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4 year old reduced timetable after expulsion(13 Posts)
To date my child has had 2 exclusions for 3 days each. Since starting reception he has had tantrums/outbursts and has also tried hitting teachers when they try to calm him down. He is currently awaiting SEN assessment. I have called the health visitor who doesnt think his behaviour is related to any medical issue as he is good at home. Went further and went to dr to get referred to peadeatrician to be told only a detailed report from the school can get a referral.
Today was my back to school meeting where the school informed me that they were putting my child on a reduced timetable and would review in 10 days. I said i would agree as long as it was afternoons. Reasons for this are because coming home at lunch time seems to be a trigger to an outburst and also because he has 2 after school clubs which he adores and i would like him to keep going as his behaviour at clubs is never an issue and i see them as a positive to encourage good behaviour. Was basically told no it has to be mornings. That it would be unfair to send him in half way through the day when everyone else has already settled even though another child on half days does only afternoons. School also said that the fact he kicks off at lunchtime finish is because he really wants to stay. To give him afternoons would be giving into him. He needs to learn actions have consequences.
I thought a part time timetable was meant to be there to help a child and not as a punishment for previous behaviour. The exclusion was the punishment. iIt seems rather unfair that after the exclusion he is still being punished by reducing hours, banning him from clubs and banning him from school disco.
Afternoons would be fine because i believe that they wouldnt create more problems and we could then work on the existing problems.
Where do i stand on this. I keep reading that it is legal as my child is only 4. I feel like if thats the case, that i have to do anything the school tells me as i dont have a leg to stand on to question the decision. All i want is whats best for my son and i feel that a 3 day exclusion followed by at least 10 days of half days and no clubs or disco is a big punishment. I feel like my child will feel like everything has been taken away so there is no point in being good anymore.
What measures have they put in place to support him ?
What plans were written when he first started displaying challenging behaviour?
What "reasonable adjustments" have they made to accommodate him ?
Have school referred him for any further investigations, after the GP said they wouldn't?
You could call their bluff by insisting he stays full time. If all the other children are in school full time, forcing your child to go part time is disability discrimination.
Have you or the school entered a formal request for an EHC needs assessment? If so, when?
It's all very well advising people that they do not have to accept a reduced timetable but it is important to bear in mind that, SEN or not, the school is within their rights to permanently exclude so when you are in this situation you have to think whether you are prepared for this consequence before getting too stroppy.
So the first thing I would advice is ringing up the LA exclusion officer and asking what would happen in your area if your child is permanently excluded. Because he is so young there might not be a designated PRU placement available or if there is it is likely to be filled with mostly much older children. But the provision different LA's provide varies considerably. In our experience they were also helpful in directing us and the HT to services that might be able to help . If all has been done properly you should have a contact number on your fixed term exclusions letters.
You also need to ask the school to write you a letter you can take to the GP to get the referral back on track. You could also take the exclusion letters if they are being slow I guess.
I also think you need to ask the school what additional adjustments and support they intend to put in place to enable your son to resume full time education as soon as possible. From your OP it seems that they are of the mindset that sanctions like exclusions will be sufficient. In our experience exclusions worsened behaviour because it disrupted the timetable and led to even more unpredictability and chaos so they didn't know whether they were coming or going.
Does your son have tantrums at home. How do you calm him down. Do the teachers touch him when they are trying to calm him down (red rag to a bull for my two). What calms him down (can school do this). Does school have a safe space he can go to. Is he allowed to go and run in the playing field when he is upset. Is there a predictable pattern to the tantrums at school - particular time, day, lesson etc - can extra support be put in at these times. Are there sensory issues - could the teachers try sitting him in a different part of the classroom to reduce these problems.
I suspect the mornings choice is more about their staff levels than anything as I am sure there will be several four year olds who would quite fancy going home too if they see your son depart and for it to be equally disruptive. it may actually be beneficial for your son to come in later as the morning playground can be chaotic. One adaption we had for a while was for ds2 to come in a few minutes late so he had a calm start to the day.
The problem with insisting on reasonable adjustments and disability discrimination is at the moment your ds is not identified as disabled. I would say it is imperative that you get your GP referral going. Who is he referring too?
I agree with the others in asking what support has been put in place for him in school?
I would strongly advise talking to an organisation like IPSEA here so that you can make a plan for your son and take it forward. It sounds to me like the school are not managing your son's issues at all and instead of trying to address them and support him they are making a stand. Unfortunately this strongly smells of a managed exit for him from the school. They are setting him up to fail on his part time hours at which point they will claim that they can not meet his needs and he will be excluded permanentely.
