School are failing DS - he's about to see Camhs and they won't even get SENCo involved - even though hes SA and has an IEP.

(47 Posts)
youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:32:21

How on earth can a school who has a child who now is seperated at break/lunch due to social communication difficulties and resulting meltdowns still not have the SENCo involved?

I've asked, I've asked for IEP for behaviour/social problems, I've asked for statement - NOTHING.

Currently he spends lunchtime with a buddy of his choice, in library or courtyard, supervised indirectly by lunchtime staff in hall which is adjacent. (not entirely appropriate I don't think considering he carries an epipen in school) This was agreed at last meeting and he was susposed to be the permanent buddy of a pupil already segregated for different reasons. I was led to believe this pupil has a 1:1 so DS would be supervised. This didn't work so we now have this situation.

Even his teacher said the other day it's not a long term solution. But she hasn't arranged a meeting like I asked. I've asked head and SENCo to call. Nothing from head and SENCo asked office to tell me no point as she doesn't deal with him. angry

Help please.

homeappliance Thu 04-Jul-13 21:34:56

Does he have my support from other agencies e.g. Speech therapy? Sensory team? that could be influential.

MerryMarigold Thu 04-Jul-13 21:37:33

Head teacher involvement asap
Doctor referral
Remove from school if nothing happens

Shellywelly1973 Thu 04-Jul-13 21:40:34

Firstly contact your local Parent Partnership. Every council or L.A has one.

Put your concerns in writing to the school. Write to the SENCO requesting her involvement.

In your letter state clearly, what the issues are, what you want/require & what you will do should the school feel they can't / won't acknowledge your requests.

Good luck.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:41:47

GP referred to CAMHS. Appointment in September - options appointment. I need top speak to school to get evidence, discuss what I need to ask CAMHS for.

Head teacher had meetings, sings the right songs, but hasn't got back to me despite me asking for another meeting.

I'm very worried that Camhs will not take this further when SENCo isn't even involved - I mean they agreed he needed to be seen as emailed clinician but when I've nothing to back it up............... (except ASC and cubs!)

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:43:54

Rang parent partnership this evening - left a message and their call back time is 2-3 days.

The school have not even told us who their teacher is next year - I will be meeting with them as soon as I know.

Shellywelly1973 Thu 04-Jul-13 21:45:53

DON'T. remove him from school...god knows i was tempted with my Ds but whilst your Ds is in the school the staff have an obligation to him.

I've met numerous families that removed or were forced to remove their dc from mainstream school...then they are nobodys problem. You've no diagnosis or Statement...make the school do their job, don't go anywhere!

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 04-Jul-13 21:45:53

I find keeping written record of everything helps.

If you have a conversation in person follow it up by a 'thank you for discussing x today. Doing y sounds like a good plan of action lets review in z weeks' kind of email.

Also contacting by email giving clear questions gives good record.

Overtime you can build up a paper trail that if frankly embarassing to the avoiders and use this a leverage for actions to happen.

You can either escalate to the head, the school governors (one of whom should have a reviewing SEN provision responsibility) or to county inclusions team.

Do you have a parenting partnership type of scheme in your area? They can be really useful with how the local system works.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:47:17

How do I email SENCo? I have heads email.

Would a simple email along the lines of..............help?

"Now we have the confirmed date for DS' options appointment with Camhs, we need to arrange a meeting with DS year 5 teacher and the SENCo to discuss how we move forward with regards to DS social diffculties and put into place an IEP for social support ready for September."

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:50:19

I cannot remove him from school - I'm a LP who works FT. Although it absolutely the only option I would.

Also DS needs school and the routine. He's not a problem child in class as routine is what he thrives on and when he's anxious he withdraws.

Sometimes I wish he was a little shit problem because then he'd get more help.

Marmalada Thu 04-Jul-13 21:56:02

ACE have some great leaflets on getting extra help and making a complaint here which include sample letters.

I would start the formal complaint procedure by email and, if it is a Local Authority school, copy in the schools improvement team or inclusions team.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:59:14

Thanks marma I'll have a read of that link - looks brill. grin

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 21:59:47

Oh and thanks to everyone blush Some great advice here for me to follow.

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 04-Jul-13 22:13:01

Some schools/ local authorities have a format for email addresses. So it might be firstname.lastname@county.gov.uk. Or sometimes head_schoolname@county.gov.uk.

If that fails then call and ask the school secretary or email the head/ admin with a bold statement at the start of the email FAO SENCO PLEASE FORWARD.

Your email looks like a good start. You don't need to over think. Just keep getting things down in writing. Periodically, say once a fortnight send the next progress/ chasing mail.

Parent partnership will help you once they're in touch. As a parent you can apply direct for a statement of educational need to show you're serious, but this might be one for after CAMH's have started assessment.

