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Schools letter supporting statement request

(87 Posts)
Skylar123 Fri 07-Feb-14 17:18:09

I am applying for SA for my Ds , I asked the school to write me a supporting letter to add to my initial application as they offered to apply on my behalf when I told them I was doing it.
I have got the letter today and it makes no mention of Ds's difficulties at school, it mentions lots about his difficulties I have discussed with them at home and parts of the paeds report that we got before Ds dx. There is nothing about his academic struggles or his poor social functioning or his communication difficulties.
Surely if the letter is to support a statement request for special educational needs the content of this letter won't help.
The letter ends with we think that Ds's behaviour at home may extend to school. That's it.
Ds has not done a full day at school for over a week consequetively and has been late several times a week since November his attendance has gone from 97% to 81% and still falling. He is not going to sch because he is anxious and stressed about it.
Shall I just not bother sending this letter I can't see how it will help.

Skylar123 Fri 07-Feb-14 17:22:46

Actually there is one mention of social skills It says that Ds gets SEN TA help three sessions a week for social skills with one other person or 1:1 yet they class teacher provided me with a list of help he gets and it contradicts what senco put in the letter, teacher says one session a week by Higher learning TA with 3 other pupils. My Ds gets no 1:1 so I am confused about the ratio and how often and by who.

2boysnamedR Fri 07-Feb-14 18:23:31

Could you meet with the school? Tell them what you want in the leter and get them to focus on his problems there. Maybe they are just being lazy and need you to kick them up the bum!

Unfortunately or fortunately ds school painted a very bleak picture of him on his backing letter.

It's like dla form, you say the worse senario and the worse day. It sounds like they have lots to add in.

Skylar123 Fri 07-Feb-14 21:02:53

Yes 2boys that's what senco told me to do when applying paint the worst picture.
What do you think of this...sch have had enough of me and Ds, me because I'm always on the case and Ds because he is becoming a problem for them. I'm thinking of going to see senco to confirm that they are not able to do anymore for Ds within their own resources on SA+ and two that I agree with her when she said perhaps the school isn't right for Ds and I feel he would be far more suited to a smaller school, ETc, etc. tell her I am not able to get him the help his needs in a more suited school without the statement, if she can help me prove that he needs the statement we all win. She might try harder then.

wetaugust Sat 08-Feb-14 20:56:08

Skylar

As soon as I saw the title of your thread I thought - I bet school won't write a supportive letter.

They can't when you think about it.

If they were to write a supportive letter saying your DS needed a Statement they would, in effect, be admitting that they had failed in their duty to apply for a Statement themselves if they considered one was required.

They couldn't admit that in a letter.

So they bang on (as you found) about anything except his school performance. They are also taking the 'blame the parent as he's OK when he's at school tack'. Very common.

I'm sorry this has surprised you. This is part of the really nasty way that we parents finally start realising that school are simply not playing fair.

Don;t send the letter from school with your Statement request.

The LA will write to school to ask how DS is getting on. The school will lie through their teeth to the LA so you might as well be prepared for that now. That's the reality.

It's a really vile feeling when you are lied to by professionals that you should be able to trust.

I would stop worrying about the application. Just stick your application letter into the post and wait for their response.

wetaugust Sat 08-Feb-14 20:58:59

... and I would not waste any more time trying to discuss this with the school / teacher / SENCO etc. You need to get that application in right away or you will be too late to get a Statement before they are abolished.

You also should not be worrying about whether his current school can support or whether he needs a new placemnet - that question is exactly what the Statementing process is designed to tease out.

Please remember - school is not your friend - they are working against you.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 08-Feb-14 22:39:55

I never thought I would actually say this but sadly wet is right sad

It is every man/woman for himself in the world of statements and statutory assessments.

LA's tell the schools what they can and cant do and you need a pretty maverick SENCO to stand up to them!!

I thought we had one once upon a time but I was wrong and now I am paying the price sad

Just follow the procedures skylar send off the letter and if they refuse to assess, appeal and go to tribunal.

Come on here for advise and dont expect the school to help you!!

Good luck smile

Ineedmorepatience Sat 08-Feb-14 22:40:38

Ooops sorry Advice blush

Skylar123 Sat 08-Feb-14 22:50:21

Thanks wet & ineed I can see I have been quite naive throughout. Let me tell you what's worrying me though...if the school can do more to help Ds under sch action plus then the appeal won't be won because actually sch could do more so I worry about the stress and cost of appealing if it's all a total waste of time. Anyhow I will he that application sent off Monday morning at the very least. Meanwhile Ds still won't go to school :-(

Skylar123 Sat 08-Feb-14 22:52:27

school is not my friend that's one for me to repeat and remember . Blasted school.

