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Special Needs Education- a disgusting state of affairs!

(30 Posts)
trisher Mon 02-Apr-18 20:25:32

As it is revealed that the number of children with special needs unable to find a school place doubled in 2017 from 1,710 in 2016 to 4,050 in 2017. How can anyone believe that education is safe in this government's hands? The children most in need are being consigned to the scrap heap. It's disgusting!

Luckygirl Mon 02-Apr-18 20:46:48

Indeed it is disgraceful. Parents are being fined for taking children out of school for a week's holiday, while four thousand children are receiving no education at all through lack of resources.

midgey Mon 02-Apr-18 21:04:54

But it’s not only children with special needs, shocking though that is, in some areas parents are simply not allocated a place and are just told to home educate! I know because this happened to my granddaughter.

hildajenniJ Mon 02-Apr-18 21:11:10

My DGC are all on the autism spectrum. They were all in school, but they were being failed. The school just didn't know how to teach them. Of the three of them, only GS 1 had any help, and that was only for 2 hours a week. My DD decided to take them out of school and is teaching then herself.

annodomini Mon 02-Apr-18 21:56:09

This is what happens when accountability for education is removed from local authorities. In less than 20 years, the structures of local accountability have been dismantled in England and how are parents to cope with no support from the faceless bureaucracy of Westminster?

lemongrove Mon 02-Apr-18 22:09:19

That happened under a Labour government annodomini.
There has never been enough provision for children with special needs whereas money has constantly been showered on education generally.
The population has increased so much over the last ten years and diagnoses ( of autism and other special needs) has increased as well.
The wrong IMHO idea that such children should be educated within a ‘normal’ school environment has also been shown to not work, which is why parents have been home schooling them.

Deedaa Mon 02-Apr-18 22:11:29

We are lucky because GS1 (ASD and ADHD) is getting a lot of help. But then he is high functioning and very clever. No doubt his good results make the school look good. Cynical? Moi?

trisher Tue 03-Apr-18 11:12:11

lemongrove The wrong IMHO idea that such children should be educated within a ‘normal’ school environment has also been shown to not work, which is why parents have been home schooling them.
I take it then that you also disapprove of disabled people working along side other people? The best way for children to learn about people who are different and to play and work with them is for them to meet such children when they are young. They then become just another person. Of course it needs proper investment and it needs to be regarded as something that improves the school's atmosphere and properly assessed. Because besides schools being unable to afford the proper staff they are also concerned that these children will reduce their examination results and they will be lower in the down in the league tables.
And the idea that somehow Labour is responsible for the huge rise in numbers in 2017 is just ridiculous. It's the result of Tory cuts and nothing else.

midgey Tue 03-Apr-18 11:30:33

It’s not just this government it’s all of them. Constantly having new ideas and then ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’ is not a good idea. Most governments do have some good points we need to acknowledge that.

lemongrove Tue 03-Apr-18 11:56:41

trisher It varies from autistic expert to expert as to what is considered to be the best for them educationally speaking.
It also varies as to the capabilities of the child.
It became fashionable to think that autistic children shoukd be slotted into ‘normal’ schools alongside neurotypical children.
It works in a few cases, especially for primary school, but not at all for others ( our DGS is a case in point) and for secondary school it can be a living hell for many, which is why they end up being home schooled.
We need more schools for autistic children of all ages.

lemongrove Tue 03-Apr-18 11:57:38

Well said midgey smile

HAZBEEN Tue 03-Apr-18 12:08:35

I agree with you lemongrove, my DGS is high function ASD and very intelligent but due to bullying when he went to secondary school which was not addressed by the school he has been home educated. Had there been provision of special needs it may have been different. My DD his mother had major depression when she was 12 and as a result of no support by the school I also home educated her. I have witnessed first hand how physically challenged children have been helped and supported but not mentally challenged. This varies from area to area but in the majority of cases a lot depends on how loud you shout and sheer luck.

Morgana Tue 03-Apr-18 12:12:29

'money has constantly been showered on education generally.' Really?

Morgana Tue 03-Apr-18 12:13:24

I am horrified that we as a society are failing so many of our children. Children are the future of a country.

trisher Tue 03-Apr-18 13:44:41

midgey if you can point out any of the "good points" of this administration I'd be pleased to hear them.
lemongrove if money has been 'showered on education' why do you think 4000 children are not in education? You comment that children including your DGS can cope in primary school. The obvious question is then why can't the same circumstances be recreated in secondary schools to enable these children to succeed? The answer is of course money, providing small safe units within an ordinary school is expensive and schools are struggling to provide basic amenities without providing extra support. And if special schools for autistic children were to be set up it would be even more expensive, so would need more money.
I agree that there is a lack of real support HAZBEEN and I hoped that things were improving, but it seems they are getting worse.

