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Meeting on Monday to reduce DS hours at school- help me decide pls?

(33 Posts)
lala21 Sat 22-Nov-14 23:23:46

Hello you lovely people

My ds is in YR 1 (nearly 6yrs old) and after a 4 hard years we finally have a CAMHS meeting in Dec and have also been referred by GP (2nd time round) to dev paed for assessment too. He's been referred to OT as well for support with his sensory and processing issues.

The SENCO and in house EP have been amazing and are putting in place a nurture group( no self esteem) making some social stories for him ( lets other children hit and push him but he thinks they are friends) and are supporting him as if the dx has come for being HFA ASD.

I have a meeting on Monday with the Head to talk about my DS attending a Forest School in the pm of Friday.
The head said she would talk to some people and we can chat arrangements on Mon as its been done before in this school.

My idea would be for him to rest Friday morning and then attend Forest school in the afternoon for 2 hrs ( den building, tool using, making camp and learning about bugs)

His 2 teachers said he is academically very able and loved reading and writing. He has a project book between home and school to extend when work is finished and I thought he could use his outdoor time to create a project book.

They had the Forest School in Reception and he loved it and thrived and its all becoming a bit much for him. Its as though he can just about cope through to midweek and then we start with the toileting issues, lack of focuses and noises in class ( which I explained is a sign he is under immense stress and seems to happen after about 3 days into school)

DH thinks we should compromise and let him go in for the morning and I collect him at 12.
What would you do or think? Obviously we could review it and also see what CAMHS think.

Thank you in advance need to head to bed as I know it will be a rough night ahead x x x
Oh dear is a bit long- sorry

ResIpsaLoquitur Sun 23-Nov-14 11:20:18

You're supposed to ensure your son is in full time education, so really he should go to school first. It might be OK if you are home educating in the morning, but you would need to be in a position to demonstrate (if, say, the council sent someone to check) that that really is the case, e.g. by showing a timetable, educational materials etc, and of course you'd have to have consent.

NoRunAround Sun 23-Nov-14 11:26:26

Hi lala21, I know this is not what you've asked, but I think you need to think very carefully about whether this is the right school for him. As you've said "he is under immense stress and seems to happen after about 3 days into school).

The school sound supportive, but it may be that he needs a low stimulus environment, and it's good that you have an OT on board. The OT should be able to come up with some strategies to help him deal with his sensory needs. However, some children are unable to cope with a mainstream classroom.

Would ds be able to cope with a dual placement (Forest School), given his likely dx of HFA?

Does ds have an SEN statement/EHCP?

PolterGoose Sun 23-Nov-14 11:53:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PolterGoose Sun 23-Nov-14 11:58:34

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PolterGoose Sun 23-Nov-14 11:59:50

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lala21 Sun 23-Nov-14 13:16:38

Thank you so much for your replies- norunaround tbh out of all the schools we were in a catchment for 3 were 4 form entry and 1 a 5 form entry. This one is single form and we got in as it was under subscribed and we would not get into the catholic one. But I do take on board what is happening.

They have not said anything about an IEP or statement- I think his teachers keep going on how bright he is they keep missing the point and even the Senco was not happy that they don't seem to be listening.

Its difficult I was doing some guided reading out of class and saw one of the other boys swivelling his head back and forth while DS was making clicking noises and his teacher just ignored it!!!!!!!!!!!!! hence why I am in tomorrow. Feeling worried now

The HE part does not phase me as I am a teacher and working with a HE group at the moment. I cannot decide whether I should just ask for the friday pm or whole day.

I am worried about the bullying and part of me thinks just being away from school for 3 days (fri,sat and sun) would give him space as it is so intense.

He is just calming down after a huge meltdown which lasted all morning because he could n't get his cursive writing right!!!!!!!!!!!!! despite it being beautiful and a better writer than I ever was at that age.

Oh dear me sometimes wonder if he would be better away from it all. Will update you thank you all I know how hectic lives are with our unique individuals x xx

Upandatem Sun 23-Nov-14 13:24:35

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PolterGoose Sun 23-Nov-14 13:33:08

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ResIpsaLoquitur Sun 23-Nov-14 15:59:45


Section 7 Education Act 1996

The parent of every child of compulsory school age shall cause him to receive efficient full-time education suitable—
(a) to his age, ability and aptitude, and
(b) to any special educational needs he may have,either by regular attendance at school or otherwise.

"Full time" means the normal school day. If a parent regularly took their child out of school one morning a week without permission, they could expect to be prosecuted.

Lala, if the school feels your ds can't cope in school for a full week within the normal curriculum, it should certainly have asked for an EHC Needs Assessment by now.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 23-Nov-14 16:06:01

Dd3 was on a part time timetable for most of last yr, she was actually in school but doing different things to her peers.

If someone offered her a morning off and an afternoon at forest school I would jump at the chance, if I was available and it worked for me.

You have to do what you think is right for your Ds, school is a tough place for our kids and he is still young.

Teachers have been made obsessed with the number of hours children are in school for they have been made like this by idiots like Gove!! Your Ds would still be learning, just in a different (some would say better) environment!!

In some countries children attend forest schools untilmthe are 6 or 7 and most of their learning is done through discovery!

