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Reduced timetable ... advice needed!

(33 Posts)
NaughtyDolly Wed 06-Mar-13 22:52:42

Reposted from behaviour and also primary education as it was suggested there might be people over here with experience of this.

DS1 has been having behaviour problems at school. He started school in Sept aged 4.1 and since then things have been getting steadily worse. He's rude, disruptive, aggressive and violent to his teacher and the headmaster, although he has been doing well academically.

The school have now brought in a range of professionals to help, both at home and at school. Of course, we have been fully co-operative with all of this, as we are keen to see DS do well and get on at school.

Last week we called a meeting with the headmaster as we had not actually spoken with him about DS at all. This was scheduled for Friday. On Weds we were approached by the class teacher and asked to come in to "discuss what we were going to talk about" on Friday.

We did this, and they told us that since DS's behaviour had gotten so much worse since he has been doing full days, they were considering a reduced timetable for him. The headmaster said "I think probably afternoons". We readily agreed to this.

On Friday, they had drawn up some papers with the reduced timetable on, along with three objectives that DS must meet before he is allowed to proceed to the next milestone, and more time at school.

However, far from being afternoons, the first two weeks consist of Monday, Weds and Fri 9am to 10.45. If he meets his objectives, this will increase by 15 mins, and so on. If DS meets his objectives on target, he won't return to full time school until July.

We were assured by the headmaster that this strategy had worked with other kids, so we agreed to it. They said they would send him some work to do at home that would tie in with what the class are doing, but all that came back with him in his bag were two extra reading books.

The reduced timetable started on Monday, and DS had a bad day, mainly because I made a mistake and told him we could go to the local park, take photos and put them in a scrapbook. I thought it would be a good way to get him looking at nature and writing about things and drawing pics of the things we saw.

The SENCO lady at school told me I should not have done this as it made him uncooperative at school and just want to go home. Lesson learned, I thought I will not tell him of anything we will do during his home time.

However, tonight we were visited by the home school liaison officer, who is helping us to learn new ways of managing his behaviour at home. She informed us that it is in actual fact illegal for DS to leave the house during school hours while he is on the reduced timetable!

I was amazed. No one had told us this during either meeting at the school, and it essentially means that me, DS1 and his little brother, who is 18mths, are under house arrest for all but 5 1/4 hours a week! I can't go shopping, I can't take DS2 to playgroup, I can't visit my sister, I can't even take him out for a walk when he needs some exercise.

If I had known this I would have been much more reluctant to sign off on the reduced timetable. We live in quite a small flat and having two kids alone all day, particularly one with challenging behaviour, is going to be extremely tough. I am feeling daunted and a bit depressed.

Has anyone else had this? I feel like I need a little support from someone in a similar position.

dietstartstmoz Thu 07-Mar-13 10:45:02

I agree, the school should be offering appropriate support for your son to help him with any difficulties he is having. It wont be the first time the school has come across children with additional needs, they should know what they are doing, and they should be able to support him more adequately.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 07-Mar-13 20:41:10

First of all he is not 5 yet and legally does not have to be in school until the term after he is 5, ie Sept so you can go out as you please. Even after that you can home educate if you wish.

If anyone stops you (unlikely as he's 4) refer them to the school who have excluded him! My son is 6 and (officially) not in school fulltime and I have never been stopped.

Find another school. You will save a lot of heartbreak and wasted effort that way. The only point of keeping him in this school would be to prove his needs are not being met and make it easier for you to get a statement, at which point you take your statement and go to a new school which does care.

A long established poster on here (thanks Justa grin) wrote a blog for a while and this quote from a support worker she met really stuck with me so I just tracked it down for you, and is very true of the stories I have seen on this board for the past 3 years.
"If they are even slightly half-hearted about taking your son, if they even refer to lack of resources, walk away. It doesn't matter how highly the school is rated, how convenient it is, it doesn't matter the fact that they are obliged to take him. Just walk away. I have worked with hundreds of families, and I have known so many families who pushed their way in, and it never, ever works."

Its very rare than schools with poor attitudes change. Apply for a statement on basis your child has been excluded and a school cannot meet his needs from their ordinary resources.

MareeyaDolores Thu 07-Mar-13 22:00:35

Wot Agnes said

Absolute shock about calling a park trip illegal
You're a better woman than me... I'd have told her to try calling the police

lyingeducators Thu 07-Mar-13 22:12:32

We had a very similar situation. School carefully plotting to get rid of a child that they didn't want and eventually permanently excluding after a TA deliberately provoked the child. LA is full of praise about the school stating how inclusive they are hmm. These people are very devious unfortunately and it's very hard to get justice for your child. Hope your legal action gets results. I am about to throw the towel in now and give up hope of any justice.I feel that even if we went to tribunal they would just lie and provide fake evidence to con the court like they con everyone else.

MareeyaDolores Thu 07-Mar-13 22:46:14


bochead Sat 09-Mar-13 09:54:52

The before and after of my son at a school that goes the extra mile compared to his previous one is so shocking it's amazing that they have the same professional titles. He's a different child in the best sense of the world and has made so much progress it's incredible. NOT all schools are as dodgy as this one by a long chalk - some are very caring, hard working positive places where children of all abilities can learn.

Please go to your GP and ask for a referral to get a full neuro assessment (to check for conditions such as sensory processing, ASD & ADHD). While you are waiting for that please, please look around for a school that has staff that care about and understand children who differ from the norm in any way. He doesn't have to be in school at all until the term after he turns 5, so use that to home educate while you wait for proper medical assessments.

To keep a four year under house arrest in a small flat is just plain wrong, and very, very damaging to your quality of life for the WHOLE family. Noone would suggest punishing a child like that if they needed a wheelchair to access the classroom. (I hope though there are days I wonder about the mentality of some people).

I find the HT's latest comments rather disturbing, and a sign that this is NOT the right environment for the nurturing support ALL four year olds need. To openly admit that you cannot handle a four year old as this school has done is a very, very poor reflection on their skills at working with kids. (how on earth do they think teachers of 6 foot 2 sixteen years olds cope ffs?). To then deflect the blame for their own inadequacies back onto a baby like this, is morally reprehensible.

MareeyaDolores Sat 09-Mar-13 12:50:30

Wot boch said. With knobs on

However when/if seeking statutory (ie statemented) educational support for a dc who needs it in later primary, it can be useful to have a couple of well-documented episodes of previous 'epic fail' tucked away in their school file.

So illegal exclusions like this are something to shout about and make official, rather than to necessarily try and avoid at all costs.

amistillsexy Mon 11-Mar-13 19:03:08

Unfortunately, that is what I'm realising. They will have created enough 'evidence' to show that they did everything they could, so it will probably just be a waste of our time and money as well. I just keep thinking about other children coming through...sad

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