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AIBU?

To think my daughter isn’t going to get an education?

90 replies

SENwoes · 13/01/2024 22:21

Ok this is long but I’ll keep it as brief as possible. DD 13, diagnosed ASD and I strongly believe has ADHD, and either PDA or ODD (but I’ll never know about either of those as there’s no diagnostic pathway in my area).

Primary was ok - she started to need a lot of support once she got into year 5 which the school gave her in the form of one to one sessions with the ELSA who was brilliant. And then lockdowns happened so the rest of year 5, and a lot of year 6 just didn’t happen.

Secondary was ok for the first couple of terms of year 7, and then it all started to go very wrong, I believe she couldn’t mask beyond that point. Starting truanting lessons, refusing to do anything teachers asked of her, very rude to staff, disruptive in lessons. Her behaviour at home was absolutely unbearable too, and unbeknown to me at that point she was self harming.

Year 8, more of the same for the first couple of weeks, the school were beyond useless at doing anything to support her and their solution went from putting her in isolation pretty much all the time to just suspend her each time she came in, which wasn’t helpful for me as a single parent trying to work. I could see her behaviour going from bad to worse and so at October half term I made the decision she wasn’t going back to that school. Her behaviour changed instantly for the better and she was far more pleasant to be around at home.

So for the rest of year 8 I tried to get her into another school, we live rurally so options are limited, and basically no one wanted her because of her behaviour record. Did appeals - nothing. Finally found somewhere that would take her which is in another area which has the middle school system so she wouldn’t be able to start until year 9. So she missed pretty much the whole of year 8.

During that time I applied for an EHCP with the help of SENDIAS, but they refused to assess because they said there wasn’t enough evidence, and that her difficulties might have just been circumstantial to her previous school.

So she started her new school in September. She really dialled the bad behaviour up to 11, and after 10 days of having been there she was very close to being kicked out, for encouraging another student to assault a teacher. They decided to put her in the inclusion unit - a small base which only has a few kids in, just for 2 hours per day. The guy that runs it was great and I thought if anyone can get through to her it will be him. But she completely refused to engage, despite being there for many weeks. She was then given the option of choosing one subject to attend and being allowed to attend those classes. But she either truanted them completely or turned up so late it wasn’t worth going, so that was removed as an option. The school then suggested that she go in for 2 hours a day and sit with her head of house, which she point blank refused to do and therefore hasn’t been to school since a couple of weeks before Christmas holidays.

As soon as she was back at school in September her behaviour at home became absolutely vile again, to the point where I ended up in hospital twice due to stress related things, and she was literally making mine and her sister’s life a misery. It got to the point where I phoned SS twice begging them to take her as I literally couldn’t cope. Since she stopped going she has reverted to being relatively nice to be around.

I must say her current school have been great at supporting me and trying to support her compared to her previous school, but the bottom line is that she just isn’t going to cope in a mainstream school. I am being supported by the PFSA and she is really pushing the idea of HE. I realise it would be ideal for the school for her to be off their roll. However I am a single parent with a disability which means that I have very limited energy, and I have two teens with SEN with very high and opposing needs. I am really not well at the moment and barely coping with life. I can’t pretend for a minute that I could home educate her, I realised that in lockdown, she won’t do anything I ask.

In the last year she has been:

  1. refused an assessment for an EHCP.

  2. doesn’t meet the threshold to be seen by CAHMS.

  3. doesn’t meet the threshold for an ADHD assessment.

  4. turned down by every school in the area, and that’s when she only had a bad behaviour record from the first school.

    It’s just dead end roads and brick walls whichever way I turn. And I’m exhausted. I have no fight left in me anymore. She needs a specialist education but my local council is about to go bankrupt, and they’re just not issuing EHCPs anymore. And even if by some miracle I managed to get one, there aren’t placements for her to go to, from what I understand. Everything is about money and there isn’t any.

