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Kept down a year because of special needs, now they won't accept him out of school year - help!

(7 Posts)
jumpupanddown Thu 11-Oct-12 22:25:01

My boy is an August baby and has verbal and general dyspraxia. On advice of school and dr I kept him down a year which was brilliant as it gave us an extra year to focus on speech and mobiility and he wouldn't have coped in the year above as at time he would have been going into reception, he wouldn't ahve been able to communicate properly or access curriculum properly. He goes to a private school, because of small class sizes and I wasn't sure he'd get a statement and the school has been very good. The school finishes at 7 and I am now looking for a new school for him. One of the ones I think would be good which is also private, say that they won't consider him because he is out of year group. I think this is discriminatory. Can they really refuse to take him out of year group, or are there any arguments that I can make? I don't want to get into a big dispute (if they really don't want him, then I wouldn't want him to go there), but might want to hint at legal ramifications to this kind of approach. Assuming there are arguments to be made?? I would really appreciate any pointers on this! Thanks loads

lingle Thu 11-Oct-12 22:34:04

how annoying!
I don't think this is going to be easy.
Do your current school's head have any influence here?

we are also "out of year" and can never leave Bradford LEA or he'll get bumped up a year at secondary transition.

zzzzz Thu 11-Oct-12 22:34:44

Ask if they have any kids out of year group presently?

Ask if they feel it I more appropriate for him to skip a year?

How far behind his age group is he? There is a huge spread in primary school, so you may find bottom set year 3 is actually equivalent to middle set year 2.

Ultimately if they don't want him, I wouldn't persue it. If they just need hand holding, go ahead.

Would a taster day ease everyone's concerns?

jumpupanddown Fri 12-Oct-12 14:16:37

Thanks - I tried both the suggestions but no good - they have refused point blank and were patronising and rude about the whole event. Obviously not the right place.

Its fine to have a policy, it's not fine not to adjust it if needed. I think its totally discriminatory and beyond stupid to insist that a kid who has a serious speech disorder has to start school at an age where they can't access the curriculum because they can't talk, rather then holding back a year so that they can actually get something out of going to school.

Thanks for your help
- Hayley

2tirednot2fight Fri 12-Oct-12 14:21:52

I am not legally trained but I would have thought the test would be that the school are required to make reasonable adjustments under equality legislation. If what you were requesting is a reasonable adjustment which doesn't seem unreasonable to me then surely there is a case to answer. Completely agree though you have to choose your battles, I would be cross if I were in your position. Really hope you find the solution soon

bigbluebus Fri 12-Oct-12 14:33:32

I don't know the legal answer, but when my DS started Primary school, there was a little girl in the year above whose birthday was on 26th or 27th August. Her mum hadn't wanted her to start in the school yr she was in as she would be the youngest in the class and mum didn't feel she would cope (didn't have SEN AFAIK). However, DS's school year was going to be oversubscribed, and the little girl lived out of catchment area, so HT advised that she either applied for her 'correct yr@ according to LEA cut off date of 31st August, or she would not get a place.

At the end of the infants, her parents chose to move her to the Independent sector. She immediately moved down and repeated a year so that she was where he mum had wanted her to be in the 1st place.

So after that long ramble, what I am trying to say, is, schools can be flexible if they want to be - an independent school makes up its own rules, so I think the school you have approached is just being difficult - possibly as they don't want your DS - although they can't say that!!

zzzzz Fri 12-Oct-12 14:34:25

They would have taught your son that he is somehow "less" because of his disability. Thank your lucky stars you have escaped what would have been a very expensive disaster and look for somewhere that deserves your boy.

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