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Can I speak to SENCO withour going through head and teacher

(14 Posts)
Cosmo74 Fri 22-Apr-05 10:14:45

I posted this on Education board too but thought you wonderful people my be able to help me!!!

History - MY DS is 5 - started primary in September and was on a IEP within 6 weeks - that's fine when I looked into it yes he has some difficulties, probably has ADD/Dyspraxia but we are waiting on an assessment - which is now looking that it will be 18 months before we are even initially seen ( that's anohter story). He is now on his 3rd teacher this year!!! 1st teacher was a nightmare - started a book - which got known as Glenn's bold book by all the other kids as all she wrote in it was bad comments - we asked for this to stop and she started a sticker chart - his 2nd teacher started with him just after Christmas and was a breath of fresh air - she realised that DS has some difficulties with behaviour but keep saying that he was not a bold child and had excellent ability - was actually one of the top students in the class as far as his work was concerned - she really worked with him to settle him and keep him occupied while she was teaching everyone, she is also the one who insisted that we ask for an assessment until then his 1st teacher and head keep telling us not to rush things - so we requested an assessment tthrough the school and GP in Feb. nothing has happened with either yet!! DS is not on his 3rd teacher and it is like starting all over again - his 3rd teacher is just back from Maternity leave and is only working a few days a week and then he has 2nd teacher - to start off with this is not ideal for a child who does not like change to his enviroment - when he has 2nd teacher his sticker chart has not been too good this last coulple of weeks (since 3rd teacher came in) but 2nd teacher deals with it and just tells him to try harder but when he has 3rd teacher his chart comes home along with notes like ' Glenn still won't sit on the mat......he likes one on one attention!!!....he is disruptive and sistracting the other kids in the class as he won't sit still!!!!' this last one had my blood bubbling - He CAN'T sit still and he is NOT disruptive on purpose he need help to settle and YES he does need one to one attention - after all it was the school that pointed this out from the start - but she doesn't seem to do anything to help him - what am I suppose to do I cannot go to school and sit in his class with him - my mum picked him up one day and tried to talk to her about DS and said that he needs to be settled and her respose was 'I have other kids in the class' - What should I do can I speak to the SENCO about my worries - I am afraid that with the wrong teacher he is just going to be known as a bold child and no-one will take the time to help him and he will just be left behind at school. I do not want to come across as slagging off the teacher - I know it must be very hard - especially as she is just back from maternity leave but surely she has read DS assessment request and knows his difficulties.

What should I do - I really am at my wits end - I ended up crying myself to sleeplast night over this and over the fact that my child needs help but is not getting the help he needs.

Any ideas appreciated.

P.S Please do not think I am getting at teachers - I know they have one of the hardest jobs in the world and know that I could never do it but am I expecting too much that my son gets a proper education albeit that he may need extra help for this!!!

baka Fri 22-Apr-05 10:19:04

yes you can talk to the senco without talking to the head or the teacher. Just phone up and ask for an appointment. Hopefully you have a good one as I agree with you- it needs to be sorted. good luck

baka Fri 22-Apr-05 10:22:54

Just thought- it might be the sort of thing that is worth contacting your local Parent Partnership about as well (the LEA will have the contact details). They can be very helpful.

KarenThirl Fri 22-Apr-05 10:25:28

You're completely right, Cosmo, Glenn needs support and he's not getting it. What does his IEP say? Perhaps if it doesn't stress the ways in which he needs help to settle, you could ask the SENCO for a review so that you could include workable strategies for ANY teacher to follow.

You're right, so many teachers in such a short space of time is no good. J had a similar problem last year (in Reception) when his class teacher was absent more than present and he had a succession of supply teachers - fortunately it didn't upset him too much but loads of NT children were fazed by it, so it's to be expected that SN children would suffer from it.

Hope you can sort this out. First port of call would be SENCO, if it were me. Even if you can get an appointment arranged it might help you to sleep better if you know you're on the way to getting something sorted.

Jayzmummy Fri 22-Apr-05 10:44:54 heart goes out to you. I know only to well what it feels like to spend night after night wondering WTF am I going to do to make my ds life easier at school....when all I seem to do is hit a brick wall with teaching staff.

I know teachers have a hard enough job and they are not miracle workers....what gets to me is that as the mum we are left feeling isolated and as if we are coming across as neurotic when all we want is for our children to get the access to an education they deserve.

Your son clearly has much so these are being recorded by the school themselves in the form of the sticker chart.

Keep this sticker chart and it responses...whilst I appreciate the comments written are not nice....these are you starting point. School clearly can not meet the needs of your child.

They themselves have said he needs what are they going to do about it???

Slightly alarmed that you say a request for assessment was submitted in Feb and nothing has happened.....what happened to the 6 week guideline set out in the SEN CofP??? Your LEA should have responded to you within a six week period and informed you whether they were going to assess your ds or not. Why havent you had a response is the first question I would be asking????

You do know that you can write to the LEA yorself and request the statuatory assessment don't you???

Make an appointment with the SENCO....discuss your concerns...take along the sticker chart as your eveidence that teachers are not copeing and that your son is having difficulties....ask if request has been sent.

When you get home phone LEA and ask if they have received school told me they had sent it to the LEA...I was fobbed off for over a year with all sorts of reasons as to why I had not had a response...was told by school that it would be deemed inappropriate to contact the LEA myself directly!!!! Very naieve I know!!!!When i contacted the LEA they had never heard of my son and it appears the school had never submitted a stat.request

There are very firm guidelines set out that the LEA's have to follow with regards to statuatory money is on the fact that your school have not submitted a stat.request!!!!

