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Time off school for specialist tuition - can LEAs object?

(9 Posts)
nou Thu 27-Sep-07 14:49:30

My daughter recently started at a state primary school having previously attended an independent. She was diagnosed with dyslexia last year and attends a weekly teaching session at Dyslexia Action on a school day afternoon. This was not a problem for her previous school.

The Head Teacher of the new school telephoned me this morning going on about how he would have to report this to the LEA and he didn't think it was allowed etc etc as she would be missing time out of school. I cannot believe the LEA, who incidentally refused to assess her originally, would obstruct her receiving specialist tuition which we foot the £50-per-lesson bill for. The Head Teacher confirmed that they could not provide specialist teaching for her. We are not able to attend DA after school hours or Saturdays (they have no vacancies then anyway).

Has anyone had any experience with a similar problem? I cannot believe the school are taking this attitude! They also tell us we have to wait until after half term to meet with the SENCO to discuss her IEP.


chatee Thu 27-Sep-07 14:54:59

i take my child out of school every week for
"riding for the disabled" and it's not a problem.
have a look at your child's register of attendance as there is a category for lots of different absences from school and iirc, one of the categories is
"educated off site"
will hunt for dc's report from the summer and tell you if no one else can give any more info in the mean time(got to dash now..)

but i think your head teacher is not doing job properly!!

isgrassgreener Thu 27-Sep-07 17:41:05

Hi Nou
I used to take my DS out of state primary school, once a week to see a dyslexia tutor. I know of three others who do it as well in the school.
I did write to the head to get her approval, she said she would see how it went, but then never said anything again.
I think you just have to say that they are not providing the specialist help that she needs and that without it she would slip back in her progress.
Also, you are placing her in an educational setting, so it's not like she is off on a jolly.
He is being very short sighted, I'm sure it can go under authorised absence, so shouldn't really effect the school.
I would talk to someone in the LEA, or parent partnership to see if they can advise on the borough rules.
Good Luck

cornsilk Thu 27-Sep-07 17:42:35

Coincidentally I spoke to someone from dyslexia action 2 days ago about tuition for my ds and they said they have to allow it.

nou Fri 28-Sep-07 09:39:50

Thank you for pointing me in the direction of "authorised absence". Yes you are right, the Head Teacher can authorise it - not sure what his problem is or what is behind it. I should hear back from the LEA today. I will post the outcome in case others are in the same postion.

swedishmum Fri 28-Sep-07 10:12:09

This might be interesting reading here

swedishmum Fri 28-Sep-07 10:12:35

Sorry - section 1A

nou Fri 28-Sep-07 12:56:01

Thank you. I cannot find circular 10/99 on the DFES website and I wonder if it has been incorporated into Statutory Instrument 2006/1751 "The Education (Pupil Registration) (England) Regulations 2006", which seems to imply that head teachers can authorise absence for educational activities, as a previous poster mentioned.

The bloke from the council just phoned, the first thing he said was that it was ILLEGAL for me to take my daughter out of school for specialist teaching! shock
When I referred to the Statutory Instrument he shut up and said he would have to go away and look at it. Some flipping expert!

I have also been advised by a dyslexia helpline that SENDA 2002 could apply here - i.e. the school are discrimating against my daughter by refusing her time off for specialist teaching they are unable to provide themselves.

I wonder if mediation might provide a solution if the LEA are determined to stick to their guns?

emandjules Fri 28-Sep-07 16:06:54

We take dd out of school one day some weeks for sensory integration therapy. SENCO agreed to this as authorised absense cos at the end of the day it will benefit them.

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