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Statement budget used to help others in class(11 Posts)
My son has just been statemented with aspergers. He is at an academy secondary school. We were told he needed 1 to 1 with a TA to help catch up on lessons he struggled with.
A TA comes into his lessons and if Jake has an issue, he can call her over. Meanwhile she wonders around the class helping anyone that needs help.
Our son uses her for about 10 minutes per lesson but the full hour she is in lesson, she is being paid from our statement budget.
The head confirmed this as being true.
He only spends about 4 hours in total per week having 1 to 1 and when we told the head we were promised 12 - 18 hours per week 1 to 1, she told us it doesnt work like that anymore and that there is nothing we can do about it.
We can account for around 10 hours that the TA is helping normal children which is tallied up against our statement budget.
The little help the TA is providing is not helping which is reflected on our sons performance targets which we monitor closely.
If this is normal then I can see why the educational system is in such a mess, why isnt the statement budget ring fenced?
Any thoughts on how we can move forward?
The wording of your statement is very important. If it does not specify that the hours are to be delivered 1:1, then the school can put together the hours in a different way or in any way it likes.
This often means they will cobble together a whole lot of numbers to suggest your son is getting support from a variety of sources at different time, including the teacher, in a whole class setting or small groups as well as in an individual 1:1 way.
What does your statement say? It is the wording of the statement that is enforceable not anyone's idea (including the head) of what it means.
How good is the wording on the statement? If it specifies 1 to 1 you can insist on it or exclusive help from a TA or other description that amounts to the same thing.
Is the actual help that should be provided detailed? If that is perhaps it is easier to target ensuring that every last crumb of this is being done first.
You have perhaps inadvertently used your ds name in the OP. what would you like to happen? Would you prefer the TA to sit with our ds to give him some needed 1:1 or would you prefer to use the hours in those lessons he has most trouble with? If you can come up with what you think he needs and then push for the wording in his statement to specify this then the TA could only be used in this way.
It does say 1 to 1 in the statement but when we pointed that out to the head, they said he gets 1 to 1 in his class....of 35 childeren....that the TA also helps. Can I get the statement reveiwed and amended? When we had the meetings prior to the statement, we specificaly said we wanted catch up 1 to 1 sessions with the TA so he could get to grips with the areas he had problems in with the lesson....they said "yes, we will include that"
Right I have been missold and the statement looks like it can be interpreted to their own greedy needs.
Well 2 years ago, he was promised 1 to 1 for maths with SENCO. then every term we would have a meeting and she would have a new excuse as to why she hadnt done it..."Oh we've been short staffed"....."Oh my work load has been too heavy"... and last but not least after 9 months we get "Oh, he has been doing so well with maths, I feel he doesn't need 1 to 1"....Then get this! The next day, he is bumped down a set in maths!! The Academic progress chart for that exact period shows his maths plummet in to the red on the national curriculum target.
We have everything in email, all her excuses, and confirmation of when he actually received the 1 to 1 which wasn't until after 9 months.
She made a mistake...the head apologized and said SENCO made a mistake but the bottom line is that the analysis of his performance falls sharp in conjunction with this grotesque error.
3 years and despite the countless errors, we have never escalated any complaint above the head but we think its time we moved it up a notch as we are hitting our head against a brick wall.
So we have met the head regarding this complaint and got lip service as usual. In normal circumstances with any of my other children, if I am not happy with the heads response, I can get the chair of the board of gov to assess and then on to a panel etc.....but would I think I remember reading somewhere that if the complaint is regarding SEN then the procedure is different?
I believe that if the provision in the statement has not been provided you should complain to the LA (Head of Children's services) as they have a statutory duty to supply this.
I agree with Badgerparade...get on to your LEA, they have a duty to ensure the statememt provisions are being met..if your LEA is anything like mine, they will not really give a damn, which then you have to drag them off to tribunal, but you could go round in circles doing this, the other option is to say the school can not meet your childs needs and start looking elsewhere, that not to say you wont encounter the same issues at another school, but I am simply throwing some options at you.
That is the major flaw in our wonderful SEN system, there is not any real penalty for schools when they fail to do what is on the statement, I think most of the issues we as parents have is the fact that once you have a statement, you then have the battle with the school an, and this is at its worst at Secondary level, its is as if all morals, Child concerns, and ethics go straight out the window once they get to year 7!
I would try going to the LA. It is normally their duty to ensure that the statement is enforced.
However you may have trouble as the school is an academy and the school will have the obligation as per their contract with the Secretary of State not the LEA. Hopefully they will not know this and you will get somewhere.
I was on a course about SEN legislation today and this came up.
I would suggest calling IPSEA to get some specific advice.
I can thank you all enough for your replies! I have just not had anyone to vent my frustrations at and started thinking I was the only one with this problem! The Academy have just called and have freed up the TA for more one to one over learning on core subjects. We will review the progress and push for more amendments if no progress is made.
Does the statement actually say he should get 12-18 hours a week 1:1? If so undoubtedly that is what he should get and the LA has to make sure he does. If the school is a post-2010 academy, there is also likely to be a useful little paragraph in its funding agreement that says it must provide the support set out in statements - see David Wolfe's website, acanofworms, specifically davidwolfe.org.uk/wordpress/archives/1217. It's worth mentioning that if you don't sort this out you will consult a solicitor about taking judicial review proceedings.
If that doesn't work, go to a solicitor. You need one which specialises in education and offers legal aid, because if you do have to take it to court it can be done in your son's name. If there isn't one near you, most can deal with this sort of thing by telephone.
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