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For a friend...please help re her son in mainstream...

(20 Posts)
AwfulMaureen Mon 17-Feb-14 22:27:32

My friend, for whatever reason won't post on here...I've told her about it and explained what a mine of support and information it is but she's just not ready. She asked me to.

Her son is almost 4 and in preschool. The preschool is attached to a very good mainstream primary and she wants him to attend.

He saw a paed last year who agreed he seems to have many symptoms of ASD she referred my friend to SALT who have seen him a total of three times.

The paed also said that she would inform the Autism panel and that they would observe him in his educational setting. This hasn't happened but an EP has been in and observed. The DS has no DX yet.

My friend spoke to the preschool teacher today and asked if she thought herdS would need a one to one in reception and the teacher agreed he would...."but it's a funding issue"

Friend is now panicking....she worries they will tell her he can't attend this school...what does she need to do? I've advised her to call the paed and ask about the panel and about getting a DX and also to make an appointment with the HT of the school to see what she thinks needs to be there something else she needs to do? The school is in Wales. flowers I really want to support her all the way, she's had a bad year for other reasons other than her DS being flagged for ASD and she has little in the way of practical support.

AwfulMaureen Mon 17-Feb-14 22:29:35

Just for added info her DS is bright and already almost reading, he has a huge interest in numbers and letters as well as a sophisticated knowledge of shapes but he is very echolalic still and sturggles in the busy classroom when it comes to joining in at carpet time...socially he's not with it yet...but he enjoys other children and is generally placid and very happy...he toilet trained very well and loves music, weather, dancing and soft play.

lougle Mon 17-Feb-14 22:35:26

Hi AwfulMaureen

If the teacher feels he needs a 1:1 then he'll most likely need a Statement of Educational Need. Your friend can apply herself by writing to the Chief SEN Officer of her Local Authority and asking for a Statutory Assessment.

It's difficult to say whether she'd be successful right now, because it doesn't sound like there will be very much evidence. Is her DS getting 1:1 at preschool right now?

She needs to get cracking, really, because it's a 6 month process, if all goes smoothly. So if she doesn't apply in the next few days the Statement wouldn't be ready for September, even if they agree to assess and assess without delay.

AwfulMaureen Mon 17-Feb-14 22:39:32

Thank you Lougle I did mention the statement to her but I wasn;t sure how she should go about it...I said that without a DX she wouldn;'t get one...he is not getting one to one but the teacher said that she had been planning to "divert" one of the current assistants to focus on him...and use that as evidence to see how well he does with help.

Can she apply without a DX?

lougle Mon 17-Feb-14 22:45:38

Yes, she can. However, she'd need to use every scrap of evidence to show that he needs that support.

tethersend Mon 17-Feb-14 22:47:46

I don't know about the Welsh system, but in England a school cannot refuse to offer a place if one is available and the child meets the admissions criteria.

However, a school can decline to offer a place to a statemented child if they feel that they cannot meet the child's needs.

So, I'm assuming that she has already applied for a school place for her son at the school she wants? If he meets the admissions criteria (lives near school etc., check school/LA website), then he should get a place. The school cannot refuse him a place on the grounds of his SEN if he doesn't have a statement.

Again, this is in England- will check the Welsh system.

AwfulMaureen Mon 17-Feb-14 22:48:27

What would count as evidence? She hasn't got anything and has lost the one letter that she did have...

AwfulMaureen Mon 17-Feb-14 22:50:15

Ok thank you all so much everyone... Tethers she has applied I am pretty sure...she does meet all critera in terms of where she lives etc....she really is worried that they will refuse him...should she apply for a statement?

AwfulMaureen Mon 17-Feb-14 22:53:57

Can I also ask, regarding a school saying they could not meet a child's needs...why would they say that? If the child was statemented isn;'t it guaranteed they'll get a one to one?

Ineedmorepatience Mon 17-Feb-14 22:58:48

Hi awful, I am pretty sure that he wont be refused if he meets the admission criteria, although I dont know if it is different in Wales.

Are the preschool making observations etc? They must be doing something in order to get the EP in.

She needs to ask the pre-school what paperwork has been collected and also whether they are applying for a statutory assessment.

I cant see why he would be refused a place when the staff from school dont know him and probably dont do their own admissions anyway.

Good luck smile

tethersend Mon 17-Feb-14 23:07:44

Schools can refuse a place to a statemented child on the grounds that they cannot meet their needs even with reasonable adjustments. This should be a rare occurrence, but unfortunately, it's happening more and more.

