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School not complying with the statement(11 Posts)
DD#1 has a statement (though appeal re content due around Jan 2013). Currently it has her down for 1:1 for 20hrs a week plus daily speech therapy with TA, OT exercises in school, sitting at front etc. So far it seems she is getting well under 15hrs a week of support (we are looking for full time support), no speech sessions at all, been moved to the back of the class then out on a limb at the side (she needs to be at the front for auditory processing issues). She is clearly having a really hard time - her behaviour at home this term has been worse than ever. She only started this school in September as she had to move up from her old Infant school to a Junior school. The school knew about her statement and had met with us and the old school last term so pretty poor they have done so little. She only got her own TA to do the 1:1 this week and had to make do with a variety of people helping her some of the time before that. Not great for continuity for a child who needs routine.
So..I am not one to piss off people at the school, but at the same time I am no longer in the mood of "let them get used to her and vice versa" before we act. We have a TAC meeting coming up this week so the ideal opportunity to voice all this. Given we also have an appeal to be heard on the statement anything you think I should do, or not do right now over all of this. Is it better to continue to let her school fail her for a while longer on the basis that I can then point out the current statement is not working and clearly we do need more help in it, or will the school just stand there and say they weren't doing it all and if they do it will be just fine? How do I pitch this to them that I am not going to accept their pathetic "attempt" at complying with the statement without jeopardising the relationship with the school. I have two other children who need to go through this school in the future so would prefer to not be the "guns blazing" type. I am not going to be taking no for an answer though.
Anyone else had a child really take a backwards step when moving up from and Infant to a Junior school like this. I am so concerned that she isn't going to cope with mainstream for much longer but we'll have to cross that bridge when it comes to it. Perhaps if they put better support in place it might not be such an issue.
Really difficult. We were in a very similar position a year ago. Ds started school with a rubbish statement which we were appealing. School, however, didn't even implement this statement, same reason as you, they "wanted to see how things go" etc.
We didn't challenge this at the time because we wanted to keep them on-side while the appeal was ongoing (ha ha - we found out later in the term that they were standing against us as a witness!). A term went by during which time ds was not given the (crappy but existing nonetheless) support in his statement. During the Xmas holidays we settled a new statement with the LA. Spring term went by and school continued to fail to put into place the provision in his (new) statement.
After several emails, discussions, reminders etc, and school fobbing me off, I wrote to the Chief Exec of Children's Services at the LEA. 3 days later a TA appeared for ds.
Not sure how this will affect our relationship long term, and like you, I have another child who might go the school.
However, i would do the same again.
My advice, fwiw, would be not do anything that drastic until the appeal. But at the TAC ask them clearly and remind them exceedingly nicely of their (and LA's) duty to put provision in place. Show them that you know what you're talking about, won't be fobbed off.
If you didn't have an appeal going on, my view would be different, but tbh it's exhausting and stressful enough having an appeal ongoing, so even though it's galling, might be best to save your fight and energy for the tribunal. But obviously kick arse big time afterwards if need be.
Its actually the LEA who have the duty to ensure the provision in the statement is provided so although you do need to remind the school of what the statement says it is the LEA who are responsible. You should write to the LEA top SEN bod using this template here and tell them if the situation doesn't improve you will seek a judicial review. I have had to do it 2 or 3 times years ago and got what I wanted each time.
Thanks - I will see how the TAC meeting goes and if needs be contact the LA from here to get things implemented. Right now I am more stressed than I have ever been about her in school. She had been willing to go, willing to do homework despite struggling etc. Now we are having to push her to get dressed in time to get to school, "fight" about doing homework and even in school she is apparently refusing to do some of the work which is very unlike her. I want to get them to document this sort of thing as it can only help at tribunal. It does seem they have her ability level all wrong too - the work she is getting seems far harder than last year when she finished year 2. I did wonder how she got the marks she did in her SATs?! Seems I may have been right about them being overgenerous with their marking. Made the school look better I am sure but didn't do DD any favours - though of course her progress may also look slower from here I guess and that can only help in tribunal too.
Don't get them to document anything - you need to do it yourself. Write or email them whenever a problem occurs so you have a paper trail and proof of all the difficulties. I have an ongoing complaint about failure to provide provision and the school and LA have both said different things and given different reasons about why certain things happened. I do however have loads of reports and copies of emails that contradict most of what they've said so it's much easier to fight them. They're just tying themselves up in knots and making things look worse than they already are .
My son went back to school this term and did so well people forgot the frantic paddling he was doing under the surface to pretend all was well. Cue lots of angst at home. He did so well last year that I was very disapointed. Tried talking to them myself, but no lights went on as a result. We all know how much notice is taken of Mum by profs (Granny tried too & shes a retired SN teacher!) I was getting really worried as I could tell it was just a matter of time before DS fell apart.
It's a very good school generally, they just weren't thinking, so an external bod (think of your friendly OT, SALT, outreach person) had a chat on my behalf & gave a gentle reminder as to WHY DS is supposed to have the support he does. Cue a bit of a facepalm moment for the school and a quick turnaround on getting it sorted.
I'm deffo gonna use this method if it ever happens again. It is totally dependent though on school having your kids best interests at heart though. Once the issues were brought to their attention in the palatable format of a prof to prof chat it got sorted. It's the start of the year and you have no way of knowing what other serious issues have cropped up behind the scenes with other pupils.
Nothing would have worked at my son's previous school as frankly the HT is horrible. If your child's school is essentially nice but just being a bit thoughtless do ring up your outreach and ask em nicely to have a quiet word on your behalf.
I think Autism Outreach will be at the TAC meeting so that hopefully will be in our favour as they will hopefully be able to back me up on DD's behaviour at home being linked to her stress in school. We also have the HT from her infant school coming along and she was very supportive previously so hopefully she will be able to make the Junior school see sense too.
Thanks schoolworry - I will document what is said at the meeting and put it in writing to them to confirm what has been said and will (or not) be happening.
Have you thought about ringing the Autism Outreach people before the meeting? it may be a good idea to give them a heads up on what you are planning to raise and to confirm you are both singing from the same hymn sheet. You don't want any nasty surprises and they might even be able to suggest things you may not have thought about asking.
I have no idea how to contact them eatyourveg - always done it through the (previous) school. I will get contact details from them tomorrow though at the meeting for future reference.
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