    I really don’t know where to go from here. I can’t see her going back to the school she’s at and I know from last year no one else will have her, and if they did it would just be the same thing all over again. The knock on effect of all this on me, and her sister…I can’t even put that into words really. For my sanity I’ve been having a few weeks off even thinking about it but I know I have to do something before I start getting fined for her not attending school. But what? To add, I don’t have money to throw at the problem, literally none, I am unable to work at the moment and DD doesn’t have a father.
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SENwoes · 13/01/2024 23:51

Thanks @CarrotsAndCheese. I could try contacting my MP but I haven’t heard anything positive said about her on social media, I don’t think she’s great at responding. The school transport is another issue - I had to send DD to a school 12 miles away and there was no transport. I resigned myself to driving her there myself even though I’m really not well enough to do that a lot of the time. And then one day driving home I followed a minibus with kids from her school which stopped in the next village along from me and then carried on into my town (empty by this point). I queried with the LA whether I could pay for her to go on this bus seeing as it went past our door but no…because there were spaces available at a nearer school (the one she’d originally been at that were completely fucking useless 🤦‍♀️).

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SENwoes · 13/01/2024 23:57

@Starlightstargazer thank you, and solidarity. It really is stressful beyond belief isn’t it, and I’m currently at rock bottom and feel like I’ve got nothing left. Just coping with DD day to day is a massive stress in itself. And there’s only me, I feel like I need about 20 me’s.

20 months is a crazy long time. This is my worry, she’s already missed a year and half of school as it is.

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Baileyscream · 13/01/2024 23:57

@SENwoes I agree and im sorry you couldn't continue in your degree. My ds has a social care budget and we have a disability social worker. Our package includes respite and it's been life changing for us. I'm just aware some families don't want the added stress.

Do you have anything from the sw that would suggest needs already? Maybe from a caf? That would be good evidence as it's an LA assessment- they'd have to go against their own professional. I'd go through any reports you already have, also get the school to write what they've already put in place and why if you can. If they're putting things in place for needs which is outside their specialism you can argue that you a professional to fully assess to ensure all needs are detailed and what provision is required.

Sossen have some great little books for about £6 each on their website, they were worth their weight in gold to us.

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Starlightstargazer · 13/01/2024 23:58

Baileyscream · 13/01/2024 23:57

@SENwoes I agree and im sorry you couldn't continue in your degree. My ds has a social care budget and we have a disability social worker. Our package includes respite and it's been life changing for us. I'm just aware some families don't want the added stress.

Do you have anything from the sw that would suggest needs already? Maybe from a caf? That would be good evidence as it's an LA assessment- they'd have to go against their own professional. I'd go through any reports you already have, also get the school to write what they've already put in place and why if you can. If they're putting things in place for needs which is outside their specialism you can argue that you a professional to fully assess to ensure all needs are detailed and what provision is required.

Sossen have some great little books for about £6 each on their website, they were worth their weight in gold to us.

how do you get a disability social worker and social care budget?

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Baileyscream · 14/01/2024 00:05

@Starlightstargazer my ds can't attend the short break provision that our LA offer to most children with disabilities. He's had a budget in some form or another for years but not a very good one. When we appealed his secondary (b,f and i) placement we appealed his social care and asked the tribunal to look at it. The LA redid the assessment with disability social worker rather than a children's sw (cin/potection) we ended up with a decent budget for activities and PA'S and because he's classed as cin due to disability we don't have contact with the sw unless we initiate it (she has to check in once a year).

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:05

@Baileyscream I don’t have anything from the SW yet - I had an initial assessment a couple of months ago and then was put on a waiting list, so next week will be my first appointment with the actual SW allocated to us.

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KeepGoingThomas · 14/01/2024 00:07

@Starlightstargazer Contact has model letters on their website you can use to request a carer’s assessment for you and an assessment of DC’s needs.

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CarrotsAndCheese · 14/01/2024 00:09

SENwoes · 13/01/2024 23:51

Thanks @CarrotsAndCheese. I could try contacting my MP but I haven’t heard anything positive said about her on social media, I don’t think she’s great at responding. The school transport is another issue - I had to send DD to a school 12 miles away and there was no transport. I resigned myself to driving her there myself even though I’m really not well enough to do that a lot of the time. And then one day driving home I followed a minibus with kids from her school which stopped in the next village along from me and then carried on into my town (empty by this point). I queried with the LA whether I could pay for her to go on this bus seeing as it went past our door but no…because there were spaces available at a nearer school (the one she’d originally been at that were completely fucking useless 🤦‍♀️).

@SENwoes Hmm, that's a bit crap of them!

But I wonder if you might be eligible for free school transport, because I think they have to provide that if she's attending the nearest suitable school, and it comes down to the definition of 'suitable'.

