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tribunal - are school up to something?

(27 Posts)
bjkmummy Thu 13-Feb-14 16:02:24

as you know we are going to tribunal re refusal to assess. today our OT was going to phone school to make an appointment to go in. School know an OT was phoning but not that it is my OT and not an NHS one.

I know class teacher spoke to OT as daughter over heard the teacher talking about it - goodness knows where she gets her nosiness from!

anyway - my daughter also talked about how all of her work today has been copied by her teacher. she was also made to stay in at playtime to re write a paragraph from some work and was told to write it 'in her neatest best handwriting' after she had done it , teacher said well done and that this work meant that she had gone up a level to a 3b or 3a - she couldn't remember which which makes sense as school last had her at 3c for handwriting.

im puzzled what the school are up to - and why they are making her re write work and then they are copying it and telling her her levels are going up. my gut reaction is that they are trying to show that shes suddenly making good progress so doesn't need to be assessed but am I just reading too much into this and could there be a genuine reason for this?

ouryve Thu 13-Feb-14 16:19:17

It does sound a bit bizarre. Do they bank on your DD not having a tongue in her head, or something? The only genuine reason i could think of for copying some work out again would be to put a piece of creative writing on display, though the good old photocopier or scanner/printer combo does that far more quickly and efficiently.

In situations like this, I think a vociferously non-compliant DC can be an advantage! <pats snarly 10yo on the head>

bjkmummy Thu 13-Feb-14 16:35:11

but its how they've made her re write it again more neatly which is what concerns me and then the comment that her NC level now gone up - surely one piece of deliberately re written work doesn't mean she has improved? her handwriting will be the same scruffy state tomorrow - she hasn't improved they've just skewed it to make it look like improvement and I just don't understand why they want to do this. initially I thought 'oh maybe its to put on the wall' but its the comment re her levels which made my ears prick up as my daughter is absolutely oblivious to what these levels mean so has just repeated what was said without understanding what it really means

bochead Thu 13-Feb-14 18:25:07

yup school is up to summat, BUT a halfway decent OT will see straight thru it. It's worth photocopying her homework book though as evidence, before it goes missing.

bjkmummy Thu 13-Feb-14 18:38:55

well the plot thickens - my daughter says she was kept in over lunchtime break and also missed the first lesson whilst she did this neatest bestest writing - she had to re write one paragraph which was 5 - 7 lines long so that her teacher could show a woman coming to school at 4pm?????? so who on earth are the school showing my daughters work to that has been deliberately made to look better than it actual is?

bochead Thu 13-Feb-14 18:53:59

I honestly don't know why schools do this. At the end of the day outside specialists can make THEIR jobs easier. My son's last school insisted on ignoring all advice and then resorted to blaming me when it all went wrong for them.

Ineedmorepatience Thu 13-Feb-14 19:42:18

Dd3 is regularly made to re write stuff at school to make it look like she is better than she is!!

It drives her mad and staff have been asked to stop doing it!!

I have taken lots of photos of any homework books that come home!!

We are also going to tribunal.

I am afraid I dont trust any of them now they all seem to have their own adgenda!

Dd3's teacher told me at parents eve that she has to get level 5's in her SATs because she came up from KS1 on level 3's!! I have told them before that her scores were inflated at her old school but they say there is nothing they can do!!

It is just bonkers, there is an actual real child in the middle of all this sad

BigBird69 Thu 13-Feb-14 20:20:17

This sounds really odd and totally the opposite experience I had with our school during our application when they made sure they painted a very "black" picture. This may not be the case at all, but a friend of mine reported her school because they were falsifying her daughters results in order to boost their SATS results! Not saying this is the case but keep a diary and I would report your concerns to county.

claw2 Thu 13-Feb-14 20:44:41

They do attach samples of work for Tribunal. However, if you have an OT going in to assess, she should do her own handwriting assessments.

Ds can produce neat handwriting, its the amount of time it takes and how effortful it is, that's the point.

bjkmummy Thu 13-Feb-14 21:01:15

exactly claw - the fact it took up her playtime and lesson time to write a few lines is what concerns me and then to openly say to her 'ooo look you have gone up a level now' when they have deliberately done this makes me mad plus this 'person'who the work was shown to at 4pm. hopefully the OT will get a good picture of everything - I used her for my son and she was excellent. ive asked my daughter to write down what happened today - ive told her she can take all the time she needs as it may take a while

claw2 Thu 13-Feb-14 21:24:38

I don't think its unusual for school to present a child's 'best' work to tribunal. The handwriting sample school gave, was nothing like the samples OT had. Ds had obviously been given lots of lots of time to do it.

OT was brill, she noted that ds had an immature grasp of the pencil, used the wrong muscles to direct the pencil, that when the demands increased ie timed handwriting, he wasn't able to produce the same quality of work etc. She also commented that she has studied and trained hard to become an OT and an expert. SENCO wasn't a handwriting expert!

Going up and down levels depending on who they are reporting to is not unknown either. Happened to us.

