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LA "advised" school not to meet us - because of ABA?

(7 Posts)
BialystockandBloom Thu 23-Jun-11 15:43:47

Was supposed to meet with SENCO at ds's possible school today.

Background is that we're in middle of statementing, no placement confirmed yet. Ds has a place at one school, we asked for another, which is full (see other thread!. We've been waiting for 5 weeks for the school to formally respond, and in the meantime thought we should at least meet with the school he will go to if our preferred one says no.

I've met them before, they've been pretty co-operative, very willing to make transition plans, and most importantly, willing to have ABA tutor in. Had a meeting planned for today.

Email this morning from SENCO saying she'd spoken to SEN dept who have instructed advised her not to meet us until we know for sure about the other school.


Why would they do this? Why should they want to stop us discussing provisional plans with the school which it is quite likely he'll go to anyway?

Is it, perhaps, because she might have mentioned the meeting was, in part, to discuss the logistics of ABA shadow hmm

Sorry this is a rant more than anything, but I am so furious.

Starchart Thu 23-Jun-11 15:59:04

I would guess that was the reason yes.

Now the problem you have is how you approach this because in other circumstances I would write to the school and ask them to clarify in writing why they are not meeting you and who has advised them of this and their rationale.

But you want to work with this school, and you want them to accept you.

I'm afraid I went through this exact same scenario. DS ended up not going to that school because our relationship had been sooo sabotaged that it would no longer have worked.

At the very least I would politely ask the SENCO for the name of the LA person who advised them and ask for their rationale for the advice.

When you write, make it clear that you have a child with a disability that means transitions are extremely hard and being left without the usual preparation let alone the extra stuff puts him at risk of anxiety and a negative start to the year (What for example would happen if you had missed the parents evening where they inform you that it is alright for the children of reception to wear trainers and your already at risk of bullying/alienation/being hard to establish friendships boy starts school with black shoes whilst all the others have designer pumps). What if you don't know what day the school dinners money needs to be in and you forget and they have to withdraw him from dinners until they can get hold of you on the phone.

Tell them to get a bloody move on. (Sorry, I'm bitter and in a very similar position)

BialystockandBloom Thu 23-Jun-11 17:34:54

It is crazy that we are so close to the end of term and we don't know where he's going. Sorry you're in a similar situation - but is your statement, at least, sorted?

The thing is that we have possibly changed our mind about the school we want

Both schools agreed verbally to ABA support. Was allocated school A in original application (before statement). Then named school B as seemed best ASD support generally in all the mainstream schools we saw.

Have since found out that school B has a bit of reputation for bullying and being a bit tougher generally, so not sure if best place for ds, so were thinking maybe we would go with school A instead. And if school A is more supportive to ABA then it's a no-brainer. Which is why we wanted to meet them, to discuss this in more detail. But we're not allowed to until school B have made up their bloody minds if they can have ds. Insane. So we can't make a fully informed decision because we're banned from talking to them.

I'm not too worried about the relationship with the school, they're fine - it's the LA who are bastards.

Any ideas where I could find out if what they're doing is legit/legal, or if there is anything I can do?

And don't suppose you know if we have to go ahead with a school that we'd previously stated as preferred? We are still at proposed Statement stage.

Starchart Thu 23-Jun-11 17:45:08

No course not. Just tell them that you've changed your mind.

They possible issue though is number of places available. You might want to find out if they have completed their appeals process.

But if both schools are currently 'possibly' then arguably they are both holding a place for your ds and so you should be able to choose.

YOu can say (in writing) that school B is no longer suitable because they clearly don't understand how important a long and proper tranisition is for a child with ASD so you now have doubts whilst school A were willing to meet you until the LA advsied them not to (see you get that in writing for tribunal purposes).

The school DS is supposed to be going to and that we named (not had final statement yet) is appealing against us and refusing to engage in an transition too. Could it be the same school? Where are you again?

BialystockandBloom Thu 23-Jun-11 17:57:59

Thanks for that info. I already have the email from the SENCO telling us the meeting cancelled and why. And follow-up emails between us (me pleading to meet, explaining our anxiety etc), her repeating that she'd been 'advised' not to. Very good suggestion of wording, thanks. I'd forgotten quite how good at this you are grin

Don't think it's the same one, we're in south London, you're in Herts aren't you? Why is the school trying to stop ds going there? Fuckers.

Starchart Thu 23-Jun-11 18:26:01

That school sounds promising to be honest. That they were willing to be so transparent with you.

DS' new school is very switched on but as far as I can tell sick of being in the middle of parents battles with the LA over their failed children, and because they aren't LA puppets parents are choosing it which means they are becoming a warzone, so they have refused to accept ds as if fairness they think they already have their fair of failed children with assertive parents.

That, btw isn't their official line. It is the one I choose to believe and I think, once the LA have told them to just get on with it and the school have convinced them to give them more money it will all settle down.

utah Sat 25-Jun-11 12:04:23

I would be dubious of the senco/school you say she was wiiling to have an ABA tutor in school, what I do not understand is that your dc has a place at this school within the PAN, you have requested a visit, so why is she contacting the LEA, this is not common practice. When working for the LEA we had many calls from schools with issues they were not happy with, advice would then be given. Then angry parents would contact the office to ask why we were telling the school what to do, when in reality the school were actually hiding behind the LEA (of course we would not tell the parent this). I am at a horrible stage where I do not trust anyone.

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