Education Authoritys - A nightmare of school admitance

#1
Ladies and Gentleman, your expert advice please.

My family is set to move to Colchester next week, so that my son, who has Aspergers Syndrom, can start school. The LEA for Colchester has been aware of this since June, and have had a copy of his statement. To cut a long story short, after months of of going back and forth between various schools (no one wants to take him, thank you Tony Bliar and your inclusion polocy) the LEA have told a school that they must take him. The Headmaster of this school has just phoned (we move next week) to say that they are only prepared to take him for 1 hour a day. What about the legal obligation to educate my son? These people are playing political games with my son's education, the only option open to me now is to take this to tribunal and for my wife to educate him at home, meaning no job for her, so no chance of mortgage ect.

Any advice from anyone in the know would be most welcome. I also hope that all those "experts" who commented on the BSA thread, suggesting that you tip up to an area, speak to the teachers and bobs your uncle, you are in a school read this and take note that, as I suggested on that thread, you know nothing about education
 
#2
As far as I'm aware Sniffer, the school does indeed have a legal obligation to educate your nipper. The School should be funded for a special needs classroom assistant which should certainly be for more than 1 hour per day especially if your lad has his statement.
It seems to me that the Head is being deliberately obstructive. It's bad enough that our children are disadvantaged because of our job, it is doubly so for those like your who have additional needs.

Hope this link helps and good luck

http://www.parentscentre.gov.uk/educationandlearning/specialneeds/specialeducationalneeds/
 
#3
#4
Get on to the Appeals Committee for the LEA. The school has a duty to educate, but by the same token, they are within their rights to limit the education to what they feel will benefit the child and maintain the educational levels for the other students. This tends to happen a lot with Aspergers children who need gentle introductions into set routines (as you will know). If, however, you can get in front of the appeals board and demonstrate that your son has a routine, and is able to cope with more than 1 hour a day (based on prior evidence), then you stand a good chance of getting the school to look at the offer again. You may have to start with low attendance, but work up to more hours once all parties are happy.
 
#5
try ringing these peeps and see if they can help 020 74639234 Forces Special Needs and Disability Support Group 8)
 
#6
PompeySailor said:
Get on to the Appeals Committee for the LEA. The school has a duty to educate, but by the same token, they are within their rights to limit the education to what they feel will benefit the child and maintain the educational levels for the other students. This tends to happen a lot with Aspergers children who need gentle introductions into set routines (as you will know). If, however, you can get in front of the appeals board and demonstrate that your son has a routine, and is able to cope with more than 1 hour a day (based on prior evidence), then you stand a good chance of getting the school to look at the offer again. You may have to start with low attendance, but work up to more hours once all parties are happy.
Pompy, thanks for the advice but you contradict yourself. Aspergers rely on routine, and in my sons case, strict routine. Letting him start school in dribs and drabs (1 hour this week, two next) etc is going to cause problems. What about our quality of life? This is not acceptable - my son has a right to full time education as well as the next child. Why does everything have to be a battle to get people to do their jobs.

On the phone to LEA at the moment. They are getting both barrels
 
#7
Just had another thought, If you have a statement and the School Stroke LEA cannot provide for you within the normal Ed system have you thought about getting the LEA to fund private/specialist provision for your son.
 
#8
drain_sniffer said:
PompeySailor said:
Get on to the Appeals Committee for the LEA. The school has a duty to educate, but by the same token, they are within their rights to limit the education to what they feel will benefit the child and maintain the educational levels for the other students. This tends to happen a lot with Aspergers children who need gentle introductions into set routines (as you will know). If, however, you can get in front of the appeals board and demonstrate that your son has a routine, and is able to cope with more than 1 hour a day (based on prior evidence), then you stand a good chance of getting the school to look at the offer again. You may have to start with low attendance, but work up to more hours once all parties are happy.
Pompy, thanks for the advice but you contradict yourself. Aspergers rely on routine, and in my sons case, strict routine. Letting him start school in dribs and drabs (1 hour this week, two next) etc is going to cause problems. What about our quality of life? This is not acceptable - my son has a right to full time education as well as the next child. Why does everything have to be a battle to get people to do their jobs.

