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TA - so annoyed!!!!(26 Posts)
Ds has full time support and current school have said they can't meet needs and it's obvious they want him out asap. He is incredibly anxious which is not helped by inexperienced TA's ,as well as some teachers, making horrible comments. He should only have 1 or 2 TA's but usually ends up with 6-8 different ones per week . Today his regular TA wasn't in so he had a new one who has not been at school long and knows nothing about his difficulties or condition . She sat way too close so he asked her to move and she said that she couldn't. This caused him to be agitated and then he was a bit rude to her (he often is when under pressure). She than said that she couldn't believe his behaviour and that her 5 year old was better behaved than him. Also said that she thought he was in Year 8 not reception! I am so . There is no point complaining to school as there is a history of their staff making inappropriate remarks and nothing ever gets done. Just venting - I know no-one can help but needed to get it off my chest.
What a seriously unpleasant, ignorant woman, who obviously has not been adequately trained or briefed either
Why is there no point saying anything to school? I would be saying to them immediately that given her obvious misunderstanding, lack of awareness and lack of training in ds and his specific condition, I would not have her working with him again.
If you're thinking of/planning on changing schools (?) then yes, probably not much point and won't achieve much in the long term - but I would certainly write a formal letter as it is outrageous that a TA who is there purely to support pupils with additional needs is saying such awful things.
I would say there is every reason to complain to the school. We have had a supply teacher make very similar remarks to my ds this term and we complained on both occasions. She is now no-longer allowed to teach my ds's class (although I can't imagine why the school wants to continue using a supply teacher who behaves to abominably towards their pupils).
Lack of awareness or training is no excuse, the school should have a plan in place to ensure all staff, supply or otherwise are fully aware of any children with SEN in their class and how they should differentiate for them. If there is no system (eg mini passports that go to each teacher at the very least) then they need to be addressing this serious lapse in their systems.
If nothing ever changes when you complain, keep upping the ante until you get some action. So class teacher, to head of year, to head of key stage, to head of school to Governors and ultimately the LEA. In fact you could copy the LEA in on each stage of the complaints anyway as the school is far more likely to act quickly if they feel they are in the spotlight, so-to-speak.
They don't like formal letters and have already complained about the ones (only 2 ) that I have sent in the past. They didn't even bother to answer one of them so are likely just to ignore any more letters sent!
Their excuse will be that it was unexpected and they didn't get time to brief her - I can hear it all now .
At any meetings held they've put their own spin on the minutes so that important bits we have said are not included or twisted to make us sound unreasonable.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I would include a copy of all letters to the Chair of Governors if that is the case.
You should definitely write TA, no child should be treated like that but if you dont complain the school are going to continue to sweep their failings under the carpet.
Also if in the future you decide you do want to complain you need to show that you have followed protocol other wise no one will even read your complaints never mind act on them
Believe me I know.
They are bound to not like the letters, as anything that goes on file looks bad for them, but you do need to do it anyway. One thing I have learned the hard way over the past few years is that there is nothing as important as a comprehensive paper-trail. Any letters you send the school can be used to back you up when/if you are doing things like applying for a statement or attempting to prove your ds's needs are not being met, so basically you need to put everything in writing, no matter how much they don't like it.
Not having time to brief her is no excuse. A mini passport takes seconds to read, but would have given her enough of the most salient points to be able to support your ds at short notice without making obvious mistakes. Also, not being briefed is still no excuse for the way she spoke to your ds. She would have at the very least known he has SENs and should have been more professional and engaged her brain before operating her mouth.
If they have ignored letters in the past, send one to the Head and copy it to the Governors - addressed to the Governor responsible for SEN.
If they are twisting the minutes of meetings, you need to involve either Parent Partnership or another independent advocate to attend meetings and take minutes for you. They can then send a copy to the school stating that this was the outcome of the meeting as you understand it. We have similar problems with ds's school saying one thing at meetings and then backpedalling or saying that we misunderstood what they meant, so now we always take an independent third party with us to the meetings to take notes on our behalf.
They sound charming .
Ask yourself what ds gets out of attending? Will he become the young man you think he could be if he is treated like this?
Find a way of giving him what he needs.
On a more practical level, keep a diary. Review regularly what is helping and what really isn't.
We desperately want him out of there but there is nowhere locally to meet his needs.The LA are aware of the situation and I have an ongoing complaint about other failings which is currently being investigated. It is not possible to keep him at home so what can we do?
Does he have a statement?
If he does, have you looked at out of area provision if your LA don't have anything to meet his needs?
Hi Moose - yes he does have a sm and we are looking out of area at the moment. Have said to LA that we need him out of there for the sake of his health but sm is under review and they are waiting for us to name a school before they will do anything . We are trying to find one that meets needs but it's not easy for various reasons.
disgusting behaviour from a professional. Totally unacceptable.
If he had a physical disabilty would comments about his ability to walk be tolerated.. I think not!
Less visable disabilities (sorry i know i'm making assumptions here) should be treated with no less respect.
Write to the head & the chair of governers asking to see a copy of their inclusion policy and ensure they understand that you are making a complaint regarding these disablist comments
Dont tolerate it
Have you looked at any smaller independent schools TA, either in or out of area?
