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Advice on choosing a new school

(1 Post)
CongaRongaTonga Mon 03-Oct-16 13:24:34

Hello

We are in the process of choosing a different primary/junior school for DD, who has a diagnosis of dyslexia and possible dyscalculia. Our current school is totally dismissive of her special needs, denying the learning difficulties and insisting they are already doing whatever is necessary. All support that was in place last year seems to be missing this year with a new CT, and that is seriously affecting her mental health. We do not think her particular needs would ever qualify for an EHCP (statement), according to a private EP.

We are going to other schools in the area to talk with the SENCOs. You go in armed with your recommended list of questions and already you feel like a difficult pushy parent for daring to ask in-depth questions. They all give you the SEND Code of Practice spiel, but how do you know if they will actively try to meet your child's individual needs, until you start at the school? By then it’s too late of course.

It seems that mainstream schools are all pretty much the same, ie limited resources and expertise, and it's the luck of the draw as to which teacher you get in any given year. Some are helpful and committed, some not so much. Unfortunately talking to the SENCO is not an indicator of how effective the school would be in helping your child, since you don't know what kind of teacher you will get.

We have heard that a mainstream school with a designated SENCO who doesn’t have a class to teach, which has a unit for Special Needs eg. Speech and language, could be better trained and helpful across the board, even if your child does not qualify for help from the specialist unit without an EHCP. Has anyone found this to be the case?

A specialist independent school is not really an option for us at the present time.

Thanks for reading.

Yours desperately

Conga

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