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Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

I may have found a suitable school, but

(14 Posts)
chachaheels234 Wed 24-Nov-10 09:53:35

My son is currently in a mainstream school but I have quite a few concerns about them not giving the provision that his statement says he should have, not to mention the OT he should have daily, and the fact that he doesn't have an IEP as nobody is willing to set targets, I also feel he is struggling socially. I could go on and on about their failings.School seem to dismiss my concerns and say that he is fine and doing really well. So I visited a SN school yesterday and loved it for many reasons , however my son is quite high functioning and it is written in his statement that he is average/above average intelligence so unsure if would gain his full potential academically. It is so difficult to decide I keep thinking that the priority is for him to be happy, able to manage socially and learn life skills.Has anyone else had to make a choice like this?

IndigoBell Wed 24-Nov-10 10:13:30

Is he at primary or secondary?

Does the SN school think that it would be the right place for him?

chachaheels234 Wed 24-Nov-10 10:28:04

He is year 6 in a middle school.The SN school have not met him but I have left them a copy of his statement so I am waiting to see what their opinion is.

auntevil Wed 24-Nov-10 10:28:23

I changed schools in year 1 for my DS1 (dyspraxic). He is not statemented, above average educationally (apart from writing skills) and needing OT/Physio etc.
The first MS school talked the talk - IEP, promises etc, but never got around to walking the walk. I moved him to another MS, who are brilliant. It has a disability base, there are lots of staff at school with specialisms, OT and Physio are based there. It is an inclusive school - and therefore a very nurturing environment.
His NT brother also goes there and is very happy and learning well. I must admit that i didn't like the idea of my DSs being at different primary schools. I also don't think that my DS has enough needs to benefit from an SN school. His academic needs are also being met at this school, along with his social needs.
I think it is the role of a parent to always beat themselves up over their choices grin. All you can do is what you feel offers the best opportunities for your DS now to make the most progress. only you know what will make the biggest impact on him - socially and educationally.

chachaheels234 Wed 24-Nov-10 11:14:18

Auntevil I totally agree with you on going with the school that offers the best opportunities for my son. The trouble is that I have rang the local LEA asking them if they could point me in the right direction and suggest a few that may be starting points for which I can look at ,their answer was all schools are inclusive and the best they can do is send a list of every school in the area. That is a lot of schools to look at. Ah well I had better get started. Thanks for your opinion.

auntevil Wed 24-Nov-10 13:35:20

Do you know any parents who have been in a similar situation in your area - through support groups, associations etc. they don't have to be quite so 'everyone is inclusive' - which we know is a pile of ....
When i chose my new MS - i went around to lots of them and had a chat and told them i was looking to move and why. I questioned the HTs about what they would/could do for my DS. I think you get a vibe from those that you can generally work with - and more often than not, get the vibe that they're just not people you would want to communicate with on important issues.
The LEA has a point that they all say that they have an inclusive policy - and many posters on here will tell you that this is not always the case in reality. If you can't communicate with the staff by asking questions when you visit the first time, how will you be able to when your DS goes there.

chachaheels234 Wed 24-Nov-10 14:10:04

many thanks

To be honest getting a special school place isn't as straightforward as finding somewhere suitable and asking..

It should be but it isn't! Most special schools now (most not all..) take children with MLD/SLD. There are a few specialist ones for more able (usually ASD) children but generic special schools don't simply because there aren't enough places.
The school where I teach and my own son is a pupil (not neoptism..he was there before I was!) has seen progressively more severe children only.. those like my DS who have MLD are now not getting places because there simply aren't enough.. and of course the Govt have shut many of the MLD schools entirely in the name of inclusion

If you are seriously considering for specialist provision, you have to prove that his current school is NOT meeting his needs. Document everything he should be getting and isn't; ask for his review brought forward.Once you have strong evidence that his needs cannot be met by his current school, you can argue the case for specialist provision. The special school doesn't have much say to be honest as it all goes through the LEA panel.

Good luck!

intothewest Wed 24-Nov-10 18:43:15

My son is at a SN school-the children all have LD a few moderate,but most SLD.If your son is above average in cognitive skills this kind of school would not be suitable and they would probably not accept him-My friend who has a child with AS is in the same situation-but if it is what you want for him,fight for it;you never know.good luck

SausageMonster Wed 24-Nov-10 18:55:15

An ASD respource base attached to a ms school would probably be the best option as it would enable him to gain GCSEs while getting ASD specific support that will help him understand his condition and learn social skills.

Many of the SN schools (Ld /MLD_ don't offer those opportunity and he would be bored stiff doing basic 'life skills' when he is so high-functioing.

We had this difficulty when looking for a placement for DS. There is very litel out there for the academic ASD child.

If he has a Statement his current school should be maintaining an IEP for him. It's very poor that they are not. I agree wit the oethers who suggested changed to another MS, but still think an ASD base is the best option. He's need a Statement to gain access - but he laready has one so that wouldn't be a problem

Best wishes

Lougle Wed 24-Nov-10 19:45:01

I don't think it is as straight forward as 'average/above average intelligence' = no special school. Everybody says it is, but it isn't.

My DD1 is 4.11 so Year R. When she was going through the statementing process at 3.9, she knew all her colours (primary, secondary, and more complex colours), could count to at least 20, knew shapes, had good problem solving skills (ie. she can't lift a jug due to fine motor problems, but dipped the cup in the jug to get a drink), and despite having a severe speech and language delay was very verbal and could work around word-finding problems (it pink and we go 'weeeee' to indicate a slide, for eg.).

But the combined impact of all her SEN, along with her motor difficulties, no sense of danger, OT needs, EBD, etc., meant that Special School was appropriate. She is one of the more able children in her YR/Y1 mixed class, despite being Year R, but her needs are far more than academic.

chachaheels234 Wed 24-Nov-10 20:44:27

You have all been so helpful thank you, you have made me think of other points to consider.

keepyourmouthshutox Thu 25-Nov-10 00:37:27

Have you looked at the private provisions in your LEA. Often they have specialist provisions for the more able children. I met someone who told me her son is in a special school for Aspergers children but, of course, she only got there via the tribunal. Her ds was too 'able' for ss but could not handle ms. I think she said fees were over £70,000 pa and that is why she is now facing going to tribunal again for post 16 provision.

sugarcandymistletoe Thu 25-Nov-10 11:14:03

DS is in an independent ASD school similar to the one described by keepyourmouthshutox, we had to go to tribunal for a place. He is bright and his NC levels are above average, but he needs extra support with life skills and social skills and he can't cope with a ms environment.
Special schools which allow pupils to take the same number of GCSEs are usually in the private sector, although my LA special school had pupils taking a few GCSEs.

LA special schools usually cost more per place than a ms place with support, so LAs usually won't agree to a ss place unless you can show that the ms school aren't meeting the child's needs. It will be harder to do that if the ms school thinks they are managing the child - DS was in ms primary but they were honest in admitting that they weren't really meeting his needs and that he needed specialist provision for secondary.

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