If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Transitioning from primary to high school, struggling to get the right support

adelerosemorganadelerosemorgan Posts: 4Member Listener
edited August 2018 in Education and learning
My son is about to start secondary school. He has complex health and learning difficulties. The LA decided special school was best but we contested this at tribunal. The LA hadn't made its decision within the law. This has mean't a huge delay in his transition. The school have lots of potential. We have asked that we co produce his education because it takes a long time to tune into our son. The school have placed him in a registration class which has no other children from his primary school even though our tribunal was partly based on the fact that he needed to be around children that knew him. They have employed a worker who I have only met for less than a minute but she really isn't a good match for his needs. My son hasnt met her at all yet the plan is that I have to hand him over to her in the car park on the first day of term. I would like to know what the guidance is regarding personal care of a 12 year old boy - surely he should have some say in who does this stuff with him. By employing a woman they have reduced his options of using a male toilet and restricting him to disabled toilets. They have also decided that he doesnt need a BSL signer- just someone willing to learn. He really needs to be taught via sign supported english as this is the method that has been working for him at primary. He will now go from having signing as part and parcel of his education to waiting for the TA to learn..it takes 30 weeks to do level one and 45 weeks to do level 2..really my son needs someone at level 2..so we are now in the position that he will have to  wait until he is in year 9 before he will have the right provision in place. He also has a lot of barriers to inclusion. He will need a TA with him virtually all the time ..he needs to be with the other boys talking about the latest tunes..soccer..age relevant stuff yet they have employed a mum figure to work with him..I can imagine the kids giving him a wide berth :( ..the school will think they have done more than enough engagement with us but for us everything has been far too rushed ..the school said that they know him after a handful of visits and that i should trust them but they have made 2 fundamental decisions so far which will create more barriers for him :( 

Replies

  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Posts: 2,091Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @adelerosemorgan and a very warm welcome to the community!
    Thank you very much for sharing this with us all. I cannot begin to understand your frustrations on some of these decision- of course you will want the best for your son. Does he have a statement or an EHCP? It sounds like the school are trying to put things in place, although doesn't seem to be quite right. Have you brought up these concerns with the school? Is there any way that his key worker from primary could help with the transition process? So that someone who knew him could be on hand for the first few days? Having a 1-to-1 TA is actually very rare as most schools work on a rotation and will support several students, although this doesn't mean they are the best suited for the child, it does save money for the school (bad I know!). I was wondering if there was anyone else in your sons care team who would support the decision of mainstream school?
    I hope other members of the community are able to comment and advise further. If you need anything else then please do not hesitate to be in touch! :)
  • adelerosemorganadelerosemorgan Posts: 4Member Listener
    My son isnt someone who traditionally fits into mainstream school..its just that the separate system displaces families and children and segregates them from normal patterns of life and we believe that normal patterns of life is a right for him and shouldn't be denied because he has a number if impairments but that he needs support to have access to those normal patterns of life..we cannot take away his impairments but he still needs good healthcare and education so that he can be the best he can be...and that doesn't need to be done separately..the trouble is the system likes to box and shelve into categories..my son doesnt fit into them because he fits into most of them...having a learning disability plus very small stature and delayed speech brings issues because of often the professionals unconscious bias and the system which he doesn't matter too..it interests me greatly as it was something I studied in Uni years ago..but I find the lack of expertise in the system shocking

  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Posts: 2,652Member Disability Gamechanger
    Has your child ever attended specialist school? 


    I am a fibrowarrior!
  • adelerosemorganadelerosemorgan Posts: 4Member Listener
    @debbiedo49 no he hasn't -  although he has been in an unit attached to mainstream school. We don't have specialist schools really in Wales - special school is just the place all children go if they cannot keep up with mainstream. In our county/city they do have specialist teaching facilities (Units) attached to mainstream school..but many of the teachers are general ed teachers who fancied a change but don't really get much training..the schools/ units are places where children learn at a different pace and there really isnt pressure to skip to mainstream tune..studies and research is overwhelmingly in favour of all children learning together and supported well by teachers who are well trained though..our son probably would have been happy at the special school but he would have only known one child there - he wanted to remain with his primary friends.
  • adelerosemorganadelerosemorgan Posts: 4Member Listener
    the whole system is segregatory though :/ ..it is contributing to the stats attached to the LEDER report and Bercow10 :( ..I have done a lot of research around this and he will be better placed in the school we have chosen and he actually chose it :)
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Posts: 2,652Member Disability Gamechanger
    @adelerosemorgan I’m only asking because I hadn’t picked that up from what’s written earlier. Of course your child anc your family are in the best position to know what he needs/wants. Moving to secondary school is hard enough without all the other issues involved. I suppose you have to weigh up what’s more important, education or friendships? I suppose as parents you are entitled to say why does he have to choose? That’s a good point. If you are saying that you don’t think his educational support needs will be met at this school, what are the options? At this point it sounds as though there may be lots of other factors adding more stress to the equation. Is your family getting support with this? Does your child have an advocate? 


    I am a fibrowarrior!
  • debbiedo49debbiedo49 Posts: 2,652Member Disability Gamechanger
    edited August 2018
    My son who is nearly 19 had a hard time at primary school like a round peg in a square hole, suffered from anxiety and depression. The "top" school let him down badly and he attended CAMHS so I can appreciate how hard it can be. I thought about swapping him to a different (smaller, more modern) high school than his friends but decided against it. In the end he struggled there too and they didnt help him much either. Any help he got we had to go get it by ourselves. The system is all wrong. Sometimes you need an independent opinion as we can get too close as parents. However, being so young, your son can try it this way and change his mind if it doesnt work out for him as he wishes. Good luck


    I am a fibrowarrior!
Sign in or join us to comment.