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SEN support in Herts (Copy for SEN Forum)
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Author:  Jerusha [ Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:33 am ]
Post subject:  SEN support in Herts (Copy for SEN Forum)

I would be very interested in opinions regarding SEN support in these North London selective schools.

I have a good friend whose son is diagnosed with Asperger sy/ autism. He is very very good in maths and just secured a place at QE (with very high score, no tutpring at all) and also in Latymer. He has EHCP and they need to decide about schools within 2 weeks. They are considering DAO and MHCHS as well where he did not have to sit the exam because of the EHCP.

His mum is concerned about the support he might receive in these school and she finds it very hard to choose.
He is academically brilliant and would not have any problems with the stretch and he in fact longs for challenges (finds his current primary very boring). However, his behaviour can be a problem. He is not agressive at all and is getting on with his peers very well. However, he is very stubborn and often refuses to follow the teachers' instructions and sometimes choses not to do a task if he finds it unreasonable or too easy.

Perhaps he would love the challenges at QE but his behaviour might not be tolerated there, and her mum really would like him to go to a school where he can thrive and achieve his potential, but also the school's approach would be tolerant enough.

She has scheduled meetings with the senco-s in all schools in the next 2 weeks, but it would be very heplful if someone had first-hand experience with the schools - especially QE.

Author:  Stokers [ Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: SEN support in Latymer/QE/DAO/MHCHS

My son is at QE and I am a SENCO at a different school. When we went on our tour, we happened to be escorted by the current SENCO. They didn't, at that point, have any EHCP students at the school but she indicated that there were a number of students who might be considered to be on the autistic spectrum who were happy in the school. However, it is a school that relies on students following instructions and complying with the rules and this is stressed at all parent events.

Having said this, all and any school must demonstrate that it is and has made reasonable adjustments to its policies and procedures to take account of special needs and this must include behavioural support. Indeed, schools should treat EHCP/SEN students more favourably, if necessary, to enable them to manage within the school environment. In my school, this manifests as a parallel behaviour policy with a couple more steps and an emphasis on learning breaks and reflection rather than immediate consequences and silent, inactive detentions. In addition, identified students can bring fidget toys into lessons and can reasonably expect differentiated homework and visual as well as verbal instructions.

Your friend's approach is right - meet the SENCO and gauge their attitude. Whilst she should have high expectations of 'how' a school should behave, at the end of the day, she shouldn't sacrifice her child's wellbeing. A talented and hard working child will do well at any school; a child with EHCP/special needs will only do well at a school that is inclusive and supportive of their individual support requirements.

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