Check IEPS
Check end of year school report
Check what level school reported to LA

Ds was going up and down 3 sub levels in a matter of a month. Something which usually takes other child 2 years to achieve, was taking ds a few weeks!

Also take note of what EP's say in reports if you have them. As it is about a child maintaining a level of progress, to be adequate. For example EP stated that ds reading age was 'superior' and far advance so wasn't this reflected in his NC levels or vice versa, if reading age is much lower, then why is child so advanced in NC levels.

bjkmummy Thu 13-Feb-14 21:33:24

yes - even with this supposed amazing progress she is still years behind and yet academically she is average so shes definitely not reaching her full potential. what she has wrote tonight about today is unreadable

claw2 Thu 13-Feb-14 21:43:52

If they have pressured your dd to write it and write it again etc, etc. A good OT will see straight through it, when she does her own assessment.

Our OT was brill, with comments such as 'I don't wish to criticise school, however I am a trained OT and handwriting expert, SENCO isnt'!

Showing a childs 'best' work (regardless of how long it took them to produce) is probably common and something you can comment upon at Tribunal and include plenty of samples of your own.

ouryve Thu 13-Feb-14 23:14:31

My private OT got DS1 to write in front of her, so she could observe his pencil grip etc. She was hired to look at sensory difficulties, in particular, but was still very thorough about the motor difficulties that go hand in hand. A good OT has a script and sticks to it, no matter what, as they need to check on issues that are comparable.

In your DD's case, one would hope they'd also ask to look at a wide sample of work, from different times of the day in topics with a variety of motivational pull (my handwriting was always shit in history because I hated every minute of it)

claw2 Thu 13-Feb-14 23:23:17

In our case OT didn't even ask to see samples of ds's work.

She observed him in the classroom and his poor pencil grip etc. Then during 1:1 assessment with her, she did her own handwriting assessment with him. He was required to write the quick brown fox sentence, then to write it as quickly as he could etc.

School included one piece of ds's work to tribunal to try and show his writing was 'age appropriate'. OT had already stated in her report that although his writing appeared 'age appropriate' it was the amount of time and effort it took him to write it, that was the problem.

StarlightMcKingsThree Thu 13-Feb-14 23:50:47

Why don't you write to CT expressing concern about what dd had told you about being kept in all lunchtime to do her neatest handwriting and ask if this is a strategy for punishing poor handwriting or whether it was a py ishment for challenging behaviour and can they please a) clarify and b) Inform you when dd is next excluded from mainstream activities and
C) make sure you are aware of these extra provisions and strategies so you can support them at home.

ouryve Thu 13-Feb-14 23:56:23

grin starlight!

bjkmummy Fri 14-Feb-14 00:24:37

but what I don't get is who is this 'mystery' woman the teacher was meeting with at 4pm to show her work to - everything she did today was copied for this meeting. teacher even saw me at 3.30pm and said nothing. teacher not in tomorrow as she doesn't work Fridays and then its half term. just done the letter to hand in tomorrow to request her school file and letter to head to ask about the sen budget - they are going to love me! but I don't care - if they think doing this is benefiting my daughter by screwing her over to make her out to be better than what she is - how can they sleep at night! this teacher is going to look an idiot as she has written 2 months ago about how concerned she was about my daughter and her lack of progress!!!!!! she seriously didn't think that I would be savvy enough to photocopy it before I posted it

claw2 Fri 14-Feb-14 00:27:49

You could always ask the SENCO

bjkmummy Fri 14-Feb-14 00:39:38

this teacher who has done this is the senco!! we only have 2 teachers in the whole school - teeny tiny school

claw2 Fri 14-Feb-14 07:49:16


StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 14-Feb-14 08:28:46

So put in writing that your daughter had mentioned the visit of someone she is supposed to be doing her extra special writing for and ask if it someone who is involved in assessing her work?

You can be polite about it all, and not accuse them of deliberate sneaky tactics. Imply that you assumed they would expect your daughter to tell you all this and that it isn't in anyway a secret.

bjkmummy Fri 14-Feb-14 08:29:30

my OT has emailed me this morning - the school have not returned her phone calls. class teacher not in today so that's it now until after half term. OT has said if it comes to it she will see her outside of school but obviously she would ideally like school input. letters gone in today asking for school records and sen budget. think I may need to put armour on at school pick up time

StarlightMcKingsThree Fri 14-Feb-14 08:31:45

And put in writing that the OT has been trying to contact for a visit but has not yet had a response to her letters or calls and is there anything you can help them with regarding this......

None of these letters are actually to the school. They are to the tribunal judge.

bjkmummy Fri 14-Feb-14 08:35:43

dh has already said this morning he can see this reaching some kind of crisis point and he will have to go in and speak to them! OT is phoning again today - will see what she says - if she gets no joy today then I will send a letter in Monday after half term. my daughter over heard the class teacher talking about the phone call yesterday - glad she is nosey! im also being very careful what I say to my daughter as she can sometimes just blab things out! so at home we say very little when she is around and also we don't want her to know that the school are up to these tricks

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