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Do I push to get ds on SEN register or not/very confused?

(33 Posts)
supermum98 Sat 04-May-13 07:22:13

My ds has 3 x SPLD, the worst of which his processing speed in 4th percentile. Independent EP thinks he should be on SEN register, consensus seems to be at action level, for classroom consideration and extra time in assessments. Looked at COP and suggests must show that attainment gap widening from peers, which I think it is in maths, but not got records of NC levels going back long enough to prove.
Predicted to get 4's in year 6 sats, but in hols did some papers and marked and scored him at a 3 as he only did 2/3 of paper or less, in normal timings. Senco says that he doesn't tick enough boxes for their broad and narrow descriptor tick lists for SPLD to go on SEN's register. Don't know if the tick lists is a local LEA thing or government policy. Senco says that he can access curriculum and isn't 2 years behind. Apparently this two year behind thing is rubbish according to BDA who told me that according to Education Act 1996 and Equality Act 2010 he is disabled and should have his needs met. Want him on the SENS register before he hits secondary as feel that he could go off the rails with a few unfair detentions and misunderstandings in those early weeks. Primary wanting me to just approach secondary and sort it out with them. Trouble is have lost confidence in Secondary as far as SENS goes, due to previous experiences so would rather sort out with Primary, as at least they listen. Sorry for long post, but this is driving me nuts as I just don't get the policy.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 04-May-13 08:19:37

Who made the diagnosis originally; if he was diagnosed by a developmental paediatrician, has had appts with the CDC or CAMHS or has seen people like a speech and language therapist, then he should already be on School Action Plus.

SENCO is fobbing you off, you are your child's best - and only - advocate here.

BDA is right - he is disabled and should have his needs met. His needs are not being met at this school currently.

Re comment made by SENCO that he can access curriculum and is not two years behind, this to me is code for don't bother applying for a statement. We will not do this for him either.

IPSEA's website is good, have a look at that

Honestly I would now write to the LEA now and apply for a Statement of special needs. A statement for your son could go some way to making his secondary school like a lot more bearable, at least it is legally binding (unlike SA plus) and would show the school that he is needing more understanding and support.

Dinkysmummy Sat 04-May-13 09:46:13

I'm confused as to why he isn't already.

I would push for it as he does have needs above the average child, and the school needs to meet those needs.

Good luck flowers

supermum98 Sat 04-May-13 10:17:57

Thanks u lot. Gosh I didn't think he was bad enough for a statement. The fact he isn't on the SEN register seems to hinge on the fact his reading skills and comprehension are well above his chronological age. The original diagnosis of a working memory SPLD, 12th percentile was made by LEA EP
This means mental maths is really hard for him. I didn't think she had gone far enough and got an Independent EP assessment done and he picked up reduced writing speed 25-50th percentile and high order processing deficit. I think technically dyslexic traits. Ind. EP says for him the processing deficit is like being deaf and is not a trivial/borderline disability.
I get the impresssion that to put him on action I need to identify what actions I want and apart from extra time and homework considerations I can't think of any. His writing speed at the moment is as fast as his typing speed ? laptop, so don't think that is appropriate yet.

His last primary school also said he didn't tick all the boxes to go on the SEN register either. What are they all working from? I know the Secondary school has the same tick lists, all of which hinge on literacy skills. Non of it makes logical sense to me.

ilikemysleep Sat 04-May-13 11:22:56

Yes, I don't think requesting a statement is the way to go either (recognising that statement will not earn me any fans). Reduced writing speed at 25-50th percentile means that he is in the lower half of his age range, it's actually an average range score that between 25 and 50% of children his age will be getting, so I wouldn't really think that counts as a significant issue, if you think about it, statistically half to 1/4 of his class will have the same writing speed and 1/4 will be slower than him.

Working memory at 12th percentile is more significant but only just below the bulge of the statistical bell curve of normal distribution. Percentiles can be tricky because they are easy to understand in one way but in another way it's confusing. Basically between 15th and 65th percentile you get a massive group of children (66%) who all fall within average range and in terms of the scores between them it's not evenly spread, so for example between 1st and 4th centiles, you might have 6 marks difference, but only 10 marks or so difference between 15th and 85th percentiles, because it is rarer to be a very high or very low scorer compared with a middle range scorer. So 12th percentile is only a little below 15th percentile which is the lower end of the average range. It is something which will make aspects of learning in school harder for him and I would have said he should be on school action and have some adaptations around expectations for his memory load - lists, written instructions, colour coding of books, checks that he has recorded the homework, that sort of thing. He would also need high school to be aware as you say and transitioning him on school action with a student profile would be protective.

