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Schools' attitude on 1:1 support(12 Posts)
Hi everyone, I am slightly confused about some schools' SENCOs' attitude on 1:1 support at school. I am now looking around for a suitable setting for Dd for reception next year. She's at indie preschool at the moment and school told us she requires 1:1 support and monitoring, which is not a surprise to us. We are in the process of applying for EHCP.
So I have met/spoken to some SENCOs about this and the feeling I have got is they find the indie's suggestion unbelievable. One went on telling me how important it is to give a child space to develop independently and made me feel like I'm a tiger mom, another even said even with EHCP that may not be possible as it's unfair to other kids there are more of this but don't want to bore others with details. They are all state schools.
Now I feel like without EHCP it's very difficult my dd's needs can be met.
I know a lot of the parents here say their children receive 1:1, with or without EHCP. So I would really appreciate if anyone can share their experience or give advice on how to push for that.
Personally I would avoid schools with that kind of attitude.
EHCP is the only way to ensure 1:1 support, if needed.
Some schools are better than others.
I agree with claw12. Avoid, as they don't have children's sen as a priority. The thing that used to upset me was that they would see Ds as a burden - past caring about that now. But you could ask them, "In that case, how specifically will you/the school ensure that x, y, z needs are met so that Dd will reach full potential as she is entitled to." It may also be worth getting very clear in your own mind as to what schools are duty bound to do with regards to SEN. If I'd had the knowledge I have now when Ds started school, they would not have got away with so much.
Basically it is not your job but the schools to make sure provision for the other children is adequate. What is your concern is that your child has the provision that she needs to thrive and progress. If the EP says this needs a 1:1 to allow her to access an education then this is what she should have. Not saying a 1:1 is ideal for all kids and all times. My kids need small groups but not 1:1 unless they are particularly anxious so a more floating arrangement suits them. LA's and schools do trot out the over-dependence line but often as a money-saving rather than in the best interests of the child.
Keep on top of getting the EHC sorted and chase at every stage to see everything is in process. Some councils are good at letting EHC's fall down the cracks. I'd echo what everyone else has said about looking else where if you don't like the Senco's attitude. Do a bit of looking round to see if there are any 'enhanced resource' schools, near you or alternatively have a look on the Ofsted reports to see what the % of Sen kids is. Higher the percentage potentially the better they are at understanding needs, certainly where I live there is a trend that once a school is know for being proactive with SEN, more parents want there kids there.
Provision in a great state school will be great and in a poor one poor. You need to do what everyone has to and research and visit schools and then use your judgement. Have they agreed to assess for EHCP?
It's not necessary to push for a particular support more to demonstrate a particular need. Needs must be met. "I want 1:1 because her previous setting says she needs it" is neither sensible nor likely to elicit support or feed a good home/school relationship.
What needs does she have?
How have her present setting supported her?
How effective was that?
In my experience state school provides a much more focused and effective education.
Thanks all for the replies and advice. I want to avoid them too but unfortunately there are not many schools close to home and I don't prefer to send her to one that's too far. The one with the best attitude so far is not close enough to home and the SENCO told me schools in my area are given the same amount of money for SEN provision so if my dd is there without EHCP the support she can get is minimal as there are relatively a higher number of SEN students in that school. So I feel like my choices are very limited.
We are still waiting to hear about the EHCP application but I understand it may not be that straightforward and can get rejected and even they agree to assess I don't think we can get EHCP before school application deadline so I need to choose a school no matter what. I'm a bit shocked at their attitudes on 1:1 support. To be fair they haven't met dd and don't know her needs but the message I got from a lot of them is a downright 'no' right from the start. One school hinted at the tight funding schools are receiving now.
They will put in 1:1 support if she needs it because how can they educate her otherwise?
I'd run a mile from a school that started talking about funding like that to me though.
If she needs 1:1 why doesn't she have it at nursery?
She's having 1:1 at the moment, provision partially funded by LA and at other times her teachers just do that for her although there is no funding, as the class is very small. However I can't expect this to happen for long term and I thought state schools tend to be more inclusive. I might have done wrong to mention her current setting is indie, as one Senco asked me immediately why they said so and if I am paying extra. She will progress in the next months and by the time she starts reception she may not really 1:1 full time but as things stand I totally agree she needs 1:1 monitoring and support for her to develop and achieve full potentials. In less than two months she has progressed significantly with the support at her current school, and so far I feel that their suggestions and supporting strategies are made in the best interests of dd.
Now I realise that without EHCP dd will need to go through another sets of observations at the new setting and quite likely is not able to receive sufficient support judging from what I have gathered from the SENCOs.
She can receive 1:1 (my DS had full time 1:1 long before dx or EHCP). They will be asking by who is funding because if the LA is then it is MUCH easier for them to access top up funding. They already have 15 hours funding in budget so she won't be high and dry.
She can have 1:1 throughout her time at school if she needs it. My only real concern in what you have posted is that you don't seem to feel supported by the senco you have met. This may be that you have got off
On the wrong foot but their are a few who are less than helpful so it's worth keeping in mind ho competently you can work with this person. It's like GPS receptionists, some are part of the care and some feel themselves to be gatekeepers. Run far and fast from the latter.
If you feel your child has significant and on going needs I would avoid independent unless it is a specialist provision.
That's my worry too as now in hindsight I think I should have approached them better maybe, but I'm also concerned if they are the gatekeeper type as you mentioned. Current provision only goes to indies so if dd moves to state MS we will have to rely entirely on the school. Though I'm very happy with the support she's receiving at the current setting I'm aware of possible tricky issues with indies in the long term and so I'm asking around, but so far the experience has been off putting. I wish I have a crystal ball so I know how long term her needs will be.
I'm now working on the basis that her EHCP won't come in place before she starts next year. If that's the case, does it mean her needs will be assessed by the new school again when she goes there, and that they don't necessarily take into account what her current setting says? I'm confused because almost all schools I talked to said something along the lines of 'we will look at the individuals' needs and support accordingly' - but how would they be able to tell what needs she have as they don't even know her when she starts? The talk of funding by a few also makes me concerned, as I would suspect even if in fact dd needs full time 1:1 they may not offer it because of funding.
Any advice from you or anyone on this board will be appreciated.
My experience is the gulf between what ds's experience was in prep school and what he experienced in state primary is so huge it's hard to even think of private as an option (unless specialist) even though both schools were kind rated outstanding and in both DS was "liked" by staff and students for want of a better descriptor.
Funding really isn't your problem, demonstrating need and remaining vigilant is. You need to find a school that you feel she could be happy at. EHCP takes just over a term but you would want to try her in a setting first anyway because some places are just easier than others. I don't see it as a fight and I think that helps. It's more
Like you are sending a primary school child to secondary, you need to
Remind everyone what extra support will be needed and constantly check the child IS managing. Most teachers want to do an excellent job, as do most schools. Choose and then help them with all your might.
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