the bearer of bad news, you will be out of the frying pan and into the fire, it is dire, I am lucky that I have a sympathetic Head who allows me to bring in to school my own Private Speech Therapist as there is not one on staff in Herts at the moment. If you can afford it there is an Independent school called St Josephs in the Park that is sympathetic to children with SEN with a stand alone unit for older children with SEN but it is discretionary on their part as to whether they will take your child, Heathmount another Indie again at their discretion will support SEN but at a price. Do a search for a poster called BlossBloss, she is very knowledgable about the SEN provision in Herts. My heart goes out to you, it is so hard flowers

Augustus77 Sat 11-Mar-17 13:49:47

Thank you so much for the heads up. We do have a private SLT, but it would depend if the school would allow us to send her in. At this stage, anything is better than Sutton LEA..the surely have to be the worst in the whole country!! Thanks again, will look at BlossBloss and take it on from there.

Mary21 Sun 12-Mar-17 07:46:50

Have you posted on the main SEN children,s board or sen chat. Hertfordshire has one of the worst reputations. It's worth asking over there which London boroughs and counties around London are ok.
Egerton Rothsay an independent special school has a good reputation but I have heard via the grape vine it's hard to get funding from Herts. It might be worth calling the school and asking what areas fund to send pupils tho them

Stuffofawesome Sun 12-Mar-17 07:53:22

Southfield Sen school in Hatfield is great. Ds went through primary there and they were very caring. For secondary he went to Pinewood in Ware which was also v good for him.

youarenotkiddingme Sun 12-Mar-17 07:53:29

I came on to say the same - it has as bad a reputation as Surry. Sorry.

Have another look at Birmingham area. I know people on the midlands who've been happy with the support.

Augustus77 Sun 12-Mar-17 11:15:45

Thank you all for the advice. Will continue researching and hopefully there has got to be somewhere where they are more sympathetic to children with additional needs. As long as it is a decent and safe place to live, we will consider moving there for our dd.

Augustus77 Sun 12-Mar-17 11:18:02

By the way, we would also consider mainstream schools provided they have absolutely good support for children on the EHCP.

HHH3 Sun 12-Mar-17 16:57:19

At the moment every special school in Herts is full. From what I understand the LA are taking to them all about increasing sizes but no idea if/when anything will change.

Dealing with Herts LA is an absolute nightmare.

HHH3 Sun 12-Mar-17 16:57:37


wizzywig Sun 12-Mar-17 17:00:46

Hi op, ive always been so jealous of those in surrey and herts as you seem to have such amazing sen provision.

MsGee Mon 13-Mar-17 12:32:42

I live in Herts and my DD has ASD. She is in mainstream school but I can't imagine provision here is better than where you are (sorry).

There is some good support in terms of training courses and FB support groups where I am (North Herts) and a lot of committed people (consultant rang me at 6pm on friday to reply to a query and reassure me). But overall there is simply not enough provision, we are 18 months into NHS assessment process - we have a diagnosis letter but all support for our DD is paid for by ourselves. I battle the school who pride themselves in being 'tolerant' - it is really exhausting.

If you could move anywhere I would cast your net further afield. Also think about what would make your DD thrive. I always thought that living near London would open up employment opportunities for DD - now I want to live in the middle of nowhere where she can run with her dog, and have more animals - things that will make her happy and able to deal with all the other shit.

Augustus77 Mon 13-Mar-17 13:23:09

Hi MsGee,

Thank you for your comments. We will continue exploring.The main reason for our move was somewhere to give our DD a fresh start and forget all the sh@£ that she has been subjected to. The services seem to be getting worse by the day!

HHH3 Mon 13-Mar-17 13:49:51

@MsGee I'm also in North Herts. We're probably quite close to each other!

MsGee Tue 14-Mar-17 09:54:53

Hi HHH3 - am sure we are! I have not really had to deal with the LA so much yet, but amazed at the lack of support to be honest. The CDC seem so overworked - you turn up to the meetings, they tell you everything is very common in children with ASD, that yes it is very hard, but come in six months and tell us how you're getting on....

Augustus, I am not sure how old your DD is but I would think about
- schooling, both this and the next step (if currently in primary), as well as if you would need tutors in the future
- wider wellbeing support, whether CAHMS and PALMS or private support
- other services that you might want to access, such as OT, sensory therapy, tutors etc.
- DD interests, and whether there are (inclusive) groups in the area
- support for yourselves, such as family support, training courses etc.

So for example in North Herts...
- school say that they are 'inclusive' but really they want a certain kind of child, and DD encouraged to be normal rather than herself. The high school has good pastoral care but is massive and somewhat chaotic. We are hoping for a flexi-school agreement but no idea if we will get it. I cannot see DD surviving the local high school. School also don't really deal with her learning needs at all so we have a tutor, which isn't enough but I'm not making DD do more than an hour a week outside school just because school is crap
- CAHMS and PALMS are pretty crap here, so we pay for private therapy for DD which is expensive
- I have had no contact with other services... we are having to do our own sensory therapy, and I am just about to start cranial osteopathy (which we fund) for sleep problems. Which feels like paying for snake oil but we are desperate.
- DD goes to two pony riding places, one inclusive and the other which is nice but not really inclusive. It is something that makes DD happy and long term I would always make sure that we are near a suitable pony riding place
- there is good support for parents in terms of training, FB groups and support groups here - all run by charities though and there is always the worry that they won't be funded in the future

Sorry this is so long - just trying to think of all the things to take into account when moving!

user1466518624 Tue 14-Mar-17 10:13:33

If you are happy with going over the border to Essex (Bishops Stortford is on the border and you can put her to school in Essex) on my little experience provision is better. For instance when my DS was in a private school just in the border the school had swifter access to Home and School support services ( weeks rather than months) who from talking to others were really quick in getting the ball rolling with access to services and this was in a private school .

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