On the phone to LEA at the moment. They are getting both barrels
Sorry, I meant that to start with a 1 hour routine which is then expanded on and made longer. It takes a long time, but the LEA need to see what sort of routine your son has been in before, and how much they can realistically start off with. 1 Hour a day is the standard "first entry" time, although I know of some that manage only 1 hour a week - varies depending on the level of Aspergers.

The school will have to see how they are going to allocate SEN and support staff, which is why they are working from the 1 hour.

It's a battle, but you need to keep on plugging away at them - the more evidence you can provide of established educational routines that already exist, the better your chances!

Of course, it could be a nice straightforward attempt by the school to check their budgetary expense, which will cave in at the first attempt to force their hand. This has happened a lot lately.......
 
#9
The LA do have a special needs school in Colchester - the farcical thing is is that they want to "test" him in normal school before deciding if he should go their. Its an extra funded school so the LA have stated that they want months of assessment to see if he needs it!!! WTF is a statement for????

Just to make it more interesting, they do not have to accept his statement, as it was conducted outside of their authority. We have this "joke" of a situation everytime we move. I must add that my sons current scholl, an SCE school, has done the very best in every way they can to support my son
 
#10
PompeySailor said:
drain_sniffer said:
PompeySailor said:
Get on to the Appeals Committee for the LEA. The school has a duty to educate, but by the same token, they are within their rights to limit the education to what they feel will benefit the child and maintain the educational levels for the other students. This tends to happen a lot with Aspergers children who need gentle introductions into set routines (as you will know). If, however, you can get in front of the appeals board and demonstrate that your son has a routine, and is able to cope with more than 1 hour a day (based on prior evidence), then you stand a good chance of getting the school to look at the offer again. You may have to start with low attendance, but work up to more hours once all parties are happy.
Pompy, thanks for the advice but you contradict yourself. Aspergers rely on routine, and in my sons case, strict routine. Letting him start school in dribs and drabs (1 hour this week, two next) etc is going to cause problems. What about our quality of life? This is not acceptable - my son has a right to full time education as well as the next child. Why does everything have to be a battle to get people to do their jobs.

On the phone to LEA at the moment. They are getting both barrels
Sorry, I meant that to start with a 1 hour routine which is then expanded on and made longer. It takes a long time, but the LEA need to see what sort of routine your son has been in before, and how much they can realistically start off with. 1 Hour a day is the standard "first entry" time, although I know of some that manage only 1 hour a week - varies depending on the level of Aspergers.

The school will have to see how they are going to allocate SEN and support staff, which is why they are working from the 1 hour.

It's a battle, but you need to keep on plugging away at them - the more evidence you can provide of established educational routines that already exist, the better your chances!

Of course, it could be a nice straightforward attempt by the school to check their budgetary expense, which will cave in at the first attempt to force their hand. This has happened a lot lately.......
Pmps, my Lad has already been granted 20hrs of siupport a week by the LEA. How does 1hr a day provide 20hrs a week? Evidence in a bundence to support his full time inclusion with the necessary support. Have just spoken to LEA SEN support officer and have advised that my son either gets the full time support he has a right to, or nothing. I am not prepared to accept 1 hr a day. I will then go to tribunal to get him into the local special school, as inclusion just does not work. You dont have to tell me about fighting for his rights, Ive been doing that since the day he was born
 
#11
drain_sniffer said:
The LA do have a special needs school in Colchester - the farcical thing is is that they want to "test" him in normal school before deciding if he should go their. Its an extra funded school so the LA have stated that they want months of assessment to see if he needs it!!! WTF is a statement for????

Just to make it more interesting, they do not have to accept his statement, as it was conducted outside of their authority. We have this "joke" of a situation everytime we move. I must add that my sons current scholl, an SCE school, has done the very best in every way they can to support my son
The "statementing" is bad, always has been. It's a statement of requirements, and it's based on what the LEA can supply, rather than what the child needs, which is why you need to get a new one every time you change schools.... There are some LEAs who will accept the statement from a previous school, but they are few and far between. All you can do is (again and again and again) keep pushing - this situation is not considered when it comes to postings, but I don't know why someone has not rep'd it up the line to get a single SCE statement to cover the educational years, with a review carried out rather than restatementing.
 
