Sunday, 16 December 2012

When a child has a statement that is not being followed

We've got a case at the moment where we know that a  school is not keeping to the recommendations of the child's statement.Our difficulty is that the teacher and TA have confided in the parent but the head and the authority are adamant that the little girl is getting what she needs.  They are so adamant that they are refusing to let the NHS SLT in the classroom (although she is welcome after school) and I am not allowed in at all, at the moment. The Head Teacher cant see what we can add as 'we know what we're doing'.

The statement is for 1:1 support but the TA is required elsewhere for some of that time. The girl is reception and has ASD and is non-verbal. She also needs help with the toilet but school say that the the class teacher can  ask the secretary for help or ask the headteacher (imagine the practicalities of leaving your class of 30 4/5 year olds to go to find HT or secretary??)

I would appreciate any advice anyone can give us please to ensure that the programmes are being carried out but keep the school on board at the same time?  We feel we can't tell the authorities at this stage what we know, without losing the support of the classteacher and TA.

I read with interest this week about Bromley council which made serious failings with a teenager’s special education needs. In her report Dr Jane Martin, the ombudsmen, recommends the council pays a total of £7,000 to the boy, who is named as N, and his mother Miss Peters because of its failures. N has selective mutism and severe anxiety so has a statement documenting his special education needs (SEN). Dr Martin, however, found the council failed to put all the required elements of the statement in place. It failed to provide speech and language therapy for N for 12 months and failed to provide a key worker for him for 10 months. 

However, this £7,000 is nothing compared to the effect on the child. No amount of money can replace the lost opportunities or feeling of extreme anxiety and failure the child might have experienced.

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