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Moving back to the UK from overseas with a SN child

(20 Posts)
becs1973 Fri 12-Oct-12 08:12:54

Hi everyone

Am looking for some advice on the state schooling system in the UK and special needs provision. We are considering a move back to the UK next year after +3 years in Asia. At that point my boys will be just turned 5 (in June), coming up to 3 (in August) and just turned 1 year old.

My eldest has a receptive and expressive language delay, sensory processing issues and possibly ASD (STILL waiting on a diagnosis for this). What would be the process for getting him into state schooling the UK with any assistance he might need? I'm trying to get myself as clued up as possible ahead of our return so I can hit the ground running but it's hard to know where to start. Just fyi we don't have a house in the UK, so no address, GP etc etc Thank you in advance for any pointers or advice you might have.

zzzzz Fri 12-Oct-12 09:48:20

What part of the country are you looking at?

State school education in the uk is inclusive, so he will get a place in ms school (special schools tend to cater for very severe disability, though I believe this works differently in different parts of the country. It is often hard to get a place in units or specialised provision.).

Where will he be schooled in the meantime and what therapy has he received?

My son is 7, language disordered plus?. He was ms educated till last term and we are now HE.

Do you have to return to uk or is it a choice? Can you choose where you settle? Be aware that there are very few secondary specialist schools in the uk.

ICAN schools are worth considering. Meath. Blossom House. If he needs I Mark college in Somerset looks good for secondary.

Location is everything, IMO.

becs1973 Fri 12-Oct-12 10:12:04

Hi. It would be London/commutable from London. He currently attends a nursery school (where he can stay til age 6 which is when the locals start school here), he goes Monday to Friday for 3 hours a morning. It's a small set up - only 40 kids total and only about 15-20 attending at any one time, 1 teacher to 8-10 children.

Our only option here would be private, international schools and a) they are selective and he would not pass any entry assessments and b) if he did go we would need to provide a support teacher (he could not deal with a classroom environment without additional support) for him out of our own pocket which is just not feasible on top of school fees of around 10k gbp per annum. He currently sees a speech therapist and an occupational therapist - all paid for out of our own pocket but maybe not too expensive when compared to private in the UK? I don't know what it would cost to go private in the UK (ST is equivalent of 35gbp per hour, OT is 20gbp per hour).

becs1973 Fri 12-Oct-12 10:16:14

we also looked into ABA but the only provider was prohibitively expensive - around 2000gbp per month, we simply cannot afford that. Plus we're not even sure he's on the spectrum - his paed says possibly not, we are hoping for another assessment this month, he's been seeing her since 2.5 years old. The ABA providers also assessed and said severe/moderate. This was at age 2years 10 months and many of his symptoms have lessened since then, for example his social skills have increased slightly as his language has increased, but he is still not naturally inclined to play with other children, which is what makes us not sure if ASD or not, but that's another story entirely.

zzzzz Fri 12-Oct-12 11:58:43

We are still in the ASD not ASD debate hmm for me doesn't matter as I am results focused and try to target issues rather than dx motivated IYSWIM.

SaLT was £50 pm here (SW) but ours was best in the area so might be cheaper options. ABA isn't something I have much experience of but what you quoted doesn't sound out of the ball park here.

We have tried both private and state school and found private infinitely better, but yes you pay for all extra help. Do you come back on leave ever? I would make appointments at the ICAN school for assessment and move to that area, if you like it. I would also get them to advise your nursery now so he gets some continuity of care.

How is his language now? At 3 my ds was really struggling, but fast forward 4 years and he can make himself understood and play, read, write, make jokes. Funnily enough I would jump at the chance to live in the Far East again!

zzzzz Fri 12-Oct-12 12:03:47

zzzzz Fri 12-Oct-12 12:04:37

Sorry that hold have said £50 per hour!

