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Is it true that academies are refusing to take kids with asd?

(27 Posts)
Mercythompson Tue 04-Feb-14 21:29:14

Someone told me today that as academies can set their own entrance criteria they are able to refuse to take kids with an asd diagnosis and that they are doing that.

Has anyone else heard this or is it just scaremongering?

Ineedmorepatience Tue 04-Feb-14 21:31:24

Nothing would surprise me anymore mercy

My local Academy still uses the LA admissions so doesnt have its own rules, check if yours does or not.

Good luck smile

Borka Tue 04-Feb-14 22:04:16

I don't think that they can legally set not taking children with ASD as an official entrance criteria as that would be be against equality legislation, but I know that they do all sorts of things to cherry-pick their intake. I imagine for ASD it would be along the lines of 'can't meet the needs of this child'.

Harris Accademy in Crystal Palace refused to accept a girl with cerebral palsy because they said her wheelchair would take up too much space.

bjkmummy Tue 04-Feb-14 22:05:54

i have a leaflet from my local academy which states that their provison is not suitable for child who has ASD or BESD. the LA seem to have no problem with this policy

Borka Tue 04-Feb-14 22:08:36

Blimey, I'm shocked that they can be that up-front about it.

bjkmummy Tue 04-Feb-14 22:10:33

they also take issue with children with dyslexia as well and made it clear my daughter doesn't fit their target student profile

Borka Tue 04-Feb-14 22:16:22

So once the government succeeds in making all schools accademies, as it seems desperate to do, where the hell are our children meant to go to school? It's ridiculous.

Borka Tue 04-Feb-14 22:17:39

Oops, posting in anger - have misspelt academy twice.

bjkmummy Tue 04-Feb-14 22:20:30

this particular academy is also the one where the LA gives them loads of money for a designated specialist provision unit which is truly shocking. kids end up there and then locally as parents we have a bet on how long before the school gets them moved on. I wish I was joking but im not. however not all academies are the same - the other academy further away seems much better and it doesn't get half as much funding for SEN kids.

Borka Tue 04-Feb-14 22:25:52

That's dreadful.

Where I am they're all part of the same chain, so there's not really any difference between them.

Mercythompson Wed 05-Feb-14 07:13:05

It's so scary, we are pursuing a diagnosis for our son, as we truly believe that he has asd, but it makes you question if it would be better not to have one!!!!

Mercythompson Wed 05-Feb-14 07:14:25

Not having a diagnosis that is!!!

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 05-Feb-14 08:12:43

Technically they are not allowed to refuse in line with the equality act, but this will be very hard to challenge, not least because no-one is going to get into a battle with a school school prepared to pay legal fees to not have to accept their child.

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 05-Feb-14 08:14:23

A dx is not something you ever need to disclose btw.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 05-Feb-14 08:22:45

star I agree that you dont have to disclose the dx but what if your child needs a package of support? I could never just put Dd3 into a school where I thought she wasnt wanted or ehere she wouldnt get the support she needed!!

In answer to the question where will our children go if the Academies wont take them ? I think there is either going to be a massive explosion in HE ing or in Tribunals for parents fighting for Indie Specialist settings.

It is becoming clearer and clearer to me that MS is not working for our kids with Asd/Dyspraxia/dyslexia/adhd etc. The staff are not well trained enough and IME some of them wouldnt want to be bothered with learning how to best meet their needs anyway sad angry

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Wed 05-Feb-14 09:10:20

The Churchill Free School that has been set up in these parts for HFA (although designated as speech and language special school) is the sister school, built in the school grounds and with the head acting as executive head of an 'outstanding' academy.

The head of the free school and its literature specifically refers to DC who are of average or above average ability but unable to cope with m/s.

The academy can point towards a more suitable placement (for those DC they don't want) but it is up to the LA to place DC in the ss so it is not 'discriminatory' but can actually be interpreted as the academy going beyond the call of duty to promote inclusion by building the school, sharing facilities and offering unit-style duel placement.

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 05-Feb-14 09:37:14

I agree Ineed, but what I am saying is that this shouldn't put anyone off getting a dx.

In reality, you may need to disclose it, but that option isn't there is you don't pursue it, iyswim.

SmudgyDVDsAreEvil Wed 05-Feb-14 09:47:55

Can I just ask, re disclosure, wouldn't a diagnosis be on a child's school records? Do secondaries (and primaries I guess) get a copy of each child's records from their previous school?

I agree that it's shocking that the system should be going in a way which might steer parents to avoid diagnosis and help for their children.

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 05-Feb-14 10:07:17

Only if a parent has disclosed it. It is a medical diagnosis. In reality an EP if involved in the assessment might share it with the school but technically they aren't supposed to and won't do if parents make this clear in writing.

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Wed 05-Feb-14 13:17:52

My children currently attend an Academy and although they don't outright refuse entry to children with SEN, they are notorious for pushing them out and sending them off to special schools - or simply different schools! - within a couple of years. Last year there was 17 children with some degree of SEN in ds2's year. Half a dozen of those have already left this year, plus I'm moving all mine to another school in a couple of weeks. The support for SEN just isn't there. From what I know, there are virtually no children with SEN in years 5 & 6 because they've all left to go to other schools.

I have no idea how the Academy gets away with it, but that's the picture anyway.

joycei Fri 21-Feb-14 10:18:14

So how do these schools meet the requirements of the Equality Act - or are they above the law?

AliceinWinterWonderland Fri 21-Feb-14 12:16:31

So once the government succeeds in making all schools accademies, as it seems desperate to do, where the hell are our children meant to go to school?

This is my concern. Thankfully DS1 is in a specialised school, but I'm concerned that for a lot of families, this is going to force them into HE.

So, we're caring for our children, and many will be HE'ing them as well. Do you think they'll be compensated accordingly for saving the government shedloads of money? hmm No, thought not.

bjkmummy Fri 21-Feb-14 12:17:09

they aren't above the law - take me for example -went to see outstanding academy across the road from me - they made it clear on several occasions now that my daughter isn't the type of child they want at their school as academically she is struggling due to dyslexia. they have no specialist dyslexia teachers although at an open evening I heard them telling another parent about their dyslexia specialist - im guessing as ive asked them what qualified teachers they have in dyslexia has made them give me a different answer.

so I could just ignore everything that has been said and place her in a school which I know doesn't want her and has openly said she will have to sink or swim, I could fight them through the equality act but if I won I still wouldn't want to place her in the school with their attitude or I go away and go and find another school further away with no such attitudes so I will walk away which means I guess that the academy goes unchallenged and can continue doing what they are doing. doesn't make it right but I just don't have the energy to fight them as im fighting so many other fights at the moment with now having 3 kids with SEN

AliceinWinterWonderland Fri 21-Feb-14 12:50:34

They are counting on the parents not wanting to take on the fight or place their child in a place that will be less than helpful, knowing that most parents are not up to a big court battle at that point. It's not right, but that's pretty much it. They win by default.

nennypops Fri 21-Feb-14 13:37:03

There's some useful stuff on David Wolfe's blog, A Can of Worms - SEN section here -

What I find horrifying is that under the new Act it is going to be possible to put children into special academies without statements. That means there will be no assessment, no right to enforce support, no reviews, and the likelihood is that, say, every child with a behavioural problem will be shoved in with no attempt to consider whether that problem might be caused by undiagnosed autism, dyslexia, sensory problems etc. And the really worrying aspect is that some of the big academy chains are seizing on that idea enthusiastically, because they can set up one special academy which is in effect the bin into which all their other schools can shunt what they view as problem children or children likely to dent their exam statistics. Experience to date demonstrates that they are already moving down those routes.

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