Processing speed at 4th percentile is significant. Low processing speed scores can be caused in two ways, ironically. It can be 'genuine' slow processing where a child needs time to consider and respond and is deliberate, accurate, but slow. Then there are also a number of children who get low processing speed scores because of attention issues - they are fast but slapdash, or cannot sustain concentration over the 2 minutes required to complete the measured tasks and 'drift off' half way through the task, or panic about the time limit and over focus on getting as much done as possible without being accurate. It would be really helpful to know which sort of low processing speed score your DS has in terms of how to support that. Again, information to high school that either he needs additional time to process spoken and /or written instructions, or consideration of his attention and focus difficulties would be crucial. If he has really slow processing (as opposed to attention issues) coupled with working memory difficulties then he certainly will need mindful teaching at secondary and should definitely be on the SEN register IMO. I would be fighting for that if I were you, rather than requesting a statement which would undoubtedly be turned down in the light of your sons' scores and high attainments and the fact that he hasn't had support at school yet. What do you want for him? If you want a significant amount of individual support in lessons then fighting for a statement might be worth the fight. If you want him to have some support in school particularly around organisation, mindful teaching, and the chance to be supported to develop some strategies to handle his difficulties, TBH I would think one to one would not be supportive of that (evidence is that high levels of TA support doesn't help independence unfortunately), but he DOES need people to know his needs and some degree of accommodation and teaching of strategies to address them. As he gets older the Sheila Cottrell books around study skills might be helpful.

I'm not sure what the EP meant about higher order processing deficit...higher order language skills are usually around inference and deduction, kids on the spectrum often struggle with those skills. But the 'like being deaf' thing makes me wonder if he is talking about auditory processing which usually has a knock-on effect in spelling skills, which you said your DS doesn't? This link has lots of useful info about auditory processing

Best of luck trying to get things in place before secondary school.

ilikemysleep Sat 04-May-13 11:29:55

BTW I wonder if talking about 3x SpLD is confusing people? It isn't usual terminology for specific cognitive issues as far as I am aware (Not in my area anyway). Strictly speaking you are correct but lots of people understand SpLD as interchangeable term for dyslexia - as in, reading and spelling difficulties, which is not where your son's difficulties most obviously lie. If you asked for him to have an IEP around working memory and processing speed, that might be easier for people to understand? Then not being 2 years behind in reading and spelling would be entirely irrelevant, as it isn't where you are asking for any support (I know it isn't anyway, but I wonder if the terminology is confusing her?)

supermum98 Sat 04-May-13 20:25:16

Wow ilikemysleep, that is really helpful thanks and adds clarity to my situation. What is your area ? I sense I am talking to someone with more than a lay persons knowledge. You are right perhaps SPLD terminology is confusing for them. His numerical operations and spellings came out at low-average and the EP has recommended some 1:1 teaching with both. I will probably fill these in from home as I don't see much hope of getting this at school at the moment. Yes it is auditory processing and auditory short term memory that is the problem. When I do spellings with him I notice that he does not hear the middle sounds in words, which I have come across before in dyslexic children. The EP says he is not dyslexic, but the BDA would class him as dyslexic.
The Senco didn't feel that he qualified for extra time in Sats, despite the EP saying that he should and I am beginning to feel progressively more angry about him sitting them at all, let alone concerned that he will get through the week. Since they have been doing lots of SATs testing at school, he has given up his out of school activities as he has come home exhausted every night. I even kept him off school for a day, he was so tired. He particularly gets despondant with the timed mental maths tests as that plays to all three of his SPLD's.
Do you know what these broad/narrow descriptor tick lists are that the schools use to determine whether a child goes on the SEN register or not?
Like the terminology 'mind-ful teaching', will use that. Thanx so much.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 04-May-13 20:57:19

EP can only set out educational needs; this person is not qualified to state that your child is not dyslexic.

Re your comment:-
"It is something which will make aspects of learning in school harder for him and I would have said he should be on school action and have some adaptations around expectations for his memory load - lists, written instructions, colour coding of books, checks that he has recorded the homework, that sort of thing. He would also need high school to be aware as you say and transitioning him on school action with a student profile would be protective".

In my DS's secondary school that level of support is usually only given with a statement. Same with any 1 to 1.

As for the spurious argument that 1 to 1 support creates dependency-
"Only if the class teacher ignores the child and the 1 to 1 is shite"

If an EP has already seen him he should already be on SA plus; School Action is the lowest tier designed to get only the very basic support (infact I know of children on School Action and they do not receive very much support at all).

ilikemysleep Sat 04-May-13 22:44:19

Hi Supermum
Glad you found my post helpful, I work as an EP but am on these boards as a mum of an autistic son.

