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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:52 pm 
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Having called the CSSE yesterday - They still do not have a Reasonable Adjustments Policy and Process for the 11+ Exam - which by law they should have - but the good news is that it is meant to be available from 1st July 2012 (the first date from which you can apply for the examination in September 2012)

This policy should state what their process and procedure is for addressing different types of disability and for providing appropriate adjustments to the exam for such SEN pupils.

Hope it is worth the wait and helps our talented and disabled children to get the right exam conditions for them to demonstrate their abilities despite their issues.


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Just to let you know we have just won an appeal - decision based on poor implementation of reasonable adjustments awarded to my DD - so the admissions process was not followed correctly.
I still wonder if the whole process for disabled children was flawed due to the lack of a proper reasonable adjustments policy for last November's exam?


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:42 am 
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Even when there is a reasonable adjustment policy it does not always work. Fundementally the problem is that when it comes to, sen the reasonable adjustments need to be person specific. To be effective it costs money that the system isn't willing to put in for children who are not academically behind. Lets face it, the children most suitable for grammer school are those academically above average. Anyone with a disabled or sen child knows how hard it is to get the system to invest in their children if they are successful iin school. So parents have to either pay for reports before hand which suggest appropriate adjustments (which still may not be accepted by the education authority) or put their children into a test they know they are disadvantaged in and deal with the emotional effect on their child while they appeal after the fact.
I do see where the educational authorities are coming from in one way. Not everyone has ASD, dyslexia,... To the same degree. Having blanket if they have this disroder they get the adjustment would lead to some positive discrimination with advantages being given out unnecessarily. However, the self esteem damage, the stress, the confusion done to more vunerable chldren is completely ignored with the incorrect assumption appeals catch those problems. Some may never appeal, others with successful appeals have long lasting emotional damage, and others unsuccesfully apeal due to lack of evidence due to lack of accesss to ed psychs and other specialists.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:54 am 
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It is a very tricky one. Take "dyslexia" for example. It has no clear meaning whatsoever and lots of different definitions. Many Ed Psychs remain puzzled about it and consider that the majority of children who do have "dyslexia" diagnoses could be taught to read and write far better than they currently do, apart from a very tiny minority.

As Atilla points out, some children with "dyslexia" may get an adjustment in exams, and others who face similar difficulties but don't have a dyslexia diagnosis may not. In an exam with time pressure this is very unfair.

It's the same with SATS exams. If you take a definition of dyslexia which defines it as a discrepancy between IQ and literacy skills (i.e. high IQ, poor literacy skills) then the high IQ child could get longer to complete their SATS papers, but the child who has lower IQ and poor literacy skills will not.


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 10:29 pm 
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Hi Senmum,

Congratulations on winning your appeal Senmum-excellent news and very interesting info about the Reasonable Adjustments policy. I wasn't aware that this was supposed to be in place by July...I don't think KCC knows that :lol:

Well done again
Tigger
x


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:42 pm 
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Thank you for your kind reply tigger - all heads should be aware of it as they form the CSSE board. But after asking in the shfg general appeal session about it I can say that it is still not very well known.

In reply to some of the other comments posted - the existence of a reasonable adjustments policy for disabled students does not mean that extra time etc would be grated to all -it should just mean that there is a fairer process for determining the reasonable adjustments required for the disability present. Previously myself and others have faced a blanket ban on certain types of adjustment -particularly readers and extra time despite these being an appropriate adjustment for the extent of the disability in question. it is precisely this type of blanket ban that my lawyers considered unlawful as it did not give some disabled children access to any reasonable adjustments relevant to their disability. I do hope that the new policy will enable us to have a fairer access to the examination for these pupils.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:10 pm 
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So disappointed - went to SHFB open evening ( for DS benefit ) tonight.
The Q&A flyer issued to deal with the new CSSE admissions route is in my opinion incorrect and unlawful with regard to reasonable adjustments for the exam in September 2012.
It states :
" On the exam day, are special arrangements available for candidates with special needs? - You need to send the relevant information to the CSSE on their Supplementary Information Form and they pass this information on to the school. There is no extra time allotted on any occasion. In previous years, we have accommodated special requests for enlarged papers."

My view on this:
Firstly - extra time has been allotted on at least one occasion in the past - with my DD.
Secondly - my legal specialists were prepared to take the CSSE last year to a Judical Review over the blanket ban on extra time - as in their detailed and well supported view - this was an unlawful policy. In fact my DD was awarded legal aid in her own name to take the JR forward - fortunately , when presented with the detailed evidence and the prospect of a JR, the schools solicitor decided on a process which included a proper independent assessment of my DD's requirements which resulted in both extra time and a reader

My advice to anyone facing a blanket ban like this for their DC :

Don't take no for an answer - even several times
If you want legal ammunition - I would be happy to help
Have proper expert documentation of your DC's special needs
Start as early as possible
1st July their Reasonable Adjustments Policy should be available - I shall be asking for this and posting my views.

best of luck


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 10:35 pm 
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Have now got sen special arrangements guideline document from CSSE. To me it seems somewhat confusing talking about medical conditions and disability interchangeably. But it is something better than the blanket ban on extra time they had before. I suppose the important thing to remember is that conditions like dyslexia and autism are disabilities and as such do merit a wider range of adjustments. If anyOne would like a copy of the policy just pm me. I would recommend anyone applying for adjustments starts early.
Best of luck


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:00 pm 
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Hi Senmum,

Does the 1st July deadline that you wrote about in an earlier post apply to every education authority?

many thanks
Tigger


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:11 am 
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As far as I know it is only Essex as they did not have a policy last year and promised to deliver one and gave me a deadline of 1st July - but all authorities should have such a policy to show how they are complying with the law in this area.


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