Shells Mon 15-Oct-12 03:59:54

Marking my place. What would people suggest as a plan of action
GP - Paed - assessment - LEA - look at schools?
Or just skip straight to LEA (we do have a diagnosis on paper.DS is 8).

becs1973 Mon 15-Oct-12 05:16:20

Hi everyone. Thanks for the advice, sorry am so slow replying. His language is coming on, at 3 he had a vocab of about 25 words and now it's in the hundreds. His ST thinks more of an issue on the expressive rather than receptive, he tends to repeat alot - ST reckons it's because he knows an answer is expected of him when someone talks to him but he doesn't know what to say so just repeats back what you asked him. Also think some kind of auditory processing issue, often he can reply but it takes a minute or so for him to formulate a reponse/perform an action that's requested of him. He also tends to learn chunks of dialogue and appropriate responses in x/y/z situation and then repeat them back verbatim. He has a great memory though, can recite the entire story of The Gruffalo word for word, even if some of it is quite hard to understand, so now he reads me and his brothers bedtime stories smile

Shells - replying on here I know you asked on my other thread. We are in Malaysia, in KL. Not sure when we will make the final decision on when to move back, it's basically our decision as we wouldn't find an appropriate school for him here without paying $$$$$$ per annum which we can't afford.

Shells Mon 15-Oct-12 05:49:37

Hi Becs. We are in NZ. Have been here for 6 years. Your DS sounds a lot like mine at that age. Its very hard when you're not sure whats happening isn't it. And sounds like moving back very good idea, if only for his sake.

My DS has been coping pretty well in mainstream with a TA for half the day. I would want to replicate that but don't think we need to look special school at this stage. I have heard really good things about Meath though.

colettemum3 Mon 15-Oct-12 06:50:52

Sorry but the school that you think is good??? Errr no they weren't to us. One year at an annual review, i asked wherever or not my child had a particular dx. The senior member in the class said no and that my child had flavourings or traits.
Roll on a year, another senior member of the team read out the special needs registrar and what did that member of staff read out as one of my child's dx's??? Yep the one that all the staff said my child didn't have!!!

Honestly you could of heard a pin drop as they all went dead quiet and then they all tried to back peddle (apart from the one holding the registrar) saying it was flavourings etc.
That is what i will always remember and it has been a few years.

Lougle Mon 15-Oct-12 07:03:43

Winchester is good. Hampshire in general really, but the fast train to London is only an hour or so.

It has some great MS primaries, and a brilliant Special Primary (my DD goes there) which caters for all SN, including ASD specific classes (for very severe ASD) and ASD 'friendly' classes (for children with ASD but not very severe, or children who do not have ASD but do have SN which makes highly structured teaching and routine important), PMLD classes, and classes for children with moderate-severe SN.

The Head teacher is simply amazing and the school is passionate about pushing the children to their full potential, whatever their needs. They have SALT and OT on site, too.

You would have to get the ball rolling, though, because the Statement process takes 6 months, and referrals will already be being made for next September (SS) and the application cycle starts in January (MS). Having said that, they can and do place incoming children pending assessment if it its obvious that it its warranted.

The special school I am referring to is Shepherds Down School.

Lougle Mon 15-Oct-12 07:06:19

Shells -straight to LA, then GP while you wait for a reply.

Shells Mon 15-Oct-12 07:13:08

Thanks Lougle. But can LA do anything for me before we have an address?

Lougle Mon 15-Oct-12 07:14:35

Very unlikely. Until you have an address, they have no obligation to educate your child.

Lougle Mon 15-Oct-12 07:15:15

Could you find somewhere to rent, even temporarily?

Shells Mon 15-Oct-12 07:22:48

Oh yes. We're onto that.
So what happens if it takes at least 6 months to statement. Do the LA just bung him in any old school and they just have to cope with him in the meantime?

Lougle Mon 15-Oct-12 07:32:14

If you come mid year, they'll offer you a place where they have a space. The school may put support in place while you apply for a statement.

Shells Mon 15-Oct-12 07:55:54

Do you think I'll be jeopardising things if I home school him while I'm waiting? I don't particularly want to do it, but neither do I want him floundering.
(thanks for being so helpful).

zzzzz Mon 15-Oct-12 19:36:03

collette. I'm sad to hear that about Meath, I have heard glowing reports about it. Nice to hear from someone with direct experience. What do other Mums at the school gate say?

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