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If a school raises concerns about meeting your child's needs

(31 Posts)
StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Nov-10 16:12:07

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silverfrog Mon 29-Nov-10 16:16:51

depends on how they raise those concerns, tbh.

if its in a "lets list all the issues, and make sure the statement provision is watertight", then not so bad.

if its in a "not sure if we can meet needs" way, then I'd be worried

and if its in a "we don't know much about it, but we're sure we can all work together" way then I'd be running a mile.

have you had the consultation?

or are they now concerned becasue you've asked for a consultation?

keepyourmouthshutox Mon 29-Nov-10 16:19:35

what silver said.

just wondering if they have heard about you from the present ht or autism outreach?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Nov-10 16:45:18

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Agnesdipesto Mon 29-Nov-10 17:10:50

It does depend on their motivation.

My honest view of my DS (who admittedly is quite a bit more delayed than your DS), is that no mainstream school can adequately meet his needs.
No mainstream teachers have the ability or training to do so.
I actually want all the schools we are visiting to say we can't meet his needs sand he needs to keep this ABA package the parents won at tribunal and then, and only then, can it work.
In my mind DS needs a specialist autism education - but that doesn't exist where I live - so we have got one via ABA - and its that ABA package which will make mainstream work for DS and it would not work without it.

So I want all the HTs to agree with me that they can't meet need - but sadly they probably won't! Sadly they will probably say we can do it all ourselves and then f**k it up spectacularly.

I know our LA bully schools into saying they can meet need for any child even when they plainly can't.

So if the HT is being honest - ie this child needs specialist expertise we don't have - then fair enough, but unfortunately the LA will find lots of schools who will say they can meet need, even when they can't. If the HT just doesn't want your DS then I agree thats not good news.

We keep going to schools who tell us they have had children like DS before and done a great job and we have to cross them off the list as that would just be an invite to the LA to take us back to tribunal. We need to find the school that has never seen a child like DS before! Then we can justify keeping his ABA.

I may have to find a private school to take him 3 afternoons a week or something for the next few years and throw ourselves on their charitable nature.

anonandlikeit Mon 29-Nov-10 17:14:12

I would be much more confident in a school that asked for a meeting so they can make sure everything is in place & everyone is happy.
If they start with a negative attitude it doesn't bode well.

silverfrog Mon 29-Nov-10 17:22:49

hmm, agree it doesn't look good.

I'm in a similar position to Agnes. dd1 is more delayed, and we were chasing specialist provision.

LA sent dd1's bundle to 5 different schools (one of which is her current school)

only 2 of the 5 could actually meet dd1's needs (her school, plus another ABA school).

of the other 3, 2 of them agreed with us (we called them to "talk through" dd1's bundle grin) that they couldn't meet her needs. the htird declined to talk to us hmm - way to go to get parents ot send their child to your school hmm hmm

yet all 3 declared to the LA that they could meet dd1's needs. ime, schools tend to say they can meet needs even when they can't.

the only experience I have of a school being concerned they couldn't meet needs was a school who didn't want dd1 to attend there. they strung us along with lots of meetings to dscuss needs (this was when dd1 was 3), and plan a way forward. leftus dangling with a "well, let's see how she develops over the summer", before finally telling us they didn't think she would "fit in" - nice ambiguous phrase there, which told us not a jot about why they thought this (and in fact, since dd1 was ahead of where they wanted her to be, academically, it could only be because they didn't want a severely disabled child there)

when is your meeting with them?

Lougle Mon 29-Nov-10 17:42:40

It is your language that concerns me more, tbh, Star. Whatever language they used to communicate their concerns, the message you received was 'the school objects to taking DS1'.

I would find that very hard to see as a positive relationship building block.

DD1 visited a school who said 'absolutely we could manage DD1', but body language, and what they didn't say spoke volumes that they didn't want her. The fact that you actually heard the words says it all sad

SausageMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 17:52:35


DS's Statement was really weak, vague and the support the LA stated he's need was woefully inadequate.

The LA then sent that Statement to a ms school requesting admission.

