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moving schools - out of the frying pan???

(13 Posts)
LilTreacle Thu 18-Jul-13 09:57:33

Wel, DS is going to spend the afternoon at the proposed new school. we have a firm offer of a place and have been sowing the seeds of a change for a little while, and he seems amenable to the idea of a diffierent school.

Hope he likes it once he sees how much space there is, and how many children there are to play with.

Fingers crossed he has fun and enjoys the experience.

bjkmummy Wed 03-Jul-13 12:43:13

I moved my son whilst the statement process was going on - didn't pose a problem at all. You could sit tight and see if he gets a statement and then name new school in part 4. Yes it may then be full but you should have a fighting chance of a place with a statement.

I think you should grab the place now - you always have an option to change your mind but you will be mad at yourself if you delay and then the place goes. I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason. I moved my son mid statement to a better school and it was better but still wasn't the right school and within 6 months the placement wasn't working but the new school was very very supportive and worked so hard to make sure that he got whatever he needed and that included them standing up to the LA - he is now in an independent asd school.

LilTreacle Tue 02-Jul-13 20:39:44

Mcfarts, I see your point.
We've been just making do as there are literally no spaces at any schools ( excellent work by the local authority in developing new housing) for DS year group ....

If a space had come up six months ago we would have moved then before any talk of a statement was uttered and really nothing has changed, so knowing a space is coming up makes us want to take the opportunity.....

we shall see...nothing is guaranteed...the place could be given to a child in greater need and we'd have another long wait for a space, but it definitely wont come our way unless we apply....

McFarts Tue 02-Jul-13 16:50:34

From experience i wouldnt move him just yet, your LEA is likely to used it as an excuse not to offer a statement, they'll want to see how he settles in the new school first. Personally i would hold tight while you get to the part of naming a school in the statement and then name the new school rather that his current one.

LilTreacle Tue 02-Jul-13 16:13:17

The statutory assessment is being done now - EP visit to school (again) this month and other proffs to follow I should imagine.

The decsion whether toprovide a statment or not wont come before he starts again in September so just have to bite the bullet and go for it...the new school were pretty strong about providing whatever is needed regardless of the statment.

Yes sound is a distraction and can be a sensory issue....but the current school is pretty noisy anyway, has no means of providing a quiet area to work or not be too close to others etc.

The enormous secondary school will only multiply those issues around hustle and bustle and volume of people and noise, so gettting used to a busier environment, and finding out how to best deal with it, is a good idea.

I am sold on it now. The new school has my vote...

thanks for helping me see sense! smile

Just have to broach the subject with the current school...I feel bad for them as they obviously feel they are pulling out all the stops, which for them they probably are ...

But it doesn't matter if they are trying their absolute best, if its not meeting needs , then it not good enough.

I just hope thenew school do wha t they say they do......

streakybacon Tue 02-Jul-13 16:08:17

I moved schools for my son at the end of Y3. First school had a dismal attitude towards SEN and very poor understanding of autism. He got no meaningful support and he wasn't making any progress, loads of meltdowns, bullying a big issue, teachers woefully undertrained - pretty horrible.

The school I moved him to was smaller, allegedly more nurturing, and with a KS1 autism unit which ds was too old to access but word of mouth said that the school was generally well equipped to support autistic pupils and I knew parents whose children were there and thriving. BUT IMO they overstretched themselves with the number of children SEN they had on the roll, and by the time ds got there they just couldn't cope. In short, his experience was no better than at the first school and in some respects even worse. He was there a year before we deregistered and have now been home educating for nearly five years.

What I'm saying is that you can't really predict whether a school will be right for your child until you actually take the plunge. It might look and feel fabulous but you won't know how they deal with a crisis until one happens. I had similar impressions to yours about how supportive the new school would be, access to SEN team, tons of support available, lots of experienced staff etc (but remember 'experienced' doesn't mean 'expert' wink) but in practice none of that was available for my son. There are no guarantees, really.

BUT... it seems that the school he's at now is failing him anyway, so I guess you have to decide if you have anything to lose by moving him. It might be exactly the right thing - you just don't know for sure until you do it.

