Anyone sent their dyslexic DC to a private school?

(21 Posts)
Niceweather Wed 02-Jan-13 20:01:16

There is an organisation called Crested (Council for the Registration of Schools teaching Dyslexic Pupils) www.crested.org.uk/geo.html.

Muminwestlondon Wed 02-Jan-13 19:40:00

I removed my dyslexic child from an independent school at the end of year 3 partly on the advice of the educational psychologist who diagnosed her with dyslexia. I still feel quite bitter that although I thought she was dyslexic when she was 5, the school refused to believe it and I delayed the assessment until she was 7 and the damage was done. This was despite the fact that they claimed to specialise in SN children and had some kids there funded by the LEA.

They also effectively blocked me getting an assessment from the local LEA by sending her workbooks which I later found had been partly fabricated by the teacher (to cover her own arse to the Principal I think) and didn't show she was behind.

The Ed psych was shocked at what DD told her about the school. When she got into a good local state school the Head told me that she reminded him of children they had who had come from abroad and had not had any formal education.

While saying that I do know of at least one girls' independent in London that is very supportive of dyslexic pupils.

My DD's secondary which is a comp has relatively good provision, largely because of an excellent SENCO. I pay for private tutoring in a MFL though because DD has to do that early in year 9 and I don't think she is ready.

happygardening Wed 02-Jan-13 17:49:48

And at least at the comp they just refuse point blank to implement the help recommended by their Ed psych whereas when we paid they said they would implement the recommendations suggested by their ed psych and then didn't. So at least now I have no expectations/ delusions.

happygardening Wed 02-Jan-13 17:46:38

Oh forgot to add provision/understanding/help for DS1 at counties top performing comp is also absolutely bloody awful but at least I'm not paying for it!

PlaySchool Wed 02-Jan-13 16:39:10

Thanks everyone. It seems that private makes no difference. I think the key will be for tutoring at home because the state schools they go to are not doing much at all right now.

It is such a shame that schools are not more geared up to help dyslexics given that dyslexia is so common.

Eve Wed 02-Jan-13 16:13:15

My dyslexic son is at a state school and I can't praise it enough. The support he gets is outstanding.

happygardening Wed 02-Jan-13 16:06:58

We sent DS1 "moderate" dyslexia (basically not bad enough to be statemented but still pretty bad) to a high achieving small prep a complete waste of money in terms of dyslexia support. DS2 "mild" dyslexia; crap spelling slower reading/writing in relation to very high IQ went to same prep very little support at his current senior definitely more supportive which has worked sell with he is high level of motivation.

nextphase Wed 02-Jan-13 11:57:16

I went from lazy and stupid at state, to some level of understanding at private school.
But, make an informed switch - ensure the new school has the desire and capabilities to help your son, rather than assuming that smaller class sizes will help.
Lots of staff (especially english, french and history) had limited idea about my difficulties, but it finally clicked when the science staff started saying how good I was! Then I got a bit of understanding....
Didn't stop me getting a couple of degrees and a decent job (thank-you spell check - my biggest issue)

MrsMcEnroe Wed 02-Jan-13 11:34:28

PlaySchool - yes it is a constant battle, and you have my full sympathy - good luck.

MrsMcEnroe Wed 02-Jan-13 11:33:43

I have recently moved my DS (dyspraxic, but misdiagnosed as dyslexic by the so-called SENCO at his small independent school!) to a state school with proper SEN provision and the difference in him, within the space of 2 terms, is incredible.

My experience is that small independent schools will not provide anything free of charge - all SEN support has to be paid for in addition to the fees. Yes, private schools may have smaller class sizes, but in my DS' case that actually shone an unwanted spotlight on him and made him feel unduly pressurised and, ultimately, victimised.

That is just our experience though, and I am not trying to tar all independent schools with the same brush! My DD still attends DS' old private school as it meets her needs extremely well.

OP, you need to speak to the school and ask specifically about their SEN provision. Ask to see copies of their policies, paperwork etc. DS' old school talked the talk but was woefully lacking in reality.....

