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Please can you help me understand what I should expect from DS's school?

(11 Posts)
perdu Sun 11-Oct-09 21:55:14

DS is in yr 5 and has not really made any progress in last two years. I mean he has only gone from a level 2C (test result of yr2) to a 2A (test result at the end of yr 5) and this is in both English and Maths.

He gets help from me at home, has extra lessons outside school and also gets some intermittent special needs sessions at school (around 2-3 sessions per week).

Well I think that he is not making great progress despite all the 'help' he is receiving. I am going to school tomorrow to find out what is going on and ask for one to one sessions.

What I would like to know is if I am being reasonable in asking for more help. I kind of think I am but know that school will try and fob me off AGAIN....

perdu Sun 11-Oct-09 21:56:11

sorry meant 2A by the end of year 4

aWitchForLifeNotJustHalloween Sun 11-Oct-09 22:02:23

is he at mainstream school? and what's the nature of his difficulty? sorry to be a bit of a pedant but could possibly help a bit if I know a bit more about the picture?

aWitchForLifeNotJustHalloween Sun 11-Oct-09 22:03:05

and does he have a statement - otherwise what'sin his IEP?

perdu Sun 11-Oct-09 22:11:14

Thanks

I haven't see his IEP since he was in Year 2 which I know is not brilliant of me...I have however been in regular contact with his teacher and she assured me that he was going in the right direction. This teacher has now left mid term in Year 4 (before the yr 4 results) and I now feel that his new teachers are not worrying about things as much as I would like.

I have been into school at the beginning of term to introduce myself and explain that I needed to see DS get some structured help and see some progress. DS main problem is handwriting, spelling and numeracy plus a terrible lack of concentration. He is in other respects very bright and articulate with a great imagination.

Sorry I don't feel very together on this and I feel a bit of shame that I am not more aware of all the educational issues surrounding him. I have always kept in touch with his teachers and taken all their comments on but now feel like they have fed me a bit of a line by saying he is doing ok when his test results clearly say otherwise.

I hope I am making sense.

I would like to have him assessed to see if a statement could be issued as I feel this would help me identify what is going on and also guarantee him the right help.

perdu Sun 11-Oct-09 22:13:52

he is in a mainstream school.

I am going to ask for more help from the school but feel worried that I will be fobbed off with comments that he is working well etc

aWitchForLifeNotJustHalloween Sun 11-Oct-09 22:29:06

The school are supposed to do him an IEP each term or thereabouts, my ds1's on 6-monthly reviews, and they should send it home for you to read and sign. So the onus is on them to do that, not you - so please don't be taking the opportunity to berate yourself for it.

Your ds sounds quite a lot like my ds1, he's had IEP's since reception - but we were on to it early, I'm a sen teacher and we knew there were huge disparities between his verbal and reading/writing skills. He's now in yr4. The thing is, that there are a huge number of things that the school can try, and as long as they document what interventions they do, then they can soon refer him to the educational psychologist for an assessment. Which indeed you can for yourself, if you believe that they're not doing enough - which it does sound like they're not, tbh.
IMHO the first step would be to arrange to go and see his class teacher, possibly the SENCO as well, discuss your concerns and ask in a calm way how they can help him. As from next year, the schools are being given more control over how they allocate staff time, so the teaching assistants and so on aren't necessarily specifically to work with one child, they can share it more iyswim - previously children were pretty much allocated so many hours' help a week, and no matter whether they needed more than that, the number they had been given was it. Anyway, what I'm saying is that hopefully the school will be able to give him some support without having to apply for funding from the lea just yet - although this really does depend on what resources the school acutally has.
Get in touch with your local Parent Partnership - every area has one, it's government funded but is independent of schools and so on, ours is fantastic, they can advise every step of the way. For all it would appear that I know what the score is because I teach in SEN, this isn't necessarily the case because my pupils come ready statemented and with everything in place - whereas with my own ds we're in the position of working with the school to get him what he needs. IME it is way better to work with the school - I ask what they need me to do to help ds or what I can do to get him more help, rather than nagging them about what I want doing, iyswim. It works so much better. You are totally reasonable to ask for help for your ds, and try to get them to steer you in the right direction as you are doing so much with him at home - that's a fantastic help to him and the school should really appreciate it, because believe me many parents don't help their dc much at all.

aWitchForLifeNotJustHalloween Sun 11-Oct-09 22:35:28

and btw, if they try and "fob you off" then state that you believe that he has significant difficulties with his literacy and numeracy, and with attainment at level 2 for a child of his age, this is obviously some way behind his peers. Surely they're not in a position to deny that?

BTW, my ds1 is severely dyslexic, and has teaching programmes which address this directly as well as a whole pile of resources which help him access everything that he doesn't have a problem with in a way that gets round the writing stuff down issue - for example he uses voice recognition software on a laptop and has readers for things, basically so that he can use his pretty bright little brain at the right level for everything else.

perdu Mon 12-Oct-09 07:27:24

wow thanks for your lovely and thoughtful reply.
I don't have time to respond fully but really appreciate your advice and will certainly try and approach school in a friendly and conciliatory way - even though I do feel quite annoyed that they have let my son down.

I was just pulling out his report from the end of last year and see that he "is working at the level expected of a child of his year group" in Literacy. I read that obviously at the end of last year and thought things were not too bad but this obviously doesn't match up with 3 years of consistently bad QCA results. Surely 2 levels difference cannot be "a bad test day"??

Thanks again for your advice!

aWitchForLifeNotJustHalloween Fri 16-Oct-09 22:12:17

any updates - and bump for anyone with some more help for perdu?

asteroids Wed 21-Oct-09 11:07:02

Hi Perdu,
I think witchforlife has covered most of the important points already. I suppose I might be asking for an educational psychologist to assess my son if he was that far behind. If he is bright and articulate in general then there must be a specific reason for his difficulties with literacy and numeracy. It is helpful to approach the school in a friendly way though, certainly to begin with.
See what the school says and let us know. Your local Parent partnership should be able to help you and are always worth contacting.

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