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Secondary schools in Wilts/Hants - independent or state - good with Asperger's

(62 Posts)
inappropriatelyemployed Tue 01-Jan-13 18:20:54

Ideas anyone? DS is reaching transition stage.

Icedcakeandflower Tue 01-Jan-13 19:06:18

Bump smile

I would be interested too, as ds is also 10 and has AS. I'm currently looking at Cambian and Priory Group schools, as ms would not be suitable for ds with severe SPD.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 00:44:58

St Edwards melchet court is wonderful as is grateley house in Andover.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 00:54:21

This school is the easiest independent school to actually get your child into and is good

Is very good but hard to get a place.

But the following school if you live in Wiltshire is the one they will try to force on you and IMHO is the worst most abusive school I have ever set foot in they claim they can deal with ASD but they cannot

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 01:00:52

Is very good but only deals with LF ASD.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 01:01:07


IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 02:32:09

Ignore the pm I sent you, I forgot we are now in a different year and thought this thread was from last jan.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 02-Jan-13 09:48:22

Thanks for the tips. I will look at them. I absolutely don't want him to be a boarder but I feel he needs a level of understanding of AS which is beyond the m/stream schools he has been in so far. Trouble is that it seems that children with AS are either dumped into schools for behavioural problems when Wiltshire's shit primary schools have failed them or sent out of county to one size fits all ASD schools. Or you end up fighting the mother of all battles for an independent schools.

DS goes to primary school over the border in Hants and this has been a much better experience.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 02-Jan-13 09:52:48

I should add that he is academically very able too which is a complication for the schools we have looked at so far.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 11:27:05

The residential schools all also take day boys on request. He does not have to board

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 11:29:04

The school they will push for is a behavioural placement the ones I included are

Social and comunication as well as behaviour problems.

There is a big difference between the two different types

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 02-Jan-13 11:46:14

Thanks. I noticed that the student profile says 'often multiple exclusions' for Grateley. It is so depressing. In the wrong school, that is what DS would have. Indeed, I was even told by the independent SLT we had for Tribunal last year that left in his old school, we would gather ample evidence of the failure of m/stream provision. But I wold never keep my child in a school like that or just to 'gather evidence'.

It just seems that it is not about the right school but about demonstrating no one else wants him.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 11:53:25

The problem you will have in Wiltshire is most of the schools that actually state they specialise in ASD will only take LF ASD kids, the county try's to fit HF ASD kids into mainstream where ever possible and they create when you don't want to do this.

There attitude is if we cant bung them in mainstream then bung them in downlands where we can ignore them and blame everything on bad parenting Call ss every time a parent complains and after a bit they will get tagged anyway so it won't really matter.

The ones you need to be looking for are ones that have a few different specialist areas. And include "social, emotional and comunication " in the list.

Lots of the specialist schools will refuse to even give you an appointment without you sending a copy of the child's statement and dx paperwork and that's even before you can find anything about it.

The independent schools ( unless you are able to either pay yourself or become a massive diocesan donator) are very hard to get into because they cost about 60k a year and county hates paying it. But if you do our homework and don't give them a choice its doable without court or anything like that.

It's much easier if you can get the primary on your side,and to help with finding a placement or support the one you least that's my experance anyway.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 02-Jan-13 12:07:50

Thanks. That is really helpful. Do you know anything about Stanbridge Earls in Hampshire?

We have our Y5 transition review in March but we can't get in to see them until March.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 12:48:11

I personally thought it was more geared up towards children with little parental support.

The school wouldn't even discuss anything about themselves without reciving a copy of medical letters and statement ( I think that's an intrusive unacceptable thing). When we looked around it and met with the head, my perception was it was discouraging parental involvement and catered more towards less able students but other than that it was a lovely caring welcoming environment with some decent teachers.

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 12:52:24

Is the reason you can't get there due to there appointments?

If so can I strongly surgest you start making appointments elsewhere and view those as the more unsuitable placements you have seen and documented reasons for unsuitability the more likely you are to get the one you really want.

County relys on parents to not do the legwork themselves and leave it up to them, they struggle to deal with parents who take an active majority role in finding the school ( by deal what I really mean is fob off).

Icedcakeandflower Wed 02-Jan-13 12:53:26

I've been reading with interest and will look at Sock's suggestions. It's so hard to find out anything from the parental point of view about schools.

I looked at Stanbridge Earls a while back for dd. It is a lovely school and a lovely HT who hails from Devon. The main building is period and full of character. The IT suite is bang up to date, and the swimming pool is housed in a conservatory block.

