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School Trip -how do I respond?(12 Posts)
TooBloodyFedUp, I hear you. I am in the same position. Eldest ds1 has been repeatedly and spectacularly let down by the school, but his two younger siblings are there and are both happy and doing well - not to mention the school is a two minute walk from my front door and I have an illness that often limits my mobility.
I spent years keeping them sweet, but in the end had to go in all guns blazing, not to mention getting him a statement myself. These days we have a 'cool' relationship. They don't like me, I don't like (some of) them, but we are civil and polite. My youngest will be starting Reception there next September, so I have 7 more years of having to rub along with them.
The SENCO and HT visibly twitch when they see me and the HT has been known to leg it in the other direction but I get on fine with most of the teachers (barring a couple who were dreadful to/with ds1) and the infant teachers in particular are all lovely, having known me before ds's dx and knowing that I am not generally an unreasonable or unpleasant person.
Ds1 is leaving in July to go to Secondary and I can't wait to never have to have another meeting with the SENCO and be able to just blend into the background and be like all the other parents instead of constantly battling whilst desperately trying to keep the peace.
I agree with others that have said, get something in writing to them, so that you have it as evidence of them not being able to meet needs. You can word it very carefully, but a paper trail like this is invaluable if you want to get your dc placed elsewhere.
Just act dumb, like you didn't understand what they meant about the school trip and ask for clarification as to what extra support they are providing and for a breakdown of the day so you can start talking ds through it. polt is spot on with this.
When someone offloads onto you the correct response is to lob that ball straight back, while painting a lovely picture with emails for your possible tribunal etc.
if you feel that you would be unable to support him on this occasion I am reluctantly willing to keep him at home for the day
Ha ha ha at effective passive aggression techniques in parental hands
ask for a meeting with the senco (take someone useful if you need to). ask them what their concerns are about taking your dc, and what they have considered doing to meet those needs. you have two prongs here. the education act 96 says somewhere in part 4 that the governors have to make efforts to include sen children in the activities of the school. also the equalities act will expect similar (reasonable adjustments etc).
you don't have to meekly take him out. put the ball in their court.
I think you have to use this opportunity to get evidence that this school cannot support your DS, in case you end up at tribunal if the statement isn't any good. You really need a paper/email trail. Something along the lines of PolterGoose's suggestion or if you don't want to ruffle feathers, something like,
'Following my discussion with xxx teacher this week, I understand that the school feels that the trip to xxxx will not be suitable for my DS. I wouldn't like him to miss out on this educational opportunity, but if you feel that you would be unable to support him on this occasion I am reluctantly willing to keep him at home for the day.'
They will either miraculously find some extra help or at the very least you will have some great evidence for the tribunal.
Would he manage and possibly enjoy the trip with1:1? If so then I would ask the school to provide this. Dd has been on trips with 1:1. If I think she wouldn't enjoy the trip or I think it's unsuitable for her then she is looked after in another class with 1:1 or she does some other activity in school. I do not take her home. I work more or less full time and I think school are well aware that this isn't an option. I think you should make it clear in a letter that you will not be available to take him home unless he is ill.
Thanks everyone. I have another child in the school, no probs and very happy, would be heartbroken to move etc. this is pretty much the only reason I have not got into a bun fight with them. I also think it would give them the opportunity to start mud slinging at me but there is no mud to sling at me. We're boring. We just got unlucky and our son has a disability. I'm not a pain in the neck parent. I've accommodated so much in the last 18 months, mostly because I didn't have a clue. I just need to get him out of there before I spontaneously combust. Thank you for listening, it's really important I don't have a hissy fit in there, it will go against me.
Polter's idea is good.
Alternatively, you could 'remind' them of their responsibility to make reasonable adjustments and then suggest that if they aren't confident of their ability properly include him in this educational visit, then perhaps they could make reasonable adjustments for you to accompany him to ensure he doesn't miss out any of the educational content.
As Polter says, either way, if they say they can't support him they are breaching EA act and at the same time giving you more evidence to get him into a more suitable placement.
that is disgraceful! However I think polter's idea is great!
Dinkys school tried to get her transferred before their trip! I refused and they had to have a TA as 1:1 and had her on wrist reins.
If the school can't make provision to take him then as Polter said surely it would break the equality act?
I really fell for you and DS, I hope you can get him into a school that will meet his needs.
Thanks PG. I'm not even bothered about trying to do them any damage. this is what pisses me off, the arse covering whilst subtly putting the ball in my court all the time. Ive never been a difficult parent, maybe thats where i am going wrong? i listen to women moaning about petty shite every morning like little Timmy has lost a bleeding sock in PE and ive struggled to remain positive and polite in the face of major crap. They want him out and I'm right there with them. I've had 18 months of this crap. I have a call in to the LA to chase up the statement. I apologise for the swearing, I don't usually, but I am so so sick of it now.
I'd be very tempted to write a provocative email along the lines of:
"Thank you for reminding me about the trip. You mentioned that it may be difficult for ds. Please could you confirm how you plan to support him through the day. I look forward to hearing from you."
HT might slip up and reply by email saying they are unable to support because of xyz, which may breach the Equality Act provisions...
FFS. School trip coming up. Teacher approaches me and asks me what I want to do about the school trip. I say leave it with me. She says well it is going to be a long day ...... What pees me off about this is that they never have the guts to actually come out with it. I am now expected to toddle off and fill out the form requesting absence with my reasons for him not attending. Statement due any day, please god let it come soon so I can start working towards getting my son out. Had enough. I am ranting on here to stop me from firing an explosive email to the Head. They are in the wrong about so much and they know it too. I just want him out.
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