You need to find out what your rights are in terms of the school, the GP and general support for your son and then make a sensible plan to try and get his behaviour addressed by the right people in the right place at the right time. School are calling all the shots at the moment but may not be doing so legally in some aspects. It is hard to stand your ground with them until you know what the legal rules are here. You also need to consider what you want to happen too - will you want him to stay at a school that is unwilling to support him? If not then it will be emotionally easier to challenge them, but you need to know what options there are after this school.
Sorry this is such a stressful situation for you. He may or not have SEN - all too often as parents we adjust what we do and how we do it because we learn to know our child inside out. His behaviour may be good at home because his stress levels are minimal and you are already doing things without necessarily knowing it to keep his behaviour on track. It may be worth reading about PDA and seeing if any of the information you read sounds familiar?
I think it's a bit naive to expect extended school activities to continue at the same time as a reduced school timetable for any child, but particularly a four year old. For whatever reason, he isn't coping with the demands of a whole school day. The school isn't going to let him go to after school clubs.
For a four year old to have had two fixed term exclusions is quite serious, so he really will need support and I hope that the school is getting urgent advice about how best to support him. But I don't think that trying to insist on afternoon attendance with school clubs is the best way forward here.
Hi all thanks for getting back to me. Sorry i took a while to get back. As it stands i have asked the school for a detailed report to give to the doctor as they will not refer without one. Have been waiting just over 2 weeks and as of yet still nothing. Had a meeting last week with SEN, his class teacher and 2 health visitors. That went so so i suppose. The school denied they hold my childs arms when he lashes out and only ever place a hand on his arm. Yes holding him makes it 10 times worse. Had been told at a previous meeting that i give my son too much 1 to 1 attention and that could be causing the issues. They suggested that after his half day i take him home and sit him on the couch for 30mins and ignore him... Felt really uncomfortable doing this but i tried it for 5 days until my health visitor told me to stop as it could be seen as emotional abuse.
Getting back to the last meeting i bought up the fact that i felt all my son was seeing and hearing was alot of negatives... told off alot at school, at hometime i was retold what had happened in front of him usually the talk starting with "been a bad day today", followed by me going home and explaining what was unacceptable and then giving him a punishment at home... no electronics or arts n crafts for rest of the day as they are his faves.
Decided enough was enough when i asked my son why he misbehaves at school and he told me "because my brain says im a naughty boy cos i do naughty things".
At the meeting i suggested a home school communication book as a way for the school to inform me of bad behaviour and also to put some positives in. They really did not want to do one as they said parents use them against them. All i want is to help my son... not to use a book as evidence.
I said i would read the book after school and go through the good and the bad with my son for 10mins and then we would speak no more of the book. I also told them that any small misbehaviour at school i would leave the school to give out consequences but that if my son hits, throws things or trashes anything then i would tell him off at home and give him a consequence at home.
3 days in so far and still early days but the only major bad things were throwing a cup and pushing another child. Today had not one bad comment.
Im finding my son is alot more happier when we have specific incidents or good things to talk about. We also remind him in the morning of the things he didnt do so well on and see if he can do any better and we also remind him of all the good things he did the day before.
Do not have a ECHP as far as i am aware but then again the schools communication has always been an issue. All i have been told is that they have someone assessing him soon.
Still not liking the part time timetable as son really want to be there all day but until the end of april he is to stay on half days.
Can be quite upsetting as he has so far missed his first school class photo, and next week will miss the easter bonnet parade and the easter egg hunt and the easter disco. Those things are hard for me as these are meant to be all his firsts... memories that i can treasure and show him pictures of when he is older but now will not have them.
I suggest you get on and enter your own request for an EHC needs assessment. The part time timetable alone is very strong evidence that it is needed. If you leave it to the school to do, it could take forever.
Thankyou.. How would i go about doing that? Like i said so far i have been doing everything the school has asked me to do such as health visitor, doctors, things to try at home, part time timetable but i have never been told about a EHC plan. Does my child need to be on a SEN statement to do an EHC because although the school has the SENCO involved i do not think he has a statement yet as they are awaiting an assessment. My health visitors think that my son is struggling with the lack of structure in reception... ie: going from learning to play based activities. He is bright and loves the learning but once he is doing something play based he doesnt then want to do the sitting down. It the transitions that seem to be triggers for him.
Information about requesting an EHC needs assessment here - www.ipsea.org.uk/what-you-need-to-know/ehc-needs-assessments/asking-for-an-ehc-needs-assessment
Statements of SEN are in the process of being abolished, EHC Plans replace them. So no, your child doesn't have to have had a statement previously.
Well I suppose at least they were honest enough to admit they are scared of using written communication as it'll show they aren't doing enough!
Fwiw take a copy each day of the book in case "it gets lost". Make sure you write things like "talking to ds it would seem when you did x (positive intervention) he felt better. It will help to have a record of all the support he needs and what works.
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