Talk

Advanced search

Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Radio 4 Programme about SEN and Academy Schools

(12 Posts)
moosemama Mon 20-Jun-11 14:41:27

Haven't finished listening to it yet, but thought I'd post it in case anyone else is interested.

The reference to increased problems with academies refusing admission to children with SENs when they are the type of school that became an academy because they were an outstanding school to begin with is particularly worrying for us, as that's exactly the problem with the secondary school ds would ordinarily have been expected to attend. Local whispers are saying they are already making it difficult for SEN pupils to get a place and they've only been an academy since September 2010.

moosemama Mon 20-Jun-11 14:42:38

Doh - forgot the link! blush

Radio 4 You and Yours

The discussion starts 23 minutes into the programme.

Riveninside Mon 20-Jun-11 15:45:18

Are they allowed to exclude? What about free schools?

IndigoBell Mon 20-Jun-11 15:49:25

I haven't listened to this.

But they're not allowed to exclude. Neither are free schools.

All the rules for SEN apply to them equally......

However, we all know, some schools will do anything to exclude SEN kids - including not acting legally......

And of course if a school is acting illegally and is an academy then it's 'newsworthy'

Ineedalife Mon 20-Jun-11 16:09:31

Oh god I am dreading this, our local school, where Dd2 is currently are going to become an academy in Sept.

Dd3 should go there in 4 years.

Do I dare listen to this programme?hmm

IndigoBell Mon 20-Jun-11 16:19:34

Well, I'm a governor. My school is currently considering becoming and academy.

And I can absolutely tell you legally nothing changes.........

If you do listen to this, remember they're trying to make a story out of it....

Your school is as good as your HT and SENCO. Nothing to do with whether it's maintained, free, voluntary aided or an academy.... It's the HT that makes the school inclusive or not.

Riveninside Mon 20-Jun-11 16:42:00

Boys sxhool is an acdemy. Its as shit as it ever was so no change there.

Ineedalife Mon 20-Jun-11 16:56:24

You are right of course, indigo, we have just found this out when we moved Dd3 from supposedly the best school in the area to a totally inclusive school round the corner its a completly different environment.

Will just have to watch and wait.

At least I have a few years before Dd3 is due to go.

moosemama Mon 20-Jun-11 17:28:17

Indigo is right, legally nothing changes, but we all know what 'legally' means to some schools/HTs. We have seen it happening in academies all across our borough and we are now in the position of not having one single secondary that hasn't gone for academy status.

Yes, they are trying to make a story out of it - but its not exactly the Daily Mail is it?

They talk to a few different people - a lawyer who specialises in SEN cases, ACE The Council for Disabled Children, Parent Partnership as well as a lawyer who represents schools and academies and the head of a highly inclusive academy - so its quite balanced. It actually discusses the need for proper documented data, as currently none is being collated, so the scope of the problem is unclear.

They also agree with Indigo, that it is driven by the Governors and HTs of the individual schools and that's the important bit. A good inclusive school will always be just that, as long as the administration remains the same. Some schools however can and do use their academy status to try and shirk their responsibilities towards SEN pupils. They are also concerned that some academies seem to be trying to protect their league table status by reducing the numbers of SEN pupils on the role - which is exactly what our local secondary is doing. Fortunately the Head has just moved on to pastures new, so as long as the Governors are on side, hopefully things may improve.

The other concern is that the that, unlike Indigo's school, academies that don't want to tow the line, will have more scope to evade their responsiblities under the new 'freedoms' afforded by academy status'. Yes, legally they have the same responsiblities, but as yet, they are not policed anywhere near as closely as maintained schools, so some schools may try to get away with it and that's a loophole that needs closing.

I don't see any problem with keeping an eye on the situation and seeing how it pans out and listening to this sort of report is all part of the process. imho.

c0rn551Lk Mon 20-Jun-11 19:41:57

It will be easier for an academy to exclude children. The Lamb enquiry found that the proportion of children who are excluded who have SEN is disproportionately high.

Al1son Mon 20-Jun-11 19:47:51

I'm not comfortable with the idea that schools can employ the panel who parents appeal to about exclusions.

c0rn551Lk Mon 20-Jun-11 20:05:08

story in Daily Mail about academies and free schools opening for longer and later hours.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now