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Building a case for a named school

(9 Posts)
MrsFrisbyMouse Thu 12-May-16 12:18:16

My son (5) is currently as a local mainstream school. He has an ECHP - and the school currently use the allocated provision to provide 1:1 support with a TA.

His diagnosis is currently Severe Speech and Language Disorder with Global Developmental Difficulties (delays in fine motor/gross motor/ learning/social communication etc) Some 'autistic' spikes (sensory stuff/limited fixated interests) - but behaviourally he is fine (possibly a little bit too passive at times)

He has been seen twice by the Nuffield Speech Centre - (most recently last week) and they are not willing to make a diagnosis of Dyslexia of speech because he has so little verbal output and also he isn't ready yet (in terms of understanding) for the therapy they can offer.

I don't think his current school 'get' him at all. He is happy enough and had until recently a great TA with oodles of special needs experience (more so than his class teacher) - but she has been whisked off somewhere else (and no surprise really) His new TA is well meaning - but I don't feel she really understands his difficulties. He isn't making friends and often to me just feels to be on the periphery of things all the time (and that doesn't feel like inclusion to me)

As I have read many times on these boards - there has been a lot of educational professionals not really listening when I tell them what he needs - and then trying their own thing - and then eventually coming to the conclusion that I was right all along! Very frustrating.

He is supposed to be in in a Makaton rich environment (he communicates really well mixing Makaton and verbalisations) but they just are not signing with him - because he understands what they say! Head meet wall

They keep telling me how well he is doing because he's 'talking' so much! He isn't - he's just really good at communicating his needs now and him making a few verbalisations isn't a conversation!

And don't get me started on the NHS speech and language provision - he had a brilliant therapist until his transfer to school - and since then it's just been ridiculous.

Basically I just don't think the school is the right place for him - and we are now looking at other options. But the options for speech and language placements are so few! (The Nuffield therapist said he needs to be in a total communication environments where everything around his is about supporting his speech and communication) I'm not sure a language unit is the right place - because he is so far behind his peers academically - and a LA special school doesn't feel like the right place either.

If you've got this far thank you! How do I go about building a case for the school we want (assuming we can find one that fits his needs) We are going to see Blossom House next week - but the difference in funding would be immense.

Sorry for the essay - I wanted to give a full a picture as possible!

vjg13 Thu 12-May-16 16:07:32

Keep looking at schools, once you have looked at the ones in your LA, visit neighbouring ones. Have you visited the LA special school?

You will then need to show school A can meet his needs rather than school B which the LA wants to send him to.

What SALT provision is in his EHC plan and does he get it?

2boysnamedR Thu 12-May-16 22:44:06

I think you might need to use that Nuffield report and call a review.

Start thinking more about why / how mainstream can't meet his needs. Has he fallen behind more? Is he at the same level he was before?

That is your first foot in the door. All parents I know who get into SLT schools do so when current school can not meet needs. LA will want to move to mainstream SLT unit.why will that not work? Can he access mainstream in a unit ( if not then it's not going to work).

Also funding - how much is his 11 etc? How much more would makaton and SLT cost at mainstream? ( you would be shocked at its cost)

Then see how much Blossom house is, it might be cheaper.

PM me if you want I can dig out Blossom house costs.

2boysnamedR Thu 12-May-16 22:46:21

I have no idea what your county is like but if your not in a state SS in year R in my county it stops being a option, they are rammed full anyway. Kids very rarely leave

ouryve Thu 12-May-16 22:53:13

Do properly check out LA special schools, if you haven't already. They often offer much more nuanced provision than you'd think, from their websites and many do provide a total communication environment.

2boysnamedR Thu 12-May-16 22:57:18

My ds is in LA specail school. I think it's perfect. But it's a asd school and he's got asd. Moderate learning difficulties schools might be a good fit until they can work out what the primary needs is. But they really are very hard to access. Maybe that's just in my county?

2boysnamedR Thu 12-May-16 22:59:18

A good thing with a LA special school is ( touch wood so far) if they say your child needs extra input or money they get it. The la don't argue the toss ever.

AugustaFinkNottle Thu 12-May-16 23:19:54

I think to build the case you need to go back to the beginning with his statement or EHCP. The school has to be capable of providing all the support in section F which in turn has to meet the needs set out in section B. Therefore you need to be sure that his speech and language needs are accurately and fully described in B, and ideally that the provision in F is provision that a specialist school can provide and a mainstream can't - e.g. it should set out that he needs small classes, all staff specialising in speech and language, a peer group with similar difficulties, speech and language therapists on the staff and available all day, etc. But you'd need expert evidence to back you up.

MrsFrisbyMouse Fri 13-May-16 10:08:46

Thank you all. Lots of great information and expertise and I really appreciate the time you have all taken to respond.

His needs are constantly evolving really. I have had the impression from his educational professionals over the last 2 years - that they just miraculously think he is suddenly just going to start talking! (and that it's just a 'delay' and I am a worrisome pushy mother...) But it's beginning to dawn on them! I know the school fairly well (my daughter also there) and they don't like to be told things - they like to find things out for themselves! (or feel they initiated the help...)

I don't think anyone has appreciated until now just how complex his speech needs are - especially with out a convenient label to help guide!

I will go and look at the LA special school - and other schools out of borough. But we are in London so resources are pretty stretched locally. The unit nearest me in currently in an school under special measures - so I'm a bit worried about 'out of the frying pan into the fire' type situation. It feels to me that this move needs to right - I can't spend another year waiting and watching whilst people faff around him.

He's so well supported at home - and his previous speech and language therapist worked with me to essentially train me to do all the basic communication speech and language stuff - so that is why his communication skills are so good! But the more specialist input that he now needs - needs to be delivered by a specialist team.

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