The facts so far…
Annual Review meeting held on 27/03/2013, no word on my son having to move schools next year, why should it come up, after all he can remain another 2 years at his current one.
Letter received 2nd Oct. 2013 case officer from SEN County Council – Authority accepts the recommendations from school that the provision currently in place for your son is appropriate to meet his needs. As your son is due to leave his school next sept (Im thinking WHAT ARE THEY GOING ON ABOUT?) The authority will now consider whether his needs can be met in one of its own special schools at an admissions panel which will sit in November and you will have details on outcome by Dec 3rd.
Right at this point I need to breeeathe deeeeply, I contacted transitions at my sons current school, and apparently because children tend to transition to secondary school at age 11, this is the reason why the County Council are reviewing my sons current school and statement… (right so nothing to do with the cut backs and them wanting to save a bob or two).
Another letter received on 3rd Oct. 2013 from admissions panel to say that if we had expressed a preference for a particular school or provision back in the annual review in March this may be considered, obviously we hadn’t given any thought to it, as our sons needs are being met by his current school and he can remain there until he turns thirteen. NOBODY said anything at the time about transition to secondary!
So Im informed by someone in the know to seek out a school which I can bring to the table for consideration, as the authorities take it upon themselves to bring to the table 3 secondary schools to discuss for my son without parental input. So I contact a local SEN/ASD school to look around, its had some good reviews by parents and since being taken over three years ago, came highly recommended to me as a place which might be suitable. Anyway, I looked around and liked what I saw, so I telephoned my sons current school and spoke to them, they agreed that x school could be the right place for him from September 2014. So then I contacted my sons case officer at SEN County Council and requested this school be considered as well. Case officers reply… “Thats not one of the schools which is being considered, you will have your say once the panel have discussed and decided”. Now call me thick, but how is it that I can only, speak out and have an opinion once the so called decision has been made! So I said to the case officer, “Can you please tell me (trying to remain calm) which three schools is actually on the table for consideration?” So he does in fact tell me, I then told him that I will look closely into these three schools in order to see how compatible they are in order to meet my sons needs. He closed the conversation by saying, “Don’t worry you’re have your chance to make a case against the school which we choose”.
(…. and breathe… must remain calm)!
Of the three schools, two are completely inappropriate and when I spoke directly to the head of admission of each of the schools, they also remarked that they couldn’t understand the thinking behind putting their school up for consideration, they seemed surprised stating, ‘they are specific BSED and not really a school for children on the autistic spectrum’ and on top of that admitted they do not accept children who cannot access the curriculum. My son is on the autistic spectrum with learning disabilities, he’s soon to be eleven, but writes and draws like a five year old and has only just started to recognise letters of the alphabet and do simple sums. On a more positive note, the third school, seems like a possible option, so next week I am going to visit to see for myself, they told me that many of their boys are on the autistic spectrum alongside learning difficulties, the environment is nurturing and the education is moulded to fit around the needs of the child – Sounds very positive 🙂
I will then draw up a pros and cons list of the two schools which I feel are the most appropriate, and regardless of what the SEN county council decide, I have done my homework, and have in hand all the answers in order to have a case to present to them about what is best for my sons future education.
Word of warning – Don’t mess with the Lioness her cubs are paramount