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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 10:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:58 pm
Posts: 22
Hi :D
My nine year old son was born prematurely of 34 weeks gestation. At 3 years of age he was diagnosed to have a speech delay and couldn't hear very well. This made his concentration very poor. At three and half years he had grommets inserted. He had many speech therapy sessions for two years. He was eventually statemented and sent to a normal school with a special language unit. He spent the reception year as well as year 1 there.
At the end of year 1, his levels were as follow: speaking and listing, reading, math and science were all (1C) and his writing was quit low (W). He then moved to a local school for year 2 and at that time he could hardly write his first name. He had difficulty settling in his new school and his scores at the end of the year were quite low: speaking and listing ,writing, reading and science were (2C), math (2B).
At year 3 he continued to be behind in all subject and this led to emotional and behaviour problems, low self-esteem and confidence. However the school started reducing his 1:1 support. At the end of the year he scored 3b in reading and 3c in math but his speaking, listing and writing level were all quite low again (2B)
In year 4 he started to build his self-confident and make some progress, his support at school was reduced even further. At the end of year 4 his scores were as follow reading (4B), writing, speaking and listing (3C), and math(3B). He is currently in year 5 and he continues making progress. The school has stopped most of his support from September.
For the last two years the school has repeatedly tried to stop his statement :oops: , and we persistently opposed that, we have recently been invited to a meeting at the local education authority involving us and the school. I assume the aim of the meeting is to convince us to remove his statement.
I need your advice about:
 What is our position if the LEA insists to remove his statement?
 He will sit the 11 plus exam in 2012, would the statement be of any benefit in this situation?
 Would it be worthwhile to go through the appeal process?
 Would he be given special support in the 11 plus exam because of his statement and what kind of support would he get?
 Will his statement help us choosing his senior school?
 Will his statement help us to get a place in a grammar school?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 8:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
I would start by asking the senco. It might be worth contacting Partnership with Parents too

http://www.kent.gov.uk/education_and_le ... rents.aspx.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 9:39 am 
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Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 9:44 am
Posts: 49
If you get an assessment and written report from an Educational Psychologist, that will do at least two things
- pinpoint which areas of learning difficulty and recommend actions to tackle these specifically
- allow you to choose the senior school able to support any of these areas, and if appropriate allow DS extra time or other adjustments

You need a chartered EP report and recommendations. Now that DS is nine, he may be old enough to get the best out of an EP assessment. Or possibly in the coming summer, if he is stable and catching up steadily, may be ok too.

For example, he may be a child who is 99th centile verbally and suffering at 1st centile visually, coming out 85th centile in an 11+ exam with no extra time. That may do in some 11+ counties, it may not for super selectives or on a 'bad vision day', but he will surely continue to suffer all the seven years of senior school, without the EP assessment and recommendations. Such a child will never be statemented. They may become anything they want, but why suffer unnecessarily when there are therapies that may target and ease such problems? Even awareness and making sense of why things are the way they are allows a child to conquer a lot.

The other thing that may help is to do it in time for the senior school to make the adjustments at the start of year 7. Or even the 11+ exam itself, if he's set his heart on a grammar.

If you're lucky the school may put him up for EP assessment. It sounds unlikely as he seems to be not 'failing enough'. If you have a sense that he's massively under-attaining his potential, you could do much worse than trust your instincts. But for action, you need the EP report.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 2:32 pm
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Location: East Kent
was there an EP report when teh request for statutory assessment was done? There usually is one when applying for a statement.

When is Annual review of his statement due, secondary provision is discussed in the Annual review in Yr 5. The senco will be looking at transfer of statemented pupils.

The other thing that may help is to do it in time for the senior school to make the adjustments at the start of year 7. Or even the 11+ exam itself, if he's set his heart on a grammar.

AS he is statemented this will be in Annual review


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 10:18 am 
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Does your son still have a hearing problem? I'm assuming from what you say that this was sorted by the grommets? What sort of additional help do you think he still needs, and does it need a statement for him to be given this help?

I would imagine you are on a loser for keeping the statement. The number of statements issued over the years has been cut significantly and you have described a child who is on target to achieve average or better in year 6 - take his year 4 results and add on one full NC level (expected progress) and you get reading 5b, writing, speaking and listening 4c, and maths 5b.

To date your son has made more than expected progress as he has come from below average up to nearly average and above. So in fact the school might be predicting higher results at the end of year 6 than one full level progress, so better than I have stated above.

It would be very hard I would imagine in this situation for any LA officer to justify statementing your son unless he has some complex needs due to continuing hearing deficits.

If you are keen on grammar school my own personal view would be that you need to concentrate on: improving his academic performance still further, gathering evidence of ability that you would use at appeal if necessary (see the advice on the appeals section), finding out if there are any adjustments to the 11+ exam to which your son would be entitled (seems unlikely as it's multichoice and his reading is good so it's hard to see the relevance of the hearing problem to the actual exam), gaining from an EP assessment an understanding of how the early hearing problem could have affected his speech and language development which in turn might have depressed his VR abilities at this point in time (has it do you think?), etc etc.

These are just my thoughts. I could be complete wrong, but I think the danger is you spend loads of time at home fighting a dead-end battle over statements when you could be helping your son prepare for the 11+ papers.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 1068
Location: Lincolnshire
sendis wrote:
 What is our position if the LEA insists to remove his statement?


The LA must serve you with a notice that they will "cease to maintain" the Statement. This will give you the right to appeal to the 1st tier Tribunal SEND. The LA must maintain the Statement until the appeal is heard.

