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Need to talk to school tomorow- WWYD?

(14 Posts)
BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:04:52

As most known, ds1 has a dx of AS / HFA and a statement. One of his issues is a real, life challenguintg problem with organising himself. He has charts at home and school with what to take and yet still maanged toa rrive without those items each day!

He has school dinners (its the only meal he is guaranteed to eat- eating disorder) and they take in their money daily. When he leaves us he has it, by lunchtime he does not. We have received a large bill to replace lost amounts, and ds2 has been hassled out of his money by the dinner aldies as well (unfair as the change was ds2's- don't normally send ds2 dinners to aovid the ds1 issue and will not again).

What to do? I can't afford to pay twice for every meal and my instinct says that thre school should be dealing with this, the dinner aldies are shite (refused to do asd training as they weren't interested) but- ???? Should I just pay up and accept I chave to bring ds1 home for lunch (becuase I really can't afford £4 a day with losses, and ds2 can't have him around at lunchtime)

Ideas or feedback please?

flyingmum Sun 11-Oct-09 22:11:08

Its daft the school don't allow for paying lump sums by cheque. Can you not ask for his to happen. Surely the burser can organise this.

BobbingForPeachys Sun 11-Oct-09 22:15:12

They took a vote before ds1 started for it to go to canteen style, they won;t backtrack.

No bursar- small junior school (the canteen thing even operates for 4 year olds in infants, they wille xpect ds1 to manage).

DS3's school (he's in an attached SNU) has a system where you pay on a monday. So much easier

asdx2 Mon 12-Oct-09 13:45:55

My first thoughts would be to approach the LEA because if a child has a statement and a severely restricted diet (can be self restricted) then the child is entitled to free school meals even if you wouldn't normally qualify.
As I then see it ds wouldn't need dinner money anyway and you wouldn't have the expense.
SENCo sorted it out for my ds when they were trying to address him only eating two foods. He had many free meals but no improvement in the variety of meals unfortunately but at least I didn't have to pay for them to be wasted.

PerryPlatypus Mon 12-Oct-09 13:59:18

At ours the money is handed in to the teacher and then sent on to the school secretary.

Surely there must be some allowances that can be made for him? Would they let him give the money to the teacher/school office first thing and then either give him a voucher or have his name written down to say that he'd already paid? If not then I'd be tempted to remind them of their legal duty to make reasonable adjustments.

It sounds like a cr@ppy system. There's no way mine would be able to hang on to their money until lunchtime. It must surely be a PITA for the staff too.

PerryPlatypus Mon 12-Oct-09 14:01:41

Just a thought but what is the system for children who get free school meals? Presumably they don't have to physically hand over any cash. Could ds1 not pay in the morning and then follow whichever system the children with free school meals do?

BobbingForPeachys Mon 12-Oct-09 14:29:56

AFAIK there are no children with free school meals. But then that may be a sign it is managed well.

Just ahd a call; as far as they are concerned it is in no way anything to do with DS1's SN, and I ahve to pay double if ds1 loses it (it was the secretary so I didnt want to yell). I pointed out that was not necessarily the case under the DDA, but she said I was wrong. Asmeals are contracted out I have to pay up now or face being chased by a debt chaser- in many way I would like that as I would feel far less concerned about what they think than a secretary I get on with!. Esp. for the sake of £10 (I know its not much but its a fifth of my weekly income). I am far mroe happy to chuch DDA / locoaprentis at them than someone nice who happens to have been told to tell me off.

But the Secretary said she will take the money in the mornings 'as long as I accept it is no way linked to his SN'. WTF??

asdx2 Mon 12-Oct-09 14:39:29

There has to be a facility for free school meals tbh. I would definitely investigate ds's entitlement because of the statement and eating disorder.

BobbingForPeachys Mon 12-Oct-09 15:07:20

I justb emailed the LEA- if it might cost themm money they might help LOL

We have encountered a problem with Sam at X Juniors and we're not sure how best to deal with it, we wondered if anyone in your team had any ideas.

Sam has school dinners, this is very important as he has possible eating disorders related to his AS, and also there is a tendency for his year younger brother to act as carer if they are together, so one goes to dinners, the other to sandwiches. I have tried so many times to get lunchtime support but school don't want it so I gave up and adopted this approach instead.

We have recently had a number of letters saying that Sam isn't;t paying. We have been sending lunch money each day and we don't know where it goes; Sam says it is stolen but Sam has a poor understanding of such events.

I spoke to school today and they say we have to pay otherwise it will go to Newport. My point is that I don't see why I should pay twice, but they said its not paying twice and his SEN is irrelevant, I disagree wholeheartedly, I think that he has clearly not received enough support to enable him to access dinners effectively (or is being bullied as an alternative). Their failure to do this shouldn't, in my opinion, result in us being billed.