It is a very difficult decision, if your ds is noise sensitive the bigger school could increase his anxiety - but presumably secondary will be even bigger so noise issues are always there.

If the school you are considering moving your ds to is more local with more chance of his peers moving onto secondary with him I would probably go for that option. The local primary should have strong links with feeder secondary school - which can make transition much easier.

We recently moved LA, have had a very hard time getting my ds support - his old school was so good to him and didn't pigeon hole him. My nt dd thrived at the new bigger school, my ds with ASD has very much struggled due to lack of understanding - his first school was medium sized. Nothing is easy, if the new school has a good rep with ASD and support I wouldn't hesitate, especially with local friends having dc there. Good luck, just be prepared, no school is perfect. Good luck.

What inappropriatelyemployed wrote. I would move schools, his current placement does not sound right at all.

How far are you along the statement process?. Have you actually applied for the statement?.

LilTreacle Tue 02-Jul-13 14:12:18

Thanks for the replies. DS is 6 so will be going into year 2. The change itself is not a worry, DS takes everything in his stride and it would be an adevnture...

Attitude of school....hmmmmmm. The current school make me feel like DS is a huge burden , taking up a lot of adult time, and is a big dent in their budget.

Alternative school...had the SEN parent partnership leaflets available in reception which speaks volumes to me. They have a full time SENCO/inclusion officer, the deputy head reeled off a whole load of examples of how SEN children are helped and supported throughout the school and was confident they had lots of experienced staff that could support DS.

No brainer really...

Its me worrying about whether any school we choose is likely to be any different really....you cant be sure until you try though, so I guess its just a case of jump in at the deep end and see what happens.....

inappropriatelyemployed Tue 02-Jul-13 12:53:48

I moved my son three times before he was 9 and he spent 6 months being HE too.

If it is not right, a statement won't make it better and if you can't change attitudes after a few incidents, then you will be at this for the long-term.

There is nothing worse than always being on the backfoot, always having to intervene and explain because people don't understand your child. It wears you down.

Ask yourself: what could the current school do to make things better? If you know there is nothing (or nothing they are prepared to do) move him. Kids adapt and children with ASD need understanding more than anything else.

Otherwise, you might end up with a ten year old out of school altogether, like I have.

bialystockandbloom Tue 02-Jul-13 12:50:12

How old is he OP? If still young, I would probably move him, as IMHO the support and attitude of the school is the most important thing, especially if he doesn't have a statement. Children move schools all the time for loads of reasons.

Size doesn't matter either if the school is right - the class size is likely to be the much the same anyway.

Can understand your hesitation, of course - it's the worry of the unknown, but if your gut feeling is that his current school isn't working, I'd go with that.

Walter4 Tue 02-Jul-13 12:29:14

Hi, I am in the same position as you! As a result, can't advise, I sympathise. My son has no major problems....some complaints from parents , thinks he has friends , but hasn't and I fear next year will bring a lot more problems. I also do not feel school are honest with me regarding his difficulties ( he explodes at home and outside school) the school is fee paying. I am looking to move to state for more support, but out of the frying pan and into the fire is my concern too. sad he is 5 with PDA .

LilTreacle Tue 02-Jul-13 12:09:29

Have had it in mind to change schools for some time....no places available and have been just getting on with things, including getting stat assessment under way, for DS this year.

But have heard of a space coming up in September at a school we think has a very positive attitude towards SEN, has fantastic resources , is local and we have friends who have NT children that go there that love it. There is more exoperience of dealing with ASD just due to the number of children going through the school every year. They were not phased by the idea of a statemented (maybe) child, or one that needs specific suport. Its a huge change - massive school of 400+ from a little village school of 60 children.

DS is relatively happy at school, loves his friends, knows all the staff and children , and loves and playing in the gardens. but has many instances of refusal to work, lashing out and meltdowns due to the staff not paying enough attention, lacking or inapproriate support, or even seemingly provocative in their actions.
Every time something comes up and I have to go in and put them right or write a letter of complaint disappointment I know that he cannot stay at the current school.....they are trying hard but just not cutting it.

Now there is a possibility of a change, I am dithering about it.....how confident were any of you when you moved your child to a new school?
I dont want to make matters worse for DS.

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