WintersdayTOWIE posted this - you ay all have signed, but there are only 3 posts, so in case some of you missed it and want to sign, here it is again:-
Please sign this petition to stop Suffolk shutting down their Special Support Units. Eight units are under threat and the county's ASD primary aged children will be forced into mainstream schools.
Suffolk say that the money would be channeled to "inclusive education" and the units are under-occupied. But knowing how hard it is to get any sort of provision in this county, it's hardly surprising there are spare places (if, indeed, that is true).
These units are some of the only hopes for children with autism in this county.
You are right senvet they are probably under used because no one is allowed to send their children there!!
In my LA they were threatening to close a respite centre because it wasnt used!! There were parents screaming from the rooftops about how desperate they were for respite but they kept being told there was none available!!
Its a disgrace, the whole system is screwed and corrupt!!
It's odd that they are underused because everywhere else they seem to be oversubscribed! One of our respite centres got closed despite being full all of the time due to funding cuts. The LA then spend thousands doing up the remaining centre even though it wasn't really in disrepair
Thank you to those who have signed. And thank you senvet for reposting my post.
I have a feeling they are under-used because they are intentionally keeping children in MS or sending them to a newly opened "catch-all" ss which they are showing off as being their flagship provision at tribunal (which is so new it hasn't yet found it's way and so is unsuitable for many children).
I spoke to the SEN bod in charge of placing DC in the newly-opened catch-all. I was asking her what had happened to a proposed NAS free school for HFA in Ipswich. She volunteered the info that the new catch-all was not dealing with the problem of secondary education as hoped (DC have to leave the school in order to access GCSE). I thought I'd file that one for the inevitable tribunal as she told me that despite that it would be their first option.
Interesting to hear that about the GCSEs, keep. They are trying to place many of DS's school-mates at the catch-all. I have heard that it's becoming a "dumping-ground" (for want of a better term) and many of the children shouldn't be there. Full of good intentions but it's not catering properly.
I had heard that the NAS free-school had failed to get off the ground and has now been abandoned?
To be fair, on paper the school looks great. It is supposed to be HF ASD but the head said it was classified as SLCN and when it first opened the LA was quickly filling places with DC who had been out of school for some time and those in 'the system' now. Therefore, the year groups were very uneven with most DC having 'proven' failure of secondary transition. OTOH, the provision best suited DC they had few of - primary age children 8+ with predicted rather than proven failure. This was partly due to the LA placing those hardest to place but who had not been excluded and fighting against indi or ooc provision. There aren't many 8 year olds in this group. Truth is whilst access to GCSE is not an issue and for DC like DS2 whilst in primary, this school would have been far better than anything he can get in m/s primary. Might have made the difference. Head seemed to think placement would be a formality from 8+ but given the LA have said I have to go to tribunal to get m/s primary in the next village, I somehow doubt this.