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Am I asking for too much?

(24 Posts)
Bookeatingboy Wed 18-Nov-15 17:43:52

Hi all, was a regular on this board many moons ago and have NC, just in case my username isn't familiar...

DS7 ASD & ADD dx at nearly 4. We are a relatively good MS school in terms of support and although first two years were hard for ds (huge anxiety issues) things settled in the later half of YR2. This was the result of a very good CT who just got him.

Great start to YR3, but me and his CT are locking horns. She is a woman of few words and I like to know what's going on for ds in school,which culminated with me responding to her in a very direct, no nonsense way that she has taken offence too. Here is what happened and would appreciate opinions on whether I was in the wrong in what I wrote... I won't be offended, we all get it wrong sometimes!

DS has settled well into YR3, great classroom layout (very important for his sensory issues) TA from YR2 has gone up with him and we took the decision to medicate (after much soul searching) which has helped enormously with his concentration levels and reduction in impulses. Very low dose. Because of this he has moved into the top group for maths and his CT said she wanted to try him in the top group for literacy. Last week ds started telling me he was worried and sad and that the staff were getting cross with him. I mentioned this in his book, CT responded by saying there wasn't an issue! Couple of days ago DS mentioned it again and said the TA and CT were glaring at him, and he felt very sad and unhappy. Mentioned this again in his book, asking two questions... How have we supported his transition into the new group and... Are the other CT & TA aware of his difficulties.

This was the response in his book from CT... "I've told him that he will move back into the other group from tomorrow"!

I wrote back... "With all due respect, that response to the situation is not acceptable, if ds is academically able to be in the higher group then we should be supporting this transition and fully briefly Teaching staff rather than just moving him back down. Furthermore I put two questions to you yesterday and I would have appreciated a response to them by return."

I've been in tonight and TBF we've had a long discussion. The main points were that CT didn't appreciate my response and basically I'm to give her more trust to do her job (which is never going to happen BTW). We discussed much much more, but I've come away thinking I'm being told I'm interfering too much.

So, if you've got this far... was her response adequate and am I really interfering and expecting too much?

zzzzz Wed 18-Nov-15 18:30:51

I think you sounded sharp but she is escalating things.

Hmmmmm

How did you leave it?

StarfrightMcFangsie Wed 18-Nov-15 18:39:31

Whatever you wrote she heard 'New arrangements aren't working!'. Her solution is to go back to old arrangements.

She was then accused of not answering to your specific questions and now she's on the defensive.

In all honesty, I don't think you've done anything wrong but in a culture that encourages disdain for parents and double-disdain for SEN parents you often don't have to do much to put the backs up of teachers.

Your child's welfare and education are YOUR legal responsibility and of course you need the information to be able to take that duty seriously. However it just isn't the culture we live in to recognise that.

cuntycowfacemonkey Wed 18-Nov-15 18:40:05

This is one of the reasons I have done away with DS's home school book - these conversations should occur in person.

Bookeatingboy Wed 18-Nov-15 18:47:35

OK... accepted. The sharpness probably stems from years of dealing with crap individuals who claim to be professionals on ASD grin I tend to get to the point rather than beat around the bush.

It was left with me feeling like I've been told I'm interfering and should back off and let her do her job! She is definitely trying to assert her authority over me... I've been a teacher for 15 year etc etc".

Do you think I'm asking for too much by telling her I need to be kept in the loop when making decisions relating to ds given his very fragile (and well documented) self esteem issues ?

Bookeatingboy Wed 18-Nov-15 18:49:42

Sorry, couple of cross posts there...

StarfrightMcFangsie Wed 18-Nov-15 18:51:15

She's not been YOUR CHILD'S teacher for over 15 years. A teacher who thinks they have no more to learn is a very poor teacher IMO.

StarfrightMcFangsie Wed 18-Nov-15 18:52:42

You could suggest these decisions are made jointly and in partnership!?

Bookeatingboy Wed 18-Nov-15 18:56:26

cuntycow Yes, you're right, and normally I would go in but ironically I was rushing off this morning to a training session with a parent of a newly dx dc who asked for my support.

To be fair I'm usually quite calm and direct but she got my back up with the "you've just got to trust us" line.

Bookeatingboy Wed 18-Nov-15 18:59:52

That exactly what I said to her star didn't go down to well. She's definitely doesn't like a mere parent telling her how to do her job!

We only had to damn IEP 2 weeks ago and it is minuted that it is very important to Mrs bookeatingboy that decisions are made jointly...

StarfrightMcFangsie Wed 18-Nov-15 19:07:43

LOL!!!! It's written in the new legislation that parents should have more of a say in order to improve outcomes for the kids,

The annoying thing here is you are asking for stuff that actually costs nowt extra.

