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Questions about my DS who's in a PRU going back to mainstream - technical explanation needed I think!

(23 Posts)
drspouse Thu 11-Jun-20 14:20:55

DS (8) was in a mainstream primary who suggested a move and he moved to a smaller primary who then permanently excluded him. He's currently in a PRU.

We asked the HT of the PRU what schools might suit him and also asked other parents. We chose 4 or 5 and the HT suggested 3 from them that it would be worth looking at.

One of them has asked "why isn't he having a managed move" (I'm not even really sure what this constitutes) and "why isn't he on the integration list". Can someone explain these terms to me...

One of them had a lovely chat with me and asked permission to talk to the HT of the PRU (previously, we'd run a school which had rung his school without permission).

One said "we are full in that year" but to talk to Pupil Access. He has an EHCP which they know and most schools are full in his year so we doubt we'll be able to find a suitable school where we don't have to ask for him to be added over numbers. I'm not sure if they thought we had fixed on their school (without seeing it) and we needed to go and get the school named sight unseen OR if they thought we should get permission from Pupil Access to look round? Would this be a thing?

And finally one of the schools may, according to someone or other, be getting a hub? Is this like a new version of a specialist unit? They seem to have closed a lot of specialist units in our LEA, we gather they are starting them up again? Or only for SEMH? Perhaps this is local, though.

(The first two are doing socially distanced tours for us which we are very relieved about as he was excluded in January and was supposed to be making a move now!)

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reefedsail Thu 11-Jun-20 17:06:27

A managed move happens where a pupil's placement has broken down but rather than be permanently excluded the LA broker a move to another mainstream school for a fresh start.

A hub does sound likely to be a specialist resource- possibly for 'complex needs' rather than a specific need as a need has not been identified. They have many different names.

The other questions, I don't know.

Finerumpus Thu 11-Jun-20 17:40:05

The integration list could be a list of pupils that need placing in the area. When the schools meet with each other they will try to share out these pupils between them so that one school doesn't have a disproportionate number of very challenging pupils.
Has your son’s EHCP been reviewed recently? If not, I would encourage you to do this and have an EP present who can advise about which of the schools might be most suitable and what additional provision is necessary for the school to be able to meet the needs of your son.
Pupil Access will contact the school to discuss their ability to meet your son’s needs.

drspouse Thu 11-Jun-20 19:08:19

Thanks so much, the EHCP is newly finalised (LEA caved before tribunal) but there are still assessments that aren't included (not finalised due to COVID) and section E includes outcomes he has already met (that were supposed to be for Y6 and were set in Y2). So it will need a review.

I'm fairly sure that a local EP would not give us good advice (the one the school employed for his EHCP has 5 words of suggested provision, and the one at the LEA SEND team is very much not neutral) and any from further away won't know the schools. We trust the PRU HT a good deal more and she knows all the schools.

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OneInEight Thu 11-Jun-20 19:19:23

ds1 had a managed move from a PRU to a mainstream school. it basically meant he had a very small amount of transition help from a PRU staff member (should have been more ideally but staff were not available at the time) but also that he was held on roll at the PRU so that if the new placement ran into problems (as it very quickly did) the new school could end the placement and he could return to the PRU. It did help some children (at least some were not seen again at the PRU) so hopefully their managed move was more successful than ds1's. With the benefit of hindsight we should have refused the managed move until better support had been put in place (he was being assessed for an EHCP but it was not in place when the managed move was arranged so he went in with even less support than the original school who had excluded him so was pretty much doomed to failure.

drspouse Thu 11-Jun-20 19:40:54

One thing which will help us is the PRU has agreed that his 1:1 will be hired before he moves. So a move will be a while away, and it will be part time at each, so I guess that is managed.

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drspouse Thu 11-Jun-20 19:46:29

The integration list could be a list of pupils that need placing in the area. When the schools meet with each other they will try to share out these pupils between them so that one school doesn't have a disproportionate number of very challenging pupils
Missed replying to this. I understand more now, but there are so few schools that would suit him, several we have been told not to bother with. I know the school has to agree and we do too but surely they couldn't say "St Posh is your only choice, yes we know they are in a tiny building with no outdoor space and very focussed on the 11+ but there is no space elsewhere"?

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drspouse Thu 11-Jun-20 19:48:36

Pupil Access will contact the school to discuss their ability to meet your son’s needs.
OK so I guess there's no point in looking round if they don't think they can meet his needs on paper, but we don't think the LEA really know what he needs!

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reefedsail Fri 12-Jun-20 16:18:18

If your EHCP is finalised there should be an educational setting already written in. What have they put in Section I?

drspouse Fri 12-Jun-20 20:39:52

I think it says the PRU.
Whatever it says (school A, school B or the PRU) he isn't going there for the next 3 years.

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reefedsail Fri 12-Jun-20 21:05:00

PRUs are not generally named in EHCPs as by nature they are short stay provision. Some PRUs can take pupils onto their own roll as they are part PRU, part SEMH school.

