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Have I cocked up?Secondary School for Statemented Child

(14 Posts)
doobryferkin Mon 10-Feb-14 13:50:26

Hi. My first thread, so here goes!

Background: Ds (10yrs Yr6) currently attends large mainstream Primary School. Has always been on SA+ until February 2013, when we applied for (and got) a Statement. It's only for 15 hours a week, but to be honest, I was bloody chuffed with even that! (At Initial Statement Launch meeting, the LA Officer more or less told us to be grateful as "children like Ds don't normally qualify for a Statement").I know, I know...

Anyhow, as he is going to High School this September, the Annual Review was done earlier than usual-November 2013. LA Officer wasn't at this meeting, but an Advisory Teacher was in attendance so they were deemed suitable to take place in lieu of LA Officer. Review went fine with all the usual platitudes etc. SENCo from proposed High School was present-to be quite blunt, I have reservations about her attitude towards my concerns re:Ds. (Think she may be one of the "I can 'fix' him brigade!). However, I still thought that this proposed High School was the only real contender because I have a younger DD who will need taking to Primary + logistically this is the only option we had.

Fast forward to now...Ds' needs have increasingly changed. He has ALWAYS had real anxiety regarding noise+disruption (in particular on PPA days) but over these last few weeks he has been soooo upset on these days that I've had to ask staff to escort him in+arrange for him to have lunch in class/office. It's not every day but definitely increasing. How is he going to cope in a mahoosive High School?

DH + I met with Primary SENCo couple of weeks ago to discuss these issues and she is worried about how he is going to cope as well. She asked us if we had considered looking at the nearest Special School as well as mainstream. We decided to ring SpSch to view it,but they said LA had to organise. Rang LA+ explained situation but were told literally "no can do" as School place was all decided now + "hadn't we discussed all this at Novembers Annual Review?". To which I said that things had changed since then + we don't know if they'll get any better or worse so we just needed to check out the Special School to see if that was better suited. She said LA Officer would ring me back.....but no call as yet.

Are we totally doomed? Any help or advice gratefully welcomed.

(Ds has Learning disability due to a genetic syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder and has hypermobility. CAMHS referral-awaiting appointment.

Thank you.

MariaNotChristmas Mon 10-Feb-14 15:46:57

Absolute rubbish. New needs are new needs. What if a dc with a statement for (say) ASD had a place at a historic grammar school?

And at Christmas, the dc had some terrible traffic accident causing serious brain injury. So now she needs a school that can deal with electric wheelchair access, hoists for changes, speech software, feeding tubes, tracheostomy...

Would they still say, "I'm sorry, part 4 names the local grammar, the special school is full up already. She'll cope: they'll just have to manage with her additional problems"

MariaNotChristmas Mon 10-Feb-14 15:49:38

If your ds can't cope in mainstream right now, is he disrupting everyone else's sats preparation? Perhaps the senco wink may suggest he needs an emergency review so as to move to the special school at Easter?

MariaNotChristmas Mon 10-Feb-14 15:51:38

Have the high school agreed to be named?
do they know what his needs really are?

Sometimes schools get the hyper-sanitised version, and change their mind about being named once the parent has passed on all the relevant info

ouryve Mon 10-Feb-14 15:55:21

Agreeing with maria - these things are not as set in stone as the LA are trying to convince you, and this is why there is a mechanism for emergency reviews. One in which the secondary school might actually say, sorry, with these new developments we can not meet his needs.

doobryferkin Mon 10-Feb-14 17:51:58

Thank you Maria and ouryve.

Yes, high school are happy to have him. He is a very quiet, compliant boy (normally!) so they are unaware of the level of his anxiety. To be fair, he normally holds it together so for him to be reacting like this, publicly, in his last year of primary is unusual. I think that we have possibly underplayed the anxiety aspects of his personality and concentrated more on how to help him achieve academically iykwim? I'm not sure the primary SENCo would stick her neck out re: emergency review.

The high school has a "Nurture group" which we are told will be freely available to him + he can use this at difficult times- but, he is so very quiet, I don't think he'll have the confidence to ask.

Thing is, his needs are complex, even WE struggle to articulate to the professionals what he needs- they all keep spouting "He's doing really well/getting more confident"....yadda yadda yadda!

I'm sorry if this is fragmented-told you I'm struggling to describe him!smile

Thank you again

StarlightMcKingsThree Mon 10-Feb-14 18:41:27

'LA Officer more or less told us to be grateful as "children like Ds don't normally qualify for a Statement").I know, I know...'

Lying strumpet! They might not GIVE children like your ds' a statement but you mustn't be 'grateful' that his needs have been identified and deemed IN LAW to require statement support. That other kids are being failed is not a reason for you to 'be grateful', nor to lower your sights or aspirations for your son.

doobryferkin Mon 10-Feb-14 19:59:21

"Lying strumpet" indeed Star! smile

I have to keep reminding myself that it is down to US, and no one else, that we've got this far-so, thank you for that.

Why is this road so bloody hard ALL. THE. TIME?
Bloody bureaucracy!

Have talked to DH this evening + have decided to leave things 'til after half-term hols before deciding our next move. Am just concerned that there'll be some time bloomin' time limit we will have missed.

Thank you.

wetaugust Mon 10-Feb-14 20:05:15

I would not delay. If you want other than mainsteam or even just an autism base attached to mainstream you will find the places get taken very quickly. Plus, the new school should be named on the Statemnet by 14/15 (can't remember which) day of February in the year of transition.

I think the problem is that you rang the LA. You need to put this in writing to be taken seriously.

doobryferkin Mon 10-Feb-14 20:22:44

Oh bloody hell wet !
That's exactly what I thought!

Received letter from LA two days after I rang them, confirming High school place. Said on letter that amended Statement would follow.....still waiting!:-/

Feel like bloody chucking the towel in. Completely drained by the mind-games.
Thank you.

StarlightMcKingsThree Tue 11-Feb-14 08:25:00

Just write to them, telling them that mainstream is not adequate and you expect them to name the provision as 'Special School' and to set up a visit with local SS immediately.

It doesn't matter so much what happens after that, but you need to get this letter in right now so that you can show everyone that you addressed it with enough time.

bjkmummy Tue 11-Feb-14 08:35:44

remember as well that when you get the statement which you should get by the 14th/15th then you also get the right to appeal to tribunal so you could immediately lodge an appeal to tribunal - that would get the LA starting to listen to you but agree with star - get that letter in writing to them and start the paper trail

MariaNotChristmas Tue 11-Feb-14 20:34:02

Well, if the amended statement is not yet issued, how can they have confirmed his school? Needs to be named in part 4. before this Saturday.

So it'll be sat on someones desk monday, in the postroom on Tuesday, and franked second class on Wednesday, probably after last post.

Get your appeal ready to go now, you'll probably get the amended statement through on Friday or Saturday.

You might even want to helpfully tell your case officer that your appeal documents are ready, and to thank her for the advance warning, it's useful to have her formal confirmation that the LA feel <insert name of special school> couldn't even consider your ds unless a tribunal so ordered. Cc high school, special school, primary school and ipsea (you'll need to call the helpline first so you have someone's details)

doobryferkin Wed 12-Feb-14 11:02:34

Thank you all for the advice. Very much appreciated. I'm glad I took the plunge into MNSN-I have been lurking for eons! grin
Am off for a brew before the battle commences.
Thanks again.

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