#12
drain_sniffer said:
PompeySailor said:
drain_sniffer said:
PompeySailor said:
Get on to the Appeals Committee for the LEA. The school has a duty to educate, but by the same token, they are within their rights to limit the education to what they feel will benefit the child and maintain the educational levels for the other students. This tends to happen a lot with Aspergers children who need gentle introductions into set routines (as you will know). If, however, you can get in front of the appeals board and demonstrate that your son has a routine, and is able to cope with more than 1 hour a day (based on prior evidence), then you stand a good chance of getting the school to look at the offer again. You may have to start with low attendance, but work up to more hours once all parties are happy.
Pompy, thanks for the advice but you contradict yourself. Aspergers rely on routine, and in my sons case, strict routine. Letting him start school in dribs and drabs (1 hour this week, two next) etc is going to cause problems. What about our quality of life? This is not acceptable - my son has a right to full time education as well as the next child. Why does everything have to be a battle to get people to do their jobs.

On the phone to LEA at the moment. They are getting both barrels
Sorry, I meant that to start with a 1 hour routine which is then expanded on and made longer. It takes a long time, but the LEA need to see what sort of routine your son has been in before, and how much they can realistically start off with. 1 Hour a day is the standard "first entry" time, although I know of some that manage only 1 hour a week - varies depending on the level of Aspergers.

The school will have to see how they are going to allocate SEN and support staff, which is why they are working from the 1 hour.

It's a battle, but you need to keep on plugging away at them - the more evidence you can provide of established educational routines that already exist, the better your chances!

Of course, it could be a nice straightforward attempt by the school to check their budgetary expense, which will cave in at the first attempt to force their hand. This has happened a lot lately.......
Pmps, my Lad has already been granted 20hrs of siupport a week by the LEA. How does 1hr a day provide 20hrs a week? Evidence in a bundence to support his full time inclusion with the necessary support. Have just spoken to LEA SEN support officer and have advised that my son either gets the full time support he has a right to, or nothing. I am not prepared to accept 1 hr a day. I will then go to tribunal to get him into the local special school, as inclusion just does not work. You dont have to tell me about fighting for his rights, Ive been doing that since the day he was born
In which case it's the school trying to control SEN funding. Chances are they don't have a full, full-time SEN group, and 20 hours a week will cost them more money. The won't admit this, they'll break it down like I did - an acceptance period. It's wrong, and the LEA may be able to exert pressure, or look again at your placing in the special school list.
 
#13
Pomps, I have just finished speaking with the LEA, and have told them of my intentions. The Head of this school is playing games and that is not acceptable. Tribunal for special school is the only way now, as I dont think I can trust this headmaster. I inteand to settle in Colly, so the LEA know that we are their to stay, not just for 3 years.
 
#14
drain_sniffer said:
Pomps, I have just finished speaking with the LEA, and have told them of my intentions. The Head of this school is playing games and that is not acceptable. Tribunal for special school is the only way now, as I dont think I can trust this headmaster. I inteand to settle in Colly, so the LEA know that we are their to stay, not just for 3 years.
Push on mate, but look at the Governors rather than the Headmaster - you would be surprised how powerless they can be when compared to an incestuous organisation of Governors who can control a school with no training, experience, and based on prejudice and whim!

Good luck with getting him somewhere that he likes and can learn. The Tribunal system is good as it puts the decision in the hands of trained professionals, not part-timers who get a kick out of being in charge of people's lives!
 
#15
drain sniffer, how old is your son? My six coming seven year old has just been diagnosed with aspergers and is in mainstream education. Half the battle is getting the diagnosis which I assume in your case has occurred. Each school has a SENCO or special education needs coordinator who is responsible along with yourselves to develop an individual education plan. There are also Learning support assistants in each school to assist special needs children. Perhaps demand is great that only one hour per week can be spared with an LSA but your child may be ok in mainstream education.
If your child is still not coping then you can apply to the LEA for a statutory assessment under the 1996 Education Act which must be complied with, and they have 6 weeks in which to come up with a decision. If you need further info speak to the National Autisitic Helpline who will be able to give advice and direct you to a local support group who can provide further info. Tel no is 0845 070 4004 or website www.nas.org.uk. I've got loads of info some of which you may already be aware of PM me your address and I'll send it to you oin the post
 
