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Secondary school in London for a child with HFA

(24 Posts)
ruthsmaoui77 Tue 17-Nov-15 13:05:02

Hello I'm new to this group. I was wondering if any of you could recommend a mainstream secondary school in London for a child with HFA. My son in currently in year 5 but I'm starting to look for schools for him. He doesn't have a EHCP but he does get additional support to cope with school.

ruthsmaoui77 Wed 18-Nov-15 19:30:52

Does no-one have any ideas?

TheSecondOfHerName Wed 18-Nov-15 19:37:44

Not quite in London, but Watford Boys is very experienced with boys with ASD and they do very well there. My son has been there for just over two years and we are very happy with the way his needs are being met.

ruthsmaoui77 Wed 18-Nov-15 20:02:07

Thank you, but a bit far from me.

bbkl Wed 18-Nov-15 20:30:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ruthsmaoui77 Wed 18-Nov-15 20:37:13

I live in SE London, Camberwell (Southwark). Ideally I don't want to have to travel too far as I also have a younger son with ASD. I was just wondering if anyone living in Southwark or Lambeth has a child with ASD and is aware of a good secondary school that can meet the needs of their child.

bbkl Wed 18-Nov-15 21:24:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ruthsmaoui77 Thu 19-Nov-15 15:59:54

Thank you so much for your advice. I am seriously considering applying for a EHCP becase I do not thinkhe will cope in the mainstream secondaries in my catchment.

Schrodingersmum Fri 20-Nov-15 13:53:25

Ruth, if you are seriously thinking about an EHCP application for your current year 5 to support a secondary application then you need to apply now

Although they are supposed to take 20 weeks the charity supporting us has said that on average they are taking 40 weeks

As statmented childrens applications are dealt with earlier you would need an EHCP in place in about 6 months time in order to achieve your best possible outcome

bialystockandbloom Fri 20-Nov-15 14:01:58

I'm quite near you smile

My ds is Y4, also HFA, so we're just about starting to think about this. But I have no idea at the moment though. I can't see him coping with the standard huge secondary schools (either state or private). For us at the moment a priority will be a smaller school/smaller classes. Eg Kingsdale in West Dulwich has c.300 children in one year shock

I'm thinking about looking at St Dunstans as it's slightly smaller than average, and apparently has a wider approach than many. There's also the new Charter opening next year, which you may be in the catchment for depending on where in Camberwell you are. Obviously no reports yet, but the Dulwich one has good reports, and the new one will have a smaller intake to start with (first intake 2016) so if your ds starts in 2017 it'll still be relatively small.

Agree you should go for an EHCP to enable a wider choice. Smile and ignore any naysayers who say you won't get one, go for it.

ruthsmaoui77 Fri 20-Nov-15 14:50:50

Thanks for the advice. I have informed the school that I want to apply for an EHCP but the SENCO said that at his stage my son wouldn't be eligible because despite his difficulties in school the school hasn't spent the full 6,000 budget that they would have to (before he could get the ECHP). They have recently increased the amount of money they are spending on him on various therapies (circle of friends group), (lego therapy) and the head informed me that they would allocate some funding for a TA to support him in class. This all has to be in place before he would qualify for a EHCP.

I can't believe I have left it so late because I have always known that he really struggles in school. He finds it so hard to follow the social rules of school and constantly gets into trouble - he has done since he was five but he was only diagnosed with ASD just before he turned 9. Before that he was just treated as a naughty boy - he is bright and able academically but so delayed socially and emotionally. He alienates people with his poor social skills and then he gets terribly bullied by large groups of pupils as a result. I am really worried about the effect this has on his self-esteem. I know he would never cope in a big mainstream secondary school.

QuestionsAboutDS Fri 20-Nov-15 14:54:06

I agree you should look at applying for an EHCP ASAP.
City Heights Academy in Tulse Hill is worth a look - they have some specialist expertise in their ASD specific unit.

Schrodingersmum Fri 20-Nov-15 16:48:12

What do senco's know!

