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Child to be excluded from school due to school not being able to provide for her needs.

(3 Posts)
fulltimemum247 Wed 05-Jan-11 21:52:27

The Headmaster of My Daughter's school in Northern Ireland is asking for Jenna (who is in P1) to leave school at 12 o'clock as they can't guarantee her safety or cope with her needs! Anyone else had this or similar experience because of a child with Special Needs please get in touch.........

Any advice you could give me would be great, I'm at my wits end. With having Hannah (my 2 yr old) & my foot still in plaster awaiting operations, there's not much I can do. I have someone take Jenna to school then bring her home at 2, but no-one to pick her up & bring her home for lunch then take her back. So the head is saying he has no alternative but to exclude her from lunch time. I had managed to get SureStart in to help but it was exceptional circumstances & has come to an end. When I asked what the school have done, all I've been told is that behavioural support have put her as priority, however all they have provided is 1 hour 45 mins for 2 days a week. No one disputes she should be in special school,but she is only stage 3 & needs statemented to get to stage 5 first before she can move on.
Jenna has Autism & sensory processing problems as well as epilepsy & toileting issues. She currently is involved with OT & Speech Therapy.
Any help anyone can give would be appreciated. Thanks

sugarcandyminx Thu 06-Jan-11 11:34:44

I have had a similar experience with my son, but I'm in England and I'm not sure how the arrangements are different in NI.

If the head is asking your daughter to leave the school without making it an official exclusion, it would be considered an informal exclusion and is illegal. She has a right to a full-time education and it's not enough to say they can't cope with her needs - if that is the case, they need to ask the LA for extra support, through a statement if necessary.

You have the right to refuse to collect her early if they are not making an official exclusion. An official exclusion would help your daughter as it would show that the mainstream placement isn't appropriate for her. Is the behaviour support targeted at children with autism? Their approach may not be suitable if it is generally for NT children.

I don't know how different things are in NI, but in England parents can apply for a statutory assessment for a statement. I would get in touch with SENAC who can give advice about SEN in NI.

dazedandconfused Fri 07-Jan-11 19:28:40

Hi FTM
We had a similar situation with our DS when he started primary (he's now P3). He was excluded at midday and we had to find childcare while we were at work. At the time he didn't have a diagnosis but now we know he has Aspergers. I agree that your daughter has a legal right to an education that meets her needs. In Scotland there is a Special Ed Needs Act which states this as a right - I imagine there's something similar in Northern Ireland. I basically made a pain of myself with the Local Authority, writing letters, emailing, phoning, and asking for support from my MP, MSP and Councillor. Finally, on threat of legal action, we were offered a space at a special autism unit where things are much better (though not perfect!). Good luck - I founds this situation v stressful but with perseverence got what our son needed in the end. My advice would be get (free) legal advice if you can, and write as soon as possible to the Head of Education at your LA, threatening legal action so your daughter gets what she needs to achieve her potential. If you want copies of any or all of my letters, you're v welcome - let me know and I can email them to you.

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