#16
Yater, the reality of what the law requires, and what you get are two major different things as I am sure you are going to find out. My son's (9) current school, a SCE school in Germany has been the best so far. My experience has been to battle and fight every step of the way to get the basics of what he is allowed. This is not a new thing for me, and am already in regular contact with NAS. PM me if you want further guidence, but my advice is to stamp your feet and fight at the highest level to get your way. Also, as soon as you can, get him statemented. Without this, you will have problems
 
#17
i'm dreading it when he gets older. Fortunately our son is ok in mainstream education and the school after a giving us the run around are quite supportive but were initially dismissive of assistance as he was ok academically. I see league tables here! :D We now have the support of the SENCO at the school who is also attending the NAS Earlybird Plus training with us. That said you still have to kick arrses if things don't happen.
Anyway good luck and hope you're successful
 
#18
Yater, my experience is to never make compromises with the LEA/School and fight all the way for what you and your son needs. I have been to schools who have assured us things were ok, made compromises with SENCO's etc, only to find that they work purely to budget. One school allowed my son to spend the day playing with trains. My advice, take no prisoners and fight all the way. Also, push for a statement. They may tell you that you dont need one etc, but believe me you do. Fight for it.

Good luck, and if you want advice from someone who has "been their" - then PM me

I would also recommend you buy this book. It will open your eyes and help you alot.

Buy this book
 
#19
drain_sniffer said:
Ladies and Gentleman, your expert advice please.

My family is set to move to Colchester next week, so that my son, who has Aspergers Syndrom, can start school. The LEA for Colchester has been aware of this since June, and have had a copy of his statement. To cut a long story short, after months of of going back and forth between various schools (no one wants to take him, thank you Tony Bliar and your inclusion polocy) the LEA have told a school that they must take him. The Headmaster of this school has just phoned (we move next week) to say that they are only prepared to take him for 1 hour a day. What about the legal obligation to educate my son? These people are playing political games with my son's education, the only option open to me now is to take this to tribunal and for my wife to educate him at home, meaning no job for her, so no chance of mortgage ect.

Any advice from anyone in the know would be most welcome. I also hope that all those "experts" who commented on the BSA thread, suggesting that you tip up to an area, speak to the teachers and bobs your uncle, you are in a school read this and take note that, as I suggested on that thread, you know nothing about education
You might find Essex will not recognise the statement you already have for your son and will require to statement him themselves. However, your son IS entitled to the full educational spectrum and the school - or the council have to provide this for him.

Contact Sharon Manzur at AFF and SCE as they will be able to help you from the military family perspective. This site is also very useful and should give you ammunition to deal with the school (although if I were you I would be doubtful about sending my lad to that school now anyway) http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/wholeschool/sen/

As you know my lad has Aspergers (so do I but that's another story) and we sent him to boarding school - infact it was the boarding school who spotted he might have a problem :) He has flourished since being there and I would highly recommend them to anyone with a child with Aspergers.

If you do want to consider boarding school for your lad, in order to get him the education he deserves, PM me.
 
#20
The whole 'Inclusion' policy is a farce and merely a cost-cutting exercise on behalf of the government and most local authorities. In my experience the only statemented students who get 100% support are the totally blind, with additional handicaps. The amount paid by local authorities for 99.9% of statemented pupils categorically does not fund full support. Fourteen out of the twenty one lessons I teach in a week have statemented students, but I only get support in three of those and we have a head who dips into our own budget to fund extra classroom assistants.

I've taught a number of students with Aspergers over the years and those with mild symptoms have been fine and benefitted greatly from 'inclusion', but with a severe case, neither that child, nor the rest of the class get a fair deal. If the LEA are refusing to accept a statement from another authority, they are playing silly burgers and trying to save money or drive you somewhere else.

If you really want this particular school, make a fuss with the LEA until they come up with the appropriate funding. Without the funding, however happy the school is to take him, he won't get the support he needs, deserves, nor has a right to, as very few well-run schools have the financial slack to employ extra staff part way through a financial year.
 

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