We now have a system that Sam will drop money off each morning which is excellent, but it came with the bizarre caveat 'as long as you realise we're not doing this because of his SEN, we do this for many children. Of course it is! Sam's failure to be able to organise himself is being addressed with charts and systems at school, and is a widely recognised part of AS, so why this comment?

Is there a chance that the next statement could be adapted to include this situation with loss of money and other things- currently the problem is costing me hundreds of pounds a term in etc and as a Carer I cannot afford it; but without something in writing it seems the school will not view it as AS related, and it is a difficulty that will have enormous impact at comprehensive level (he is year 5, so not that far off).

It seems there are charts etc to help Sam, but I now too well that unless Sam is forced to read the charts and follow them through, they will have little impact.

We are also a bit concerned that the focus is so heavily on the money he has lost (under £10) and nobody will mention where it has gone- I feel that something is amiss at school as his behaviour at home has deteriorated to a very severe level (something that happens when he is struggling to cope with school but managing to hold it together). This is impacting markedly on his younger sibling Stirling, and is causing us severe difficulties as a family unit.

I would be interested to know your thought on this. It seems to me that school is in loco parentis whilst he is there, and that whilst I am willing t pay the actual money, whatever is causing the issue is being swept under the carpet and as such, a very significant life skill is not being addressed.

The only person I have had contact with over this is the Secretary who is lovely and seemed unhappy, but who is not really equipped in my opinion to be able to determine what is related to SEN and what is simply small children.


Long winded I know but I wasn'tr sure where to cut it back.

We're really struggling with ds1 atm, and its all becuase school isn't prividing for his needs; 10 hours a week won't cut it and I am sick of sending DS2 isn with a cut face or neck or whatever it was this week.

feelingbetter Mon 12-Oct-09 19:40:53

Gold star for Peachy smile

Really, I think you've got the balance right as an opener (you can show them your teeth next time) - it reads as fair and balanced, not too precious or defensive either.

I'm angry that nobody seems concerned as to where this money is going though. He could be losing it, leaving it somewhere, or someone is taking it - whatever it is they need to address it.

And as for it not being SN/SEN......words fail me sad.

Go get 'em!

daisy5678 Mon 12-Oct-09 20:02:32

Oh FFS. They clearly need to give him lunchtime support if he can't manage - the TA would ideally keep the money and take him to canteen. I would be stronger/ firmer about asking the LEA to amend his Statement and actually ask for specific words to be put into Part 3 (is the eating issue in Part 2? J's is, under physical needs - needs encouragement to eat as goes through food refusal periods which make him lose weight). Another adjustment which might be helpful (is for J) is eating somewhere on his own at lunch, with adult supervision. J's best lunches are when that happens, though is not in Statement.

I think the email is great but would take out ds x 2's names from here maybe.

Tis crap that the school are being mardy. Is this new HT syndrome?

BobbingForPeachys Mon 12-Oct-09 20:08:51

I did wonder that gms, but wouldnt know as I still have not met her so its ahrd to judge.

You'rewright about the names; I won;'t pull threm (lets say have had enough of asking MN for help last week LOL_ though they do tend to be brilliant) but will try and remember.

FB- I sat in a lecture tonight with the head of LD Psyh taliing about organisation andasd omsl..... I find the course iis following my life and MN threads!

FranklyIDontGiveAMam Tue 13-Oct-09 13:58:46

I'd be inclined to threaten the school with the police for an investigation into the 'stolen' money. See whether they want to admit your ds may be having problems then and find a solution to prevent the 'crime' from happening in the future.

BobbingForPeachys Tue 13-Oct-09 16:52:52

Welli've stonewalled gettinga response from the LEA but will give them a few days.

Am reluctant to cause a scene atm as i think we haev other issues- the new 1-1 is really pushing ds1 to achieve and it is causing amssive meltdowns at home. DS1 recognises the causation. I did try and chat to her about it but she just talks over you at a speed of three words a second and nothing other than her take goes in. DS1 says she has hinted to another child that they don't need any support really and ds1 wonders if he will go the same way- review due April is essential to his Comp placement. The problem is they are basing this entirely on his calsswork atm- which is mythology, aka his biggest obsession.

Still TA says she'll have him cyured in the year so hey ho (!!!)

I think TA thinks I haev a downer on him but she has no concept of what its like to deal with the effects of him coping in class. Exhausting and stressul. Last night he smashed all my cosmetics and the ewntire bathroom stock of toiletries across the room before climbing out the window and threatening with a big stick but that doesn't register for them it seems (and neither does the lost money)

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