However, your friend's DS's application for a school place is currently being considered without a statement, and looking at the admissions guidance, it would seem that the Welsh system is similar to the English in that schools cannot refuse a place to a child on the grounds of their SEN if they have no statement and they meet all other admissions criteria. Hopefully, someone with more knowledge will be along soon to confirm or deny that though.

I don't think that a school can withdraw an offer of a place once it is offered unless the place was applied for fraudulently (which your friend clearly did not), so even if a statement of SEN is granted between now and September, this should not affect his place.

All of the above comes with the caveat that I am not an expert, and the Welsh system is different to the one I am familiar with- Welsh guidance on admissions here. Admissions experts such as prh47bridge and tiggytape will be able to give better advice...

Ineedmorepatience Mon 17-Feb-14 23:13:39

awful maybe you need to put up a new thread with We are in Wales in the title smile

AwfulMaureen Mon 17-Feb-14 23:15:49

Thank you Patience the school must be doing something...they are helpful to her..and I think it was them who got the EP in...they also asked that she ask about the SALT going in to school to help them to see how best to help the DS.

tethers she hasn't had confirmation of a place yet I don't think...

So...if I have this's what she should do

Check if school are applying for a statement....if they are not, then she should or her DS will end up in reception with no support?

tethersend Mon 17-Feb-14 23:17:45

Actually, I am not sure whether a school would get a chance to review the offer of a place once a child is statemented and they are named on the proposed statement... Best clarify with the experts.

If you PM prh47bridge and/or tiggytape, I'm sure they'd be happy to help.

AwfulMaureen Mon 17-Feb-14 23:21:11

Thank you for the link tethers. It's very seems she's more guaranteed to get a place if he hasn't got a people ever put off applying in order to ensure a place?

prh47bridge Thu 20-Feb-14 00:52:38

The situation on admissions for statemented children is broadly the same in both England and Wales. Once a school is named in a statement of SEN it must admit the child. There are no legal grounds under which it can refuse to do so. However, during the process of drawing up a statement the school is consulted and may object to being named. If the LA rejects their objection they can refer the matter to the relevant minister. In theory they could take their objection to the appropriate tribunal but their chances of success would be low.

If the LA refuses to name the school the parents have chosen the parents can refer the matter to the relevant tribunal. It would then be up to the LA to justify their refusal.

It is unfortunately the case (at least in England) that some schools are illegally refusing admission to children with statements. Unfortunately some LAs are backing down in the face of such illegal refusals instead of enforcing the statement. Parents could also enforce the statement but many are unaware of their rights.

Wales has a code of practise which specifically states that schools cannot refuse admission to a child with SEN just because they feel unable to cater for that child's needs.

Your friend should not be put off applying for a statement. Getting a statement guarantees a place at the school named on the statement. If necessary the relevant tribunal will enforce the statement.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 20-Feb-14 08:23:25

My question would be why has the pre school not put in any 1:1 already? The best evidence for more funding / 1:1 / a statement is demonstrating a need for it. Councils won't look at a child managing with no 1:1 in pre school and see an obvious need for FT 1:1 in reception.
She needs to be asking the pre school to put 1:1 in now. I would have a big question mark over this school given it hasn't put in support itself yet (is the pre school part of the school or private?).
The funding issue is the school's 'funding issue', not hers. Its not generally a reason to refuse a child unless they have exceptional needs (e.g. 2:1 and building adaptations etc).
She needs to ask a lot more questions - can she speak to any parents with children with SEN already in the school?
I am in the process of removing my son from a 'good mainstream primary', it turns out its attitude and commitment to SEN / autism was not so good.
A HT talking about funding and a preschool not prepared to put in 1:1 are red flags for me.
Applying a statement is a good way of kickstarting the process and concentrating minds. She should do this herself not get school to do it. She should be prepared to be refused as too early / not enough evidence - but she can appeal. She can always withdraw an appeal if and when she is satisfied the support is in place that is needed.

prh47bridge Thu 20-Feb-14 08:47:21

Funding is a red herring. If a child has a statement requiring expensive tailored provision it is funded by the LA.

AwfulMaureen Thu 20-Feb-14 09:50:58

Thank you very muchprh just an friend called someone the other day...a woman who seems to be incharge of SEN provision in schools in the area....and she was very helpful and reassured my friend that he would have his place. She's organised a meeting too...with various people (can't remember who!) she told my friend that funding was NOT her worry and that of course her ds would attend the school..Agnes .the school have yesterday organised a TA as one to one for her DS for now so they can see how he does with help.

SHe feels comorted by all this.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 20-Feb-14 10:03:53

Thats good!

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