Ineedmorepatience Sat 08-Feb-14 22:59:15

But how do they know whether more can be done if they havent assessed his needs skylar

My LA sent the same refusal letter to 4 families that I know in the 2 weeks surrounding my refusal to assess. It was just printed off and sent out to make us go away!! 2 out of the 4 have given up and gone away, the other 2 have appealed. They might still concede before we go to tribunal!

I have trawled through all Dd3's stuff today I have kept every letter ever written about her and I have found loads of recommendations that have been made and not carried out since 2009!!

We have had 2 IEPS in the whole time she has been at school and she is in yr 6!!

This is a child with complex needs, somebody is going to be in trouble at some point and it wont be me.

You have to tough it out with LA's they will try to bully you and frighten you off but dont let them. You are your ds's best advocate.

2boysnamedR Sat 08-Feb-14 23:57:11

Don't worry about cost of appeal - yet. Mine was thrown out three months before the date. Total cost to me = £5 in postage.

I wouldn't put words into the senco a mouth re can they meet needs. It needs to come out in the assessment as said above.

You can email and say "as we are both aware dc has missed x sessions at school due to refusal and we have no target back to inclusion, etc " then at appeal you can send that off as I'm sure the school will not refute it. So write the letter you wanted the school to write. Then when they don't refute it you have your evidence

2boysnamedR Sun 09-Feb-14 00:00:00

Take each step at a time, don't think about the end - the statement as you'll go bonkers. I have a in cling of what at the end for ds but I never dwell on it. Right now he is being assessed and I just have to ficus on getting any statement, then it's fighting for a great statement, then it's making sure it's implemented etc.

wetaugust Sun 09-Feb-14 00:23:11

Lay an evidence trail if you think it will help. An email to SENCO saying 'as DS is currently unable to access education and school is unable to offer any additional support I have made an application for a statutory assessment'.

That's polite. Keeps them informed and puts your position in writing. grin

If school have been withholding additional support that they could have given him to get him back into school they have the opportunity to say so in a reply to you and the LA.

Don't overthink this. Sometimes you just have to inch your nose, put your feet together .... and jump!

wetaugust Sun 09-Feb-14 00:23:27

pinch

Goldmandra Sun 09-Feb-14 00:42:26

If you apply for the statutory assessment, the school will be sent a long and detailed form to complete detailing what support they have had in place and whether is has been helpful. Other professionals, including the Ed Psych will be asked to write reports recommending strategies to help him and the overall picture of the support he needs with govern whether he gets a statement.

if he doesn't get one, the LA may issue a note in lieu, which details how the school should be supporting him from within their existing resources.

You don't need to include a lot of information at the moment. Just say that your DS doesn't have equality of access to the curriculum and isn't making adequate progress despite the support the school has put in place and include the list the teacher gave you.

If the LA choose not to undertake a statutory assessment, that is when you put in an appeal to SEND. You can find out more about that on the IPSEA website. It doesn't cost you unless you choose to use a legal representative. The LA's often back down before you get to tribunal anyway because they know that they will lose.

Skylar123 Sun 09-Feb-14 09:59:51

Ok thank you all for your replies. I will take one step at a time , today/tonight the application will be ready to go. I always look at the bigger picture and worry ahead of my time, that's how I do things, which causes me stress too often. I'm going to see senco tomorrow morning,

I was planning on asking her what further support they could offer Ds. Should I still go?

Also can I ask you views on something else, Ds seems to be getting worse in so many ways and his ASD is extremely evident , is this an age thing, getting older or does it not get worse, is it something else?

It's not just sch I can't get him too, I can't get him out the house most days, or sometimes to leave a relatives house, however one things is for sure , at the weekend he is so much more less anxious and the last sch holidays were lovely compared to term time.

I think I will get in trouble with the welfare officer soon for Ds missing school.

Goldmandra Sun 09-Feb-14 10:19:11

There's no harm in going to the meeting.

Remember that you're looking for evidence that your DS's needs are not currently being met so, if the SENCo say that they can't do something you feel he needs, record it by emailing a summary of your meeting to the school afterwards. This then becomes evidence for the statutory assessment if the school doesn't respond by denying it.

My DDs have AS and they become far more 'Autistic' in their behaviour if their anxiety is high. When DD1 started high school and couldn't cope, she ended up shut in her bedroom for months and missing a whole year of school. I actively sought advice from the EWO, CAMHS, GP and the LA to try to get her needs better met in school and made it clear that I was the one driving the changes needed to her her back.

Give your EWO a call on Monday to register your concerns and ask for their advice. Mine was lovely and since then as backed me up on occasions when I have allowed my DDs to stay home against the wishes of the school.