Attila, you come across as quite cross with me in your post, though perhaps it is the loss of tone in emails. I am sorry we disagree.
EPs can and do diagnose dyslexia but it is a strange one as it is handled differently in different areas. Most areas, but not all, use Rose report definitions. It is an educational not medical diagnosis. Why would an EP not be qualified to say if someone is dyslexic? We are the primary diagnosers of dyslexia, even though we can and do get it wrong sometimes.

Again re support it depends on the area you live in. In my area the support I have outlined would be provided at school action plus, most definitely. Your best bet, supermum, might be to ask your LA what their delegation of funding to schools is, and maybe they have some sort of matrix of resource indicators which would give you an idea of what the expectations for school support as Action and Action Plus. Parent Partnership in your area might also be able to help.

Sadly the asertion that 1 to 1 support doesn't support independence - and in fact has very little impact on attainments - (which is to be fair a litle different from 'creating dependence') is not spurious. It was one of the outcomes of the major review of TAs and as you know we like to be evidence based in what we recommend smile . Here is the latest research from the Education Endowment Fund showing that TAs cost £££ and add 0 months attainment to children, unfortunately. Sadly some, maybe even many, teachers do ignore kids who have TAs. A recent review found TAs were far too focussed on task completion with their SEN charges rather than their actual understanding and learning

ilikemysleep Sat 04-May-13 22:44:44

ilikemysleep Sat 04-May-13 22:51:35

to clarify - evidence suggests TAs ARE effective in delivering particular programmes to students, such as a specific reading intervention, fine motor skills programmes etc and that is what the one to one tuition described in the ed endowment foundation is talking about I believe, specific tuition as opposed to general support.

supermum98 Sat 04-May-13 23:57:23

Yep I had a classic comment when I asked a year 3 teacher how my ds1 was progressing and she said 'I wouldn't know I leave it to the TA's'.

Getting back to SEN register. Why then have two schools said my ds2 with processing difficulties doesn't qualify to go on the SEN register at all let alone Action Plus, when both are aware that he has had an EP assessment. They have these tick lists he doesn't fulfull. If the EP comes in and does a one off cognitive assessment, but is not continually involved does this count?

supermum98 Sun 05-May-13 00:03:41

Yep I had a classic comment when I asked a year 3 teacher how my ds1 was progressing and she said 'I wouldn't know I leave it to the TA's'.

Getting back to SEN register. Why then have two schools said my ds2 with processing difficulties doesn't qualify to go on the SEN register at all let alone Action Plus, when both are aware that he has had an EP assessment. They have these tick lists he doesn't fulfull. If the EP comes in and does a one off cognitive assessment, but is not continually involved does this count?

alimac87 Sun 05-May-13 10:18:59

My DD is on School Action Plus in Y7 and gets all the types of help mentioned by attilathemeerkat. Whether it is enough/effective is a slightly different question. She is dyslexic with working memory problems.

We found that secondary was bad at picking up all the info from primary school - effectively they ignored it all. We ended up with an EP report at Christmas which did result in lots of changes, but I got the impression that they dismissed anything that had happened before them. Might be different with an EP report.

MareeyaDolores Sun 05-May-13 14:14:08

supermum, it all depends on the school and the area. If your current school is helpful, and SEN-aware, follow ilike's advice. But if they're not interested, Atilla's approach is more likely to improve things.

Same with transition to secondary. Some areas are very pro-active in making sure that all DC with identified SEN are properly supported. In others, it doesn't matter what the primary school sends to secondary, they prefer to start again and work it out for themselves before expending effort / committing resources.

So, in summary, if you've won the postcode lottery, rejoice, and simply remind /highlight issues to the school(s). If you've lost the postcode lottery, read the SENCOP, which is national and fairly mandatory.

supermum98 Sun 05-May-13 22:19:12

Ok thanx. I'm still feeling confused about what to go for. However, reading these threads, I think I will go for Action/ Action Plus now. I totally agree with post-code lottery. I have a DS1 with statement, which was clearer as he had a statement going into Sec. but was shocked about how little carry over there was re. lessons learnt and reinventing the wheel from Primary, such a waste of resource. I shall run the risk of souring my relationship with another school and push for the SEN register for DS2. Will no doubt be labelled again as difficult/dangerous/ neurotic/ overly anxious but not got anything to lose now, so wounded by the SEN system no more wounds to be had.