StarfrightMcFangsie Wed 18-Nov-15 19:08:55

I'd be tempted to tell her not to be so previous and put the child's needs before her own pride, but I wouldn't because ultimately you are stuck with this teacher for the rest of the year and need to find a way to work together.

Bookeatingboy Wed 18-Nov-15 19:17:52

Yes we do, so reluctantly I'll draw a line under this episode. At least I know where I stand with her now, forearmed and all that! More importantly she knows where she stands with me wink and hopefully will not try to make decisions without consulting me.

I did get the feeling that she's not taken anything I've said on board though so will make for an interesting year.

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 20-Nov-15 11:13:18

Some teaching staff have very fragile but very large egos. The reason there are numerous mentions or parents being the real experts of their own child and working in partnership with parents is precisely because so many teachers don't believe what parents say and absolutely refuse to work with them.

DS2 has a statement and a diagnosis of ASD from GOSH and has been in the system following GP referral 6 years ago but still parents are exaggerating, support is really a hinderance (I have copies of school emails from HT and SENCO to LA). This is the school justification for not delivering provision. I know they are not delivering provision (more accurately it was delivered for 4-5 week last academic year because the LA made them and there is a Hearing looming) due to an absence of any evidence, no measurement of progress, DS2 telling me etc but have made a witness statement saying that they are and have been since Sept 2014. Even then couldn't stop themselves from writing that provision (recommended by NHS SALT, OT, GOSH, LA EP and written in to the statement) was only made due 'parental request' and would be withdrawn when teachers felt fit asap And then they couldn't just let things lie until Hearing before removing provision but provided written evidence that they by October 2015 they were not delivering the provision they swore they were only a month earlier. Numpties.

But still the SENCO feels that I don't trust her - maybe thats got something to do with her emailing the LA to bitch about me and then saying in the email that she trusts that her comments are confidential as the school want to maintain good relations with parents as far as possible.

I asked for a meeting with the LA and the HT and SENCO to discuss delivery of provision in the existing statement - what is the point of Appealing contents when the existing statement is not delivered? The LA forced the meeting but the HT refused to discuss the matter, said parents had taken up enough of his staff time, instructed parents to go away and think very carefully about whether they really wanted to say that provision wasn't delivered, and whether they really wanted DS2 to remain at the school, DS2 gets a 'good deal' but we will never be satisfied blah, blah. I was originally appealing part 4 (and still may be - to be decided on the day) but DS2 has no alternative placement because the head of parental preference won't let us visit to assess suitability because 'the LA have promised' no more DC with statements. I said that DS2 wants to stay and I refuse to be forced out of m/s and said that as DS2 is in year 5 I could suck it up if the LA mediated all target setting meetings and reviews. I live in a rural area, DS2 attends the village school within walking distance and there is nowhere else locally. The LA is now running around putting rockets up arses to put everything back in place before Hearing.

Would you trust these people?

I think this behaviour is disability discrimination. Parents are victimised when they apply for assessment, when DC have a statement as an excuse for not delivering provision and when parents appeal. Basically whenever parents stand up for the rights of their DC. Just because it is common doesn't make it OK.

Its not either/or, I am an awkward bugger with the obsessive tenacity of the Terminator AND DS2 really does need support.

StarfrightMcFangsie Fri 20-Nov-15 11:23:13

DPA to LA revealed the Head of Autism Advisory Services comment of:

'DS is a lovely boy, despite his parents!'.

'Because' dear. The word is 'because', not 'despite', and his ability to remain so lies in either your ability to do your job, or the parents continued ability to make you. Your choice.

zzzzz Fri 20-Nov-15 13:41:49

shock despite!!! shock

Holy shit.

That said I have met the parents in question and they are shockers! (Ok truthfully he's a bloody lucky chap, and I know you're joking about it but I'm sorry anyone ever wrote that star, it's hurtful and MONSTROUSLY unfair) angry

StarfrightMcFangsie Fri 20-Nov-15 14:43:50

It didn't bother me zzzzz. If you insulted me I'd be bothered same as someone else I respected. But when clowns do it you just laugh.

The thing that offended me most was the comments about 'Her list of complaints are clearly all about HER needs rather than her sons'.

and two find these two comments by the SAME LA officer in emails to two different people in the same week:

'Mrs Star is consistency overstating her child's needs. Lets keep an eye on her and prevent this from developing the way the others have'

and then:

'Mrs Star is in denial about how severely affected her child is'.

And finally:

'Can x please contact Mrs Star to inform her of the wealth of services we have for children with ASD!'