If you haven't done so already, start a file of every conversation, meeting, phone call and letter regarding your DS's SEN and email confirmation of every phone call. It makes an enormous difference to gathering evidence later on.

Skylar123 Sun 09-Feb-14 11:17:10

gold thanks. One thing I have been doing rights is my paper trail. I write everything back to school, they hate me for it. I'm going to go in with some pointers tomorrow as how I feel Ds could be further supported and also ask them what they feel they could do to further support. I think they will say they are doing all they can. I will ring our attendance officer at LA even just to get it on record that I have contacted them.

wetaugust Sun 09-Feb-14 11:55:11

I was planning on asking her what further support they could offer Ds. Should I still go?

NO

I'm going to go in with some pointers tomorrow as how I feel Ds could be further supported and also ask them what they feel they could do to further support.

I thought that everyone had agreed this was pointless? All she could do is fob you off with empty promises and even if she did magic up some additional support this week, because it's not in a statement, she could that same support away next week. And the 2nd reason for not discussing is that both you and the SENCO are just guessing at what he needs. Until you actually have the statutoty assessment any 'help' may be the wrong sort of help.

And if the SENCO says Yes, Skylar,we can give him x, y and z extra help. What then. Do you decide not to ask for an assessment? If you do that you can kiss goodbye to any chance of a Statement.

Sorry Skylar - you are going round in circles.

School is not your friend.

Skylar123 Sun 09-Feb-14 12:21:14

I am wet I so am and I'm going to explode soon I'm at the end of my tether with Ds. I screamed out loud like a crazy person the other day in front of Ds when for the hundredth time he insisted I watched the same part of harry potter without looking away or he rewinds it again. Everything requires a zillion prompts, rewards don't work, he asks non stop questions, makes loud silly noises randomly, wants everything as soon as he demands it, won't give me a moment, having to fight for everything little thing, cleaning teeth, going upstairs, leaving house, going to school it goes on and on. I know it's not his fault but if I don't get some help soon i don't know what I can do. The not going to school thing has finished me off.
Sorry went off on one then, I so needed a break and last night u was meant to go out with friend but Ds would not go to his dad with dd and after a 40 min struggle trying to get him to car I gave up.
Should I drag Ds to school or should I attempt and follow routine as usual and if he won't go without a struggle leave it, I can, have and will persist for hours , what's the right thing to do. I do usually get him in after lunch time ends.
Ok senco is useless, doesn't care about Ds, hasn't contacted me when Ds hasn't been at sch it's always me doing the chasing, when I asked for the meeting she told the office lady to tell me we can talk at parents evening which is 3 weeks away I persisted for a sooner meeting as I needed help with Ds and not getting him to school so they offered tomorrow morning reluctantly. I am going round and round with them statement application will be in post tomorrow morning if it kills me. Thank you

Skylar123 Sun 09-Feb-14 12:36:36

Also and sorry to keep asking stuff...
I am going to use the Ipsea model letter and say something as recommended above which I have copied below plus list what I think Ds needs are. Do I need to send any reports as yet. I have some private reports, one which states his dx. Autism advisory report and his paed and salt report. We are awaiting CDAC in May and OT in April , camhs in march. Apart from the private reports nothing else really addresses any major cause for concern. I can however see recommendations in most reports that sch are probably not following.

You don't need to include a lot of information at the moment. Just say that your DS doesn't have equality of access to the curriculum and isn't making adequate progress despite the support the school has put in place and include the list the teacher gave you.

wetaugust Sun 09-Feb-14 13:32:10

I do usually get him in after lunch time ends.

Stop.

As long as you collect him then you are conveniently solving school's problem for them. Plus, he's being denied access to the full cirriculum if he's only getting a part-time education. Plus, it could be considered an illegal exclusion by school who are simply colluding with you to put a sticking plaster on a torn artery!

Just a simple letter saying he cannot access the full cirruculum (like the italics in the post above). Add the dx report BUT ONLY IF IT IS SUPPORTIVE. Include any other reports that may also be supportive. You really don't have to go mad with reports at this stage.

But TBH, if you don't get it in this week, with Easter approaching etc, you are going to be too late.

Skylar123 Sun 09-Feb-14 13:36:59

Thanks wet it will def go tomorrow. I've left it late enough already. I don't understand what you mean in your first para..should I leave him off all day tbh I think it's only a few small things that they need to adjust to make things work for Ds, could be wrong tho. Thanks so much for all your help and to other posters

Skylar123 Sun 09-Feb-14 13:38:03

I'm also going to gp tomorrow to tell him I can't get ds to school his anxiety is serious

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