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Does a 121 usually stay with your child as they move up to the next class?

(21 Posts)
Hylas Fri 15-Jul-11 22:09:35

Hello lovely ladies,

DS is in reception and will be moving up to year one in Sept. He has CP and has full time one to one assistance - he is hemiplegic but very mobile, the support has been put in place more for his cognitive delay. I have just found out that this lovely TA will not be moving up to year one with him and I am extremely upset about this.

The inclusion manager has advised that it is not the school policy that TA's will always move with children but I do not find this acceptable. DS's TA works brilliantly with him and I suspect that they felt perhaps they were becoming too close. There reasoning they have given is that there are some statemented children starting reception in September and she has been ear marked to work with them. Another pearl of wisdom was that they are taking into account the needs of the whole school! What about DS?s needs! He has built up a very good relationship with her and she knows how to get the best from him (even his OT commented on this). They have already made this change and in fact did not even inform me until I asked were his usual TA was. They seemed to think that this was acceptable as well - so much for good communication with parents?.

I want to take this further and am going to take advice from the EP but I just wondered in the first instance, in your experience do TA's usually stay with the children they have been placed with?

Thank you!

BehindLockNumberNine Fri 15-Jul-11 22:14:27

It depends on whether he has a statement and whether his statement is tied to her contract.

I am a TA in a primary school. I have two contracts, one fixed one where I am paid by the school and the school decides who I work with. And one temporary SEN contract which names a statemented child and specifies that I am to work with this child for x hours a week until the child leaves the school (which is next week as he is in Y6 and moving on)

Eveiebaby Fri 15-Jul-11 22:19:21

No - exactly the same has happened with my DD. In September she will have her current TA for the morning and a different one in the afternoon. The same reason as your situation - DD was building too much of a bond with her TA. DD has progressed so much this year and gets on extremely well with her TA. However, the aim is to get DD independent by the time she goes to juniors in a couple of years (she has been diagnosed on the autistic spectrum) so although she has made so much progress with her current TA I feel it is good that she will also be working with somebody different next year. DD's school did not seek my thoughts.

brandy77 Fri 15-Jul-11 22:19:39

I worked as a TA for 10 years, i went up the years with the pupils i supported. This was in secondary school, but it was common for the TA to stay with the pupil if they had a good rapport going. I stayed with several pupils from year 7 through to years 11/12, i loved it as you really get to know the pupil more and understand them more and build up a great relationship, i talk to my old pupils on facebook now,lol, some are married with kids. I would definitely take it further, lame excuse about the TA being needed for new statemented children

Hylas Fri 15-Jul-11 22:22:43

Thanks for your reply. He does has a statement but all it states is that he should have 32.5 hours support from a learning support assistant...I just don't understand why they would choose to change things when it has been working so well....

MugglesandLuna Fri 15-Jul-11 22:29:45

My DS is moving from preschool to reception with his 121 - he has ASD and has built a very good bond with her so I am very happy about this.

Hylas Fri 15-Jul-11 22:44:52

Thanks Eveiebaby, he does actually have a different TA two days a week, this was put in place when it was felt that he was becoming too attached and I was OK with this as he was still seeing his original TA three days a week. My main concern is that I think she is able to get the best out of him and it is going to be hard enough for him moving up to year one anyway but I suppose I will just have to wait and see how things go next term. Additionally DS will only be at the school until I can find a suitable SN school so I don’t think it would have hurt to leave things as they are.

My son has delayed speech so he is not able to speak to me about what is going on at school and I don’t think it is ever acceptable to make a big change that is going to obviously affect him, such as changing his TA, and not at least tell me that that has happened.

Brandy77 I agree if the child has a good bond with the TA and they work well together I can’t understand why they school should choose to make changes. I have had some issues with the head and I don’t think that has helped….

Thanks for your replies is good to get an idea of how things work at other schools smile

metimenow Fri 15-Jul-11 22:59:30

My son had the same TA from year 2 until the end of year six.

appropriatelytrained Fri 15-Jul-11 23:02:35

Yes, unfortunately for us. My son's TA was contracted to stay at school as long as he did so we left!