Good luck whatever you decide flowers

Ineedmorepatience Sun 23-Nov-14 16:09:40

Yes but ResIpsaLoquitur The OP isnt just taking her son out of school, she and he are being offered an alternative curriculum that might work better for him!! Sounds like a school trying hard to find a way to meet his needs to me confused

Ineedmorepatience Sun 23-Nov-14 16:11:39

And also, the school have to have evidence of how they have tried to meet his needs before they can apply for an ECH needs assessment otherwise it will just be turned down by a no doubt penny pinching LA!!

PolterGoose Sun 23-Nov-14 16:12:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 23-Nov-14 16:16:25

Here here polter ! I would definitely flexi school Dd3 if it was an option, she would be much happier and less stressed and tired.

Icimoi Sun 23-Nov-14 16:43:23

Polter, to be fair to Res, you only corrected yourself in relation to the duty to home educate only. And Ineed, the issue isn't the Forest School, it's OP's proposal to keep her child out of school the morning before he goes to Forest School. Flexi schooling is fine, but OP was initially suggesting that her ds just has a rest those mornings, which isn't flexi schooling.

There's a lot that schools have to demonstrate before they apply for EHC assessments. However, by Year 1 they've had more than enough time to do that. The likelihood that the LA will refuse is no reason not to do it - after all, LAs regularly refuse even when it can be demonstrated that the school has bust a gut to help the child. The parent can always appeal and would stand a good chance if the school supports her, particularly if the school is saying that the child can't cope with school full time.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 23-Nov-14 16:54:46

Well you would think so ici but mine and my Dd3's story proves that it doesnt work as it should sad

I agree that the OP's Ds is entitled to full time education but if he isnt coping and flexi schooling is an option including building in more rest time then I really fail to see why the OP shouldnt feel able to do this. At the end of the day, she knows her Ds best and knows if more rest will help him cope with the rest of the week better.

PolterGoose Sun 23-Nov-14 17:00:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lougle Sun 23-Nov-14 17:01:51

""Full time" means the normal school day. If a parent regularly took their child out of school one morning a week without permission, they could expect to be prosecuted."

So I'm back grin

ResIpsaLoquitur you are entirely wrong in your interpretation of the law in terms of HE. There is case law that supports the right of a parent to educate their child in any way they desire as long as it meets their needs.

A full-time education can mean structured education, semi-structured education, autonomous education or unschooling (where the parent allows the child to determine what he/she needs and simply facilitates their activity).

There is no requirement to stick to the school day. There is no requirement to follow the national curriculum. There is norequirement to formally record activity or progress and no requirement to compare such activity or progress to NC goals or progression indicators.

In fact, current guidance suggests that for primary age children, just one hour per week 1:1 work with a parent is likely to keep up with or exceed learning achieved in schools and most LAs would only provide 5 hours tuition to out-of-school children per week where it is their obligation to maintain education for children unable to attend school.

OP you may want to think carefully about whether you are asking for a reduced timetable or if you are requesting flexi - schooling. They are slightly different.

I agree with the question of whether this is likely to be 'enough' or whether it's just going to be like sticking a plaster on a dirty wound.

fairgame Sun 23-Nov-14 17:53:36

I think your idea is good. Let him have the friday morning off so that he isn't already stressed when going to forest school.
My DS only went to school part time in year 1, despite having a full statement and it worked out fine. He did mornings for a full term then gradually increased to full days as he learned to cope a bit better. I didn't have to do anything extra with him at home in the afternoons because it would have stressed him out even more, in his mind work is for school and play is for home.
I would have jumped at the chance to send him to forest school, he went once on a respite thingy and loved it.
You know your son best so do what you feel is right for him.

Icimoi Sun 23-Nov-14 20:38:31

lougie, Res isn't wrong. OP said she planned to take her child out of school on Friday mornings for a rest. Yes, if OP were home educating, she could organise his timetable as she wants. However, she's planning to keep him on the school roll, therefore the law on home education is irrelevant.

Ineed, I wouldn't dispute in the least that, given the problems OP's son is having it may well be good for him to have a morning off. However, what I was writing about was the requirements of the law which unfortunately doesn't allow for that sort of flexibility.

Ineedmorepatience Sun 23-Nov-14 20:55:55

But the thing is ici that it can be done so long as the HT, the LA and the parents are in agreement that it is the best thing for the child!!

Hours are reduced all the time for children with Asd and some medical conditions such as CFS who are simply struggling to go every day.

I am not talking about the parents who are constantly phoned to fetch their children because the school cant cope, that is different.

This is not the same!

Ineedmorepatience Sun 23-Nov-14 20:58:15

Sometimes rules have to be bent in order to be inclusive!!

And to include this little boy and allow him to reach his academic potential in a mainstream school, flexibility is likely to be the key!!

PolterGoose Sun 23-Nov-14 21:17:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lougle Sun 23-Nov-14 21:20:15

"OP said she planned to take her child out of school on Friday mornings for a rest. Yes, if OP were home educating, she could organise his timetable as she wants. However, she's planning to keep him on the school roll, therefore the law on home education is irrelevant."

Not so. If flexible schooling is agreed then as long as OP meets some aspect of education in the time he is with her then it is absolutely legitimate. 'Resting' isn't going to mean lounging about - he's not a teenager lying in bed all day! He will be learning from whatever he does in that time.

DD2 did a whole lot of 'nothing' when she was HE. She finished her HE chapter with far more knowledge and academic skill than when she started. She learned so much.

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