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statement issues

(19 Posts)
cascade Sat 03-Oct-09 20:21:39

Hi im posting for a friend as I really dont know if a school she is choosing for her ds is giving her the correct information.

Her ds has a statement of 16 hours 1-1 per week. Last week she visited a school she wishes for her son to attend next year. The school informed her that they do not provide 1-1 for statemented pupils, but they work in small groups. Is this right, can the school do this? Also If he has a statement does that mean he has an automatic right to his first choice school?

tibni Sat 03-Oct-09 20:30:47

You need to check the wording of the statement. Many do not actually say 1-1. If 1-1 is specified then that must be delivered as a Statement is a legal document.

There is an argument that the support given should not leave the child isolated from their peers.

The Statement will specify the school and the parental views will be taken into account on this decision. School choice is difficult. Standard criteria often isn't so important with children with SEN. Having a school that wants the child and is prepared to provide support (not just meet the legal requirements of the statement) can make all the difference - far more important than league tables.

Hope this helps

spongebrainmaternitypants Sat 03-Oct-09 20:39:08

No, they don't have an automatic right to their first choice. Where possible the LEA will place in the school the parents want but they have to consider:

1. if this is the best place for the child
2. will it impact on the education of the other children (i.e. is the school already full to bursting, are there too many statemented children, etc)
3. resources

A statement should specify what support the child is entitled to received but the school can also use some discretion as to what this support looks like. 1-1 is not always a good idea, as the child can get very dependent on this support, doesn't learn to work with others and it can be very intense for them to be with one adult all the time. A mix of 1-1, small groups and whole class teaching is much more appropriate.

HTH

spongebrainmaternitypants Sat 03-Oct-09 20:41:02

sorry, I meant "whole class teaching where appropriate is much more conducive to learning".

cascade Sat 03-Oct-09 20:41:07

Yes tibna thank you, im a teacher myself but have limited knowledge of the legalities regarding statements.

This is my quiet worry. As the school is a high flying school that select their pupils from varying bands (apparently) they put obstacles in the way of SEN students, so that they don't apply for a place.

cascade Sat 03-Oct-09 20:42:27

The school in question do not have any TA's.

spongebrainmaternitypants Sat 03-Oct-09 20:49:12

No TAs shock!! Wow!

I am an ex-teacher and now work in SEN and I know there are plenty of schools who try and side step their responsibilities to SEN children angry.

It is such a dilemma for councils and parents cos obviously they should not be allowed to get away with blatent discrimination but then do you really want to send your child to a school with an ethos that you don't matter and are not wanted cos you just mess up their bloody league tables angry?

cascade Sat 03-Oct-09 20:59:46

No its not me its my best friend. I have concerns about the school but i have not vocalised them to her. I can see their flaws, but her heart is set on this school.

spongebrainmaternitypants Sat 03-Oct-09 21:08:42

Sorry, it meant 'you' as in generic, not as in 'you' IYSWIM!

It's a really tough one, can you try and spell out your fears without being too direct? Do you know anyone with children at this school who can tell you what they are really like with children with SEN?

You might be worrying about nothing <hopeful emoticon>, but I totally understand your concerns.

Does she respect your opinion as a teacher?

MoonlightMcKenzie Sat 03-Oct-09 21:18:38

I'm sick to the back teeth of the silly arguments my LEA have against my ds having 1:1 support.

1) ds will become dependent on them
2) ds needs to have 'time off'
3) ds needs to experience group interaction
4) ds needs to have freedom to develop.

ffs That is WHY he needs a 1:1 and a good one to ensure that he gets to do these things. They need to 'manage' his experiences with purpose and design, and that includes the 'time off' and group interaction etc. A good 1:1 will ensure he can generalise his interactions with other members of staff rather than just her.

Aparently we have to agree to disagree because they haven't got a blardy answer to this.

cascade Sat 03-Oct-09 21:19:51

oh sorry, Yes I have tried to say in a shocked voice "what only 5 statemented pupils and they have no TA's"

The school has an entrance exam in January and they choose the pupils from 9 differing academic bands. The school pretty much gets near 100% 5 A -C including english and maths. As a teacher I just dont know how they do it, with such a varied intake. This makes me suspicious of how they treat pupils who are considered not to be achieving this criteria. I could be completely wrong though.

spongebrainmaternitypants Sat 03-Oct-09 21:23:41

Moonlight, it really does depend on how you define 1-1 - I agree with you that some children need an adult with them to help them interact with others in a productive way and to have a more positive learning experience, but in some primary classrooms the number of adults is becoming quite unworkable. It is a very difficult dilemma.

cascde, what is your friend's DS statemented for? It could make a big difference in terms of how well he would manage in such an 'academic' school.

cascade Sat 03-Oct-09 21:34:15

He is dyslexic and has dyspraxia. His intelligence is in the bottom 2% nationally. He cannot process large peices of information, something to do with short term memory issues. He is still working through Year 1 work in literacy. Im not too sure on precise details.

She does not want him to go to the local school as she thinks he will be bullied due to his problems.

spongebrainmaternitypants Sat 03-Oct-09 21:40:32

Hmm,tough one. She might be right about her local school but then he might struggle in a school with no peer group too.

I assume this is a secondary school she is choosing?

Has she visited both of them and spoken to the SENCOs?

MoonlightMcKenzie Sat 03-Oct-09 21:43:42

ah I'm only at preschool level and my ds has severe autism, which 'appears' to be mild due to his likely high iq. hmm

They agreed to almost 6 hours 'support' but won't put 1:1 in writing. So I put him in for just the almost 6 hours. They tried to suggest that he can't be given it in one go and has to be distributed throughout the week. They quite obviously make these things up.

I would be worried about the poor mite in the OP too, but lots of people really don't understand that league tables really have nothing to do with how a school will meet your child's needs.

cascade Sat 03-Oct-09 21:45:59

Yes visited both. I dont mean to disrespect her but her educational experience is limited.

I dont want to say too much to her as I could be wrong about the school. What I have suggested to her is to contact SNIPS and to see if they could help her through the process.

spongebrainmaternitypants Sat 03-Oct-09 22:08:02

Moonlight, that's tough - the early years are so important. I'm sorry that you are finding the LEA so obstructive sad.

cascade, good idea. An objective view is good at this point as friends can get very defensive if they feel they're being told they don't know what's best for their child sad and, like you say, you could be wrong about the school anyway which would be even more awkward.

MoonlightMcKenzie Sat 03-Oct-09 22:28:44

OMG sponge I could go on forever about them. Just this week they have told me that their 3 hours a week autism support (national guidelines recommend 20) is effective because - to quote:

'We set IEP targets. The acheivement of those targets is itself, evidence of the effectiveness of our intervention'.

They also told me that I have unrealistic expectations of my ds, and that all 'normal' children are on a steep learning curve and my ds will never catch up.

Not surprising perhaps we now have a plan B, and a up and coming tribunal no doubt.

spongebrainmaternitypants Sun 04-Oct-09 10:53:56

sad these people should really think before they speak sometimes

sorry to hear you're going to have to go through the stress of a tribunal too

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