MS school raised their 'concerns'. I asked LA for copy of school's concerns but was told I couldn't see them. I then complained to the LA in writing and they provided copy to me. Basically the school realised from reading all the Annexes reports to the Statement that DS's real needs far outweighed their ability to support him.

You should be able to see the school's concerns too.

School's cannot really refuse admission - they may try it on for more money but they just do what the LA tells them.

auntevil Mon 29-Nov-10 18:04:52

Star - on the ofsted report - how many SN/SEN above below % does it have? I have a jaded view on academically well reputed schools. We are in a london borough that has a whole gamut of academic ranges. Those that are academic achievers have a very low % of SN/SEN. Several of these i know from friends experiences have actively tried to dissuade from applying or ousted out. Even the good , rather than excellent academic schools try to dissuade.
A good friend moved her DS from an academically high school to a school with an average academic level, but a SALT base. He loves it. He told her that it's the first time he feels 'normal' and that it was nice that he was not the worst behaved in the class grin . His academic abilities have come on leaps and bounds because he is happy, no fight to get him in etc.
I did the same for my DS but with a disability base. My NT DS goes there now too. They are both doing really well. Kumon rates my DS1 as 2yrs above his age in maths (so an independent opinion) - and it's apparently a failing school!
IMO primary school is a place to be happy and fit in and grow into a well balanced person. High achievers (with good parental support - like you star) will achieve in life without hot housing at such an early age. Fit the school to the child, not the child to the school.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Nov-10 18:20:40

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StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Nov-10 18:29:55

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SausageMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 18:36:38

Their response is not good enough. I forced them to list the spcefic concerns as I didn't want DS going there until I understood what the concerns were and whether they were valid.

The last thing you want to do is to force a chiold on an unwilling and unsupportive school.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Nov-10 18:40:02

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SausageMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 18:41:56

And they should tell you the specific concerns because they are now on your son's file somewhere in the LA and as we know, your entitled to a copy.

We seem to have trodden a very similar path - I did all this in 2004.

SausageMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 18:42:25

Arghhh! grammar you're

fightingthezombies Mon 29-Nov-10 18:43:16

Star - when I chased up my sm I was told that the proposed school 'had concerns' and was really worried about this,thinking thye would refuse ds. We had had a meeting that went really well so were really bemused to what was going on. I asked my case officer and was advised that they wanted 4 more hours per week to meet the objectives in part 3. Could the reason be something like that? Our sm was referred back to panel who agreed the extra hours which was a big relief. I was advised though that they have to have really good reasons to refuse to take a child.

SausageMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 18:45:42

fighting's right.
It may be a power play by the school to get extra funding.

They do have the LA over a barrell if they wished to force the issue - LA pays school more or LA pays for independant placement.

Let me think - no brainer.

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Nov-10 18:53:24

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SausageMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 18:55:02


FFS! When did you start believing a single thing PP tells you.

Get a grip woman!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Nov-10 18:57:22

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StarlightMcKenzie Mon 29-Nov-10 18:59:18

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SausageMonster Mon 29-Nov-10 19:04:47

....and the world is flat and if you try to sail to Australia you'll fall off the edge.

Agnesdipesto Mon 29-Nov-10 19:10:22

But then they will rarely have come across a statement as hard won and detailed as yours. The fact you have the SALT and OT may seem to them that your DS has very high needs as they have probably seen far more needy children with far less provision so may be making assumptions that your DS is not really a mainstream candidate.

I think meeting the school direct would be good as you would be able to apply the Lougle body language test.

I think the fact they have read it properly is good - Most schools just say yes to anything in case the LA say they are failing on DDA or something.

2 of the schools we have looked round say they are happy to take DS provided he has 100% 1:1 including breaks - so perhaps with budgets being squeezed schools are putting their foot down a bit more and insisting on a fulltime statement.

asdx2 Mon 29-Nov-10 19:11:14

My thoughts would be that the school don't want ds because he doesn't fit the expected profile or maybe his mum is rumoured to be a PITA grinI would be very wary of pushing for a placement that "had concerns" particularly when ds has a statement with a high level of support.Just my thoughts but I can name two local schools to me that have no statemented children in them and it's not because the local demographic don't have children with statements it's more that the placement quickly breaks down and parents are met with "concerns"

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