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Considering making a complaint to school - am I being too sensitive?

(3 Posts)
Stradbroke Wed 09-Dec-15 11:23:45

I was wondering if I could ask for some thoughts on this from parents who understand.

My DD is 7 and in year 2.

She is in mainstream school which is working at the moment, but I am looking at other schools which her current school are aware of.
This is mainly due to her lack of progress and the fact that I feel she needs specialist teaching based on her needs as opposed to following the national curriculum.

I am happy with the support that school give her. She has full time 1:1 support and I genuinely believe they care and want to do their best for her.

The issue I have is with the SENCO who is absolutely appalling at communication.

If I send emails they do not get answered. I have to send them repeatedly and the last time I had to email to head (who had been cc’d in to the original email) to ask why emails were not being answered. If I ask for a meeting, an update, anything then it takes at least two weeks and multiple emails from me to get a response.

I am not told when people come in to see her, despite me making it clear that I would like to be involved.

I was not told that a new SALT had been assigned and only found out because the SALT called me.

None of the agencies (SALT and OT) that are involved with her care were invited to the annual statement review. I let them know it was happening by which time it was too late for OT to attend. (Incidentally she asked me to raise the lack of communication from the SENCO as a concern).

I did not get the minutes to the review until 3 months later when I asked for them.

No one from school came to the appointment when she was diagnosed with ASD despite knowing about it.

When the OT tries to arrange visits she gets no response and therefore visits were not happening. The OT has now stopped asking and just tells them and then turns up. Last time this happened DD’s 1:1 was not told they were coming and she said it through her and DD out for the morning as they were not prepared.

It is causing such stress, but I am not sure if I am being unreasonable in what I have been asking for.

Do I just accept that it is like this? Do I have a right to this information? There just seems to be a complete lack of understanding that what happens in school needs to be communicated to me. I have to ask for it and then it takes so long to get the information. This is a waste of everyone’s time and is having a really negative impact on my relationship with the school.

Please tell me straight as no one else understands and I am becoming horribly bitter and if I just need to suck it up then I will.

Flanks Thu 10-Dec-15 06:57:34

You are entitled for them to do their jobs correctly, and they require you to know about these changes so they cans declare your consent.

That being said, you are right to tread cautiously because it sounds as if the school are doing a lot more right than they are wrong!

My suggestion would be a private letter to the head, starting with how pleased you are that the school is supporting your child so well, however you feel ignored and are frequently not aware of changes being made to her provision because of poor communication.

This way you can communicate your concern without making the school defensive over a complaint, however you make it clear that this is a courtesy and that a complaint would follow if nothing changed.

Stradbroke Thu 10-Dec-15 09:23:48

Thanks Flanks. You are right they are doing more right than wrong, which is what makes it doubly frustrating.

One of DD's 1:1's is moving to another post at the end of this week and if I hadn't happen to bump in to her y'day I would not have known this. I do not know who is replacing her.

I think what I find most infuriating is that they don't think that telling me things or asking my opinion (e.g. when to tell DD about the change in TA) is something that should be done as a matter of course. I am not part of the equation at all.

I will write a letter and make it clear what I want in it.

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