MaizieD Tue 03-Apr-18 15:32:06

Children with special needs can 'cope' in primary school because there are proportionally fewer of them in each school. Secondary schools have several 'feeder' primary schools. Whereas a primary school might have one child on the autistic spectrum in a year group a secondary school admitting from half a dozen schools may end up with six in a year group, all with unique needs (because no two autistic children will be the same) quite a different proposition.

The other thing which makes it difficult for these particular children in secondary is the perpetual change of teachers over the school day. It isn't easy for secondary schools.

Funding is a real problem. Before I retired children had a Statement of educational need. This might call for a child to have support from a teaching assistant for all or part of the school day. A full time TA could cost the school £16 or £17,000 a year or more. The money a school got for a child with special needs, though more than for a regular pupil, came absolutely nowhere near covering that sum.

The system is different now but I suspect that schools are still called upon to provide more per child than their budget can cope with.

Morgana Tue 03-Apr-18 19:54:16

Many secondary schools are just too big now, with well over a thousand pupils.

MaizieD Tue 03-Apr-18 20:13:47

Over 1,000 pupils may also be very challenging for a child on the autistic spectrum

Cherrytree59 Tue 03-Apr-18 20:44:43

I have considered starting a thread about secondary education for children on the autistic spectrum.
It is for us a few years down he line, but it is quite a concern.

I know that some GNers DGC are home schooled
Is this the only option if a child cannot cope with the school environment re size, noise and routine etc.
I know it is difficult regarding family info.
But any advice and a little hope for the future would be gratefully received.

Apologies to trisher I don't want to side track your thread.
Just a a worried grandmother.

trisher Tue 03-Apr-18 21:02:38

That's OK Cherrytree59 I do understand how worrying it can be. I have a question for all those who have posted about autistic children. If you were offered a real choice what would be the ideal solution?
A unit in a secondary school
A seperate special school
Home schooling
I heard recently about a couple who got several thousand from their local scout group because their son's needs were not being met. Would it be possible for a group of parents to do something similar?

Cherrytree59 Tue 03-Apr-18 21:23:43

Thank you trisher
This is all very new to me.
At the moment I thinking a unit in a secondary school.
Our little academy school has a separate unit that is used for SEN children for part of the school day.

I am very mindful of my father who was profoundly deaf from about 3 or 4 yrs age
My GP chose to send him to a 'normal' school.
He had quite a difficult time but he did happily mix with hearing friends.
He always maintained that his parents did the right thing.
He did not want to be 'made to be different'.

lemongrove Tue 03-Apr-18 22:02:45

trisher No, our DGS could not and did not cope within any normal primary school, although some children can with the help of a TA.
Thankfully, because our DD got very good at demanding something be done, he has been at a great school for children like him,clever, but with complex autistic and other problems.Other children are not so lucky and successive governments haven’t got it right yet.You totally misunderstood my post btw.Money has been showered on education
In the last 20 years but certainly not on building schools for high acheiving autistic children.
Special schools for low achieving autistic children, especially those with any physical disability on the other hand seem to be getting much better and having money spent on them.It just needs to be extended to the others, they may be clever but their needs are just as important.
Home schooling is a last desperate measure for parents who will not put their child through the misery of a school where they are bullied/unhappy/ stressed.
It is a very sad situation indeed, but we were all ( in the family) ready to do what was necessary rather than see our lovely DGS suffer.

lemongrove Tue 03-Apr-18 22:03:43

Hazbeen....yes, you obviously understand the situation well.

Doodle Tue 03-Apr-18 22:38:52

trisher I think the best type of schooling depends on the child. My DGC attends a secondary school with a special autistic unit. All lessons are in the main school with a TA. It is tough but it is working well and the school have been great. DGC's friends (also autistic) attend a special school. They are finding it very hard because the children there are are more severely autistic and have constant meltdowns disrupting the whole class. No sure what the answer is but I don't think a 'one size fits all' solution is the answer.

HAZBEEN Wed 04-Apr-18 09:10:01

lemongrove, yes its a case of been there got the tshirt etc with us! 28 years ago my daughter was left with no support through the school and 5 years ago exactly the same for my grandson.