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Not a teacher but a ta… hope this is ok…
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Bringmecoffee5 · 27/03/2022 23:23

I am a SEND 1:1 in a mainstream school. Child is autistic, pre verbal.
Class teacher is also the senco.
Teacher gives me nothing to do with the child. No SALT which child is supposed to receive. No sensory activities. No learning that child can access, no targets, nothing. Told me to try dough disco, told me I just need to engage child, which I have been trying to do since last year but child is anxious, struggles around other children and runs away all the time. I feel I am failing the child and I hate my job now. I used to work in a specialist school where everything ran so smoothly and the teachers were amazing, experienced and skilled, and I got paid more, I was given tasks to carry out, advice and support and it was all calm and I miss it.
Parents have named mainstream on ehcp but I can’t do this any longer.
What do I do?

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DinkyDaisy · 28/03/2022 22:03

I feel for you.
What year is the child in? I say this as often parents can realise during year 1 that mainstream not the best for their child and start considering specialist provision which is of course in short supply.
However, I am very aware children in mainstream where they are simply managed and not served well.
The child should at least have annual reviews if has an EHCP. Should also have targets.
Senco needs to step up...
I am sorry that you are being left to wing it. Not fair on you or child.

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Bringmecoffee5 · 28/03/2022 22:48

Child is in Reception. Already on their second school. Parents said the first school was awful and treated child terribly but I actually think they were probably just being honest about not being able to meet the child’s needs. We are totally just managing them (poorly) but head says there is no rush.
I can’t do it any longer, I’ve spent the evening looking for specialist school jobs because I am starting to hate mainstream with a passion.
Child’s targets are mostly around speech and meaningful communication.

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DinkyDaisy · 29/03/2022 06:20

I so get you!
All very well of Head to say 'no rush' but year 1 tends to be less play-based than Reception and I know from experience year 1 can be a challenge for some children with the needs that you are describing.
'Inclusion' is then paid lip service and a child often out of class for their own well-being as not able to cope in class.
Your school is not the only one doing children a disservice.
Head out of sand time for SENCO and Head but I worry that will not happen in a timely way. Parents need to be supported as well.
As for you? It sounds like they are going to lose a great member of staff and they won't even understand why...

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Homez · 29/03/2022 11:03

Do feel for you OP. Sounds very much like how all our ECHP children are handled. SENCO turnover is staggeringly high...it's like taking on a hot potato. Teachers are taking the 'not my problem' approach, finding decent 1.1 TAs is nigh on impossible...and the few that are left, are finding it impossible to cope.
One class of 30 has a quarter SEN and 5 ECHP. Top that with behavioral issues...and its a class recipe for chaos.
One TA, no teacher input...no contact from SENCO.....and a leadership team who seem completely oblivious. Many parents have been complaining for years, but nothing ever changes.
Sadly, this situation is all too common these days. Many TAs who did take up 1.1 positions, left soon after..and may did go back to special school posts, as they and the children, were better supported.
Sad state of affairs all round.

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Worriesandwobbles · 29/03/2022 18:40

Sorry that you are struggling without support. I work 1:1 with a child with complex SEND. Last year in reception class I felt like I was completely winging it and not getting much direction. Now in year 1 I have a good handle on my role and good support from the class teacher. I have found though that I have to do all my own resources and most of the differentiation. I feel competent to do this, but it isn't reflected in my minimum wage pay. Do you have lots of visuals, a now and next/choosing board/photos of objects or activities to prompt them to communicate (non verbally) to make choices. You should be getting external support in terms of speech and language. The school will need to prove how they are meeting the child's EHCP so it's no good them fobbing you off.
I would say that, with the best will in the world, mainstream is not always the best fit for all children. Maybe if the SLT know you are considering leaving they will give you more support ?

