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Could you give me some advice about IEP please?

(61 Posts)
inthesark Mon 22-Apr-13 18:49:16

The conversation with school went something like this:

Me: You know you said you were looking at giving DD an IEP?

School: Oh, yes, she's got one.

Me: Ummmm, somewhat dumbstruck because I thought that parents were meant to be at least informed when their child got an IEP, if not actually involved in the process. Or have I got that completely wrong?

This is all in the context of a bit of a barney with school, who have a habit of agreeing to do something and then not doing it, so I think they may just have knocked up the IEP in a hurry when they realised it had been forgotten, so I'd quite like to have my facts right before I get back to them...

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 19:00:46

Write to them. Say that today you asked if the draft IEP has been drawn up yet and were informed it had been, so could they let you know when the IEP meeting will take place as soon as possible as you will have to arrange childcare and are keen not to cause any delay to confirming it.

LightAFire Mon 22-Apr-13 19:15:59

The IEP q is a tad woolly. They have to inform you if your child is on the SEND register, but IEPs are (I think deliberately) left a little vaguer in the Code of Practice. Have a read of p52 in particular, but you might find other parts useful too:

On p54 it does state that the "IEP should be discussed with parents", and realistically in best practice yes you should be informed and involved (for reviews of it too) - they might though be able to cover themselves by saying they told you they were looking into it. I think you're right though - they probably did it in a hurry! I like Starlight's suggestion for how to approach them over it. Good luck!

inthesark Mon 22-Apr-13 20:19:51

Yes, I have to write a reply (this conversation is happening by email) so will say something along those lines, thank you. Thanks also for the link, I have skimmed through that but will look properly when I am less tired tomorrow. grin

TBH, most of this is a giant communications fail on their part; we had a meeting just after half term with the deputy head and head, about a set of provisions that were going to be looked into. Then we hear nothing, and not a sign of a change at school. So we write a slightly questioning email. And apparently she does have an IEP, which was what we asked for. It's hard not to reply, well you could have sodding well told us?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 20:21:35

So I suppose you could just say 'Oh great. Thank you. When will I see the draft?'

LightAFire Mon 22-Apr-13 20:34:58

<Bangs head against wall>

Don't blame you for being tempted to give a sarky reply! If she has an IEP, then there should also be corresponding changes at school, since the entire point of one is to record that which is different to the provision other children have...

The document I sent you is long (and wordy!) but you only need the section corresponding to her age. Or is there anything else specific you need to know? (Ten years as a primary teacher, friends with an excellent SENCO, so happy to help if I can.)

inthesark Mon 22-Apr-13 20:40:21

LightAFire - ah, that's interesting. In which case they miiight be using the IEP to record the changes already put in place (some 1-to-1 for example). Or at least they could argue that. Still would have been polite to tell us though, you'd think.

Oh, and when I said slightly questioning email, that was not actually true. Somewhat challenging might have been more accurate. Which is why I want to get my facts right before I reply. grin

Starlight, yes that is perfect though!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 20:44:07

I turned cheeking in my journey and when the school failed to produce an IEP I submitted my own grin.

It was blimmin excellent though. They refused to implement it and the HT told lies to the Governors to the extent that we had to flee, but that is a whole other story.

inthesark Mon 22-Apr-13 20:48:43

I like your style grin I may yet end up in that place myself the way this is all going...

Handywoman Mon 22-Apr-13 20:54:53

inthesark is your school my school!?! I have exactly the same problem with my SENCO, who I've also fallen out with and complained to gov's about when she said my own anxiety was causing my other dd's maths difficulties (she's dyslexic). IEP has been promised for dd2 and I fully expect them to forget about it then cobble something rubbish together on the quiet. I will be having the same convo as yours above quite soon...

LightAFire Mon 22-Apr-13 21:02:02

inthesark yes actually they might well claim that, from the sounds of it.

I think technically they don't have to tell you before it is written, but it would have been a) good manners and b) better practice. Certainly you should have been informed at some point rather than having to challenge.

And handywoman own anxiety was causing my other dd's maths difficulties (she's dyslexic) I don't even know what to say to that!!! Aarrgh!

Ladies the only consolation I can offer is that there are changes coming in which should mean more input from parents, so it is a current "hot topic" in education. If having problems you could mention that with the coming changes to SEND policy that you're sure they'll be keen to get on board and show outside observers like Ofsted that they're already well on top of the situation and involving parents...

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 21:30:40

'Ladies the only consolation I can offer is that there are changes coming in which should mean more input from parents, so it is a current "hot topic" in education. If having problems you could mention that with the coming changes to SEND policy that you're sure they'll be keen to get on board and show outside observers like Ofsted that they're already well on top of the situation and involving parents...'

