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Primary/Infant schools in wokingham for boy with SEN

(13 Posts)
lookingforsun Fri 21-Sep-12 10:43:09

Hello!

My son will start school in 2013 and I am getting anxious looking a good fit school for him. His difficulties are mainly speech, fine motor and physical stability. He is very social, no behavioral problems and willing to cooperate but very mellow. I am in wokingham but not in catchment of any good school, we are looking to move near walter infant but don't know if it is a good fit for him, all the good schools don't seem to have any SEN children Anyway that school told me that I can not visit the school unless I am in catchment so I can't decide if its a fit for my son. Radstock, Hawthorns, Lambs Lane, All Saints ... I am so confused ... very difficult to visit the schools as they don't have time to schedule individual visits ... one of them even told me "our time is precious". I have applied for statement but it will take few more months. Any recommendation/advice is appreciated.

Help!

joencaitlinsmum Fri 21-Sep-12 14:14:39

I work in a school (in Berkshire) and I dont think any school has the right to tell you that you cant look round if you are not in catchment, getting a personal appointment would be more tricky in some schools depending on the size etc!

I dont know much about schools in Wokingham from personal experience but had the impression from other parents I know in the area that most of the schools are good in that area.

You would be lucky to find a school without any SEN children to be honest, if they have a statement and its the named school of choice they have to take the child.

Try contacting your local parent partnership advisor http://www.parentpartnership.org.uk/find_your_local_pps/south_east/wokingham.aspx as they will be able to give you some advice if your child has special needs.

HTH

Oblomov Fri 21-Sep-12 14:22:47

You have until Jan , to get this sorted, so still a bit of time. I have just applied for my ds2's place.

You may have already had dealings with Sos-Sen, in Twickenham, on
020 8538 3731, but if you haven't, you could call them.
They are one of the very few truely independent organisations, they have heard it all before, and they were very good at listening.
They helped me go through the SENCOP and list all the bits that applied into my SA application. I e-mailed my application, and she went through it line by line, and suggested alterations. They have a lot of legal experience. My application to assess was refused, and I never took it any further, but I would have never even got it in, through all the stress, without one of their wonderful ladies. She gave me hours and hours of telephone support and tons of e-mail support.
They are also very knowledgeable to difficult kinds of needs, all different kinds of autism, etc, and may very well know just what school may be best for your son.
HTH

lookingforsun Fri 21-Sep-12 18:26:16

@joencaitlinsmum: walter infant school told me that they can't give me individual time if we are out of catchment, they said, last year they showed around 100's of parents who were out of catchment and no one could get the admission as they are over- subscribed school and it is a waste of time for the Head teacher. Then I asked for senco and i was told that she is on indefinite sick leave.

I feel that when the rule says that child of SEN can go to any school, its not totally true... the rule is "if child has a statement then named school have to give admission if they have spaces". In our case if statement comes through it will have to be after April (I applied in sept.) and the last day of admission forms of wokingham council is 15thJan so by April they will have allocated all the places so statement will not make any difference. I don't think that over-subscribed school will keep open places for SEN children. I was advised to not apply before sept as my son's needs would have changed (from statement) to real life.

@Oblomov: Many thanks for mentioning SOS!SEN ... I did not know about them, just now I checked and the website looks very friendly, I will get in touch with them ASAP. Do they charge for help/services?

Thanks!

Oblomov Fri 21-Sep-12 20:37:11

Sos-sen is totally free, totally independant. No hiddden agenda's at all. Whereas Pwp is county funded, and very closely linked with surrey county council, so sometimes not entirely unbiased.

joencaitlinsmum Sat 22-Sep-12 20:10:17

Going from personal experience it's very hard for a school to refuse a statemented child even if they are full, they will give you that impression but if you went to appeal they wouldn't have a leg to stand on. However they might try to say they don't have enough provision for a child but they have to prove that.

At the end of the day do you want to send your child to a school that is totally uncooperative before they even go there?

