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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:26 pm
Posts: 31
Hi there

I haven't posted here for quite some time so I hope you don't mind me jumping in with a question.... :D

My son has a Statement of Special Educational Needs. He has ADD/ADHD which is very well managed with medication. In retrospect we were 'lucky' to get a Statement for him 5 years ago - we certainly wouldn't get one now as his behaviour has changed radically and he is now a well behaved pupil.

According to his current Head teacher it is extremely likely that he will pass the Kent Test (she has lots of evidence to support a HT appeal if necessary) so we are looking at our local Grammar, Queen Elizabeth's in Faversham with a mind to him going there.

My question is - Will the Statement be a disadvantage in the admissions process? The Senco for the school told us that there are no Statemented children in the school what-so-ever. This has rung alarm bells for us!

I should also say that our daughter is already at the school in year 8 and we live about 500 meters from the school so ds ticks lots of boxes for a place.

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of this?

Thanks in advance.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 9:51 am 
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Hi didcot2002,

I would have thought that it would be discriminatory if your son had his statement used against him and a good cause for appeal. If anything, I think it would help him at appeal. The fact that he as a condition is hot his fault. The fact that you have sought help for him shows that you are responsible and supportive parents. The fact that the school do not have anyone with a statement says a lot! They should have! I would actually point out this at appeal that every child deserves an opportunity.

Many parents of children with this condition would not take the medication route for fear of side effects, therefore, to me, it would show a great commitment on your behalf.

Would he get in with a pass? Do they have a sibling policy? What about their admissions policy? Do they prioritise, at least on paper, children with statements?

It should not matter as each case should be looked at on its own merits, however, you could ask yourself:
what is your daughter's track record? What is your own track record as a parent? If the answer to both were positive, then I think I would bring it in at an appeal to show that you would be supportive and involved parents.

Best of luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 10:19 am 
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I always thought that the admissions criteria for grammar schools were very clear and applied rigorously therefore if your son passes and is in the right catchment area or whatever the criteria are then you should have no problem.
I know some schools have children with a statement very high up their admissions criteria but only if the school is specifically mentioned.
Generally the reason for no statemented children in grammar I would have thought is because their special needs often prevent them from achieving at the highest level even if they are extremely bright in some areas.
Our daughter has very mild special needs (sensory processing disorder) but this means that she really struggles with spatial and non verbal reasoning even though she achieves close to maximum scores in all other subjects.
I have a feeling that grammar schools are very poor at supporting children with special needs as they have so few of them and are geared up to a certain type of child.
As others have said, your son's statement should be a positive thing on appeal as he is clearly achieving highly despite his difficulties and should be given the chance to achieve his potential!
Good Luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 11:12 am 
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Quote:
I have a feeling that grammar schools are very poor at supporting children with special needs as they have so few of them and are geared up to a certain type of child.


You will be pleased to know that this is completely untrue .... but it does depend which GS you are talking about.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
When is the Annual Review of his statement due? Secondary placement is discussed at the last review before Secondary Transfer. At each review the relevance of teh statement is considered and whether or not ther eneed to be changes. Speak to the Senco at primary and also teh SEN oficer in charge of his case (should be on the statement and letters you receive, but they are very helpful when you ring or contact them - especially in East Kent!). You could also contact Parent Partnership for your area - again the Senco should be able to give you details or you can find it by googling.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:08 pm 
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Guest55 wrote:
Quote:
I have a feeling that grammar schools are very poor at supporting children with special needs as they have so few of them and are geared up to a certain type of child.


You will be pleased to know that this is completely untrue .... but it does depend which GS you are talking about.


That's good to hear!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 12:46 pm 
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My DS has dyspraxia but does not have a statement he does have a IEP set up by the SENCO at his GS. His GS has an excellent reputation for supporting children who are bright who have some degree of SEN. I suspect he may get better support where he is than he would at some other schools as his coping strategies are such that he could probably muddle along quietly under the radar and other children would be at a higher priority. As it is his needs are being met and hopefully this will allow him to play to his strengths and fulfill his potential.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:44 pm 
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Is your son in year 6? If so, his statement has to be reviewed for secondary transfer. We now have new legislation and a lot has changed but under the old system, the final statement for secondary transfer had to be agreed by mid Feb of Y6, though where there was a disagreement about school placement, the wrangling could and did continue into August! When I say statement, I should of course refer to an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Parents and children have always had the right to specify which school they wanted named on the statement and this has been strengthened with the new legislation. Some LA's were very good at writing a statement to meet the available resources, not to meet the child/young persons needs. There are only 3 reasons why a LA can refuse to offer a place at the parent/child/YP's preferred school:

1.The child doesn't meet the entry requirements eg faith schools, grammar schools
2. The presence of the child/YP will adversely affect the education of the other children attending
3. The cost of providing a place for the child at that school will amount to inefficient use of resources

If DS passes the 11+ and/or your HT thinks he is of grammar standard, has supporting evidence and will support you if an appeal is necessary AND you decide this is the school for him, I would go ahead and list it first on the CAF. If he is of grammar standard, the school can't refuse you a place simply because he has a statement. As someone up thread states, it would be discrimination. If the school has a sibling link policy and distance criteria, you tick those boxes, too.

You say his condition is well managed with medication and he is now well behaved. Undoubtedly, my DD1 is of grammar standard but her needs are so great, all mainstreams schools are ruled out by point 2. From what you say, this shouldn't be a problem for your DS.

Point 3 might be relevant if you were looking at a residential school, or a school which would involve significant travel that the LA would have to pay for, or if the child/YP requires expensive specialist equipment that is already available elsewhere. From the information you have given, I can't see that Kent would be able to use this one.

Most children who need a statement/EHCP have significant needs and often the best option for them is a special school. Moderate learning needs often coexist with developmental delay and maybe these children wouldn't thrive in a grammar environment but would manage in mainstream. I am generalising; all children are individuals and differing needs but I can understand why there are very few SEN children in grammar schools. However, I know 2 Aspie boys who are thriving at grammar! Just because there are no statemented kids at the school doesn't mean they can't cater and support them.

I guess the important thing is to choose the school that is right for DS and forget the label, just as you would for any other child. Also, make an appointment to see the SEN at your chosen school ASAP. If they won't be supportive, then look elsewhere. Good luck!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:26 pm
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Thanks everyone, your replies have given me plenty to think about.

We did meet with the Senco of the Grammar earlier in the year, she wasn't discouraging. Having spoken to her this afternoon I was met with a more negative response. She tells me that the SEN department for the school (around 1000 pupils) consists of her and one TA and that they may struggle to meet my son's 'needs'. As she doesn't know him that seemed like a fairly redundant statement. She also categorically stated that the school would not get any additional funding as 'all that has changed'. After speaking to her I called the SEN office and was told very clearly that the school willreceive additional funding. I have come up against this before when looking for a suitable primary school place. I can't work out whether the funding system is ambiguous or if schools are lying!

The admissions criteria for the Grammar are slightly unusual but do work in our favour. After Children in Care and current family association the 3rd criteria is being in receipt of free school meals!? Very strange - perhaps this is a positive discrimination move? That and the Pupil Premium perhaps? I am mystified but as ds is entitled am happy to have another plus on our side.

We are planning to get a private Educational Psychologists report so that we and any future school can see more clearly what his needs are. He hasn't been seen by an EP for 5 years! If anyone has any recommendations I would be very happy to hear them.

Thanks again for all your replies.

:o


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:02 pm 
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Sorry Oblique, yes he is in year 6, he sat the Kent test 3 weeks ago. The Statement was reviewed in June :D


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