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school support - should I push for more?

(15 Posts)
skewiff Tue 05-Jul-11 22:04:57

DS starts school in September. He has mild cerebral palsy/ hemiplegia and has a statement (level D - 20 hours).

I have met the SENCO and she says DS will not have a TA. The 20 hours are for one to one and small group support though (not quantified in statement).

I have not fought to get things exact exact as DS is mildly affected and very self sufficient. I was satisfied with the statement because it enabled us to choose a school that we felt would look after him well and has clearly stated in the statement about physio, OT and speech and language input etc.

I trust the school a lot. And don't want to start on a bad note, battling for more than they want to give (when I don't really believe DS needs more than they're offering).

All I am wondering is - should I be fighting for more just on principal? Or because DS might need more once he starts (even though I am sure he will not)?

I don't want to feel that I am letting DS down.

Could I ask for a TA if he is struggling, once he's started school and if I feel the school is not providing for him - later on?

electra Tue 05-Jul-11 22:59:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CherryMonster Tue 05-Jul-11 23:10:59

surely if he has been awarded 20 hours then the school is getting money to emply somebody to work with him? i have 2 statemented children, and the school gets money to pay someone to work with them on a one to one basis. if the school isnt using the money for the help which the statement says your child is entitled to then that is fraud?

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 06-Jul-11 00:11:41

If the statement says he should be having 20 hours 1:1 then he should have his own TA for 20 hours! Is the statement badly worded so the school can wriggle out of this? The statement is a legally binding document, I'd be looking for legal advice, if I were you. Also, contact parent partnership fir your LA and ask their advice. Don't take this crap the school are spouting.

IndigoBell Wed 06-Jul-11 06:44:08

However, it is very important to build a good relationship with the school.

In the end that will matter far more than any legally binding document you may have.

skewiff Wed 06-Jul-11 11:15:20

Yes, I feel the good relationship is the most important thing. The SENCO is excellent. She really is and I trust her. She reckons Samuel doesn't need the TA at the moment and so do I. The reason I started this thread is because someone on hemihelp put the doubt in my mind following a question I'd asked there.

The statement doesn't actually say 20 hours. Or even Level D. Our local authority won't write these facts on statements anymore. I've just been told by the statement officer that its Level D and 20 hours.

In the statement it says that DS will require small group and one to one help. But it doesn't say how much. I was just guessing that the 20 hours meant 20 hours of small group and one to one help.

I will ask the SENCO next time I see her what the 20 hours actually means. But think I"ll wait until the review to see if DS needs a TA.

vjg13 Wed 06-Jul-11 12:50:48

If you don't think your son will need more support I wouldn't push for it but the wording is very vague on the statement and I would look at that more closely.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Wed 06-Jul-11 13:40:29

I didn't realise you were satisfied with the support being offered. I still think you need to get the wording sorted out on the statement. It shouldn't be so vague. It's all very well trusting the current SENCo, but my DS's school have had three in the time he's been there, some better than others. Things can change significantly, even year to year, so I'd think it was preferable to have the provision your DS needs specified on his statement, whatever that provision is.

utah Wed 06-Jul-11 13:45:27

the only thing I would add is if the statement is up for interpretation by the school and they provide minimal support it is then hard for you and your son in the future to demand more and if they only offer a small amount it would be easy for the LEA to remove the statement as his needs could be met out of the schools sen budget. But I agree the school and its ethos is more important but a statement does give you a legal right (well is should do). It does seem to be a bit of a juggling act and I always go with gut instinct.

feynman Wed 06-Jul-11 14:08:03

I would prehaps not be pushing the issue of his own ta if you don't feel thats necessary. But I would certainly want the statement to say how much 1:1 support he'll get and who will provide it. I would also want details of programmes he will follow with quantification as to how often.
Quite honestly your statmenting officers word means nothing if it's not in the statement. If the senco changes there is no guarentee of anything. Personally I would be wary about this.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 06-Jul-11 14:22:33

I would have to agree with EllenJane's response to you; the last thing you need is a vague and woolly worded statement from the LEA because that really helps no-one here.

I would be extremely concerned that the LEA have put "your DS will require small group and one to one help". Its far too vague anyway for it to have been accepted in its current form. I have a nasty feeling you may have just accepted the statement as it stands because the support stated looks promising for your son. However, longer term thinking is also needed as the pressures on children do increase the further up he goes through the school system. It will be rewritten as well when he is at the end of Y2.

When did you receive this document; has this been now finalised?.

The LEA have broken the law if the support on the statement is neither specified or quantified properly. They are not allowed to try and dodge their statutory responsibility like this.

I would seek outside advice from organisations who specialise in this sort of issue. IPSEA, ACE and or SOSSEN spring to mind.

skewiff Thu 07-Jul-11 11:46:27

OK, Thank you everyone.

I'll call the LEA now and ask them about this.

skewiff Thu 07-Jul-11 11:59:56

Sorry,

I have just looked at the statement again. it is really woolly about the one to one support provision etc

And it also says in the statement that the money to help DS will come from the school's existing budget.

I have agreed with the school that I'll take DS in 45 minutes late every morning, so that I can do his physio, stretches and massage etc.

I know this might sound crazy to some people. But I'd much rather do it myself and know that its getting done properly, than have it done by someone from the school (who will not do it with half as much care - they just won't!).

I'm doing this for reception. And then once we go into Year 1 I feel that my bargaining tool will be that if they won't let me continue with this (which I'm sure they won't) he'll need a TA.

Am I crazy in thinking this???

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 07-Jul-11 12:23:41

skewiff

I would be rejecting the statement if the provision is woolly (it also sounds unlawful). If parts 2 and 3 are agreed and they are awry it is a pig of a task to get it altered once you agree to the overall content.

You're probably baulking at the idea of a tribunal situation but it may be the only way forward if the LEA do not amend its woolly worded provision.

Re taking DS into school 45 minutes later you could end up making a rod for your own back here. Who ideally apart from yourself should do such exercises with DS (TA is not medically trained to undertake such things anyway). I take it as read there is no provision made for these particular exercises in his statement.

skewiff Thu 07-Jul-11 13:20:37

No. Nobody else could do these exercises you're right. So actually it won't be a bargaining tool at all.

They are exercises such as reflex inhibition programmes and massage stuff that i have learned through non NHS places.

I am only asking that I can do it in the mornings before school for reception as he'll be too tired once he gets home after 3 o clock. And also he does not legally have to start school till after his 5th birthday.

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