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choosing school with a statement(4 Posts)
My son has mild cerebral palsy. It mainly affects his left hand and arm (although eye sight, balance and left leg are also included - but don't both him much). He has very little use of his left hand and no individual finger movement.
However - he is doing brilliantly!! and copes so well with everything. The nursery say that if I hadn't have pushed for a statement he wouldn't get one now - as he fits in so well. Which obviously I am thrilled about.
However we did get a statement and this was largely because he would have not got a place in a school otherwise. We don't fit into any catchments.
My question is ...
Out of 2 schools which would be better:
1) 4 form entry. Very used to SEN children. SENCO is excellent. Very creative. Very unstructured. No uniform.
2)2 form entry. Quite used to SEN children. SENCO is new and not so experienced. Very academic. Very structured.
My dilema is that my son is bright, but may suffer from dyslexia later as his eyes don't work together (he has a squint) at the moment.
He is a real wanderer and doesn't get focussed and into stuff because a lot of things he finds difficult. I worry that an unstructured place might just lead him to learn nothing. Whereas more structure could focus him.
However the SENCO is so good at the big school that he should be well looked after there... But he might get forgotten because there's loads of other children with greater needs.
If he turns out to bright, they're not so good at stretching children in the larger school. He might get lost because its so big.
But the small school is pushy - with sports in particular - and he might get left behind.
So sorry to be so unclear and waffly. I know we're lucky to have choice. I just can't imagine how he's going to be when he's 5/6/7 and what he'll need by then.
Small school is nearer too.
Generally you can build a relationship with a teacher or SENCO & also remeber they may leave!!
So I would go for the school with the size & ethos that fits your child best.
That said, I would not go for a school if the head or SENCO did not seem welcoming & accommodating of your child, iykwim.
Personally I would go for the smaller school that has more structure and is nearer to you but like anon says its what fits your child best. My DD (ASD) is a bit of a wanderer and finds it hard to get motivated but we have thankfully managed to get 1:1 for 26 hours in her reception year. How many hours will your DS get 1:1 support for? He may do well at the larger school if he gets adequate 1:1. Maybe visit both schools to get a gut feeling. Good luck!
DS is supposed to get extra help (not clear if its all 1:1) for 20 hours. BUT he has been so resistant to help in his preschool that I don't know if its going to work.
If DS sees everyone else wandering around he really resents being made to do stuff. He feels he is being made to do it, does not of course appreciate that he is being 'helped'.
I have visited both schools and like them both for different reasons.
Most of the children from DS's nursery are going to the bigger school, which is also swaying me. This includes his best best friend. But it is further away (only 10 minutes in walking time) and I suppose new friends won't be so on the doorstep.
The nearer school is a 15 minute walk with child. The further school is a 25 minutes walk with child.
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