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Can an LEA go against a school's admissions criteria?

(6 Posts)
YakkaSkink Sun 23-Sep-12 20:32:00

Arrgh! The head has told me that the school cannot meet DS's needs. DS's had a statement agreed at the end of last year and it's only been implemented fully since he started the new year two weeks ago. Relations had become very frosty between me and the SENCO as she's been an evil bitch bullying me and suggesting to all manner of people from the paed to the ed psych that I'm an abusive parent. She called me in for a pasting with her and the deputy head at the end of last year when I asked some questions about the provision the school were providing - things like level of qualification of staff and training as I had some worries in those areas - so that I could get the details in the statement right and it was basically a feelings meeting 'So why don't you just trust us?' type stuff and I failed to keep my trap shut and explained to her how I feel about what she's done, she flounced out.

DS has been sitting on the waiting list forever for neurodevelopmental assessment, but DS's statement is for autism as that's what the ed psych concluded (after I had to ask for a second EP report when the first one didn't even observe DS but wrote down all the crap the SENCO had to say). DS went for another massive violent tantrum this week and they decided to send him home and tell me they don't think it's ASD and they don't want him in the school anymore. DS is heartbroken as he loves his TA and the school (mainstream primary, he's in Y2).

I know I've got to try to move him before they get around to expelling him as they're just not even trying to do the right things for him because they think it's not ASD at all. They can argue that his behaviour is too much for them to handle and there's no point in trying to make them manage him well as they think it's impossible. But there's nowhere - there's an ASD unit attached to another local primary which would be hugely better but they have said no as DS isn't diagnosed. There are no other options, he doesn't fit the admissions cirteria for any other special school or unit, another mainstream primary will struggle to cope with him (he attacks staff and children and escapes), he's already been thrown out of one in nursery.

Are the LEA able to force the ASD unit to take DS even if their admissions criteria say that they will only take diagnosed children? Private dx not an option as I have no money left.

AgnesDiPesto Sun 23-Sep-12 21:14:59

Yes the criteria is rarely written down anyway - at least whenever I have asked to see it there is none. If he has social communication difficulties that is often enough.
LAs can also put children in as emergency placements while for eg assessments are done. In fact if he went to the ASD unit the staff there would probably be the best people to decide if what he has is compatible with asd. Many LAs used to have assessment units and nurseries etc until they decided to dump all the kids in mainstream and call it inclusion.
Have the school given you a letter for the exclusion? If not insist on one as it will be good evidence. Look at IPSEA advice on exclusions.
Is there an autism outreach team or outreach behaviour team they can call in (or you can self refer). Outreach should be telling the school to do its job rather than putting you in this situation. you could try parent partnership - they can be useful to take to meetings.

bochead Sun 23-Sep-12 21:32:58

1/ Find a VERY expensive private school with ASD provision

2/ Ring LA officer in floods of tears asking her to name v. expensive private school in statement part 4 as this school are refusing to help your child. Follow up phone call with email listing v.expensive private school

3/ Sit back and watch fur fly for 48 hours.

4/If after 48 hours no joy, ring and say you've just realised there is ASD provision in the borough - would that be an alternative to v. expensive private school?

5/ Wait 48 hours - if your child is excluded for longer than 5 days you have the right to challenege it with the Governors - do so. IPSEA will show you how.

Agnes - in my area you aren't allowed any access to autism outreach without a diagnosis - it's a real catch 22 that took a tribunal to overcome in our case (yes the NHS took THAT long to diagnose).

YakkaSkink Tue 25-Sep-12 17:37:54

Thank you! That sounds like an excellent plan bochead thanks

I've been looking for achingly expensive private schools but can't find anything - not many private schools at all in this area anyway and DS too young to consider boarding. Is there a directory somewhere? Or could I maybe try to get them to name a school run by the neighbouring LA? I don't really want him to have to travel 25 miles to a unit that's probably on a par with the one 3 miles away but they don't have any spaces according to the LA. They're currently suggesting a BESD provision and I've said no.

No, Agnes, there's no outreach team that I'm aware of, just ed psychs to support schools and I know they're pretty cross with the school about DS - but the head of the school is very powerful and the LA will do as he tells them. If he weren't such a big cheese, he'd never have tried to pull this.

bochead Tue 25-Sep-12 17:40:45

Where are you in the UK?

We'll source some expensive private schools for you wink

YakkaSkink Tue 25-Sep-12 17:44:25

South Devon

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