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Special School - can they say no?

(9 Posts)
AnnikaHansen Tue 23-Jun-15 13:12:39

I've been through all of this once before with DS1, he was dx with ASD while attending an ms primary. This spectacularly failed and we had all of the usual hideousness that accompanies these situations with a nasty HT and useless LA. Eventually, we got DS1 into a lovely ss, where he has thrived.

Two years down the line, we are facing a dx for DS2 as well. He is not as HF as his brother, is very young for his age and has limited speech and understanding.

I don't want to go through all the ms bullshit again. I can't. The scars it has left on my family have been deep and lasting, and I have suffered awful PND after the birth of DS3 and i don't have the energy to do that fight again. I fear that DS2 would get lost in ms, he's a quiet little homebody where DS1 was brash and violent when he wasn't coping, which got us lots of attention. DS2 would curl in a ball under a table and be happily ignored.

I just want DS2 to go to the ss. Without a massive failure at ms, how does that work? Can I request it on his statement (or EHCP) when he gets one? Do I just apply like I would for a regular school? Can the LA say no, even with a dx and a parental request? Could they stick him in ms even though we don't want that?

He's starting a SN nursery in Sept, suppose I will find out more then, but it's hanging over me all the time and I'd just like to find out a bit about the process.

Icimoi Tue 23-Jun-15 15:50:56

You'll need to ask for it through the EHCP process. I'm afraid the LA can say no, but you will be consulted about your preference and they should offer a meeting. That will be your chance to explain your reasons in detail. You should also be consulted about the contents of the EHCP: try to get wording in Section F (the bit that sets out education provision) that means they have to name a special school, e.g. small classes and specialist teachers and therapists. With luck staff from the SN nursery will support you. Can you get the paediatrician to say he won't manage in mainstream?

In the final analysis, if they name a mainstream school you can appeal.

fairgame Tue 23-Jun-15 15:58:45

You need to ask for the special school to be named on the echp. The ss can say no but in doing so they will have to prove that they are absolutely full or that admitting your child would be an inefficient use of resources or would incompatible with your child's aptitude,age or sex. I think they can also say no if admitting your ds would impact on the education of the other children but I would need to look that up to double check.
Ds was turned down for a few ss before we found one that could meet his needs. One said no because of his challenging behaviour would affect the other children, one didn't have a peer group for him and one said no because he was academically a lot further ahead than his peers.
If a ss says no the LEA can overrule the decision and admit your child. If the LEA says no and won't name it on the ehcp then you can appeal.

2boysnamedR Tue 23-Jun-15 18:44:25

My ds starts a ss nursery in Sept. I'm hoping that they are going to sort all this out for me as once you've passed ss nursery panel your almost gauranteed a ehcp ( or was a statement ). In my county I don't have to apply for ehcp now he's in ss. Nursery really are the best people to get a ehcp if they will.

Parents are more likely to be turned down then a professional making the request. That's why I'm not applying this time ( on my third appeal for ds2) try that route first. However I have been told that my la need paperwork in place by Dec to have enough time to get school started so don't take any delay tatics

Lesley25 Tue 23-Jun-15 19:59:06

I think with your dc starting a sn nursery in September thats the best start. It's v difficult for a la ss to say no to a dc at this young age when you are looking for a placement for sept 2016 especially since your dc will already be at a sn nursery. If you have the ss in mind now, it can't hurt to start mentioning to all the professionals that ss primary is your intention- specifically the one you want.
I wish I had gone for a sn nursery from the beginning as from what I've seen with other parents, their children went to the la ss without a fight.
My ds is now 6 and I've had to fight to get him into the la ss of my choice aged ten years I can tell you! from sept.
You've picked the ss which is half the battle, your dc will be young so I can't see "the challenging behaviour" argument coming your way plus the fact your dc is already (will be) enrolled at the sn nursery provision completely works in your favour.

AnnikaHansen Tue 23-Jun-15 22:35:29

Thank you all for your replies. That seems hopeful since we have him in an SN nursery. They have very close ties to the ss where DS1 goes, and they are the only MLD ss in the area who take kids from reception age, so it's there or bust really.

Having said that, the ss is massively oversubscribed. Even in an emergency situation like DS1's, we had to wait ten months for a place.

The paediatrician said she would notify the LA that DS2 had SN when we last saw her. Hopefully that will help. Haven't actually got an official dx yet, still waiting for the Developmental team to assess him. But as Lesley suggested, I have already mentioned our problems with DS1 to everyone involved and stressed that we want an EHCP and ss place.

Lesley25 Tue 23-Jun-15 22:57:14

Going from a sn nursery to a ss primary will be a lot easier. Your ds1 went from Ms - the ss wouldn't have had time to plan his placement. The LA ss will know potential intake for sept 2016 from that feeder sn nursery- those children get priority. Going from Ms to ss takes months as it's not a planned intake. Right from the off talk about your la ss, meet the ht In sept to discuss naming the school, these things are all discussed at panel smokescreen for basically one or 2 decision makers so forgive the expression make a pest of yourself at any opportunity that you get "face time" with the professionals inc lea review meetings. And as soon as ds is in sn nursery schedule a meeting with them to discuss the ehcp.

Pagwatch Tue 23-Jun-15 23:05:06

It's always difficult. My son was at his SSfrom the age of 6 but we still had to wait until the last minute for confirmation at secondary.

From our experience, you need to explain/justify why other schools don't meet his needs and then hope there are not more children in front of you with better articulated need .

2boysnamedR Tue 23-Jun-15 23:57:46

Another thought. My la is massive so maybe it's not always true, if there are no state sn places the KA do place in indi sn schools.

The key thing I notice again and again is that going from a state SN placement or unit into indi ( when state can no longer meet needs ) rarely makes it to a tribunal hearing.

I see it from both sides, if your in ms you are forced to appeal, coming from SN placement they drop before appeal date. So in my county getting forced from sn nersery into ms school I doubt would happen

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