We hadn't even considered independent as an option, until a couple of professionals involved with ds both mentioned one that would really suit his needs and then some parents at the local ASD support group reinforced what they'd said. They weren't allowed to suggest schools to us, but mentioned quite strongly that we should give this school the once over.
Turns out the place is perfect and would be well worth the massive fight we will probably have to get him in there - although there is a precedent, as other children from our LA already attend there.
Is there any way you can find out where other children with similar needs have done well in your LA - support group, parent partnership, inclusion team?
No-one has similar needs Moose-we have been told he is unique. We are having to consider independents as there is nothing else about. Am expecting a fight but they know he is in the wrong place and know they need to sort it quickly now.
Similar problems here. Ds doesn't fit anywhere really and is apparently 'too complex' for them to pigeon hole him enough to shoe-horn him into any of their existing provision. He doesn't suit ss, but ms are saying they can't meet his needs and in truth he'd never survive a typical ms secondary without a lot of support.
We are just trying to pick out the things he needs the most support with and look at schools that would, hopefully, be able to at least support those needs.
It's horrible isn't it. I have been breaking my heart over there being nowhere for my ds and we aren't even in the same position as you, as he is just about coping, well surviving really, where he is at the moment, so we are doing this via SEN secondary transfer timescales.
I really hope you manage to find somewhere for him soon.
Thanks Moose. I am a regular name-changer and we have 'chatted' before about our ds's similar problems. Our main issue is that we need to name a high school for September but he'll be lucky to last until Christmas at the current school. We can't then put him in another school just until July as he doesn't cope well with change and it will take months for any staff to fully understand him well enough to give adequate support. You're right it is a really horrible situation to be in
Oh, and it now turns out his regular TA was out on a pre-planned school event so they could have forewarned him about the changes and briefed the other TA!
I thought I recognised your posting style.
Oh ffs! A planned event and they hadn't forewarned and prepared him or briefed his support. Does your ds go to the same school as mine? They certainly sound spookily similar in their behaviour.
We're having a very similar problem - regular supply teachers (as in weekly at present) but no-one telling him in advance and we've now found out that he isn't actually getting any TA support at all one day a week, which just happens to be the day they seem to keep getting supply teachers - and so we just go round again. <sigh>
Could you do what we've had to do and call a meeting of all professionals involved in his support to discuss the statement and if they are implementing it properly to support his needs, as well as doing everything else that's necessary to support him? Clearly they aren't, as they should be doing basic things like forewarning about change and informing support and adhoc staff of his needs, so you have enough justification right there to call a meeting. Ours is not an emergency annual review, but we have the statementing officer, ed psych that wrote the statementing report, inclusion teacher and her boss, senco, head teacher, ourselves and our advocate all attending the mother of all meetings to try and get him as supporting as we possibly can so that he can make it through the rest of the year.
This year has been a nightmare so far and ds is a mess, but he still wants to attend at the moment and we are fighting to make that work for him.
Dh has been tapping away on his laptop all night preparing notes for us to use at the meeting and will likely be doing the same all tomorrow night - doubt we'll get through it all or that they'll see things our way, rather than closing ranks - but we're going to give it our best shot.
'Unique' is not an excuse for lack of provision. Its a good reason for individualising it properly. Would bet a large sum of money that you were told 'every child is different' (ie denial of 'unique' being relevant) by the exact same people when it suited them.
We have had several 'emergency' meetings this year Moose but as school have now admitted they can't meet his needs we cannot expect any more from them. We had hoped that as he might not have long left there that staff would understand how anxious he is and try their best for him but that clearly isn't happening with some
most staff. They just don't seem to understand that his extreme anxiety impacts on his behaviour and that instead of punishing and excluding him for it they should be concentrating on the cause e.g sensory issues,language difficulties. We have explained this until blue in the face but they are a school very focussed on behaviour, aiming for an outstanding Ofsted inspection next time round. They promote their inclusiveness and support for SEN but actually don't want any child to upset their well ordered apple cart!
The HT recently told the dc's in an assembly that if their tie's were too short he would be finding them another school ffs - shows just what their priorities are.
you could also say that seeing as your DS is so "unique" then that's even better as an argument for indie placement, as it won't be setting a precedent for other similar kids since supposedly none exist...
good luck with your respective meetings anyway, namechanger and Moose.
While your ds may be "unique" as a whole, it's highly unlikely his individual issues/deficits are unique. Perhaps you could break down the profile for them into bite sized lumps and demonstrate how each can be addressed?
Ultimately if school are not willing/able to educate himand home are not willing/able to educate him, he is not going to receive an education.
Extreme challenges require extraordinary effort if you wish to succeed.
Well apparently she has been spoken to/reprimanded and won't be supporting him again.
However, he understandably went in upset today and we had another 'phone call hinting at exclusion . Don't they understand that how some staff are treating him is adding to the problems?
Today's TA has also upset him . He complained that he doesn't like having a TA following him around all the time as it makes him feel different and she said 'it's your own fault for not following instructions!' . He did tell her she was out of order but when he reported it she said that he was lying.
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