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Transfer to secondary school for statemented children - Academies(5 Posts)
I'm a french mother living with 3 children of which one has Asperger's syndrome and EBD. I recently applied in 2 mainstream schools in the London Borough of Bromley. We had to refusals. Despite the decision of the LEA (which has named one of my preferred school on the statement) , the school carries on refusing and may appeal to the secretary of state against the LEA's decision. My understanding is that academies are not subjects to the same law as maintained school and that we, parents have lessen rights. (due to the change of status). I have decided to take legal advice. This is a very stressfull situation because the 3rd of march my son will want to know what secondary school is going to in september and I may not have the answer whereas all his friends will! (this will add to his anxiety and he doesn't need that)
I was wondering if anyone has anyone experienced this before or perhaps know someone who did.
Hi, has the school given you reasons why they feel they can't meet your son 's needs?
Do you believe the school can meet his needs? How much support does he have at the moment? The jump from primary to secondary is massive, if he is going from a small primary to an 8 form intake secondary it can be a lot to cope with.
You should have had an EP assessment in year 5, did your ds have one?
Sorry for so many questions, good luck, I do know how stressful it is.
You are right to get legal advice - make sure it's from a firm that's expert in education law and does legal aid, because you might be able to take action in your son's name and he probably qualifies for legal aid. It sounds to me as if you need to push the school into saying one way or the other whether they are going to admit your son, and it may be that a solicitor's letter will be required for that purpose.
At the moment ha has a statement with 20 hours support 1.1 with a TA. I haven't had a PSP meeting this year yet as the SENCO / teacher says is doing fine. He has is usual group of friends, coping well in class and level 5 in all areas. (English/maths/science). My first meeting PSP is next week.
As for the academy is concerned they wrote a 4 pages letter with all sorts of reasons why they wouldn't take him such as proximity, siblings, too many needs etc..including that they wouldn't expect to take a child with EBD. I have replied point by point to their concerns. I am well aware that this is a big step as I have 2 eldest daughters (year 8 and 11) and I know that he won't have the one to one support anymore but something tells me that with good transition and preparation he will be able to cope. Also, I'm working 12 hours a week in that school too and the school nearby so I can do the school runs!This secondary school has an expertise with ASD children (and an ASD attached unit) but I didn't ask for this cos I may be wrong but I'd like to believe that he will be able to cope in the mainstream class as he does in his primary.
As for the lawyer, I was recommended one specialized SEN/disabilities and public law 5 years ago. I ve already won an appeal with them 5 years ago. I trust them that they know what they are doing and they are competent in that area. The school if they appeal against the LEA's decision will have to prove that his placement is incompatible with the efficient learning of other children in the school and honestly in primary it's not a pb but I cannot say what will happen in september. It's a bet really
This doesn't alleviate the stress of the waiting and not knowing what will happen . I cannot believe I have to go through all of this!
For academies, the legal principle involved is section 9 of the Education Act 1996 which says
In exercising or performing all their respective powers and duties under the Education Acts, the Secretary of State and local education authorities shall have regard to the general principle that pupils are to be educated in accordance with the wishes of their parents, so far as that is compatible with the provision of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure.
So if your child is statemented, they can ONLY refuse a place if it is incompatible with provision of efficient instruction and training and the avoidance of unreasonable public expenditure. Things like proximity and siblings are completely irrelevant, and they can't pick and choose what sort of special needs they will or will not deal with.
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