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SEN at primary but no needs at secondary?

(11 Posts)
FurTreis Wed 28-Dec-16 14:14:17

Short story. DS2 is 11 and started a senior school this September. It wasn't the school we wanted (3rd choice), but he has lots of friends there which is a positive and it is local, so no bus to negotiate. The SEN department has a reputation for not being great, but I am trying to go in with a positive mindset, and there is a newish SENCO (started Sept 15). DS1 is in year 10 at the same school and had done very well (he has no SEN, so I've not had to deal with this so=ide of the school so far).

So, DS2 has diagnoses of dyslexia and ADHD. He takes tablets for the ADHD and he is no bother at school, not naughty or rude (though he is when the tablets wear off at home). He lacks concentration, has poor short term memory, and rushes work, and only wants to do the minimum. I think this is partly to do with the dyslexia, as he finds writing hard, as well as organising himself and his thoughts over anything other than the very very short term very difficult.

DH and I have met the SENCO at the school, and she seems very nice. She says that school have been observing DS2 and he doesn't show any needs at all. Therefore he isn't on the SEN register, doesn't get any additional support, won't 'qualify' for anything extra.

When DS2 was at his primary, he didn't have a TA as it wasn't needed (once we got him started on his ADHD tablets), but he had lots of literacy interventions, was in a nurture group etc. We met with the SENCO regularly to check in on his academic progress and emotional wellbeing (he had few friends before we started the tablets and was quite anxious with low self esteem).

I agree that DS2 has settled well at secondary, but am really worried he isn't on anyone's radar. He is dealing with work at school ok, but looking at what he produces, it looks miles behind his older brother at the same age, yet DS2 is apparently 'very bright' according to primary school, just with 'barriers to his learning'.

I think as DS2 goes up the school he is just going to slip down and no-one is going to be bothered, just writing him off as a low/average kid because he can't write clearly or produce much work, whereas actually he is clever. I also worry that any ADHD behaviours he does show will be seen as naughtiness or carelessness, and not recognised as being things he has to stuggle with.

So, do I need to worry? Should school be doing more/something? Or if he seems to be doing 'ok' at the mo, despite these two SEN, should I assume school will intervene if necessary? Anyone got any wise words for me? Or have a kid with dyslexia or ADHD who also doesn't get any additional support? TIA

Meloncoley2 Wed 28-Dec-16 16:09:20

I think you have very clearly outlined your concerns here. What about putting it in writing to the head of year, and copying in the Senco? ( or the other way round) Hopefully they will respond positively to reassure you, and also, if things do deteriorate you can refer back to this email in your next communication.

coffeemachine Wed 28-Dec-16 16:30:59

I'd be very concerned. my oldest is 8 and has much more complex needs but from friends with older children with less obvious SN, I have very much the impression that needs often go up the older they get as the demands from school and the entire complexity of it becomes more challenging. Hopefully somebody else with have more advice.

Megatherium Wed 28-Dec-16 16:33:07

Have you got reports or letters formally confirming the diagnoses? It could be useful to send them so they are on the school's records.

EwanWhosearmy Wed 28-Dec-16 16:57:58

This concerns me as I have a 9 yo with ADHD and dyslexia who has quite a bit of support at primary.

I think you're right that as he gets older he is going to get worse, and is going to need more help, not less, for public exams. 2 of my older DC have similar SEND and got extra time/laptops higher up the school.

As to what you should do though, I don't know. It's hard when school decide your DC doesn't need help when you know he does.

TwoLeftSocks Wed 28-Dec-16 17:30:12

He sounds very much like our Yr6, with ADHD and dyslexia. I agree that you've written out your concerns very well in your op and it would be useful to transfer that to an email to school. Id want to know too that all of his class teachers actually knows that he has these sens - that's my biggest concern for when our ds goes up, that it'll get lost as he's generally well behaved in class and won't speak up if he's struggling.

Ineedmorepatience Wed 28-Dec-16 18:50:37

When the "new" SEN system kicked in a couple of yrs ago the then minister for education said that no child should miss out on support just because of the change over to the new system! The reality is that many many children who were or would have been on school action have not been put onto school support and they are in fact missing out!

Did your son have IEP's or Assess, plan, do, reviews? Did he have SEN targets set for him in primary? If he did then this should in theory be continued.

What was his transition like?

FurTreis Wed 28-Dec-16 20:10:48

Thank you for all comments. I'll try to answer your questions:

The new school have copies of DS2's dyslexia diagnosis and report from a dyslexia charity. They have a diagnosis letter from CAMHS for the ADHD. The primary SENCO met the secondary SENCO before the end of DS2's Year 6 to talk to her about what the primary school had been providing. I don't know what paperwork they may have passed across, but certainly, the new school do know all about him.

We tried to meet all of DS2's teachers at the parents eve in Nov and reminded them of his SEN. No one seemed not to know, and all said he was working well, and was 'where he needed to be' academically (whatever that means). Even in Spanish, which was a surprise!

We met with the SENCO twice a term at primary, but didn't have formal paperwork at all - although we did exchange plenty of emails, there were never targets set. DS had extra time and movement breaks in his SATS, and when I asked the new school they said they would assess him again to see if he qualified, but he wouldn't get anything extra in normal school tests, only for GCSEs, if he qualified.

As for transition - DS2 went a couple of extra times before he started compared with other kids, but otherwise nothing. He knows the school of course because DS1 goes there and so did the holiday club he used to go to.

As for SATs, DS2 didn't pass the SPAG type one (no surprise there!), but did ok in reading and maths - 108 for both I think. His dyslexia report does say he will always underperform in test situations though.

So, maybe I don't need to worry? He seems happy, teachers say he's doing ok. I just can't see how he is going to make the progress he is capable of as school work and organisation etc gets harder. Maybe I should just watch and wait? It just feels like I should be more proactive!

Ineedmorepatience Wed 28-Dec-16 20:30:53

Personally, I think that the senco at the primary school has failed him in a way! If she was putting strategies into place and meeting with you regularly but not putting anything on paper she wasnt doing her job properly!

I would want to be proactive as well, if he is just left to manage its likely that he won't be able to reach his potential. Its very hard when children arent failing or kicking off though!

Good luck flowers

tartanterror Wed 28-Dec-16 20:42:44

Do check with the primary SENCO to see if you can get copies of his old provision maps/IEPs. You may not have seen this paperwork but it should exist. With the copies you should see what initiatives were recorded. You could also try speaking to the old SENCO to see if they could do a transition meeting now - that might help your case?

youarenotkiddingme Thu 29-Dec-16 12:15:43

Ineed is sadly right that the new system misses out a lot of children. My friend who is a teacher said a child can only be put on Sen register if they have outside agencies involved - eg old school action plus rather than just school action.

Did he have spellings and reading tests or cognitive tests completed in entry to scondary? That would be a good thing to ask. Also have they set targets for him for end of year?

I also had the problem that when started secondary all the support (same as you Ds was getting!) was - unavailable. Secondary certainly seems less nurturing than primary!
But I just asked questions like if Ds spelling age is 6yrs 10 months how are you adressing that and what is the expected rate of progress you'd expect him to make? That is your paper trail if the school don't do it!

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