supermum98 Wed 08-May-13 14:45:52

Ok the plot thickens. Just spoken to PP and the broad and narrow descriptors tick lists that they sent me for SPLD, that according to our primary school, would not put him on the SEN register. is a county tick list, not Government thing and is counties way of interpreting the code of practice. PP quoted the fact that he has to fall 2 years behind to be classed as SEN. By then we will be up against major self-esteem issues. WIthin a class-room up to two years behind they said that they should be able to differentiate for. We all know that is crap and they don't. So looks like got to take the LEA on to get my child on SEN register.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 08-May-13 16:33:28

County are acting unlawfully if they are doing this; blanket policies are not allowed. Also being told that your DS has to be 2 years behind to also qualify as SEN is unlawful as well.

Do seek independent advice from one of the charities out there like IPSEA and or SOSSEN.

MadameSin Wed 08-May-13 17:35:17

Super I was under the impression that if school had involved an outside agency i.e. EP to assess your child, he would automatically be placed on SA+ ..... ? What education authority do you fall under?

mummytime Wed 08-May-13 17:58:32

For my DCs secondary, it is enough that a parent requests a child to be put onto the SEN register. That doesn't mean they get much help, but are monitored and get things such as help cards. If a child does badly enough at SATs they tend to get more help at secondary.

A statement means a far more serious level of need, which my children have never so far needed. Although two are school action plus.

supermum98 Thu 09-May-13 16:40:36

Thanks Attila, for pointing me on to SOSSEN. They recommend that I go back to the LEA EP who picked up his WM SPLD, but missed his 4th percentile SPLD, which I got diagnosed by my Independent EP. To tell them that I want him reassessed because in the politest possible way they missed it, with view to going on register. MadameSin everyone says this, so why isn't it happening? Apparently I was told I requested the EP assessment, but only because I was sick of all the negative parents evenings. I am in Oxfordshire. Maybe this is why we are one of the worst counties in the country for educational results. Mummytime you must live in an amazing county.
Just an aside, I have ds1 with statement and his NHS provision was put in section 6 of the statement. Apparently this is the latest scam, it is not enforceable there. Picked that up on the SOSSEN website, thank god I took PP to my AR and they picked up on it as I would not have.

supermum98 Thu 09-May-13 16:45:38

Oh and as for SAT's nobody is listening to my comments about fatigue, he has just been sent home from school and gone to bed, fast asleep. Lots of SAT's testing at school. I can't see him getting through SAT's next week.
Couldn't get extra time, asked for rest breaks, might help, but convinced it's the processing speed that is causing it. Had blood tests done and no sign of anemia or diabetes. PP said it's for the best that he doesn't do well at SAT's as perhaps at Sec he will get more help, but my main concern is his self-esteem and stress levels.

Flappingandflying Thu 09-May-13 17:47:50

Getting any concessions for SATs is very hard. They have to be very low in more than one area. Sats are crap and most secondary teachers regard them with a pinch of salt.

I think there is a general thing at the moment to not put pupils on the sen reg unless they have to be there. It should be indicative of some support and help. The rest should be differentiated for in the classroom but then when you are differentiating you look at the sen reg so if not on it....becomes a vicious circle. From what you say, your son should be on SA. Teachers need to know that he's a bit slower and needs thinking time. I would contact the senco of the secondary he is going to. Get them on board and leave te primary school. Year 6 gets a bit silly after the sats which is why pupils can drop two levels by the time they get to school. My son flunked SATs which actually has done him no harm in secondary and he's doing fine now.

youarewinning Thu 09-May-13 17:55:34


My DS was assessed for dyslexia - picked up mildly at risk through DEST and repeated in year 3 due to very low progress in literacy. Came back not at risk because some skills are average and 1 was above.
He was written up as having poor working memory though.

He is on school action with an IEP and the school are putting on all arts of 'extra' programmes to help DS.

I went to the headteacher - via email detailing my specific concerns, stating D level of progress against national average and showing how the gap is widening between hi acheivement and expected acheivement. Have you tried going to the head? Perhaps CCing in the governors.

My DS is a year behind accademically so I'm not sure where the 2 year thing comes from? He' also a year ahead in maths so when its SPLD whats happening elsewhere in other subjects is irrelevent.

I have mentioned to school about readers and scribes for formal assessment as he can't write fast enough - even in maths to show his understanding - they do not need a statement for this.

mummytime Thu 09-May-13 21:47:19

It can actually be helpful to do badly at SATs, as sometimes it triggers funding for extra help at secondary school.

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