PlaySchool Wed 02-Jan-13 11:26:07

mrsshrek I emailed the school and they told me all DS's teachers were aware of his needs. However, I doubt they are. DS said that he thinks his English teacher has no idea that he is dyslexic. He was on SA plus in primary and so far I have heard nothing from the high school about anything they are doing to support him. I have been battling with my younger sons' primary school lately so the eldest's needs have been put on the back burner a bit. All 3 sons have dyslexia and it amazes me how little schools are equipped to deal with it.

I intend contacting the high school again as soon as term starts. I find that it is a constant battle and I imagine I am a nightmare parent for the schools!

MrsShrek3 Tue 01-Jan-13 20:32:02

if the crunch is one to one support (and yes seriously, it is) then have you met with the senco at the high school to discuss what they are doing to address the needs and how they plan to proceed? (I have a ds also started yr 7 in sept severely dyslexic and has ESAP funding for 1:1. we chose the school for its outstanding SEN department...) I do think it's also a personality thing and where the child would best reach their potential through being confident and receptive to learn. It is also worth looking at the breadth of the curriculum on offer, obv - and how visual and multisensory the learning environment is. In the private school I attended (albeit a million years ago) the environment was anything but visual and the curriculum less broad than the comprehensive, but the plus was the small classes, individual attention and so on.

anitasmall Tue 01-Jan-13 19:30:32

Playschool,
Friend's daughter went to local independent school (not dyslexia specialist private) and had excellent results (full As, Bs)

PlaySchool Tue 01-Jan-13 19:23:49

Overberries yes, my DCs have had 1 to 1 at home with a specialist tutor. These lessons improved their performance immensely. I have organised more sessions for this term.

The problem with my eldest child is that he is in Yr 7 and since he started secondary he has become unmotivated. I don't know why. He says he hates talking about his dyslexia and would rather forget about it. The problem is that I need to talk about it in order to get him to engage in strategies to overcome his problems. I sometimes wonder if being in a smaller class would help and if the expectations within a private school would encourage him to work harder.

I suppose I should give him more time at his existing school as he has only had 1 term there and is probably still finding his feet. It is just so frustrating as I am sure he would perform better if he put his mind to it!

Overberries Tue 01-Jan-13 19:05:29

Poss a bit dated, but personal experience. I am dyslexic and went to independent primary and secondary. Struggled all through primary school, labelled lazy, sooo slow etc etc. Got diagnosis around age 10 ish (I guess/hope this might be earlier these days?) and to be honest not much changed just from the school knowing. The turning point was 1-2-1 sessions with a specialist teacher twice a week. Taught me a whole new way of approaching everything and I still remember and use what I was taught today (I'm 33!)

Once in secondary carried on with the 121 for yr7. To be honest the teachers varied in their interest, change of approach to teaching someone with dyslexia. I went on to do fine, through 6th form and onto uni etc.

So I guess what I'm saying is the most important thing for me was the 121, without a doubt. So unless the idependent school has specific credentials for teaching dyslexic pupils, I guess it shouldn't be assumed the teachers there would be any better than at state school. It's a tough one though as every child is different and all schools vary hugely. Have you got time to work on the 121 in primary and see how you get on before making a decision?

diabolo Tue 01-Jan-13 18:09:47

You are right LIZS - I forgot to add that a charge is made for the 1-2-1 lessons these boys receive as they are early in the morning, before the start of the normal school day.

LIZS Tue 01-Jan-13 18:06:42

I think you would be naive to assume that those things will make a difference without additional one to one support. Not all independents are geared up for this and many charge extra and they vary widely.

diabolo Tue 01-Jan-13 18:04:37

Not me, but two friends of DS are dyslexic and have attended his Prep school since Nursery (now Y8) with no problems. They get loads of additional support, 1-2-1 etc. One is going on to a senior school that specialises in supporting children with specific learning difficulties, the other to an all-rounder boarding school.

PlaySchool Tue 01-Jan-13 17:46:19

Just a local independent. I'm thinking of smaller class sizes and perhaps greater intervention / help than a child might get in the state sector.

MrsShrek3 Tue 01-Jan-13 17:44:58

are you talking dyslexia specialist private or just the local independent? massive difference potential imho....and interested in what replies you get so bookmarking!

PlaySchool Tue 01-Jan-13 17:41:05

Has anyone transferred their dyslexic DC to a private school because they were not achieving very well in a state school? If so, did it make any difference to them?
Thanks smile

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