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Bringmecoffee5 · 29/03/2022 22:29

It all makes me so sad. There is no way this child will access anything in year one, we spend a lot of time in the pre school with the 2 year olds because they don’t get in the child’s face and the child likes the ball pond in there.
I feel like the senco doesn’t know the first thing about additional needs - I have a child with special needs and I feel like I know more. I am constantly doing courses and reading up, she just moans about the level of SEND in the class.
The head has suggested I do a course funded by school to become an early years teacher, I think because she knows I want to leave and go back to special school - the only teaching i would want to do would be in a specialist school or an ASD base where I could tailor the environment to suit the child rather than trying to fit a child into a wholly unsuitable environment.
Ehcp states nhs SaLT but child doesn’t even have a speech therapist, I don’t know how they seem to have fallen so far under the radar - from arriving in our school without an ehcp to having parents who genuinely believe this child can cope in mainstream. I just don’t understand, but then it’s not my place to say.
Seen two jobs I’m going to apply for, so fingers crossed. It’s a shame because I do love the school but their idea of inclusion is so off.

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DinkyDaisy · 30/03/2022 06:21

On paper schools can look like they have inclusion 'covered'.
The reality can be quite different...
I feel your sadness and pain. I too am looking outwards though have immense loyalty to the community I work within, so hard.

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PurpleBaskets · 30/03/2022 22:01

Sounds exactly like the school I am at. Any 1:1 TAs are just left to it - teachers don’t give any work that is accessible for the child and no SENDCO input either. I work with a child who they just like to be kept out of the classroom as much as possible. I then also get given various different children who “aren’t coping” in their class. I feel like a babysitter which is how your post reads as well.
You could go to the Head but in my experience nothing will change. Most mainstream schools aren’t geared up for additional needs, they don’t train the staff, the work is not accessible and the targets are invisible or so vague. It is to the detriment of the child and the other children in the class. I wish everyone would wake up to how mainstream schools cope with SEN, I think parents would be shocked.
If I was you I would be looking for another job in a specialist setting.

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Bringmecoffee5 · 30/03/2022 23:06

Yep, today the teacher asked me to try to keep child in the classroom as much as possible, we had a local authority pre ofsted inspection thing - she said she needed help with crowd control. So we stayed in the classroom, I can see my 1:1 child becoming more vacant and non communicative, and other staff feel it’s progress when they stay in the classroom - but they aren’t learning anything. At most, I am trying to foster independence - zipping up own coat, getting own drink from the tray. I gave them a cup with smoothie in yesterday and they had no clue how to drink from it. They ate the glue sticks, paint, play doh. Tried to do phase one phonics games where they have to guess which animal if making a noise - they didn’t engage with me at all. I’ve only been in mainstream full time since September and I’m honestly shocked. This child deserves a tailored eduction and their sensory needs to be met.

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Bringmecoffee5 · 30/03/2022 23:07

I do wonder if schools just want the children for their funding and bums on seats 😬

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PurpleBaskets · 31/03/2022 07:21

@Bringmecoffee5

I do wonder if schools just want the children for their funding and bums on seats 😬

I think this is part of it, plus children being shoehorned in to mainstream education because of lack of specialist schools/funding. It’s shameful.

You sound so caring and compassionate. I would try and find something in a specialist school that appreciates that and supports you. SEN support will only get worse in mainstream in my opinion.
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Apple77 · 31/03/2022 18:43

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk guidelines.

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RedElephants · 02/04/2022 14:42

@PurpleBaskets

Sounds exactly like the school I am at. Any 1:1 TAs are just left to it - teachers don’t give any work that is accessible for the child and no SENDCO input either. I work with a child who they just like to be kept out of the classroom as much as possible. I then also get given various different children who “aren’t coping” in their class. I feel like a babysitter which is how your post reads as well.
You could go to the Head but in my experience nothing will change. Most mainstream schools aren’t geared up for additional needs, they don’t train the staff, the work is not accessible and the targets are invisible or so vague. It is to the detriment of the child and the other children in the class. I wish everyone would wake up to how mainstream schools cope with SEN, I think parents would be shocked.
If I was you I would be looking for another job in a specialist setting.

PurpleBaskets
You could be me!!
I totally get where you're coming from..

1 child I work with only has 15 hours!! They certainly could do with full time..
I'm with him in the afternoon, from what I've seen he's left to his own devices/given an iPad, mainly in the mornings

The other child I work with, hasn't been in for a number of days..

So I'm sent here there and everywhere. Trying to get some sort of rapport with children I barley know.