The attached link says that if a school is named in the EHCP, then that would be considered the nearest suitable school. Obviously you haven't got an EHCP yet but hopefully you will soon.

You may be entitled to free school transport already, based on her particular needs and the fact that the two schools she has tried have been proven unsuitable for her. I don't know for sure but hopefully someone with more experience and expertise will be able to confirm it for you.Government Education Hub

Free school transport explained: From who’s eligible to how it works - The Education Hub

The Education Hub is a site for parents, pupils, education professionals and the media that captures all you need to know about the education system. You’ll find accessible, straightforward information on popular topics, Q&As, interviews, case studies,...

https://educationhub.blog.gov.uk/2023/11/03/free-school-transport-explained-eligible-free-travel/

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Milkybarsareonmeeeee · 14/01/2024 00:09

SENwoes · 13/01/2024 23:28

@Milkybarsareonmeeeee I definitely see the appeal of what you’re saying, but the reality is that my health is so bad that I wouldn’t be able to do a lot with her, and she’d be sat on her own on her phone for most of her life. She’s very bright and needs to be doing something.

You could even wait a year. Maybe she would be interested in sports/ clubs and kids f she wasnt at school. There are also home Ed “meets”
you can also get any resources you need online. At high school Age it’s pretty self taught.

School isn’t for your Dd . I know we find that hard to speak about as we are told it’s the be all and end all .
Your Dd needs time out and she will
find her own path.
It’s for to be better than what you are all
going through just now .

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DragonFly98 · 14/01/2024 00:13

Go through right to choose clinical partners and get her assessed for ADHD and ASD.

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Baileyscream · 14/01/2024 00:16

In regards to transport have a look at :-
https://sentas.co.uk/parental-preference-of-school-in-a-statement-or-ehcp-and-home-to-school-transport/

If they put a school in section I and don't write anything sneeky like "patents agree to provide transport" then they are saying that this school is the closest to meet need and therefore should provide transport.

If you end up getting independent reports ask the ep/ salt etc if they have any thoughts on the provision eg can she share a taxi? Will she need an escort? Will she be OK on the minibus? I'm sorry I haven't gone back through and can't remember the age of your dd but it does get a bit iffy wiry transport at 16-18 and you may be asked to provide a contribution then.

Understanding your rights on SEN home to school transport and parental preference of school placement

Understanding your rights on SEN home to school transport and parental preference of school placement. Background One of the most common queries Sentas gets from parents is regarding parental preference for naming a school in an EHCP and how this Read...

https://sentas.co.uk/parental-preference-of-school-in-a-statement-or-ehcp-and-home-to-school-transport

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BettyBakesCakes · 14/01/2024 00:16

SENwoes · 13/01/2024 22:43

@Bluevelvetsofa the PFSA did mention medical tuition but apparently they have to be being seen by CAMHS to qualify for that…and she doesn’t meet the threshold, the GP did try.

Yes I am in that FB group 😊

This is not true. Look at the Ipsea website. It can advise on how to appeal the EHCP and on asking for education when a child is unable to attend. Statutory guidance says LAs must not wait for consultant evidence and must consider ALL evidence available to them,

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Backtoblack1 · 14/01/2024 00:20

It’s disgraceful that young people are not getting the help they need in this country. It’s a national problem. So many not being able to access any type of meaningful education due to lack of resources/meds/professional help.

I say this as an exasperated secondary school teacher. I feel so sorry for the kids who are only having their needs met.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:21

@DragonFly98 she already has a diagnosis of ASD, but they refused to assess for ADHD 😩

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Hillsmakeyoustrong · 14/01/2024 00:22

Your dd sounds very similar to my DNiece, who is older, but shares same diagnoses. Her mum had a constant battle to get her to even attend school, it was so hard to watch. DNiece did take some of her gcses in the end, scraped two, but not English, so had few options regarding HE. She eventually landed a farming apprenticeship which she now loves - it's outdoors, active and entirely practical. We were all extremely worried about her for years, that she would not find her way or have a bright future, but she is finding her way. Sending you strength💐

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:23

@Baileyscream hopefully if I get an EHCP then I’ll be able to get transport. I just can’t get any help with it at the moment, not that it’s much of an issue as she’s refusing to go back to that school.

