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Is it only parents of SN children who have to deal with this

(38 Posts)
meaty Tue 26-Mar-13 10:59:03

Today the senco phones me to ask that tomorrow I pick up DS (5yo) at 1pm as they dont have a TA for his 1:1 after lunch. For the first time I said 'no' and that didn't please them.

In the past they just tell me he is ill and I pick him up but after the last time where it turned out his TA had gone home ill and my son was fully fit and well I had just had enough.

He is part time even though it is the term past his 5th birthday as the school says that it is in his benefit. I am in the process of getting a statement to bring this all to an end but from the snails pace it goes at I dont think I will get one in place until the start of the next year. He already has SA+, IEP, Ed Phsyc, OT, Pead, SALT so I am tying it all up in a single legal document.

If you are a parent of an average child surely they would always find replacement teachers to cover sickness/absence why is it that I feel that parents of SN children are treated differently? Is it cost? lack of experience?

AmberLeaf Tue 26-Mar-13 11:02:59

It is only parents of children with SNs that get this crap IME.

It is very wrong and Im sure it is illegal?

Someone who knows the deal will post Im sure. [as I don't know the ins and outs!]

Luckily Ive never had this from my sons school, defonitely never had it with my NT children either, but have known a number of parents who have had schools do this with their child with SNs.

In the UK that wouldn't happen with a non SN child I don't think sad

I live in Germany and my 7 year old turns up on the doorstep from time to time because they've been sent home early as the arts and crafts or ethics teacher is off ill - they always find a replacement for the main class teacher, but a couple of blocks a week are taught be specialists and when they are off, the kids just get sent home - the school don't even call parents to warn them (but then again the kids generally make their own way home - still it has the potential for a smallish child arriving home to an empty house).

In the UK things work differently and I would think sending a child home like that is boardering on illegal, with the right to an education laws etc. unless there is a specific reason related to him in each case rather than to his TA. Can he manage in a class for an afternoon without a TA? Presumably he wouldn't be allowed to be part time by year 1 and they wouldn't be able to do that?

Trigglesx Tue 26-Mar-13 11:07:01

No reason you should have to pick him up. Good for saying "no" to them. They need to sort out their own staffing problems. It's their responsibility to have someone there for him. How fair is it to interrupt his education because of their staffing??

DS2's prior school (MS) never EVER rang us to pick him up due to staffing issues. They made sure if his TA wasn't available that someone else (and always someone that had worked with him at some point so it was easier for him) was with him FT. This is before we even had his statement or diagnosis.

It sounds suspiciously like the school is keeping him at part time due to their staffing issues, is this correct? I would challenge that in writing as well. It's THEIR responsibility to cope with staffing; you shouldn't have to worry about it at all.

Dinkysmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 11:07:24

Yes I think it is only parents of children with SN that have to put up with this.
I can't believe they had the audacity to even ask you to remove him because the TA has gone home. Senco should fill in and make sure he is looked after and ges an education.

The school asked me if it was possible to move dinky school the week before Easter hols. Turns out it was because they 1) can't handle her 2) didn't want her to go on the trip today.

It is so wrong!

I hope you get the statement sorted for your DS, and you don't back down when it comes to the school.

meaty Tue 26-Mar-13 11:15:05

Thanks for the replies.

He has full time 1:1 while at school and he would not be able to cope without that level of care.

The school has indicated that they will be keeping him part time when he starts year 1 but I think I will have the statement by then and I will be making sure that he has a full time education.

I know IPSEA is very good at helping out parents like myself so it will be another call to them but I was just wondering if anyone knows how widespread this practice is and whether or not parents of average children experience this as well.

Trigglesx Tue 26-Mar-13 11:19:14

Have the school indicated this part time status in writing giving the specific reasons why? If not, I'd insist (in writing of course) on them giving this.

meaty Tue 26-Mar-13 11:21:12

Dinkysmummy - I know what you are saying about school trips. DS is supposed to be going on a farm trip next term in May so they have asked if I would drive him there walk him around then take him home. I said no. So they asked if I would get a CRB check go on the coach with them and then walk him around the farm. I said no. So they said could I drive my car up to the farm behind the coach walk him around and then take him home. I said no. Eventually the compromise was I would drive to the farm at lunchtime and take him home but he will get to go on the coach with the other children, he will walk around the farm with the other children and therefore will experience most of a school trip.

