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Here some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on SN.

Counties with good SEN provision and funding

(8 Posts)
blueskiesblue Wed 12-Mar-14 12:59:32

Hi all. Sorry, I know this subject has been discussed before. I posted on an older post and was advised to set up a new thread (newbie) smile I'm after info on counties with good SEN support and this came up on Google. I'm in Northamptonshire and have had the worst experience in terms of getting support for my teen who has a diagnosis of high-functioning Autism. Teen is very bright but grades are deteriorating at school as they're not getting enough support. SENCO insists they doesn't need support or a SEN, even though most of the teachers say different. Teen explodes every day, is violent and aggressive. My youngest and I are classed as at risk but SS won't help because we slip through between their categories. Apparently my teen is isn't disabled enough to go under their 'disability team', but because my teen has a disability doesn't fit the criteria in their 'child in need' team! I've heard from other sources that it's all down to the county's funding, which I think is absolutely disgusting. I'm now wanting to move, partly because of the lack of support and because my teen is very unhappy at school due it being the wrong environment for him. Teen doesn't have a statement but has an IEP. I am considering either north to Ainsdale (Sefton), Bolton/Bury (Gtr. Manchester), Salisbury (Wiltshire) or Godalming (Surrey). I can't afford to get it wrong in terms of moving him, as my teen isn't far off GCSE's and is distressed enough already. Please can anyone give me info on either of those areas in terms of how good SEN support is and recommend schools if possible? Many thanks smile

ouryve Wed 12-Mar-14 14:11:58

SENCO sounds fecking useless, for starters.

There's isn't a holy grail of fantastic provision and funding anywhere in the country, I don't think, especially not for children with HFA. Before you consider upping sticks and adding disruption into your DD's life, have you looked at other mainstream schools in your area? Some are better for SEN (which she does have as she has a condition which is affecting her learning in some way) than others. You're going to need to do these things, whether you move or stay put, so I suggest you do the following.

Use http://www.education.gov.uk/edubase/home.xhtml and google to initially find out about as many school, of all types, in your area, as possible. OFSTED and sites like the good schools guide should fill you in with a good indication of the school ethos. The SEN characteristics tab on edubase usually indicates if the school has a resource base of any sort.

Contact Parent Partnership for your county who should know which schools have a good reputation for being inclusive and dealing well with ASDs.

Apply for statutory assessment. Her needs are clearly not being met, or else she wouldn't be lashing out so much. The IPSEA website has advice and template letters to help you do this. Even if she doesn't end up with a statement at the end of it all, you should end up with a much better idea of what her educational needs are.

And when your SENCO tells you that none of this is necessary, nod and smile grin

StarlightMcKingsThree Wed 12-Mar-14 15:04:32

TBH I think you will need to pursue a statement where you are first. Having had a 'worst experience' means you are better able to gather the evidence where you are rather than somewhere new.

Of your options I would go for Manchester, possibly Sefton but quite honestly you will have the battle of your life wherever you go with a HFA Teen in a system that doesn't cater for them. However appalling you think things are where you live currently I doubt the upheaval will give you significant enough gain to justify the move.

bochead Wed 12-Mar-14 15:22:19

Sadly I have to agree with the others. HFA teens don't seem to be properly catered for anywhere in the UK - I've looked!

Without a statement you cannot hope to access the miniscule choice of specialist teaching facilities that do exist dotted around the country. As a first step, look on the IPSEA website for details of how to apply for a statement as a matter of urgency TODAY.

Without a statement the best you could hope for in a new area is a standard mainstream place while the new authority "wait and see how your child gets on". It could easily set you back in your hunt for support by another year, as you gathered enough evidence for a statement.

Mine didn't even make it to the end of Primary before I gave up and relocated to a nice location for home edders. Even then, the authorities have been a hindrance rather than a help for us.

blueskiesblue Wed 12-Mar-14 21:07:20

Thank you for your replies everyone. We will be moving in the next year, due to my partner's job, which is why I wondered what those other areas are like. I know the change isn't going to be great for teen :/ The school promised so much when we looked round and we believed this would be the right place. I will go down the Statement route myself and am looking at the IPSEA website tonight. I've nothing to lose and like you say, ouryve, I'll get a better insight into educational needs.
bochead, I take my hat off to you home educating! My teen has begged me to do that but I can't go down that route. My teen hardly leaves the house as it is due to high anxiety levels and I don't want him to withdraw completely. Do you teach yourself or do you have tutors that come into home?

bochead Wed 12-Mar-14 21:12:34

Mine is cool about going out and about to different activities, (so long as I support him - which is actually easier than explaining to someone else how to do it). At the mo I do 50% myself and 50% with an online school. I'm not too sure home ed is a good idea for a wannabe hermit - the long summer holidays give you a clue as to what they'd be like leaving the house long term.

ouryve Wed 12-Mar-14 21:51:21

This is why I've pushed for good provision for DS1, bochead. There were at least 2 days a week last summer when DS1 refused to leave the house even to just walk around the block. It'll be a few years yet before I can take DS2 out without DS1. When he's distressed, DS1 complains that other people share the world with him. Home ed would have to be a very last resort.

bochead Wed 12-Mar-14 22:17:44

Mine can be reluctant, but has never reached the outright refusal stage as yet.

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