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How do you get into a special school

(31 Posts)
Skylar123 Tue 11-Feb-14 07:55:20

As all the special schools admissions are based on children having statements , is that the only way you can get a child a place at a special school. So if you can't get a statement for your child they stay in regular mainstream and cope as best they can on SA+.
If they are not coping, Is it possible to get a recommendation from someone such as the school or autism advisory ,if so how does this work without statement?

autumnsmum Tue 11-Feb-14 08:20:10

Sorry the only way you can access a special school in our borough is with a statement I believe it's to do with finance

Ineedmorepatience Tue 11-Feb-14 08:20:32

I recently asked that question to an LA rep! Well actually I asked where my child would go if she couldnt cope in mainstream secondary and doesnt have a statement and the answer was...
"I dont know!"

Great, isnt it their job to jnow these things? Especially when my parental request had just been refused.

Have you done a parental request for a statutory assessment ?

Ineedmorepatience Tue 11-Feb-14 08:23:24

In answer to your question, you nearly always need a statement for a special school unless its a short stay assessment school or a PRU.

The resourced provision in my area dont always need a statement either but the case still has to go to panel to decide if the child can access the particular school.

Good luck smile

Livesforbedtime Tue 11-Feb-14 08:34:36

I was told my ds wasn't eligable for a SS as he's too bright hmm and would be a 'fish out of water' - in my (limited) experience there doesn't appear to be a 'middle ground' for children who achieve academically but can't cope in a busy environment!

autumnsmum Tue 11-Feb-14 08:43:54

I was told the same with my ds he's academically average so he wouldn't be accepted

NewBlueCoat Tue 11-Feb-14 09:19:41

Yes, a statement is always needed. In some cases (mostly independent schools) a school will accept a child while helping parents to gain a statement.

For those of you being told that there is no suitable school due to academic ability - have you looked at independent SN schools? They often wil have a wider academic range, or there will be a school aimed at higher achieving children. LAs don't often mention them, as they are more expensive, but they exist. And you child is entitled to a suitable education - if mainstream is too much sensory-wise, and LA SS don't suit due to ability, then the LA is duty bound o find a school which does suit, not just shrug their shoulders and say 'no idea'

AliceinWinterWonderland Tue 11-Feb-14 10:00:29

Livesforbedtime That's not true. My DS1 was at the top of his class, but could not cope with the environment in school. He is now in his second year at SS and loves it. The LA did fight us, saying that because he was so bright, it would be too limiting to his academics, but the SS insisted they could meet his needs as they do a lot of individualised learning. And they do very well with him.

AliceinWinterWonderland Tue 11-Feb-14 10:01:13

He does have a statement though. Definitely apply for a statement if your child is not coping in MS.

Owllady Tue 11-Feb-14 10:05:50

The only way ime is that you are statements and a mainstream environment can no longer meet your child's needs. At my child's ss NONE of the often could cope in a mainstream school. They do however have satellite classes under the ss govern which operate as units in mainstream schools, which seems to work well for some children too. I suppose it depends where you live though as to what is available and how it us accessed. I have lived in three counties and they have all been very different

lougle Tue 11-Feb-14 10:26:12

The SENCoP says that all children in a special school must have a statement. It doesn't say that all children considering special school must have a statement, nor does it say that only statemented children can be considered for special school.

IF your child needs special school, they need special school. If the LA agrees, they must draw up a statement which names that special school.

DD1 went from MS preschool (without statement but on EYA+) to special school. She was statemented with special school in mind from the SEN Officer.

Owllady Tue 11-Feb-14 10:27:52

I think my dd started without a statement too come to of it, she was undergoing assessment though with a view to definite statementing

lougle Tue 11-Feb-14 10:30:43

"The only way ime is that you are statements and a mainstream environment can no longer meet your child's needs."

That's not strictly true either, although LA's may like to present it that way.

The SEN CoP says:
"8:62 Where an LEA proposes to issue a statement or amend part 4 of an existing statement they must name the maintained school – mainstream or special – that is preferred by the parents, providing that:
-the school is suitable for the child’s age, ability and aptitude and the special
educational needs set out in part 2 of the statement
-the child’s attendance is not incompatible with the efficient education of other children in the school, and
-the placement is an efficient use of the LEA’s resources."

In other words, the onus is on the LA to justify that the special school meets one of the exception criteria for that child, not on the parent to justify that it is necessary.

Owllady Tue 11-Feb-14 12:57:47

I think you will find my sentence said IME lougle, so whether it's true, legal etc. It is still my experience, so actually it is strictly true
Sorry to be pedantic grin

SallyBear Tue 11-Feb-14 15:47:59

My DS had a statement. He needed to move from MS to SS. His case was put to a SN Panel at LA. It costs about £35k a year per child to educate at my son's SS.

lougle Tue 11-Feb-14 15:54:21

Go ahead Owllady smile

The truth is that the Code is still the Code, even if some LAs/schools don't follow it.

snowybun Tue 11-Feb-14 16:31:58

So to ask a slightly different question if the child has a statement and currently in mainstream but is struggling to cope in mainstream and staff are struggling to cope how easy is the process to change. I am having a tour of our local sen school after half term

mymatemax Tue 11-Feb-14 16:36:15

some SS will have assessment places and will support obtaining a statement if they can meet the childs needs.

Owllady Tue 11-Feb-14 16:43:30

Lougle most probably knows more of the legalities
But at your statement review there should someone there from the local authority and the suitability of the placement should be discussed. It's part of the review process

OneInEight Tue 11-Feb-14 16:49:31

In our experience our ds's have had to fail at two mainstream schools before a special school was conceded as well as having a statement. Well we hope they have conceded for ds2 - panel meeting after half-term.

AliceinWinterWonderland Tue 11-Feb-14 16:53:01

snowybun we asked for a change at his annual review. The LA said no initially, we scheduled the appeal to tribunal, and at the last minute, LA agreed. DS was attending MS on statement at the time.

autumnsmum Tue 11-Feb-14 17:32:45

My dd2 was offered a special school nursery place before she started school

lougle Tue 11-Feb-14 17:34:54

snowybun the likelihood is that most special schools will be 'full'. If a child isn't progressing well in MS but is safe and happy, a LA will have more stalling time to work out the best plan. If a child is deteriorating or the school is unable to keep them/others safe, they sometimes have to 'make' room at a SS because it's essential.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 11-Feb-14 17:44:59

Lougle - you need to add free (special) schools into your equation.

Suffolk 1 year ago had ss for MLD and mainstream. Now they have about 100 HFA places via free schools. DC do not need a statement to get access - they can be being assessed with the free ss named in part 4. LA is placing DC as their first choice when m/s is not working.

lougle Tue 11-Feb-14 17:50:56

Yes, that may change the landscape somewhat, Keep.

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