I was a little awkward but so far he has been sent home when there have been school trips. He is excluded from PE, Assembly, school trips, christmas play, pre school clubs, after school clubs, holiday clubs and therefore I wanted him to at least experience a small part of school life outside of the classroom.

meaty Tue 26-Mar-13 11:22:36

trigglesx - They have written about the part time status but their only reasoning is that it is in his best interest as he cannot cope otherwise. I will be following up on your suggestion and be getting detailed reasons.

LimboLil Tue 26-Mar-13 11:32:28

I had all of this in foundation. My son was part time until Easter and I was still collecting him lunchtimes until the last half term of the summer hols. I kept him home for Xmas performance and school trip. I was asked to be the first to collect him at home time every day and then we would have a 20 minute wait for his brother in the playground during which time he would have massive meltdowns and dart off into classrooms and then I would get snotty comments from other parents. It was lovely, best time of our lives - not.

LimboLil Tue 26-Mar-13 11:33:49

Sorry, that should read other teachers. I don't get snotty comments from parents, just stares or blanks!

meaty Tue 26-Mar-13 11:41:44

I am lucky. I get to drop my son off half an hour after everyone else and I get to pick him up an hour before anyone else so I never see any other parents. Rather cuts out any sort of school social life but I suppose I dont get snotty comments even though sometimes I wouldn't mind as then I would at least get some adult contact.

FreshWest Tue 26-Mar-13 12:00:18

I had a similar issue when dd was at ms school. They only had support for half days and couldn't get any more (so they told me).
I rang the woman who sorted out the support for dd on half days when she first started school and explained that now I would like for her to be full days and why wasn't she able to organise this. She told me she hadn't even heard from the school and of course it wasn't a problem shock The school were blatantly trying to get out of having dd there all day and tried to stitch the pupil progress woman up.
Good for you for saying no to them.

Dinkysmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 12:04:57

Good for you Meaty for sticking up for yourself and your DS when it comes to the farm trip!
I know what you mean about other things such as assembly. I had no idea dinky was being stopped from going to assembly until I asked why she was the only child in the classroom with the TA every Tuesday afternoon when I picked her up.
You are so right he needs to experience school life.
Although you might think you are missing out on adult contact from drop off late pick up early, I found it easier to miss out on talking to the parents. The looks, and the whispers are horrible and party invites make their way to parents, talks of cake choices ect (Dinky has been invited to all of one party and that is because I know the parents and it was being held at the special needs club house.) The worst part is listening to them boast about their perfect children and how well they are doing and how their teachers just love their DC. Also being asked to go and speak to deputy (who is also senco but the parents don't know that) in front of the other parents is horrible. The ominous "can I have a word"

Have you looked into support groups for children with SN in your area for adult contact?
Dinky will be going to a special/additional needs Saturday club... Is there something like that where you are?

Sounds like everything with your school is a battle


meaty Tue 26-Mar-13 12:14:09

dinkysmummy it seems your DD and my DS are similar in the way they behave and the way they are treated. So far we have never been invited to a party but my son wouldn't even care it is more me caring about his involvement with his peers.

We used to have a lovely SN nursery which organised events and outings but funding cuts has lead to another group being setup which caters for children with SN but aimed mainly at a slightly older age group. Once he is 8 my son will be well catered for so at the moment just in an inbetween age.

Dinkysmummy Tue 26-Mar-13 12:24:58

Aww bless him...
Yeah dinky isn't all that bothered, I just hate hearing about the invites that seem to be for every child except dinky.

That really sucks that you have to wait until he is 8. I'm lucky that this group runs from age 5. (actually I'm lucky she will be going at all because she has no dx ATM)

I really hope things get better with the school

ouryve Tue 26-Mar-13 13:06:17

If they persuade you to take him home, he is being illegally excluded. It's one thing agreeing with school that a particular day may be so disrupted and off routine that it would be traumatic for your DC and lead to longer term difficulties, but another being told they can't look after him because they can't organise their staff and don't have contingency plans in place.

Mine are in year 2 and 4 and both have full time 1:1. Recently, all the TAs and many of the teaching staff took up the offer of a course that would be beneficial to the them and boys, which left the school with a big cover problem - they didn't want to leave them with inexperienced staff or staff who didn't know them. DS1 spent some of the day with an older class with an experienced, familiar teacher. DS2, we were much more worried about, since he takes a while to trust people and has personal care needs. We agreed that a day in the foundation unit, which is secure, staffed with people he knows and trusts and pretty much appropriate to his developmental level would be most appropriate for that one day. There is always a way, even if some effort and ingenuity is required.

tallwivglasses Tue 26-Mar-13 13:12:47

In my experience, getting someone from Contact A Family to remind them about the DDA does the trick - as does the threat of going to the local press.

ouryve Tue 26-Mar-13 13:20:32

And put your foot down about the part time nonsense. Do they have evidence that it would be better? They certainly can't do it without your agreement and without a plan to re-integrate him full time. If you're being railroaded ask for their reasons in writing so that you have copies for your own, personal records. The IPSEA website has some helpful factsheets that can help you to find your way around your entitlements regarding your DS's education.

