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I'm a deputy head in a large special needs school in London AMA...

82 replies

Abneyandteal19 · 29/07/2018 18:57

As title says...

I work in an inner London state special school catering for kids 3-18 and have for 9 years. I totally love my job and the kids and feel so proud when they leave us to go on to colleges or sometime even employment.

I make decisions about placements for our local authority and represent my school on borough wide panels as well as in education tribunals.

OP posts:
greenlanes · 29/07/2018 22:14

Thank you for being prepared to answer questions. My DC is in year 8 at a special needs school for dyslexia. My DC seems bright verbally, but has a very very poor working memory and the most recent cat testing )nearly 2 years ago) for vr, nvr, numeracy and spatial all puts DC in bottom 1-2% of population. The school seem to have very low expectations for their pupils but my DC will need GCSEs passes for English, maths and other related subjects to progress in the courses and industry of their choosing. What can I do as a parent to help child directly with poor working memory? How can I get school to offer and do more? The GCSEs gap needs closing. I feel they are a typical special needs school in that there is great focus on arts, drama, music etc. Where as science and engineering would suit this child better. Moving this child to a different setting is not possible at the moment due to opposition from DC other parent. I am really worried.

Oopsmeagain · 29/07/2018 22:16

What is your average funding per child? So what is your total annual budget and the number of children on role? (Ex finance governor hence the interest)

Abneyandteal19 · 29/07/2018 22:17

They can leave at 16 or 18 depending on what and where they want to go, but majority go on college with a lot having some kind of work whether it is paid or just work experience say once a week. The new EHCPs which they keep with them until 25 seems to have helped with this and there are more and more opportunities available. We work closely with colleges to make sure transitions go well.

OP posts:
Eenymeeny123 · 29/07/2018 22:18

Thank you for answering,Smile

Rainbowtrees · 29/07/2018 22:20

greenlanes. I visited a MLD school for my DD a few months ago. I asked about GCSES, they said they used to offer some GCSEs to some students but as the courses have been overhauled , coursework has been taken away, they felt that their students wouldn’t cope. I wonder if other special schools have also given up due to the higher demands of the new GCSE courses.

MonumentVal · 29/07/2018 22:30

Ds and dn will be going to secondary in a couple years. Both have ASD, anxiety presenting as refusal, one will run away and the other hide under desks, etc, but both are academically bright (seem similar to parents who went to Oxbridge, can identify subtext correctly in reading but not in real life).

We're in London and I'm assuming a mainstream possibly with a base word be the way to go assuming they get EHCPs in time (currently appealing for one and school has just applied for the other).

What questions should I ask schools to best figure out whether their pastoral care is really good or whether they are just box-ticking? Lots of schools boast of their zero-tolerance approach on uniform, forgetting things, behaviour etc and I can't see that being anything other than disastrous for both of them, but without a EHCP we'd be unlikely to get a place at any other.

Are there code phrases to look out for? Dn's primary boasts of its high achievement but this is because parents of dn and other 'difficult' children are told their kid would be happier elsewhere.

lozengeoflove · 30/07/2018 07:02

The school Grin

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