EBDTeacher Sat 22-Sep-12 20:43:51

All Saints is great for children with SEN. Very, very inclusive. Lovely atmosphere. (I know, I used to be on the SEN staff there! PM me if you want.)

lookingforsun Sat 22-Sep-12 20:56:58

@Oblomov Thanks! I will be in touch with them asap.

@joencaitlinsmum exactly my thought as you said that "At the end of the day do you want to send your child to a school that is totally uncooperative before they even go there?" I want to go where my child is welcomed and accepted not where it is forced. Are you certain that even the class size is already 30 pupil then also they have to take statemented child, what about Infant Class Size Prejudice? I have heard 30 class size can't be altered even in most special condition. Let me know if you have experienced with that. Lambs Lane is a desirable and welcoming school for us but they are oversubscribed so I am afraid by the time my son's statement comes thru they will be already 30 students admitted.

@EBDTeacher Thanks! I love All Saints too for my son. They have been very welcoming. I just have some inhibitions about the surrounding area of the school because ultimately we will have to buy/rent near the school. Surrounding area specially the area near the main entrance doesn't look nice to me. No offense to anybody.

Thanks a lot for help!

EBDTeacher Sat 22-Sep-12 21:11:55

You are right about the direct locality of All Saints but the school is 'resourced' for children with SEN (physical disabilities) and as such takes children with statements from a much wider area. Depending on what is on your DSs statement you would be able to get All Saints named as his provision and live much further afield.

lookingforsun Sat 22-Sep-12 22:47:30

@EBDTeacher Thanks for answering! Would you know if All Saints is only resourced for "physical disabilities" or other areas of development covered too? My son might not qualify as physically disabled though his diagnosis is CP. He has some balancing issues (mainly on stairs, uneven surfaces) but does not need any equipments/adaptation, his speech is main area of concern and fine motor skills like managing spoon, grip on pen, manipulating toys etc are bit tricky for him. Just recently, he started using his voice but nobody can understand him, even me as his mum. We have to guess and ask him back to repeat and then we figure "oh he might be saying this". Its guess/try again over and over day in day out for us. I have some concern about his cognitive development too, he is not a natural learner but if somebody shows it few times over he remembers it well. Would you say All Saints will be a good fit for him?

Thanks again!

EBDTeacher Sun 23-Sep-12 07:14:04

It is some time since I worked there but at that time I think it certainly would have been. Then, both KS1 and KS2 had a dedicated SEN teacher who had a part time SEN class of her own and responsibility for ensuring arrangements were good for the time each statemented child spent in a mainstream class. They have lots of experience with CP in all it's forms and with cognition difficulties. There was also an entirely separate nurture group in both KS1 and 2 (my area!) so children such as your DC and children with a degree of SEBD needing nurture were not lumped together.

The school was very supportive for DC with all sorts and shades of difficulties. One of the lovely things about the school was how great the mainstream children are with the children with difficulties. They grow up together in a culture of acceptance and the bonds and relationships are really heart warming.

I know there have been changes since I left, however, so you would need to go and see them for yourself.

lookingforsun Sun 23-Sep-12 20:33:07

@EBDTeacher Thank you for your reply! I have arranged yet another visit to All Saints. I guess my biggest fear is for my son to be lumped with SEBD children which happens a lot in different schools. He goes to a special play therapy group where he is lumped with SEBD children and I can see that he is not comfortable at all around them as he is too young to understand their problems. Once he got spat on, screamed on and pushed (forceful push by an almost 5 year old with SEBD) so he is very scared whenever he is screaming - running children. Thats a relief to hear from you about no-lumping at All Saints.

Thanks

joencaitlinsmum Mon 24-Sep-12 14:11:43

@lookingforsun
"Are you certain that even the class size is already 30 pupil then also they have to take statemented child, what about Infant Class Size Prejudice? I have heard 30 class size can't be altered even in most special condition"

In my experience we have a set class size of 20 as where I work is v small and we have had to exceed that amount to accommodate a child with medical needs (not statemented but went to appeal). So yes I would say that they cant use the infant class size route!

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