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Just had the worst morning of my life - heartbroken....

(7 Posts)
MandM Thu 28-Apr-05 13:07:54

Oh girls this morning has been horrendous. This might get long and rambling so for those of you that bow out half way through - I don't blame you. I am sat at my desk at work blubbing like a snotty nosed mad woman.

It was dd's statement review this morning. Had posted on here the other day about understanding that the statement process is horrible but is the right thing to do in the end etc. etc. - probably serves me right.

Basically dd already has a statement in place that is relevant to her year in nursery (we actually have had a very good, pro-active relationship with the LEA, which I know some of you haven't), and it has now come round to review time to make it relevant to her reception year and to make sure there is enough time to get all the support etc needed in place for September. We applied to a good local mainstream primary, for the main reason that it is all on one level therefore fully accessible to dd, and were accepted, no questions asked. I was a bit apprehensive about the meeting because it's always daunting with so many people there and hearing all dd's "bad" points being discussed but I was fairly confident that we knew what our aims and objectives were, so off we went. Fine..all well and good.....but.....
After the 7 other professionals present (10 people there in total incl. dh & I) had taken an hour and a half all to have their say about dd's current statement, improvements she's made, amendments needed and provisions to be put in place at her mainstream school for September, the headteacher of the mainstream primary looked straight at dh and I and said "Can I just ask why you choose my school for M? Because basically after what I have heard this morning, I don't think it's a good idea at all, she'd be like a fish out of water"
WTF!!!!!!!!!!! The LEA rep. was horrified as were most of the other people present.
Fair enough, if there were reservations about her ability to cope in mainstream schooling and a suggestion that maybe the Special School route would be more beneficial to her we would have been perfectly open to that.......IF it had come months and months ago and from the appropriate person! As far as I am concerned what he was actually saying was "I have got a nice little CofE school in a good catchment area, with excellent SAT results, we are high up in the league tables and I don't need the hassle of an SEN child to mess up our cosy routine and drag us done a place or two". Then he had the cheek to say "but you're very welcome to come back with me after this meeting and have a good look for yourselves". By which time I was in floods of tears in front of everyone - which is not like me - but please, talk about inappropriate timing.

So now, we're left in limbo. The meeting was drawn to a swift close because nobody could really go any further. I would not dream of stepping one foot inside a school in which we are not welcome so what do we do now????????!!!!!!!!!!! Help.......

Plus, we then got told if we're going to look round other mainstream and special schools we need to make a decision in the next two weeks...I've got exams in a week and we're off on holiday in two...oh why is everything so hard??

dinosaur Thu 28-Apr-05 13:19:21

Oh that's terrible. I know it's going to be hard, but I think you've got to challenge her on this. As you say, the time to have raised objections was months ago, not now.

I'm really sorry - I'd be devastated too.

SleepyJess Thu 28-Apr-05 13:52:42

MandM ((((((((((hugs))))))))

We went though this last year... although we had to make our decision by March 11th (2004) (a date ingrained upon my brain forever I think!)

I am apalled by what this Head said! Can I ask what this sweeping statement of his came after? Had it just been acknowledged that your DD was like to face challenges at school because of... something? some particular issue? I know you were upset - I'm not surprised! - but did you ask him what, specifically, what he was anticipating the problems would be?

Our son - who is significantly disabled in the eyes of anyone who is looking! - goes to a mainstream school. We chose it after much soul searching, when we moved into an area which did not have anything like the SN provision that we had already chosen for DS if we had stayed where we had been. He would have attended SN up North.. but the SN in this area, we felt, after looking round seemingly endlessly, twice in some schools, would have held him back (he is very good socially.. although not very verbal..), at least initually. So we chose a very inclusive mainstream with a comparitatively significant number of physically disabled children attending (approx 17 out of 400ish.)

We have just had his first review since starting school at the Head and Senco admitted that 'some staff' had a few reservations at the very beginning.. but to give them credit, we saw no evidence personally of this.. and I was certainly looking out for it! He is doing excellently.. he does everything on the curriculum (or as far as YR follows it) but adapted for his needs. Staff and pupils (and DS AND us!) are all having a very postive expereince so far.

I agree.. it would be very difficult for you to feel you could put DD into this school.. this man has effectively achieved what was no doubt his aim.. preventing a 'high maintenance' child from disturbing the status quo of his neat little arrangement.. but by putting it to you in the form of a question with his own peronsal opinion tagged on. For this, you should complain. When you feel less upset (and more angry!).. put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard!) and type an offical complaint addressed to the complaints dept. of the AEN office at your LEA. Explain how you have been made to feel in the light of a very difficult and challenging time, when we, as parents of SN children, are led to believe that inclusion is an option open to us all.. and yet our opinions (esp. regarding our own children!) are trampled on.