To finalise your EHCP the process would be as follows:

1) You name your preference of setting.
2) The LA consults with your preference and any other settings they see fit.
3) Within 15 days each setting responds to say whether they can meet need as set out in EHCP.
4) The LA decides which setting to name.
5) You and the setting are informed and the EHCP is finalised.

drspouse Fri 12-Jun-20 21:13:46

Nevertheless, his EHCP has been finalised and I just checked, it names the PRU.

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reefedsail Fri 12-Jun-20 21:25:01

Then that is his placement and transfer to another placement would follow the same process above.

You can't just arrange it between the schools and yourselves- the LA have to do it.

drspouse Fri 12-Jun-20 21:59:57

Do you mean "we can't tell a school they must take him" or "we aren't allowed to look at schools and express an absolute preference" or "we just have to wait for some random school we've never looked at to say they'll take him and then accept that even if it's 40 miles away and has a reputation for not tolerating SEN"
Because we are doing what his first school head and the PRU head both told us to do - looking at other schools. And parents are supposed to choose their child's school as far as I know.
So your post really confuses me unless I've misunderstood!
We haven't been in this position, but if we were moving house I'm assuming also we'd look round schools, ask the ones we preferred if he could take him, and then fill in a form?

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StaffAssociationRepresentative Fri 12-Jun-20 22:08:38

Managed moves were often a hot topic at my old school SLT. To put it bluntly we didn’t like managed moves from a PRU because they so rarely worked. Most failed in the transition period and the few that made it through then took up a lot of SLT time and end up being ‘managed’ out again.

Managed moves tend to be ‘spread’ so that one school isn’t seen as overloaded. The problem comes when there are some schools always at year group capacity then it falls to a school that has capacity. There were two rival schools near us who never took anyone as they were full.

The old heads number target was to ensure that we were full by the start of year 9. Once a year group is full then the barriers are up

StaffAssociationRepresentative Fri 12-Jun-20 22:14:56

Yes you can choose a school but if it is full a headteacher will put up a fight and say St Posh has 5 spaces

Once we were full no one came in as invariably there was another school with space.

drspouse Fri 12-Jun-20 22:28:13

I don't think there are any possible schools that aren't full in his year!
Even St Posh is full (and has almost no outside space, he relies on getting outside to calm down).
But the two we are looking round have let us look even though they are full.
I wasn't clear whether the third school that told us to talk to Pupil Access because they'd tell the school we were allowed to look round but it looks like the school thinks Pupil Access would tell us which school he is going to go to.

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drspouse Fri 12-Jun-20 22:35:48

Sorry I forgot to add: the PRU HT suggested he'd have a term at both the new school and the PRU, part time, then a few weeks in Sept the same because she said it's harder to start full time after a holiday. So I imagine that would start in Sept (it was supposed to start in April).

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reefedsail Sat 13-Jun-20 07:15:09

You can express a preference. That is why you should look at and talk to schools. You choose the one that you think would work. This is the stage you are at now.

You then tell your caseworker which school you would like to be named on the EHCP.

The LA SEND team will then formally consult with that school about whether they can meet your DS's needs. It doesn't matter if the school is full- children with EHCPs have to be taken by the named school over numbers if the LA name them.

If the school say yes- happy days- it will be named and he can start. They may say no. Reasons may include being full and/or not feeling they can meet need. In this instance the LA will either overrule them and name the school anyway, or look for somewhere else that will say yes.

Whilst parental preference is intended to be absolutely key, and you should get the school you want, unfortunately you don't have the final say. The LA will ultimately name a placement. If you don't like it you can appeal and then go to tribunal. Having to do this is very common.

I suggest you contact both your caseworker and SENDIAS for support.

drspouse Sat 13-Jun-20 08:09:08

Right, we knew that process because that's the process we went through to get a place at the last school.
While I'm sure we have a case worker, we haven't been in touch with them because while we were taking the EHCP to tribunal the head of SEND took over.
Unfortunately everyone suggests his original school (where my DD goes) as a "good school for SEND" but they do also seem quite reluctant to make recommendations except to say "have you considered specialist school" and when we say "great, where?" they have no answers and admit there is no provision in our area.
(For the record we don't think specialist school is right for him for a number of reasons, but we are interested in seeing what they suggest)

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Finerumpus Wed 17-Jun-20 23:54:41

In my LA you wouldn’t get a special school placement without the recommendation of an EP. It sounds like there are some empathic hesdteachers who want to help. I think this is crucial to the success of the placement. Once the school is named and your son is on roll, you could ask them to review his EHCP and ask for additional support if you and the school feel his plan is inadequate. Good luck.

drspouse Thu 18-Jun-20 07:42:20

This is mainstream.
I seriously don't think the EP at the SEND team knows which way or up, let alone anything about schools.

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drspouse Mon 29-Jun-20 22:10:49

Update: saw two schools. Both might be possible but we need to get it absolutely right for DS given what he's been through.
One seemed really clued up but has just taken another DC from the PRU but it may work once that child has settled in.
The other seemed to have experience and has lovely outdoor space but seemed less keen.
We are going to talk to the HT and see what she thinks plus see if she can recommend anywhere else. The third school we were due to look at no longer looks as promising.
Both are already full (30-32, one form entry) in his year. So that doesn't help. But I think it's a big year locally.

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