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Repeating a year at school - any advice/experience?

(6 Posts)
pinkorkid Sun 16-Jan-11 10:01:01

Ds has been out of school for over a year now (asd, school phobia, struggles with transition to large secondary school). For part of that time he received home tuition but only the minimum of 5hrs per week which doesn't cover much more than English and maths. His statement (recently finalised) still names the mainstream school he is too scared to go to and the special schools panel say his needs are not severe enough for special school and have instructed the case officer to send his papers to another large mainstream to see if they think they can meet his needs. We think the evidence submitted to the panel supports our view that he needs a special school placement so we are appealing to sendist.

The maintained special school we want ds to go to is already over numbers in his year. The school and lea may be prepared to be more flexible about admitting him to the year below which is not yet over numbers - although this is speculation on my part. If they did agree this would save us having to wait 6 months for ds' case to go to tribunal, 6 more months of him not getting adequate education.
Also as he has certainly fallen even further behind it may be that repeating a year would be in his best interests anyway. But there are obviously issues with him not being with his peers, being self-conscious about being older than the others, how it will effect him in later years with exams and funding for schooling once he is past compulsory school age etc.

I'd be grateful for anyone's thoughts on this and especially if anyone has experience of this with their dc. TIA.

pinkorkid Sun 16-Jan-11 13:38:28

Or any other thoughts on quicker ways to get school placement without having to go to tribunal? Thanks.

nightcat Sun 16-Jan-11 18:10:09

I have seen this in practice at my ds specialist school, although can't say what battles the parents had to fight. In fact, my friend has managed to get her dc stay for extra year at sn school, although again, I am not familiar with how it was accomplished, but def not tribunal, maybe just a suggestion that you wouldn't stop fighting.
It's not uncommon to see diff ages in sn schools as some are ability-grouped anyway so not as much peer-age concern (within a year or so). I think the point is that his needs are best met that way and in that school is what you need to justify?
I would have thought it makes sense for your ds, not sure what loops and hoops you need to jump through though.

wasuup3000 Sun 16-Jan-11 18:13:59

Will the maintained special school meet your sons academic needs?

anonandlikeit Sun 16-Jan-11 19:35:01

It ahs to eb formally approved by the LEA and not just an informal agreement between you & the school.
If it is not formalised the LEA will still insist on the child moving schools or leaving school at the correct age regardless of which yr group they are in IYKWIM.

I know a head that had her knuckles seriously bruised by the LEA for enterign in to such informal agreements with the parents.
The LEA still made the child move up to secondary with his correct yr group even though he had been held back a yr at primary &in effect not completed all his primary education. Hope this makes sense!

pinkorkid Sun 16-Jan-11 19:48:42

Nightcat, wasuup and anon,
thanks for your replies. It's good to hear that it is at least possible in theory though I realise it needs to formally agreed with the lea. I had started to consider it partly because ds is bound to have fallen behind after a year without formal schooling and partly because it maight be a way around the issue of his proper year being over numbers. In fact as it will cost the lea extra money in the longer term funding an extra year maybe it's going to be a non-starter.

Wasuup - yes the school would meet his academic needs - it's one of the few maintained special schools around with specialist provision and a mainstream curriculum (modified where necessary). I wish there were more, I'm sure the lea could fill this school 3 times over.

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