It may have been that this school might not have been ideal for your DD.. we went down the mainsteam route telling ourselves that we would 'give it a go and adapat as necessary to DS's needs' but this Head had taken this option away from you by making you aware of his opinjons/misgivings which may be completely unjustifed for all he knows. Or perhaps he just does not want to try.. disagrees with the inclusion policy etc.. but this should not affect your rights as a parent and you obviously have thought long and hard before choosing 'his' school.

With regard to the situation you are now in, re having to think of somewhere else.. what we did was this.. we stopped thinking of which school we liked the look of most... and put ourselves as best as we could right in DS's shoes (or Piedro boots as it were! ).. and chose completely on his behalf alone. I know this sounds obvious.. but I think the soul searching we were doing was based on what we would choose in an ideal world instead of which school was really going to inspire the most progress in DS.. and where he would be happiest. But you can only make a educated guess of this. So much depends on it.. the one-to-one, the building itself, the attitudes of the other children and staff. All you can do at the end of the day is go with your gut instinct re: DD's best interests.. which is easier said that done.. give it a go.. and if it doesn't work, go back to the drawing board.

This Head may well have done his school a great disservice in denying them the opportunity to provide your daughter with an education... even if only for a short time. Countless people may well have benfited from her inclusion.. she might have broadened the horizons of a great many staff and children and found a situation in which she could achieve her potential. But now another school will be afforded the honour of accomodating your little girl's needs, so hard as it may be, try to focus on this and put the negative stuff out of your head as quickly as poss. His loss.

Sorry for the epic.. I could go on forever about this particular subject. And oh dear.. I did!

Good luck.

SJ x

SleepyJess Thu 28-Apr-05 13:53:44

MandM ((((((((((hugs))))))))

We went though this last year... although we had to make our decision by March 11th (2004) (a date ingrained upon my brain forever I think!)

I am apalled by what this Head said! Can I ask what this sweeping statement of his came after? Had it just been acknowledged that your DD was like to face challenges at school because of... something? some particular issue? I know you were upset - I'm not surprised! - but did you ask him what, specifically, what he was anticipating the problems would be?

Our son - who is significantly disabled in the eyes of anyone who is looking! - goes to a mainstream school. We chose it after much soul searching, when we moved into an area which did not have anything like the SN provision that we had already chosen for DS if we had stayed where we had been. He would have attended SN up North.. but the SN in this area, we felt, after looking round seemingly endlessly, twice in some schools, would have held him back (he is very good socially.. although not very verbal..), at least initually. So we chose a very inclusive mainstream with a comparitatively significant number of physically disabled children attending (approx 17 out of 400ish.)

We have just had his first review since starting school at the Head and Senco admitted that 'some staff' had a few reservations at the very beginning.. but to give them credit, we saw no evidence personally of this.. and I was certainly looking out for it! He is doing excellently.. he does everything on the curriculum (or as far as YR follows it) but adapted for his needs. Staff and pupils (and DS AND us!) are all having a very postive expereince so far.

I agree.. it would be very difficult for you to feel you could put DD into this school.. this man has effectively achieved what was no doubt his aim.. preventing a 'high maintenance' child from disturbing the status quo of his neat little arrangement.. but by putting it to you in the form of a question with his own peronsal opinion tagged on. For this, you should complain. When you feel less upset (and more angry!).. put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard!) and type an offical complaint addressed to the complaints dept. of the AEN office at your LEA. Explain how you have been made to feel in the light of a very difficult and challenging time, when we, as parents of SN children, are led to believe that inclusion is an option open to us all.. and yet our opinions (esp. regarding our own children!) are trampled on.

It may have been that this school might not have been ideal for your DD.. we went down the mainsteam route telling ourselves that we would 'give it a go and adapat as necessary to DS's needs' but this Head had taken this option away from you by making you aware of his opinjons/misgivings which may be completely unjustifed for all he knows. Or perhaps he just does not want to try.. disagrees with the inclusion policy etc.. but this should not affect your rights as a parent and you obviously have thought long and hard before choosing 'his' school.

With regard to the situation you are now in, re having to think of somewhere else.. what we did was this.. we stopped thinking of which school we liked the look of most... and put ourselves as best as we could right in DS's shoes (or Piedro boots as it were! ).. and chose completely on his behalf alone. I know this sounds obvious.. but I think the soul searching we were doing was based on what we would choose in an ideal world instead of which school was really going to inspire the most progress in DS.. and where he would be happiest. But you can only make a educated guess of this. So much depends on it.. the one-to-one, the building itself, the attitudes of the other children and staff. All you can do at the end of the day is go with your gut instinct re: DD's best interests.. which is easier said that done.. give it a go.. and if it doesn't work, go back to the drawing board.