In the meantime your ds is left with no help or thats not good for him or the rest of the children in the class.

dinosaur Fri 22-Apr-05 11:02:31

You can definitely contact the SENCo direct - I have always dealt directly with the SENCo at DS1's school (even before he actually started there).

Cosmo74 Fri 22-Apr-05 11:07:07

Thank you everyone for you advice - It is just nice to know that there is someone here who will listen to me - Unforunately I do not know who the SENCO even is - was never told so will have to phone the school and ask for this - what's the bets the head ansers the phones and will start with the - don't stress there is no rush......WELL I think there is a rush...I was told when we filled in the form for the assessment that it would be sent to the SENCO who would then book the Ed Psych. to come in and see DS at school - problem is that the Ed. Psych. in our area is the community paed. who you may have seem in another of my posts has retired and is not replaced yet this could take about 5/6 months and there was already a waitin list of a year for assessments. If I contact the LEA - can they fob me off saying that there is no Ed.Psych in our area or are they still obliged to get DS assessed within 6 weeks?

DS is on a IEP which 2nd teacher revised and set different targets - which break things down - she did go through these with me when we filled in the assessment form - and also told me when 3rd teacher started that she has discussed this with 3rd teacher and left her a copy of the assessment request form - but from the comments 3rd teacher has writen either she has not read this or does not understand how to deal with it.!!

I will try and contact the Parent Partnership for help and support about this in our area and am going to pluck up the courage to phone the school now and ask for an update. Wish me luck - I just need to keep a cool head when speaking to them as I am fit to burst at the minute and could end up screaming at them - doesn't help that fact that I am 6 months pregnant so my tolerant levels with them no so good.

BTW - I found out through my Gp that the community paed. has retired the school have never even got back to let me know this - if they even know.

Thanks again everyone

dinosaur Fri 22-Apr-05 11:11:08

Good luck Cosmo. It is not easy to stay calm, I know.

Cosmo74 Fri 22-Apr-05 11:54:05

Well I phoned the school and just asked secretary who was the SENCO - she told me it was Mrs X so I asked to make an appointment with her and she then said oh you need to speak with Head - so I had to phone back and talk to head who then said 'Oh I think that is a long way off no need to rush that - you do not need to speak to Mrs X' - so I held my own and said well we have put in to get Glenn assessed and I would like to speak to the SENCO - at this she said oh that is Mrs Y - and if you want yes you can speak to her - so I have an appointment for Next Wednesday with her. The other thing she said is that he may get assessed in June - I was going to ask if this was possible as the ed. psych is retired but I just cannot speak to the women to I will ask the SENCO about this.

BUT when I came off the phone I realised who Mrs X is - she is a teacher of one of the Special Needs classes - now I do not want this to come across bad but yes I know that I do not need to speak to her - and yes it is a long way off because 2nd teacher has always assured me that while DS has behavioural/concentration difficulties he will be able to stay in mainstream classes - so it will be a long way off before we think of him in Mrs X class - like NEVER. I hope I havn'e offended anyone with that and I know what a wonderful job the special needs classes do - actually DH brother was in the same school and was in the special Unit as it was called then and they were very kind and good to all the kids there but most of the kids in the special unit have some kind of mental or physical disability - this head tried to put Dh nephew into this special unit just because he was slow - said nephew has now moved to secindary school where he is in mainstream classes and is doing extremely well.

Please please no-one take offence at this.

Thanks you all again for all your help - I am now off to compile my documentation to take with me to the meeting with SENCO - I have kept sticker charts from each teacher so SENCO will be able to see differences in the teacher and also kept the 'Bold Book' even though the school asked me to give it back - think when they thought about this they realised that it was wrong to do.

Thanks again - just doing something releives the stress.

KarenThirl Fri 22-Apr-05 16:52:45

Cosmo, at this stage I wouldn't be too worried about the status of the teacher you're seeing, as long as she's involved with SN then you're on the right track. She may be an assistant who works with the SENCO, and if necessary she'll forward your concerns on. Either way, you've got an appointment with someone who knows the ropes (hopefully) so the only way is up.

Good luck with the meeting.

LittleNjataNoMates Fri 22-Apr-05 18:17:10

senco at my boys school is also y2 teacher. i probably misunderstood your post but it seemed like you were thinking the involvement of the senco meant your child would go into her class? that's not the case, she's the special educatonal needs co-ordinator, and is responsible for the sen kids in your school, whatever class they are in.

Of course you are worried, its only natural, but well done to you for being firm with the head. I know people who have suffered so much by not taking control and being firm from day one (understandable, some of these heads are damn scary!), so keep it up!

good luck and xxx

coppertop Fri 22-Apr-05 18:50:25

<creeps in to wave at fellow thread-killer Njata just in case she still thinks no-one's talking to her>

Cosmo - It sounds as though the secretary thought you wanted to see the Special Needs teacher rather than the Special Needs Co-ordinator.

bambi06 Sat 23-Apr-05 16:02:40

i`m always callling up our senco and having a chat or i`ll pop in after i`ve dropped ds off and catch her, she`s wonderful and we have lots of meetings with her and local borough advisory teacher who is extremely helpful so keep calling for the senco ,sometimes the receptionists are a law unto them selves a bit like drs one`s so go in and ask for an appt..and keep bugging them!!good luck

Cosmo74 Mon 25-Apr-05 10:54:11

Thanks everyone for your advice - I am compiling a list of concerns I have over DS to speak to SENCO on Wednesday about and want to ask where we go from here - as we are not going to get an assessment for a least 12-18 months I want to ask if there is anything we can do in the meantime and where we can go for more support and advice in the meantime. I feel alot calmer this week and have promised not to let myself get wind up over DS new teachers comments.

Thanks again everyone - I let you know how I get on

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