How does one argue that a child's school cannot meet their needs?

(13 Posts)
Stradbroke Fri 20-Jan-17 18:25:13

So I want my DD to go to a different school (have yet to find that school). For a long time this was because I felt it would be better. I want her to be in a special school essentially, but she has moderate learning difficulties and ASD and our local ones are for more severe LD's and are of course all full.

It is becoming clear to me however that she needs a new school. However I also don't think that her current school will say they cannot meet her needs.

My arguments are:
She is not making progress
She is unable to make progress in a mainstream setting even with full time 1:1 support which she has had for three years.
She is avoiding work so much to the extent that she is doing very little work day to day
Her LSA is unable to get her to engage with work, if she decides not to go to a group she doesn't go
She is engaging in inappropriate behaviour (stabbing her LSA with a pencil)

I want to put the pressure back on the LA to find her a suitable placement, whilst I will of course keep looking (have three school visits lined up for February).

however I realise that it all really hinges (or at least makes it easier) if I can show that the school cannot meet her needs. How do I persuade the LA of this?


OP’s posts: |
youarenotkiddingme Fri 20-Jan-17 18:55:52

Approach it from the other angle.

Does your DD have an ehcp? Visit other schools. Show them the ehcp and ask them what they have available already to meet those needs and how they'll do it. Get it in writing.

Then show the la that X school can meet DD need. If they say so can school she's at you then have the opportunity to say "here's evidence they can't" or "only with 1:1 where as schools x can do it this way which also helps DD develop independence"

Megatherium Fri 20-Jan-17 23:39:45

If she's not making progress, that ought to be strong evidence that the school isn't meeting her needs. Have you got that fully documented, e.g. through assessment test results, reports from the school about the problems the LSA is having, etc?

tartanterror Sat 21-Jan-17 12:37:33

I assume that she has an EHCP with full time 1-2-1 support? If you dont have this already, get copies of all the school's paperwork. In theory they should have been setting targets each year - so you should be able to see if they were met, or not.

What do her end of year reports say? Is she working at average standards or below? Has this been consistent before/after introduction of the support? If there has been any change, can you guess why?

I was always told that everything was "fine" at school and heard about the odd/more severe problem, but it would be worth trying to get the LSA to document, for you, what her general everyday behaviour is like. My DS was destroying materials, fidgetting, putting holes in clothes, refusing to work/follow instructions - all considered "fine" as it was happening "daily" so somehow escaped notice. I found out about this through our diagnosis paperwork/teacher questionnaire. This can all be used as evidence of stress and un-met needs.

Good luck

Stradbroke Sat 21-Jan-17 13:24:37

Thanks everyone for your replies.

DD is now in Y3 and has had 1:1 support since reception. In terms of progress from Y1 to end of Y2 she made one sub level. She is making some progress in maths but really not in reading and writing. I am not sure what her current levels are, but around P8 - 1B. Yes she does have an EHC. Although actually we are still in draft phase, but she had a statement since reception.

Her current 1:1 has been with her since the beginning of this term - so just over two weeks (god is that all!) and y'day DD was seen by a professional who is always very open with me. She told me that DD had stabbed her TA in the hand with a pencil, that her desk was messy and disorganised, that they were not following the plan she had set out and that she had not made progress on those targets since Nov 2014. She said she was wandering around the classroom, that the teacher wasn't differentiating work for her (TA was expected to do it but had no support to do so) and that when she asked the TA how things were she (TA) started to cry. All in all a pretty bleak picture.

I have emailed SENCo last week for DD's current levels and provision map and not heard back. I have now asked for a meeting and will ask to see her levels and ask for DD's file. Can I get a copy of this?

I have a bit of a fire in my belly now in terms of knowing that school are not meeting her needs.

A) she is not making progress so the gap between her and her peers is so large that she is doing completely different work.
B) She is avoiding work to such an extent that she is not being given an education
C) she needs specialist teaching and a more skills based curriculum that meets her needs.


OP’s posts: |
tartanterror Sat 21-Jan-17 15:25:17

Gosh that sounds upsetting. On the other hand if you can get all that in writing it's exactly the sort of evidence you will need to get a different placement. Can the professional write you a letter? Or can you have a meeting/phone call where you write notes to form "evidence" that the professional would back up? Yes you are entitled to a full copy of the school's SEN file and her whole record if you want it

If you are at the draft EHC stage I would have thought this is perfect timing for it to be acknowledged that her current school can't meet her needs. What did the EP say as part of the EHC assessment?

Have you given your preference to the LA yet? Or been asked?
Draft EHC timing is really positive in many ways as suitable placement is exactly what the assessment process is about. Fingers crossed for you.

youarenotkiddingme Sat 21-Jan-17 15:49:37

Well evidence they can't meet need is certainly there!
Thank goodness for draft EHCP so you can start the ball rolling on naming a difference placement.

I feel sorry for all the TAs in schools expected to differentiate etc without training. That's an angle you can probably get good arguments from. Look at what training has been had by TAs in chosen schools. What lessons look like and they are universally differentiated to meet needs of whole class so DD is learning to learn.

Megatherium Sat 21-Jan-17 20:45:09

They should be doing a full new reassessment for the purposes of the EHC Plan, particularly given that the provision in the statement clearly hasn't been sufficient. Have they done so? Far too many LAs are ignoring the law on that.

Stradbroke Mon 23-Jan-17 09:45:28

Have just spoken to school. They agree that they cannot meet DDs needs. They were going to give it one more shot and then tell me. They will support me in whatever I need. This is good news.

OP’s posts: |
Ineedmorepatience Mon 23-Jan-17 10:03:01

That is good news stadbroke I hope you find somewhere suitable for her soon.

With the support of the school it shouldnt be so hard to get a special school named in her EHCP.

Good luck flowers

tartanterror Mon 23-Jan-17 20:38:59

That's wonderful that you can get this sorted without a fight. Good luck in finding the right placement flowers

youarenotkiddingme Mon 23-Jan-17 20:49:24

I'm glad school is on your side - always helps!

amunt Tue 24-Jan-17 23:11:47

That's great that the school is supportive. Just try to get them to say the same things in an email somehow, so you have written evidence. LAs have a way of pressurising schools and suddenly the HT change their mind and they can meet all needs. Hopefully not in your case, but just worth being aware.

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