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Is this illegal exclusion?(10 Posts)
I have a child who has autism. She is 8 years old and in a mainstream school. She has recently became more challenging with her behaviour and has been lashing out at teachers and is struggling to settle in a school. As of Wednesday I was called to pick her up early due to this behaviour. When I picked her up I was informed that she would now have to be picked up early at 12.30 for the foreseeable. I have 2 other children at school and a toddler at home so this is very difficult as it means dropping them to school then collecting her at lunch time then back at the school at 3.30. At lunch time she also refuses to leave as she doesn’t like the fact she’s being made to leave early so it usually means dragging her out the school kicking at screaming. YesterdAy at pick up I couldn’t physically get her back into the school to pick my other children up as she wouldn’t come back in, I had to leave her at reception then collect my other two then come back round where again she had to be physically removed from the school. this is all with a toddler in tow. and I live a bus ride away from the school so quite frAnkly I’m up and down like a yo-yo. I’m also a single parent so it all falls on me and is a struggle. Is this illegal exclusion as I’ve been informed that it is? (I want her to remain in mainstream)
Does she have an EHCP OP?
Is her behaviour physically violent, and does she have an additional classroom helper? If it is that they are not able to safely manage her with the number of staff it may be that they will need to obtain funding for an extra TA before they can safely have her in class.
Call IPSEA for advice, they should be managing her behaviour which is a reaction to something, they need to get to the bottom of what is triggering her behavioural reaction and work to reduce this. Exclusion is not the answer unless it is a temporary solution with a plan for reintegration with more support or alternative provision. They should be communicating with you and trying to find solutions.
They are allowed to do this but ONLY if there is a clear plan and finite timescale to reintegrate her back into full time hours. It should be put formally in writing rather than just verbal and the school should have consulted the local authority for permission.
The problem is if you refuse to accept it they will probably move to permanent exclusion (they have sufficient grounds for doing this if she has hurt teachers). It might be worth finding out what are the alternatives if this happens (it did to ds1 and for him it turned out to be a good thing in the end although it was pretty horrible at the time).
In the meantime I would be trying to find out what has happened to make her change from coping to not coping - is her teacher for instance using the same strategies as previous ones. Sometimes there is just a pupil / teacher clash - ds1 just did not cope with his teacher in year 5 and likewise she could not cope with him and there were fireworks to say the least. And also if she does not already have an EHCP apply for one today so that she can get proper assessment to find out exactly what is the causes of the behaviour and hopefully more support too.
Sorry I should have said she does have an ehcp and 1:1 full time. I think it’s because the they’ve changed her 1:1 recently. Yes she has been physically hurting the teachers (not any children I’m not excusing it just being factual) they haven’t said how low it’s been for and it is unofficial. She’s been there since reception and this is only happening recently so I do think the change of 1:1 has caused it. They want to do an emergency annual review
In that case I suspect the school is gearing up to say they can no longer meet needs. Is the previous 1:1 still at the school? Is it possible she could show the new one what approach to take with your dd or even better be reinstated. They will, of course, argue about getting overly dependent on one staff member. But to my mind it is a question of priorities if having the right 1:1 means she can cope with mainstream then surely this is more important than gaining independence just at the moment.
I would not, however, discount other reasons as well - usually with my two at this age the meltdowns were the culmination of lots of different stressor's throughout the school day before the final one (usually something quite trivial) pushed them over the edge.
They’ve already suggested sen school but I want her to remain in mainstream as does she want to stay at the school. The 1:1 is still at the school and told me she was surprised to not be place with my daughter again (she’s been with her since the beginning) they have no Intention of placing her back with the 1:1 as I have mentioned it and it just gets shot down.
Just to add her behaviour has improved today I went to pick her up and they allowed her to stay as they did say she had a really good day and she didn’t want to leave. I think it could also possibly be due to coming back after the 6 weeks aswell which doesn’t help as it’s such a long time off.
It is a form of off-rolling when timetables are reduced. It is done in the best interest of the school rather than the best interest of the child. If they wanted to change her 1:1, they could have introduced someone slowly. It’s probably worth trying to highlight this to the Children’s Commissioner? I’m sure there is s number, and IPSEA/SOSSEN.
I had an almost identical situation with my son last year. We now have an arrangement in place where if hes feeling overwhelmed or the class are about to do something thats a trigger for him (like have a different teacher in or do music), his TA takes him off to do ither work in the lunch hall. Its not ideal and i still sometimes have to go into the school but its now once every couple of weeks rather than a couple of times a day. If she does have to do half days have you explored the idea of afternoons rather than mornings to prevent the drama at the end of the day?
Re your transport situation, have you checked with the council if you're entitled to transport to school? I didnt think i was but apparently because a stretch of road between us and the school has no street lights we are. I now have my 2 boys taken to school in the morning in a taxi which helps no end and doesnt cost me a penny (also have a baby so know the multiple child ASD morning struggle!)