TapselteerieO Fri 15-Jul-11 23:17:48

My ds had the same T.A in nursery (over two years), but since Primary 1 he has had another T.A , for the third year after the summer he will have the same T.A, I wonder with hours being cut, because of council cuts, and the school losing a number of T.A's due to a dropping school roll, that the reason my DS is getting the same person again because she has a permanent contract, unlike the others and her hours match the hours my ds has been given for support? (Sorry if that was a bit waffly, v. tired!)

supermum98 Sat 16-Jul-11 07:51:45

Hi Hylas. I don't know about contracts, but my ds was statemented for full-time 1:1, he has CP is mobile but has MLD. We had job-share's all the way through primary. The first couple of TA's who worked with my ds. I asked that staff from his special school be on the interview panel, as moved from special to main-stream at 8 with phased entry. School not keen to do, but I pushed for it through the governors, so agreed in end. I also met them informally and my views were sought before employing them. The reason being that special school match TA with child very carefully and they knew my child from birth. I thought job-share worked well as less intense and supported each other, yet still close relationship and good communication. The TA's moved with him to next class, and I would have been upset if they hadn't if it had been working well.
Our TA's had a lot of training from the special school and there is always a hiatus whilst they get up to speed, so you could push that angle. I was not involved with selection of TA in year 7, the relationship wasn't right, he went off the rails a bit in the second term, the 1:1 was too intense, he started using her as a councellor and she became very negative, she left.
I think hadshe been the right personality she would have deflected him from using her as a councellor, but I felt it was easier to have cosy chats with him about his feelings about his disabilities, than it was to do the physio etc.
He now has a team of TA's around him, which he enjoys, but there is no continuity the communication is worse and they have said that they can't put certain interventions in place because too many TA's to train. Going to shrink down to team of 3 from September, because I was not happy. One TA out of 5 in primary didn't work and the one that didn't,hadn't got enough patience for the job and got irritated with his learning difficulties, which he picked up on, it was really bad for his self-esteem. She used to huff and puff at him. She had not worked with a child of his level of need before. I'm telling you this because I think if you have relationships that works for you child and you have a good relationship with his current TA, then stick with it.

A good TA should be able to manage the relationship such that your child develops independence and I feel the argument that diluting support or changing it is good for their independence, is a flawed one and often used as an excuse to change things. The critical thing is to get the personality match right and then everything else can work. We've had two TA's out of 6 that didn't work and the effect of the two that didn't work on him was devastating and I struggled to get my ds into school. I think at primary level 2 TA's was ideal and at secondary 3 could be the optimal number for a child with more complex needs. Why don't you suggest a job-share so you could still keep the same TA part of the week. This may be a win-win compromise.

As for communciation, I think it is essential that they communicate with you what is going on, as you need to prepare your child for change and if you know the new TA, then they could have sought your views as you know your child better than anyone else. The new green paper I believe puts parents much more at the centre and so it should of decision making for provision, and there is a reason for this. Good luck and I would trust your gut instincts on this and quote 'every disabled child matters'. One to one you have to get right and so far it sounds like you have got it right.

Goblinchild Sat 16-Jul-11 07:56:46

Have you spoken to the TA honestly and openly about what she wants to happen? She is in a position to push for continuation of her role is she wants to. Should the school be putting the needs of the school above your child's needs and removing a TA to put her in a place that is more advantageous for others.

Goblinchild Sat 16-Jul-11 07:58:24

'Should' should be could. I'm having a RL conversation about linguistics and I can't think straight when someone is reeling off Latin and French verb suffixes at me and expecting a response.

Triggles Sat 16-Jul-11 14:03:01

DS2 has two main TAs that split his hours, with one taking a majority of hours, the other takes 3 afternoons a week so his main TA can do prep work and such. It works really well this way. DS2 is in reception right now, but is moving into year one in September.

We were just advised this week that both his main TAs will be moving up with him into year one. Their hours are adjusting slightly (second TA will be with him 2 afternoons a week instead of 3, so main TA is taking that afternoon), but other than that, he will have the same support in place. It was a big relief to us, and thankfully the senco at the school insisted that it was vital for a smooth transition into year one. We were happy to note that one of his teachers from this year (reception teachers job shared) is going to be his teacher part time (again, job sharing) in year one as well!

I have no idea how the school has it contracted, as his statement has just gone through within the past few weeks, however the school has been providing full time 1:1 throughout the entire school year regardless. I'll admit that when we mentioned to the headteacher that we wanted his main TA to continue with him into year one (TA was happy to do so), the headteacher was fairly non-committal, I suspect due to issues of staffing and not wanting to commit to something she couldn't guarantee. However, the senco immediately stepped in and insisted that it was important, so it was ironed out pretty quickly.