The whole school looked impressive, and the children were just like any NT children, which most of them were. They were very interested in dd until they realised she wasn't just a shy girl who happened to have dyslexia and AS. They refused to have her because she wouldn't get out of the car on her planned visit. To me, it shows a lack of understanding of AS. Their excuse for turning her down was that "we are a dyslexia school".

I know there will be different children in each intake, etc, but at Grateley, the children are generally at the extreme end of AS, and/or severely traumatised by their school experience. Pm if you would like to know more.

Good luck IE, our ds's may one day be at the same school without us realising it!

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 12:55:55

Can I ask what your list off essential requirements are


Preferable needs

If you can highlight the specific needs your ds has,I can go through all my notes of the schools I researched and try and point you to a few that would be good for your dc.

Hopefully I've got it right that its a son not a daughter your looking for? Lots of the schools are single sex.

I've got to nip out for a bit but will be around later

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 12:58:35

Iced, feel free to also do it I'm happy to help if I can.

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 02-Jan-13 13:14:27

sockreturning "more geared up towards children with little parental support" - that's not the impression I get at all. In fact, it may be a little too 'precious' and full of middle class kids with a need for a bit of extra help. It is actually a fee paying school which doesn't just take statemented children but as iced says I think that can be a problem as I am not sure they want children with 'too complicated'. They did ask for DS's statement and then said it was too early to tell as he may mature. They have an open day which is what they direct parents too.

Iced - that's the impression I got of Grateley too. Bit too extreme end of spectrum for DS. Will PM you.

Sock - thanks for taking the time. DS has AS and Hypermobility and Sensory processing disorder. He is bright but he has real problems with concentration and motivation and gets lost in large class rooms. He deals badly with change and can be withdrawn and not explain himself when in difficulty. He may become distressed and non-compliant when not understood. He doesn't take everything in and is poor at organising himself.

I think he needs an environment where they really understand AS (so you are not having to do a daily training session for the staff about every little issue), where there are small class sizes so he doesn't need a full-time TA, where he can learn social skills as a priority but also where he can achieve academically.

I would like to think that most of this would be achievable at a m/stream school but I can just see another 7 years of daily battles as people never really seem to understand.

Icedcakeandflower Wed 02-Jan-13 13:22:42

That's very kind of you, Sock.

For ds, who is 10 and in Y5, sen statement due (hopefully) soon, has AS, severe SPD, and dyspraxia, academic (on G&T)

No boarding, so must be within an hour's drive
AS friendly
Small class size
On-site therapy services, esp OT

AS specific

Not asking much, am I? grin

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 02-Jan-13 13:27:25

They sound pretty similar Iced save for DS is not on G&T list.

Pebbles69 Wed 02-Jan-13 16:12:49

It may not be what you are looking for at all but I know Kingsdown school is a main stream school that has an ASD unit which has been recommended for me to look into for my hfa son. It is based in Swindon, Wilts

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 18:10:56

My perceptions on stanbridge earls are just based on the lack of parental involvement compared to the others I went to or has taster days at. But it is a lovely school even If I personally thought it was more appearance based and focused more on what I perceive to be none complex learning differculties.

From both your lists it does sound like any in the cambien group are not what you need so grateley house would be unsuitable shame really because I have two dc's there and both love it.

Rowdeford is also out for the same reasons as grateley

But iced you may wish to look into this one

Its a very well respected school don't be put off by it also being a sports academy it is also academic

They have a max of 8 to a class. They always used to let day pupils as well as boarders but its worth asking as there policy may have changed now.

Both of you may want to check out

As it does fit all criteria mentioned, class sizes start at 2/4 to a max of 6 but only when child can cope with that many a class of 6 has 2 staff members. They have about 50 kids in the school and all ASD kids have there own tailored social plan, it's also very academic and fun. I currently have one HF ASD ADHD SPD delightful dc there he loves it, there is not one thing I can fault about it, ( despite being totally up my own arse and liable to pick fault).

The differculties you will have in this area with as spersific schools is we don't have many, the ones we do have tend to cater for the same children rowdeford school does ( ) as all the other kids the LA try's to force into mainstream or downlands despite closing nearly all the ASD units in the mainstream schools.

But this one.

Is a very happy medium between independent and state schools, the school building when I looked at it was fairly shabby but the teaching and pastoral care was incredibly good,they also had a very good quite safe room and classy sizes were 8-10.

This also fits both your requirements

I know children at the Andover one who are very happy there.

Larkrise in Trowbridge is exerlent but Its more aimed towards sever learning disabilities

IneedAsockamnesty Wed 02-Jan-13 18:15:04

Oh bugger I already told you about those. I'm clearly losing my mind.

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