The important thing to bear in mind is that a Statement recognises that a child has needs over and above which a school can provide for out of its own normal resources, describes those needs and the provision which is to be put into place to meet them. If a child's needs can be met from within the school's resources (along with some input from agencies such as Learning Support Service, Educational Psychologist etc, etc, as appropriate) then a Statement is not required and the needs can be met at School Action Plus. This also means that needs which would require a Statement in some areas might not in other areas where the LA has devolved more of the SEN budget to the individual schools. Some authorities issue Statements only for very complex and demanding needs, others are more inclusive of "high incidence" needs.

Quote:
 He will sit the 11 plus exam in 2012, would the statement be of any benefit in this situation?


If your child is managing normal class work without any special adjustments being made for him, the likelihood is that he would not get any special adjustments for the 11+ anyway. If adjustments are required the current school should be able to back up your request for these whether or not there is a Statement.

Quote:
 Would it be worthwhile to go through the appeal process?


See above. You can get some further advice from your local Parent Partnership Service or from IPSEA.

Quote:
 Would he be given special support in the 11 plus exam because of his statement and what kind of support would he get?

See above. It really does depend on what support he usually gets in the classroom and for other exams. There are several different adjustments which can be made, including extra time, sitting in a different room on their own or in a smaller group, taking the tests in ones own primary school rather than in the secondary school in some areas, having a break, having enlarged papers, having a scribe etc. Any adjustment would have to be in line with what is normally afforded to the child and be supported by medical, psychological or other evidence.

Quote:
 Will his statement help us choosing his senior school?


Children with a Statement do not go through the usual system. When a school is named on their Statement the school must admit the child. When parents choose a maintained school the LA must name it unless it is either
1) unsuitable to the child's age, ability, aptitude or SEN
2) incompatible with the provision of efficient education of others, or
efficient use of resources

The tests for these exceptions under the Education Act 2006 Schedule 27(3)(3) are considerably higher than they are under the School Standards and Framework Act which applies to normal school admissions.

However, it is worth noting that Academies are not maintained schools so are not covered by the same part of the Education Act. Where a LA did not wish to name an Academy the parents wanted, the parents would rely on Section 9 Of the Education Act.

Appeals against the school named in the Statement are made through SENDIST for all types of school.

Quote:
 Will his statement help us to get a place in a grammar school?


If the LA agrees to name a maintained Grammar School for a child with a Statement the school must admit and there are only, as outlined above, a few reasons the LA could use not to to name a maintained Grammar school. Oversubscription on its own would certainly not be reason enough not to name the preferred school. For most of the new academy Grammar schools the position may be much the same but it would be worth seeking expert advice if the LA refused to name or the Academy refused to admit.
The above assumes that your child has qualified. If your child did not reach the qualfying standard any appeal would again be through SENDIST and against the naming of a non-selective school in Part 4 of the Statement rather than the Grammar school of choice, instead of through the normal school appeals process.

(I think Bucks may allow non-qualification appeals for Statemented children thorugh its normal appeals process, but I do not think this would debar further appeal through SENDIST if unsuccessful.)


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 6:18 pm
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Location: NW Kent
I tend to agree with Mystery. For my DS we were looking at a statement in year 1 but we decided to let the school deal with him at Action Plus. During year 3 he was dropped to School Action and in year 4 i had to sign an agreement that he didn't required any extra help BUT the senco kept him at School Action to cover his transfer to secondary.

We had an OT's report done in year 5 that stated he needed extra time and a scribe for exam situations and so he did the 11+ in a separate room with breaks. We didn't push for the scribe as he wasn't used to it and didn't feel it was necessary or right.

We had an EP report done mid year 6 which, i feel strongly, really helped our appeal to secondary school. It really made it clear why he had failed the VR and why his creative writing was rubbish :D

What i'm really trying to say is, as others have, maybe don't waste your energies on pursuing the statement instead concentrate on finding out exactly where his strengths and weaknesses are, via a variety of experts, and find out how they affect him. I feel this is more likely to get your DS the help he needs and aid his transition to secondary.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:58 pm
Posts: 22
Thanks to everbody who has taken the time and effort to reply and give us some valuable advise. We are very grateful indeed.

Our DS hoes not seem to have a hearing problem at present.

Yes, there was an EP report when he was statemented but this was in July 2005.

How do we get an EP to see him? We will ask the school initially but if they refuse do I ask the SEN office of the County Council or do I get it privately?

His current 'difficulty' is in Speaking, Listening and Writing particularly the latter

If we were to lose the statement, what would that mean for the future? We are actively preparing for the 11+ both working with him ourselves as well as private weekly tuition. If he does not make it to a grammer school, would his 'removed statement' help us in an appeal?

Best regards


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:34 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 5:26 pm
Posts: 7059
Quote:
would his 'removed statement' help us in an appeal?
I think it would depend on what sort of case you are able to present. You would need (a) evidence to establish why he had been disadvantaged in the 11+ as a result of the withdrawal of the statement, and (b) plenty of alternative evidence of high ability - see: http://www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/appeal ... cation#b11

_________________
Etienne


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 8:39 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:46 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Bucks
Hi

When our LA refused our request for a statutory assessment, among other things the LA argued that he was achieving at a level that was appropriate. We and his Primary HT argued that he was only achieving his current levels because of the support they were currently giving him at School Action Plus and that they were in fact giving him support in addition to the 5 hrs required. We had a private EP assessment done which proved that he still wasn't achieving his full potential at school.

We argued that without the support he would not be able to achieve his full potential and in April last year he was granted a statement. He is in Year 8 at a Grammar School and is doing well. I personally would fight tooth & nail to keep my DS's statement.


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