I like your optimism. Herts were supposed to be a pathfinder. They took the money and didn't even go looking for any paths, only justification for the status quo which as far as I remember was extremely anti-parent.

LightAFire Mon 22-Apr-13 21:48:19

Wow that's depressing!

I think the trouble is (as both a mum and a teacher) that there currently exists a "them and us" mentality. Whereas the ideal scene to me has always seemed to be parents and teachers working in partnership for the good of the child... but then I have a lot of odd ideas apparently!!

I do hope the changes make things better - I have several friends with SEND children also battling - but I must admit I am not holding my breath...

inthesark Mon 22-Apr-13 21:53:19

I've just realised (slaps forehead in dim fashion) that I had a meeting with the SENCO on Thursday. Admittedly that was only about pencil grips. But you'd think, if there had been an IEP, that she might have mentioned it. hmm

LightAFire - I'd love to do that, in fact I know that I've researched more about some aspects of DD's provision than they have, and could find them some useful advice but I can't say that because it would be telling them how to do their jobs.

inthesark Mon 22-Apr-13 21:53:58

Rest of conversation has been going on with Deputy Head...

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 21:55:46

Teachers (generally, not individually) are so defensive with everyone (inc government/media etc.) blaming them for all of society's ills that they are totally unprepared to take on board suggestions/advice/recommendations from parents as well.

Partnership working only ever appears to work where the teacher/school has the power and a parent is humble and grateful like a kind of outreach model. As soon as the parent becomes more knowledgable and visibly wants to engage, the teacher (with up to half a day of optional SEN training) runs for the hills and becomes unavailable and often agressively defensive (is that a term?).

That's not all schools, and it certainly isn't all teachers, but it is the current picture at a general level.

crazeelaydee Mon 22-Apr-13 22:04:49

That's the experience I have had StarlightMckenzie and so far that has been with the past 2 teachers, we did think that this one would be different (more understanding?) but sadly the patience have warn thin because Ds can not be forced with punishments to complete his'd of thought that after almost 3 years they would of noticed this. It seems as though the more I try to help or make suggestions the less they want it. hmm

inthesark Mon 22-Apr-13 22:16:37

Aggressively defensive is not only a term, it's the best description ever of what I get back from school!

Flappingandflying Mon 22-Apr-13 22:18:29

I write IEPs. Parents always get a copy. The IEP is written with the pupil whenever possible and all staff are invited to contribute. The targets should be short, measurable and achievable so no 'i will improve my writing' as thats too general. They should be reviewed twice a year. In big schools there might be a group IEP which covers students with less specialised need who have the same fdifficulties. It is something for parents. They are onerous to do. I'm just doing mine now and for 50 kids its going to take about three weeks.

Handywoman Mon 22-Apr-13 22:26:10

Aggressively Defensive. That's it! Nail on head.

LightAFire Mon 22-Apr-13 23:12:48

I'm 100% sure some teachers are, yes - especially with what I hear from friends. It saddens me immensely as it shouldn't be this way. However, teachers also have to face some parents who can be aggressive defensive too. So just as you sometimes get parents saying "teachers don't listen", teachers can feel the same way about parents. That's what I mean about the them and us thing - the end result is both get frustrated and seem to stop listening to each other!

I reckon parents are the experts on their particular child and also probably their particular needs, since as you rightly say teachers can often only offer half a day's training vs your years of research! However the teacher is likely to be expert in other areas, and that's why I think the two need to be put together for the best results.

Happily this does happen in some places (and I've been lucky enough to teach there!) but I fully appreciate it's not the general picture. My closest friend has a SEND child with a physical impairment and his school are failing to give him the correct support and it's just heartbreaking. Here's hoping it does get better in the future all round, and wish you all the very best of luck!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 23:20:52

If there was a 'them and us' mentality (and I'm not sure I agree with you tbh, parents almost always desperately want a good relationship with their children's school, - could it be that perception of them and us is what drives the agressive defense?), then which side truly should address this?

The parents? Or the people who's job it is?

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 22-Apr-13 23:27:43

Sorry, posted too quickly.

The bottom line is them and us is neither here nor there. Teachers and schools have a duty to meet the needs of the child and are paid for that. There should be uniformity in the level of professionalism.

Parents don't require the same standards sadly which absolutely should not let teachers off the hook.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Tue 23-Apr-13 03:01:48

Aggressively defensive. There is no better description of my DS's Primary HT.

StarlightMcKenzie Tue 23-Apr-13 08:15:42

I suppose what I mean is that just because 'some' parents don't listen to teachers, doesn't make it reasonable for 'some' teachers not to listen to parents.

It doesn't work like that. Or it shouldn't.

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