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Baileyscream · 14/01/2024 00:25

@SENwoes she isn't refusing- she's not having her needs met. If all her needs were being met she would be attending school. The wording is important as it puts the problem down to something that needs solving with her rather than the problem being with the provision.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:26

@Backtoblack1 and I feel sorry for all of the teachers who have to deal with kids disrupting their lessons who shouldn’t be in mainstream classes. It’s a crap situation for everyone.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:28

@Hillsmakeyoustrong thats great to hear. DD has recently talked about being cabin crew for an airline - she LOVES travelling and is a bit obsessive about planes. She’d definitely have to work on her customer service skills though 🤣. But at least she has something to aim for, which is a very recent thing.

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Ifellasleep · 14/01/2024 00:30

Firstly… I’m so sorry you’re going through this but do not take her out of school! You don’t need to send her but if you remove her it is then your responsibility and you’ll have an even tougher time with the LA.

Unfortunately this might seem overwhelming but what you need to do as soon as you can is -

Email both head teacher and head of child services to remind them of this duty to educate your daughter and request that alternative provision is put into place. Tell them that she is still unable to access full time school due to her special educational needs which are unmet and what is happening and that her legal entitlement to an education is not being met.

In the next breath apply for an EHCP. You don’t need to go into great depth other than school refusal (not truancy, always always refusal), exclusion, inclusion setting, reduced timetable. Send the documents that you have and they must request from school anything further. She requires a mental health assessment, speech and language and occupational therapy at a minimum.

While you wait for the outcome look for a private EP, psychiatrist, occupational therapist and speech and language therapist for tribunal, you can have these paid for by legal help. If they refuse the EHCP assessment, go to tribunal. If they refuse to issue go to tribunal. If they refuse specialist go to tribunal. I can’t see the first two happening but you might have a fight for the right school.

she shouldn’t go to a pru- very few are suitable for autistic children. She will have PDA not ODD and this should be picked up on in her assessments.

She is young, she can catch up with extra support and an EHCP is until she is 25 should she still be in education.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:35

@Ifellasleep thank you, how would I go about getting those assessments paid for by legal help?

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Hillsmakeyoustrong · 14/01/2024 00:38

@SENwoes well I worked in the airline industry many moons ago. You need to be a strong character so she would likely be fine! Maybe she can be allocated to keeping the difficult customers in check 😂

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SpringViolet · 14/01/2024 00:43

Absolutely do not deregister her from the current school she is enrolled with or get drawn into HE. You are right that the school just want to remove the problem.

I can understand as a parent you may feel guilty that the teachers are having to put up with your ‘problem child’. I fell for that crap too but please STOP. Don’t ever feel bad that your DD is being failed and her needs are not being met due to an issue which absolutely is not her fault or yours!

LAs IME will also do all they can to avoid funding anything and will break the law in the process as there are really no consequences apart from making a complaint to the LGO who may recommend a small remedy payment which is very cost effective for LAs as it would be a tiny fraction of the cost of providing the education provision required!

I have a lot of experience of this and wish I’d done very things differently and been a bit less nice (and naive) when my DC was your DD’s age and been a bit more of a bulldozer rather than mini metro!

Don’t get caught up the poor LAs finances. That is their issue to solve with the government. Do you think parents of DC without SEN ever think about whether the LA can afford to educate their DC?

You need to put the responsibility onto the school as it is actually their responsibility together with the LAs to provide your DD with an education. A full time education, not a part time one.

Tell them you want to know how they are going to do that in the current circumstances.

Please follow @Ifellasleep excellent advice.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:43

@Hillsmakeyoustrong 🤣🤣 she’s definitely a strong character, she’d have no worries there. Another thing she’s amazing at is planning holidays, she loves researching flights, places to
stay, things to do. She’s always bang on with what she comes up with and manages to
find things I’d never have thought of. So I think she’d be a great self employed travel agent.

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SENwoes · 14/01/2024 00:52

@SpringViolet you’re absolutely right, I need to find my inner tiger but I’m struggling, really struggling. I have ME and I’m bedridden a lot
of the time, and even when I’m not my energy levels are shite. I’ve already been through all this once with my other child 6 years ago, with a lot of help from SENDIAS. But my eldest is a different kettle of fish, she’s a massive introvert and likes to hide away, and she’s a very gentle character. My youngest is the opposite, she’s hellbent on getting into mischief, gravitates towards the naughtiest kids and is very vulnerable as she has no sense of keeping herself safe, another reason why mainstream school is not a good place for her. But my point is, I’m exhausted.

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