We had the same rubbish from our senco and so I applied and what do you know we got one!

You dont need their permission you can apply yourself, if a school is funding special needs they will always spend the least not the most as they are under huge pressure to keep spending down

Just take control and apply flowers

ruthsmaoui77 Fri 20-Nov-15 17:59:11

Thank you for the advice.

bialystockandbloom Fri 20-Nov-15 19:28:54

Ignore senco. School's funding is irrelevant, they always try to blind you with the intricacies of how funding works, but a) it seems to change from school to school (and from year to year hmm), b) you could change school and they would be under no obligation to offer so you'd need that EHCP to ensure it, and c) any school can choose to use that funding "flexibly" if they wish so it doesn't guarantee your ds getting what he needs. You just need to demonstrate that he needs additional support, and specify what that is.

bialystockandbloom Fri 20-Nov-15 19:31:39

And from what you describe, a bit of Lego therapy and circle of friends is not remotely meeting his needs!

ruthsmaoui77 Fri 20-Nov-15 21:06:02

Thankyou 'Bialy' I couldn't agree more. I will get on and apply for that EHCP myself. Today was a really bad day. He was bullied again (by boys in another class) and got so upset that he actually hid from everyone and cried his heart out. He hid because he didn't want anyone to see him cry. When he was found he was so distressed he couldn't actually say what happened. Eventually after he calmed down the Headteacher got to the bottom of what had happened and the boys in question were reprimanded. His class teacher explained to his class what happened and encouraged them to be kind to make my little boy feel better. The class were so sweet and made him a lovely card and were especially nice. He seemed calmer and was smiling when I picked him up and all the kids in his class made a special effort to say goodbye to him and be nice, but just before bed he broke down again. It's heartbreaking. How on earth will he cope in mainstream secondary? I am more determined than ever to get that EHCP so tanks again for all the advice.

WhoKnowsWhereTheTimeG0es Fri 20-Nov-15 21:12:03

Yes, go for it, I applied in the January when my DS was in Year 5 and it was a year till he had the finalised statement and another 5 months till we had his secondary school agreed under appeal, it was hard work but well worth the effort.

tethersend Fri 20-Nov-15 21:22:14

Have you had a look at Spa school?

Your child would need an EHCP to attend. It's a really lovely school.

tethersend Fri 20-Nov-15 21:23:41

And it's in Southwark.

ruthsmaoui77 Sat 21-Nov-15 13:20:29

Thank you all so much. You have given me hope that I haven't left it to late. I think Spa School is lovely, there is also another special school for mixed needs called Highshore within 10 minutes walking distance of my house. I would like either of those schools, my only slight concern is that he may not be able to reach his academic potential - but right now I have to remember that the psychological effect of being in mainstream is much more detrimental to his overall well-being.

bialystockandbloom Sat 21-Nov-15 18:26:03

I might be wrong but hasn't Highshore school closed now?

(Btw we must live really close to each other!)

ruthsmaoui77 Sat 21-Nov-15 21:49:24

Highshore school moved premises from Bellenden rd Peckham to Camberwell. they have a new building now. I live right next to Combergrove primary school. We have probably seen each other around Camberwell or Peckham.

Frizzcat Tue 24-Nov-15 11:25:31

Hi there, bit late to thisblush. Get applying for that EHCP as everyone else has said.
Also think you should take a look at Forest Hill school for boys. It is big but I know that many members of a local autism charity send their children there. Lewisham Outreach think they are fantastic, heavy social support in breaktimes plus good SEN department. Their children seem to do well. I would have loved to send ds there but it's too big and ds had sensory needs around noise.

Can I also just say lots of people told me when I was looking for secondary schools to follow my instinct. What I would say is that I was able to do that with the schools that were a definite no no, not so much however with potential good matches. With the schools I short listed, I a weighed up the pros and cons of each school and picked the one that was the best fit. The best fit not the perfect fit because no school is. Good luck flowers

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