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Can I refuse

(14 Posts)
sweetteamum Thu 12-Feb-15 15:16:16

DS been out of school for months. He was in mainstream with full time 121 - minus the breaks/lunchtime. Hasn't been able to cope with all the extra demands.

There's been a recent meeting where only la reps attended. And they've all decided he's better off back in mainstream with support.

I'm very aware that tribunal is a very tricky thing and I'd take it really personal if I lost.

However, do I really have to give it a try (and probably fail) before the la will take me seriously.

This school is also a certain religion and although DS is that religion, he's very anti-religion and said he doesn't want to go to another school like that. Plus, our experience of that religion has been awful and they've been the most rigid schools and have expected DS to change rather than their teaching.

What should I do and can I legally refuse on grounds of religion?

ouryve Thu 12-Feb-15 16:39:46

I think that would be a whole different type of tribunal, but if he has a serious aversion, then yes, that is part of his needs.

If MS with support failed before, what makes them thinkthat it will work, this time. Does the school they have suggested have a particularly good track record of children with similar profiles to your DS succeeding there, where they have been failed previously by MS education?

sweetteamum Thu 12-Feb-15 17:28:16

That's a really interesting question. I have no idea, but one I'll need to find out. Although, they'd be struggling to have dealt with pda before as its only just coming to light in our authority - even though they've accepted the diagnosis. Do you think a foi request would find the appropriate answer?

I wouldn't call it a serious aversion but he really doesn't like it and anything that goes with it. As obviously it'll be pushed like mad. The school he's just failed at was actually that religion too.

sweetteamum Thu 12-Feb-15 17:29:52

Sorry, didn't answr your question. They've not told me why they think it'll work this time round. They've just suggested it, because apparently the professionals (la reps) decided that was best?!

senvet Thu 12-Feb-15 18:02:57

I thought you were allowed your choice of maintained mainstream as parental preference.

Is that worth a try?

OneInEight Thu 12-Feb-15 18:15:08

I would visit the school they suggest and take a list of questions to find out how they will handle different situations that your son finds difficult. We have found that we have gained useful information to support our cause by doing so. An obvious question would be how they would handle your son's aversion to religion.

Do you think the last school failed because it was using the wrong strategies or was it because no mainstream could fulfil his needs. We compromised with our LA on a school with an ASD unit which we thought was worth a try. I think if we had gone straight to specialist we would have always wondered if it was just the first school being inexperienced.
In actual fact this placement failed too and we then got a specialist placement without too much problem (or at least without tribunal).,

Icimoi Thu 12-Feb-15 19:39:43

I agree that you should ask for an alternative mainstream school. It might be worth investigating whether there are any near you with specialist SEN units.

senvet Thu 12-Feb-15 20:22:22

I'd ask for the minutes of the LA reps meeting
Could be useful

sweetteamum Thu 12-Feb-15 21:02:17

They've sugar coated the offer as asd provision and DS can have access to the asd base when appropriate (I'm still waiting to find out what that means!)

Tbh, I'm not sure if mainstream will work. If he'd been offered a place in the unit then that's kind of different. Although, we'd still have the religion problem!!

There are no other mainstream with units in our area, so I'm quite stuck.

I think it failed because of a multitude of reasons. And one does include their handling of him. However, it's all the extra demands of high school.

That's actually a very good question to ask them, thanks for that suggestion.

I definitely will be asking for the minutes of the meeting. But I doubt they'll probide me with everything.

ouryve Thu 12-Feb-15 21:19:32

You definitely need to visit with lots of pointed questions, then. If you have an EP report, then base some questions on recommendations form that as well, eg need for consistency, when he'd possibly have 14 different teachers in 16 different places through the week.

I found out yesterday that local comp have an ASD resource, now. LA officer suggested having a look. School website says 9 places for pupils with ASD traits, with the aim of integrating them into mainstream as far as possible. DS2 has very little spoken language, has only just graduated from purely p-levels to EYFS in year 4 and needs a secure building and constant supervision by a person he trusts. This is before you even touch on therapy needs. He's still in nappies and there's no guarantee that will be any better in 2-3 years time. I'm really hoping I can get this one over with in an email conversation. In fact, that should be my ice breaker. "Who changes nappies in this place, then?hmm" With DS1, questions were along the lines of "DS1 is a bit of a chair thrower. How would you support him in never getting to that point and would would you do if it happened?"

senvet Thu 12-Feb-15 21:21:33

I wonder if you may be able to get the school to work with his present aversion to religion - try asking them about whether they think leaving him some space on religion might be the best chance for him to find his own way back in his own time (or God's timing is the perfect timing as a religious friend said).

If they are keen on him being religious and understand the impact of his previous experience on his present views, then they may go for it. It should be clear to them that more of the same is likely to cause him to back off further.

And then his renewed aversion would be on their consciences...

I am guessing here, fairly wildly, but I wonder if there are theological arguments that you could raise to make the school 'religion-light' to help dc.

sweetteamum Thu 12-Feb-15 21:33:13

I've started a list of questions so I'll also look through the reports again.

Tbh I'll try anything. I just want him settled, happy and comfortable and not go through this horrible situation again.

AgnesDiPesto Thu 12-Feb-15 21:55:57

See here you have the right to withdraw a child from religious observance / education I assume that applies in a faith school too - but I guess you could also argue it a reasonable adjustment to disapply this part of curriculum? Would your ds then be more willing to try?

I think you would be on safer ground trying a unit and then tribunal if not work as always a risk tribunal will send you back to try it 9 months down the line. But do so on your terms - no RE, phased transition, PT, start in unit And then move to mainstream class etc

LA will want in mainstream so you have some bargaining power, plus you will soon get a feel for school Sen ethos when you start asking for something different - tends to be a bit of a litmus test!

sweetteamum Fri 13-Feb-15 08:48:57

I'll definitely have to see if he can withdraw from all things RE, when I go to look around. And I'll obviously mention it to DS too.

We have received a very recent independent report that states he needs small class sizes, not much moving round etc etc. as well as where he's at with certain skills - it's no wonder he struggled in high school. Do you think I should show la now, or keep it to myself for a while.

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