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What is your experience of secondary 'reasonable adjustments'

(14 Posts)
flowwithit Wed 03-Apr-13 16:53:27

What does this mean exactly? When a school says they can't support your dc and they have made reasonable adjustments but can't meet their needs. Yet as in our case it's hard to see what these are and what they have done that's any real use! My ds is at secondary school so that's why I'm interested in that.
What reasonable adjustments have been made for your dc?

bubblesinthebath Wed 03-Apr-13 17:25:31

I should imagine it would be things such as uncluttered classrooms (which could cause visual distractions) so a school may see taking a few posters off the wall as a reasonable adjustment. Keeping class sizes small to avoid too much noise could be one. To stick place all SEN children into one class with an extra TA and a few visual reminders on the wall may be seen as another.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 03-Apr-13 17:35:29

The reasonable adjustments are tailored to the child's needs, so I'd expect a list of the stressers and specifics that are getting in the way of his learning, a matching list of the adjustments they have made, matched to the needs and for them to have been evaluated for effectiveness over at least 6-8 weeks.

purpledandelion Wed 03-Apr-13 19:28:26

It's a very good question. I am considering a DDA case at the moment and are wondering what the school might say were 'reasonable' adjustments. A quiet, calm down area to 'escape' to is specified in the statement. However, the room offered caused stress due to the size of it (too big) and various sensory issues. School knew that it could be causing distress but there was nothing else available in the whole school apparently. I know that you just can't magic up a room but I would have thought an attempt to offer something would have been reasonable.
Likewise, if the child has a rare disorder with no expertise available in the county would it have been reasonable to contact professionals for advice if strategies were failing? This was considered but it was thought to be 'too late' by that stage to make a difference.
I think schools can say anything is reasonable if they feel they have made some sort of effort even if it was doing the wrong thing for the child sadly.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 03-Apr-13 19:50:10

That's why collaboration is important, and negotiation between the parent and the school. You are the expert on your child, school know what is possible within the environment but can have limited thinking.
For example, a room that is too large can have screens and drapes to create a corner, or a section of the school library can be made into a quiet area, or...
Rare disorder? Research, training and awareness within the school.
Sometimes you just have to nail their feet to the floor with specifics and be relentless about it until they understand what is needed.
But because many adaptations are a unique combination, that's where the child needs an advocate with a polite, organised attitude and flame proof knickers.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 03-Apr-13 19:50:51

'I think schools can say anything is reasonable if they feel they have made some sort of effort even if it was doing the wrong thing for the child sadly.'

They can if unchallenged.

purpledandelion Wed 03-Apr-13 20:00:25

Training was provided to staff but they didn't handle situations in the way that the guidance stated that they should. They seemed to be actually increasing the anxiety - maybe that was their aim all along hmm

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 03-Apr-13 20:07:22

That's unacceptable, so don't accept it.

purpledandelion Wed 03-Apr-13 20:26:05

Pm sent Neb

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 03-Apr-13 20:41:36


flowwithit Thu 04-Apr-13 14:44:06

Thanks, I thought there would be very varied answers to this because it's such a grey area and what we as a parents see as a reasonable adjustment the schools sometimes just see as extra hassle they want to avoid. Depends on the schools of course and I know there are some much better than the one we are in at the moment.

supermum98 Fri 05-Apr-13 17:49:35

I am trying to get a laptop into class with my ds TA, so she can type his class notes up as he is VI and can't read hand-written notes. It is not happening, so I have cited RA under DDA, but have got it now going into some classes and not others, so still not good enough.

Inappropriatelyemployed Fri 05-Apr-13 18:09:28

The law on this is contained in the Equality Act 2010 and not the DDA.

Useful info about the duty to make reasonable adjustments can be found here at the Equality and Human Rights Commission site.

I would ask them to set out in writing what RAs they think they have made and any RAs they say they can't make. You can compare that with what you feel they can or should be doing and draw up a list of additional RAs which you think could be made.

flowwithit Sat 06-Apr-13 14:43:04

That's a great link thanks! smileI will read up and see what else I can do. The things asked for aren't expensive or a real hassle so I don't understand it really. In our experience It seems to be a reluctance to treat anyone differently. It's like there's one way to do things and they expect everyone to fit or then they say it's not the right school for him without even trying to make changes that might help.

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