I would end what you've written by adding a line 'I am available on these dates/ times'.

insanityscratching Thu 04-Jul-13 22:14:47

Have you requested a statutory assessment by writing to the LA? It's just I'm not clear where you asked for a statement and got nothing. Have you been refused (by the LA)? Look on IPSEA here and SOSSEN here and use their helplines to get advice. Parent patnerships are very variable and some are partisan as they are employed by the LA.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 22:24:56

I asked teacher about applying for statement - to be told there's no point as they are hard to get. hmm (more than once)

DS went through a stage - before the biting and segregation of begging to move schools. I mentioned to teacher how concerned I was he was that unhappy but how it wouldn't solve 99% of problems as his difficulties would follow him. I asked for support and more involvement from SN people at school. Her helpful solution was to look into trial days at other schools to see if he preferred elsewhere - basically passing the buck.

insanityscratching Thu 04-Jul-13 22:34:57

Schools aren't always happy about statements tbh particularly when they don't bring funding because they give parents the legal right to ensure their child's needs are met.
You need to document everything, so conversations need noting who, where, what was said, and then followed up by email along the lines of further to our conversation today...... Every incident document it, every concern you put to the school do it in writing and keep a copy. The paper trail is vital to secure support for your child, if it's not documented school could deny all knowledge.
On the MN special needs board you will get brilliant advice and support from parents who have been where you are now and have fought and won so do pop in and ask for advice

MisForMumNotMaid Thu 04-Jul-13 22:38:33

They are hard to get but not impossible. Schools can apply, parents can apply or ideally both. If you're rejected you can appeal but there is a waiting period before you can reapply - Its about a year from memory but parent partnership will help you. The process of applying means he will get assessed and you can request input from people like the Ed psyc.

One more possible route to help could be the school nurse if you can find out via your GP who it is.

We got a statement for DS1 a few months ago 'by the power of mumsnet'.

Not to be discouraging but he does have an ASD diagnosis from CAMH's, many years SALT input, behavioural therapy input, occupational therapy input and lots of Ed psyc reports. He's had a 1-1 for three years and been on school action plus for the same amount of time.

Ideally you need paperwork to back up your statement application so start emailing. If you find yourself with a few spare hours, hard to come by I know, you could do a big summary bullet point email of all the meetings and events to date. You could supply this to parent partnership too to help you brief them.

I got absolutely fed up with things at one stage and a lovely lady from parent partnership came to a meeting with me. It helped my sanity.

youarewinning Thu 04-Jul-13 22:48:15

Thanks - again 2 extremely helpful and brilliant posts full of advice. I've got some paper trail - even written to confirm some discussions.
I need to email again about last meeting, what was agreed and demand Sn update and follow up meeting. Then say I want to meet SENCo.
Tbh DS could cope ATM without a statement - he's fine in class other than literacy being extremely poor.
I have his document from dst with poor working memory details so can ask for evidence in what they are doing to address this.
I would want a statement for 5 hours over lunch. Basically school say they cannot provide someone to support him so he was buddied up with the other boy - who I believe has a 1:1. That didn't work so DS has his own buddy. I am convinced I can argue my case that they need to provide 1:1 if he's segregated under medical needs ( has epipen so should be supervised) and therefore he may as we have - and should have a 1:1 at lunchtime to support him socially and help him integrate.

What's both reassuring and lovey to hear and also so compelling to prove my point is the few patents I have spoke to and explained why DS is driers red cannot believe he'd ever hurt let alone bite another child ( or 3 in 5 minutes!). Goes to show the power of anxiety when it takes hold.

OneInEight Fri 05-Jul-13 09:27:01

Just to emphasise your son has a right to a statement on the grounds of behaviour/social communication difficulties even if academically he is fine. We were in your position at the start of the year so applied as parents for statutory assessment which was accepted and we will hopefully get a finalised statement in a couple of weeks. My sons were academically above average but have very challenging behaviour at school. We were told by both school and education psychologist we would not get a statement but it went through the panel first time. Even if it is not granted it forces the school to get all their paperwork in place so is worth doing on those grounds alone.

Labro Fri 05-Jul-13 16:39:33

If he is on school action, what does his IEP say?
Only asking as when ds was in yr 3, he was moved from SA to SA+, at this point the Senco was actually asked by the Ed Psych to back off as the Ed Psych felt Senco was 'attempting to diagnose dc with a syndrome' is it possible because of the referral to CAMHS that the school Senco has been told not to cross the wires further? This effectively means that CAMHS can make valid suggestions as to what would help your ds and do their own observations rather than relying on something that isn't currently working.
An outside agency often provides a fresh pair of eyes and can be much more productive for the child.
As an example, ds yr 3 teacher 'self diagnosed' my ds with "autism and aspergers' when after intervention from ed psych and paeditrician, with extensive observations, they were able to say ds was in fact extremely bright, was being bullied by his teacher and that the Senco wasn't doing the observations she claimed! Speak to your gp, speak to camhs and parent partnership and make sure they are putting the right types of intervention in place x

mrz Fri 05-Jul-13 18:17:02

If he is SA and has an IEP the SENCO is involved

youarewinning Fri 05-Jul-13 22:28:46

mrz unfortunatly not. There have been numerous times I have asked for a meeting - it's never happened. DS has interventions twice a week for 20 minutes for literacy with a TA. (who is lovely btw!). But even when they wrote the IEP it was the teacher and not done with me and SENCo involved.

labro thats interesting about the SENCo being told to back off. We have never had SENCo involvement and my frequent questions about how long school will leave things before ed pysch involved ha never been answered. Hence why I went through GP to Camhs myself.

onein I'm going to wait until after options meeting with Camhs and then apply myself. Thankyou.

armani Fri 05-Jul-13 23:25:30

You have nothing to lose by applying for a statement, even if the LA refuse to assess you have the right to appeal and you can apply again if and when you feel appropriate. You only have to wait six months if they already assess and then decide your ds doesn't need a statement.
I would recommend giving IPSEA a call they are fab. Good luck smile

mrz Sat 06-Jul-13 06:28:47

The SENCO is responsible for maintaining the SEN register (SA, SA+ and Statments of SEN) and IEPs. In many schools the head will also be the SENCO.

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