This last one bothered me the most because I'd already researched and found there was nothing. Yes there was limited funded pilot studies that took place in the back of beyond with no transport and got cancelled due to lack of attendance. Yes there was 'how to come to terms with diagnosis' and 'how to parent if you are completely clueless' courses but that was about it.

The completely unfairness of people in the LA thinking there were services there clearly weren't and they lambasting parents for suggesting this was probably what rattled me the most.

Branleuse Fri 20-Nov-15 14:54:49

You havent said anything wrong. Youve been assertive, which is exactly what you need to be to get anything for SEN children.

Whatever she thinks about you because of it, is her own business, as long as she delivers

zzzzz Fri 20-Nov-15 15:42:41

Yes I have had someone (who annoyingly is usually one of the good guys) list provision she had "signposted"me to that she googled for while I was with her and which was TOTALLY inappropriate (Teen EBD respite for a 7 year old, 2 hours "respite" 45 mins car drive away shock). Parents "refused" support shock

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Fri 20-Nov-15 15:45:17

Even if you are fortunate enough to be articulate and educated, at a personal level this is an 'ouchy'.

Teaching staff get personal with the outraged 'how very dare you' - it is not easy to show restrain when under deliberate attack from your child's HT, CT and SENCO and being compared negatively to wonderful parents of other (non-statemented) DC with whom the staff have wonderful relationships.

Every time I requested objective evidence or even tried to talk about my son I was met detailed complaint of hurt feelings on the part of teaching staff. tbh I think they wanted me to say, in front of the LA, that I didn't trust them, that (on the basis of firm written evidence) I believed that they were lying. The HT had already said that he believed we should go because relations had broken down irretrievably. They wanted proof that I care more about my feelings than the well-being of my child. They didn't get it because the premise is false, not to mention insulting.

I accept that the HT is welcome to his/her own views but as a public sector employee they have a professional responsibility to deliver statutory provision to those they believe to be undeserving -on account of parents-

StarfrightMcFangsie Fri 20-Nov-15 16:07:36

Absolutely.

They have a statutory responsibility to children with disabilities quite regardless of the reasonableness or otherwise of the parents.

The problem often stems from the ingrained culture within teaching that education is a social equaliser and so SO many teachers believe that they and the school offer consistency and boundaries that are otherwise lacking in many children's lives.

With this in mind they see a child whose parents fought for provision, and then a bunch of children whose parents didn't. Often these children due to lack of parental involvement (for good reasons often) present more problems to them and in the eyes of the establishment are therefore MORE deserving of the limited resources that the parents of the child who has them secured.

In their 'social equalising' role, they resent their time and the resources that this child with the 'on the ball' parent demands they give when in their eyes the others are 'more deserving' due to their lack of advocate.

What rattles me most though, is that given they think that, why the feck don't they THEN apply for EHCPS and advocate for these other children instead of robbing the child whose parents HAS fought hard?

Bookeatingboy Fri 20-Nov-15 16:45:45

Exactly my views star

I also believe that those same teachers present themselves as god like when dealing with these other parents by telling them how much they are doing for their dc, when in reality they are doing sod all.Ssadly these parents believe every word.

They hate the rest of us because they can't pull the wool over our eyes.

2boysnamedR Fri 20-Nov-15 17:36:53

Nothing is more hated than a well informed assertive parent.

Your blackmailed with the law ( absence and fines) while they can break the law ( not providing statemented provision) and your expected to look up and respect them.

You need to do more at home but you can't tell them what you know will work.

Your told to remove your child - yet you made the senco cry when questioned about things she should've qualified / trained to know.

Your supposed to feel pity when your told "half the class are worse than your Ds and we do fuck all for them so your kid can go to hell fine for them"

You are screwed what ever you do. Unless you stop caring knowing there's no help to be had. Nod as they say your DC blah blah blah then just say "what are you doing about it then?"

That's the strap line for my company - don't come to me with problems, give me solutions.

See how they answer that!

I don't blame teachers tbh. It's the whole culture.

Every child penny matters

Youarentkiddingme Fri 20-Nov-15 21:46:53

A little harsh but it's a shame we often feel we get to the point where we are short sharp and to the point because of previous battles.

Re the teacher for 15 years. My ds teacher told me that in year 6 - I've been teaching junior school children for 20 years blah blah blah....

My response was well my mums been teaching 39years, agrees with me and knows DS far better than you. grin
Yeah short and sharp but it did make he stop and think and do as I'd suggested and then grudgingly admit I was right!

With regards the levels of working. My ds was always working in an ability group lower than his actual ability right up to year 5. He just didn't have the ability to concentrate and negotiate the social aspect of the top group. It never affected his actual level he got in sats and then cat scores in secondary. He actually was able to learn better and more with the reduced pressure.

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