I could go on and on, teaching staff/class TAs don't want to know generally, lack of Money/decent funding/lack of staff/LSAs for the children we have.
No or very little training, employing staff with no childcare qualifications etc etc
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Stellaroses · 08/04/2022 21:58

The teacher should be working with you and oroviding for sure, but in absense of that, why not just use your initiative to tailor the towards the child’s needs? Hard to advise without knowing more about their needs and abilities but child in my class who is far below the ability level of the class has their own timetable, created by me and his 1-1.
In case it’s helpful: He does a morning check in of going to a quiet room and doing about 10 -15mins of lego whilst 1-1 tries to gage his mood/get him talking. Then back to class for literacy. Usually takes small lego thing back to class to show others (way of integrating) Never able to complete the actual literacy task but does something related eg we are writing gardening instructions, he will write gardening words under pictures. After breaktime Maths is similar - 1-1 adjusts tasks to his level then he does drawing as a reward for completing some work (maybe 4 addition sums). After lunch he’s kind of “done” so either does sensory time (yoga ball, some throwing and catching outside, climbing and jumping on gym equipment) or music time as he loves the music room. Encouraged to take a friend with him from class as we’re encouraging socialising. If we’re doing something hands on in the afternoon he joins in (watching and getting excited) but not with written work.

No idea if that’s any help to you, could you arrange yourself and your child a similar loose timetable with permission from the teacher?

Btw if teacher asks you ti help in the class I would have no qualms about saying that your priority is the child your looking after, if child is fine then of course you can help.

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Bringmecoffee5 · 08/04/2022 23:23

@Stellaroses

The teacher should be working with you and oroviding for sure, but in absense of that, why not just use your initiative to tailor the towards the child’s needs? Hard to advise without knowing more about their needs and abilities but child in my class who is far below the ability level of the class has their own timetable, created by me and his 1-1.
In case it’s helpful: He does a morning check in of going to a quiet room and doing about 10 -15mins of lego whilst 1-1 tries to gage his mood/get him talking. Then back to class for literacy. Usually takes small lego thing back to class to show others (way of integrating) Never able to complete the actual literacy task but does something related eg we are writing gardening instructions, he will write gardening words under pictures. After breaktime Maths is similar - 1-1 adjusts tasks to his level then he does drawing as a reward for completing some work (maybe 4 addition sums). After lunch he’s kind of “done” so either does sensory time (yoga ball, some throwing and catching outside, climbing and jumping on gym equipment) or music time as he loves the music room. Encouraged to take a friend with him from class as we’re encouraging socialising. If we’re doing something hands on in the afternoon he joins in (watching and getting excited) but not with written work.

No idea if that’s any help to you, could you arrange yourself and your child a similar loose timetable with permission from the teacher?

Btw if teacher asks you ti help in the class I would have no qualms about saying that your priority is the child your looking after, if child is fine then of course you can help.

That’s kind of what I’m doing, I think child most likely has learning disability as just often, won’t engage at all unless it’s Something they want to do, such as watch the iPad or well, that’s it really,
Tried sensory activities, they tend to eat whatever it is. Tried to teach phase one phonics, they can’t tell me different sounds or identify sounds. Tried to teach number, they can rote count but no concept of quantity.
I keep trying.
Parents asked if they should be considering specialist school, but that ‘a lot can change in a few months’ and ‘we don’t want to make them worse and end up rocking in the corner’
I despair.
My advice - to go and view specialist and keep an open mind.
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Stellaroses · 09/04/2022 20:38

What do you mean by likely has a learning disability? Don’t they already have some kind of diagnosis?
Sounds like my charge, not wanting to do anything but ipad. It has taken a LONG time but now he will do small manageable tasks (I also lowered my expectations) and knows he can have 20mins ipad as a reward at the end of the day, if he complies. Still puts up a fight but does things.

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cansu · 13/04/2022 20:06

I think if you are considering leaving anyway, there is nothing to lose from asking the teacher to meet with you to discuss what the child should be doing. You should have a plan for the day for activities the child can do alongside his peers as well as some set 1:1 specific activities. If the teacher brushes this off, then yes, I would go elsewhere.

I am a teacher. I have two dc with asd. One went to mainstream until year 3 and in retrospect, she should have been out of there at the end of Y1. Reception was brilliant. Her 1:1 knew her well. The teacher was also great and the TA felt supported. After that, not so much and it was partly poor provision but also that she was not in the right place.

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