Have you spoken to the senco or the TA? I know the person that was one of DS2's main TAs previously had to stop because she had to change her hours for personal reasons. It was a shame, as she worked very well with him, but it happens. Perhaps they are trying to smooth it over because that TA is no longer available to work with him for some unrelated reason and don't want you to take offence? I know that our school has a specific group of TAs that have worked with DS2, so that one of them can step in if need be (illness, etc). So I can see where they might not want them completely reliant on just one TA. But yes, it's important for them to build up a good rapport and have things be consistent as well.

I will point out that I absolutely love the job-sharing of the TAs for DS2, as it means he is not thrown completely off by someone new in case of illness or holidays or schedule changes. It gives them both time off from him (he rather active grin), and it gives them time to prepare things for him ahead of time (visual aids if needed and accessing lessons to see what support he might need ahead of time).

Triggles Sat 16-Jul-11 14:04:49

lord, HE'S rather active... sigh.... I hate typos....

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 17-Jul-11 19:53:08

I'm a 1:1 TA in a primary school and my contract is to support a particular child until he leaves, which will be in a year. My DS has had the same TA for 6 years for the same reason, but TBH, I think a change would have been good for him. Maybe not straight after reception, though!

It could be that the school employs a team of TAs on permanent or temporary contracts not specifically for one child. They may feel that your DS's TA is particularly suited to work in Reception with the youngest children with SN and is very good at handling that transition into full time school. It's a shame that they haven't communicated their reasons very well to you, and of course, your priority is, rightly, your own child. I'd be wanting a meeting to discuss their reasoning and how they have planned to minimise any issues with the transition to Y1 for your DS.

uninspired Sun 17-Jul-11 20:40:04

In primary DS was the only child with a statement so the TAs there were funded from his statement, hence them working with him til he left.

In secondary, the TAs work across subjects rather than allocated to a specific child - so DS has around 10 different TAs on his (2 week rolling) timetable. It helps them to cover absences and obviously subject specialism makes it easier for the TA to support the child.

sphil Sun 17-Jul-11 22:25:37

We have just fought very hard to retain DS2's 1:1s (he has two, who share the week) for the third year running. It is school policy to change them every year - and to be honest I think it's so short-sighted, if the child and the adult have a good bond. Our arguments were that Ds2 takes ages to bond with people, that they know him well and understand his speech and that they have gained a huge amount of expertise over the last two years. To start again with a new TA would be like reinventing the wheel. I also feel that a child with autism has a hard enough time at the beginning of a new school year anyway, adjusting to a new classroom, classmates (they swop children around every year in our school) and teacher - keeping the same TAs provides a much needed sense of security and continuity.

Hylas Mon 18-Jul-11 22:34:08

Thanks so much for your replies everyone, it really helps to see how things are done at other schools. I am more that happy for the TA to job share (which is what we have been doing) but I know that the school won't back down sad.

The head has been quite difficult about other things and doesn't take kindly to being challenged. I know I sound neurotic but we have had words a couple of times and I almost feel like it’s personal. They have already stopped the TA working with my son and when I asked why I was told “things going on at the end of term” which again I feel is unnecessary, at least they could have let her finish the term with him (I spoke to his TA today and I know that it is not her that instigated the change).

It’s been a tough year, my Granddad passed away in February, and the hospital have now admitted liability for DS’s birth, which is, for want of a better word, good news but it’s very bittersweet and brings it all back. We are full on with appointments and assessments and people telling me DS probably won’t be independent when he is older sad I’ve been fighting the LA for adequate provision on DS’s statement and finally got it sorted 2 days before going to SENDIST. And now this…and there is nothing I can do about it....

sphil Mon 18-Jul-11 23:07:12

You poor thing. I know from experience how helpless this can make you feel. It sometimes seems to me that our children are like pawns, moved about on the whim of others. And I know just what you mean about it seeming personal. I have often felt that I cant push too hard, in case it rebounds negatively on my children.

sc13 Tue 19-Jul-11 10:53:01

My DS's TA is moving with him from Reception to Year 1, and we're very happy about that. It's encouraging to hear of cases where the same TA has worked with the child throughout school - DS's TA did not have training in working with children with ASD before, but she has very good instincts about what works with DS, and one of the things I appreciate is that she encourages him to be independent.

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