This Head may well have done his school a great disservice in denying them the opportunity to provide your daughter with an education... even if only for a short time. Countless people may well have benfited from her inclusion.. she might have broadened the horizons of a great many staff and children and found a situation in which she could achieve her potential. But now another school will be afforded the honour of accomodating your little girl's needs, so hard as it may be, try to focus on this and put the negative stuff out of your head as quickly as poss. His loss.

Sorry for the epic.. I could go on forever about this particular subject. And oh dear.. I did!

Good luck.

SJ x

SleepyJess Thu 28-Apr-05 13:55:38

MandM ((((((((((hugs))))))))

We went though this last year... although we had to make our decision by March 11th (2004) (a date ingrained upon my brain forever I think!)

I am apalled by what this Head said! Can I ask what this sweeping statement of his came after? Had it just been acknowledged that your DD was like to face challenges at school because of... something? some particular issue? I know you were upset - I'm not surprised! - but did you ask him what, specifically, what he was anticipating the problems would be?

Our son - who is significantly disabled in the eyes of anyone who is looking! - goes to a mainstream school. We chose it after much soul searching, when we moved into an area which did not have anything like the SN provision that we had already chosen for DS if we had stayed where we had been. He would have attended SN up North.. but the SN in this area, we felt, after looking round seemingly endlessly, twice in some schools, would have held him back (he is very good socially.. although not very verbal..), at least initually. So we chose a very inclusive mainstream with a comparitatively significant number of physically disabled children attending (approx 17 out of 400ish.)

We have just had his first review since starting school at the Head and Senco admitted that 'some staff' had a few reservations at the very beginning.. but to give them credit, we saw no evidence personally of this.. and I was certainly looking out for it! He is doing excellently.. he does everything on the curriculum (or as far as YR follows it) but adapted for his needs. Staff and pupils (and DS AND us!) are all having a very postive expereince so far.

I agree.. it would be very difficult for you to feel you could put DD into this school.. this man has effectively achieved what was no doubt his aim.. preventing a 'high maintenance' child from disturbing the status quo of his neat little arrangement.. but by putting it to you in the form of a question with his own peronsal opinion tagged on. For this, you should complain. When you feel less upset (and more angry!).. put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard!) and type an offical complaint addressed to the complaints dept. of the AEN office at your LEA. Explain how you have been made to feel in the light of a very difficult and challenging time, when we, as parents of SN children, are led to believe that inclusion is an option open to us all.. and yet our opinions (esp. regarding our own children!) are trampled on.

It may have been that this school might not have been ideal for your DD.. we went down the mainsteam route telling ourselves that we would 'give it a go and adapat as necessary to DS's needs' but this Head had taken this option away from you by making you aware of his opinjons/misgivings which may be completely unjustifed for all he knows. Or perhaps he just does not want to try.. disagrees with the inclusion policy etc.. but this should not affect your rights as a parent and you obviously have thought long and hard before choosing 'his' school.

With regard to the situation you are now in, re having to think of somewhere else.. what we did was this.. we stopped thinking of which school we liked the look of most... and put ourselves as best as we could right in DS's shoes (or Piedro boots as it were! ).. and chose completely on his behalf alone. I know this sounds obvious.. but I think the soul searching we were doing was based on what we would choose in an ideal world instead of which school was really going to inspire the most progress in DS.. and where he would be happiest. But you can only make a educated guess of this. So much depends on it.. the one-to-one, the building itself, the attitudes of the other children and staff. All you can do at the end of the day is go with your gut instinct re: DD's best interests.. which is easier said that done.. give it a go.. and if it doesn't work, go back to the drawing board.

This Head may well have done his school a great disservice in denying them the opportunity to provide your daughter with an education... even if only for a short time. Countless people may well have benfited from her inclusion.. she might have broadened the horizons of a great many staff and children and found a situation in which she could achieve her potential. But now another school will be afforded the honour of accomodating your little girl's needs, so hard as it may be, try to focus on this and put the negative stuff out of your head as quickly as poss. His loss.

Sorry for the epic.. I could go on forever about this particular subject. And oh dear.. I did!

Good luck.

SleepyJess Thu 28-Apr-05 13:57:08

Good grief! And posted 3 times no less.. sorry my PC is having some kind of mental breakdown I think!!!

MandM Thu 28-Apr-05 14:06:52

Sleepyjess - lol - looks like everyone's computer is going a bit dolally today - hence te fact that I have started this thread twice! Have posted a bit more on the other thread BTW.

Thanks for that - I really appreciate the time people take to post such helpful and thoughtful replies on here, especially when you need support most. I'm going to print off what you've posted (only once though, don't think even I need 3 copies of it!..lol) to show to dh tonight. He's as confused as I am now and just doesn't know which way to turn.

It sounds like your ds is really thriving in his new school - I really hope we find somewhere so accepting and supportive for dd.

Tomorrow is another day...a 'making school viewing appointments' day!!!

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