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Need help with decision regarding funding and statements (long sorry)(2 Posts)
Hi, I would really participate some thought and feelings when it comes to deciding the right path to go down for our ds.
A short history of sorts is that ds has a suspected ASD, most likely Aspergers. As of today we are waiting for multi agency assessment which is expected to happen around early September but could be a little longer. He is 5 years old and finishing his reception year.
After a very very tough first term at school everything came together brilliantly and ds has been having 15 hours 1-1 a week alongside weekly 1-1 sessions with speech therapy assistant and other targeted small group work witching school. Ds has made amazing progress with his speech and learning. In December he had the expressive language of a 22 month old, he is now in the (lower but not bottom) 30 - 50 month range (so around a year behind as he Is 61 months old).
His EYFS scores are 2's (scoring is simpler now for those not currently under that curriculum 1= emerging, 2= achieving and 3= exceeding) for all his achidemic areas apart from writing although he is only a shade of a 2 there as has made huge leaps recently. For all other areas, the social and emotional he scores 1's, not even close to getting a 2, miles away. These scores are no surprise.
Last December funding was secured for his 1-1 from a special fund for small raral schools offered by our LEA (oxon). The threshold for reviving this funding is the same as for an splice long for statutory assessment. It was decided to go this route because he needed the funding right then and really couldn't afford to wait, by applying for this special funding it ment the funds where in the schools account 2 weeks after the application was submitted rather then to potential large amount of time it would have taken for statutory assessment and drawing up of statement.
At the time I did worry I would regret this decision not to push ahead with statutory assessment as we are now in the position where I feel we run a huge chance of funding not being granted for next achidemic year. My fear is that because he has made such great progress with his speech and in turn also accessing the curriculum allowing him to keep the pace achidemicaly the LEA are going to not want to give further funding although I and his teacher and TA's all agree that if the level of support was withdrawn now he would regress with his behaviour and ability to access curriculum extremely quickly. Obviously school will put together the best funding application they can focusing on the areas he despritly needs the 1-1 for (social and keeping him focused and on task during teaching time) but his results are black and white, he is archiving as he should achidemicaly and his speech is now a year behind not more then 3.
Other then the speed thing the other reason school and dh and I decided to not go for statutory assessment is we really think that once he gets to Y2 with the formal learning sitting at desks he will not need the same high level of support but for Y1 which at our school at least he does need it as it is still very free flowing with lots of 'choosing' time, it is very rare, almost never that the whole class are sat at tables working at the same time, there aren't even enough desks and tables (and more importantly space) for them to do this!
So all in all I am very worried that he is not going to get his 15 hours of 1-1 come September.
I have his next TAC meeting next week where I will be bringing up his level of support for September and I am finding myself again thinking if it would be best to go for statutory assessment. The problem with this is again the length of time but also that given the threshold for the special funding is the same as for statutory assessment I am worried they will refuse and we would have to go to appeal. Given that my reasoning largely to be thinking about statmenting again is my fear he won't get the funding I keep finding myself in a vicious circle, if he is awarded assessment then he would also be awarded the funding! I don't know if ds would benefit from having a statment given our feelings that he will cope better with formal learning but at the same time there is a little voice in my head that says it is always better to go for statmenting!
I know schools funding is absolutely not my problem and I need to focus on ensuring ds gets all the help and support he needs however the realist in me says that the school (small village school, one class a year with less then 30 per class) can't pull 15 hours (or any more then 1 or 2) of 1-1 out of nowhere and to give ds all he needs to thrive in education and to manage social situations the funds have to come from somewhere. I feel it is far better if we are working with school for the common good and are on the same page rather then at odds with each other. We have a fantastic working relationship that has seen ds flourish I don't want to risk losing that.
So, after that epic post that was me trying to be brief I ask for and advice, ideas, opinions and antidotes in regards to our situation and the way forward.
I would like to go into the TAC next week with a clearly though out game plan that covers the likely issues that will come up.
I also wonder that even if school put together another work of art as a funding application (the one the did for this years funding was a beautiful thing to behold, stark and to the point of ds's problems but with clear, realistic and detailed information and plans for the way forward, a real work of art lol!) and ds is awarded funding for Y1 should we be also asking for statutory assessment to cover Y2 and up when his needs are likely to be less but still considerable with the potential to have impact on his learning. The thing is I guess is we just don't know for sure what his needs will be a year from now at an age where all children make large jumps in development in an environment that we all feel he will be more comfortable in.
I think I need a crystal ball myself so I can understand why LEAs could be unwilling to statment.
I need the views of the parent experts! Thank you for reading and making it to the end of what seems to be my dissertation! It has been a long day with seeing the paediatrician and even though it went just as we hoped it would the preparation beforehand and dealing with ds and the break of routine is quite draining (and that's without 8 year old dd having a very nasty fall yesterday and ending up with road rash down one side of her poor face and knee, poor child, maybe she wanted some of the attention lol!)
Apologies for typos, spelling and grammar errors, have nothing left in me to try and proof read and correct!
And I manged to somehow miss spell academically and academic the whole blooming way through, way to make myself look stupid! As way of excuse I have my own disabilities that give me reduced/lack of sensation in my limbs and eye sight problems, but still, really bad spelling fail!
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