DS1 did go part time for a while in year 1 because he really was struggling with a full day. He already had a statement, but we were trying to get him assessed for ADHD at the time and it was proving a lengthy process with many delays. We very quickly extended his day, re-introducing lunchtimes, which were big flash points for him with the lack of structure, then odd afternoons, until, within 4-5 months, he was back full time. During that period, the inclusion service were involved, helping to find ways to make school easier for him to deal with eg using IT instead of expecting him to write.

meaty Tue 26-Mar-13 13:31:52

He went full time for a couple of weeks before christmas but hit a teacher so was excluded for a week. He has been part time since and so far no more anger/hitting issues and no further exclusions.

The reason for part time from the school are poor EG The TAs need a break he is hard work. The fact I have him 19 hours a day + weekends + holidays without a break in the day at all seems to escape their notice.

The only reason I have continued with part time is that he is happy and now he even asks to go to school so in this case it has worked but the time is near where he will have to go full time and I think it is time to put a plan for that in place.

I have never heard of the inclusion service is that something that is available all over the country or is it something the schools have access to?

The inclusion service has different names and slightly different functions in each LA. In my LA we have the advisory teaching service, in different sections, visual impairment, interaction and communication etc. They are funded by the LA centrally and go into schools to help class teachers and SENCos with DC with SEN. In some areas they are called outreach, or autism outreach, or inclusion etc. Maybe ask your local parent partnership for advice. Again, parent partnerships in different LAs can be quite different, (some pretty toothless) but every LA must have such a service.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 26-Mar-13 14:09:03

Ask, in writing what exactly he can't cope with if full-time and why they think that might be.

N0tinmylife Tue 26-Mar-13 14:17:07

As a parent of an average child I would say that no this would never happen. I'm guessing mainly down to numbers. Can you imagine the uproar if a school sent a class of 30 children home because there was no teacher available to teach them? However it is relatively easy to send home one child, as you then only have one angry parent to deal with. It does seem hideously unfair on your son though. Well done you for standing your ground. I hope they get their act together so he can get the education he deserves!

Icedcakeandflower Tue 26-Mar-13 14:43:02

Not sure if you'ved seen this recent survey report

I asked Ipsea earlier this week about ds being sent home early at least once a week because there was no support available, and I was referred to the Equality Act 2010.

^Since 2001, disability discrimination law has required schools to make reasonable adjustments to avoid placing pupils at substantial disadvantage but exempted them from the duty to provide auxiliary aids and services. The Equality Act 2010 removed this exemption.
The new duty is contained in section 20(5) of the Act:
‘... a requirement, where a disabled person would, but for the provision of an auxiliary aid, be put at a substantial disadvantage in relation to a relevant matter in comparison with persons who are not disabled, to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to provide the auxiliary aid.’
The words ‘auxiliary aid’ means aids and services. An aid is a piece of equipment which helps the disabled person, such as a special chair, adapted text, or special computer equipment or software. A service is something people provide, such as personal assistance or (possibly) therapy.
On 1 September 2012, this requirement comes into force in relation to local authorities and schools, applying to all schools including independent schools in England, Wales and Scotland.^

The relevant bit here is "personal assistance"

<why can I never get italics to work!!!!>

I would ask school nicely to ensure support is in place, and refer to the Equality Act smile

ouryve Tue 26-Mar-13 14:45:59

The TAs need a break he is hard work

So, they use more than one, so he gets to know more than one and neither has to spend a whole day with him. A poorly skilled TA rolling their eyes is probably downright hard work for him, so they need to be properly trained and have appropriate experience and the right personality. It's not a job for delicate flowers.

As has been explained, there will be different names in different LAs. We have both ASD outreach and and separate inclusion service, the latter being for children who are struggling to be included in a full day of school for any reason.

The 5 day exclusion for hitting seems excessive. How did the incident happen? Did they make any attempt to de-escalate or give him cooling off time, or was it out of the blue? Did he understand why he ended up treated to a whole week off school? Did the exclusion give him any impetus not to do it again? Yes, teachers shouldn't have to put up with being assaulted by children, but would they have treated an NT child the same way?

I hate to say it, but it sounds like they're wanting to get rid. How on board are they with the SA application? Do you think they'll comply when it comes through?

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