Thursday, 11 June 2015

All systems go again

So the good news is that Little E has a school to go to in September! We had a call from the special needs teacher at one of the other schools we’d applied to saying that they've read his reports from top to bottom and would be delighted to have E attend. They feel they would definitely be able to support and encourage him.

What a refreshing perspective. Even though they have a lesser rating from Ofsted (the UK Government office that inspects and regulates children's services), we’ve decided to take them up on their offer. Surely it’s better for E to go somewhere he’s wanted and where they are already inspired to help him, rather than for us to keep fighting for somewhere that clearly sees him as a burden?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still furious about the treatment we got from the first school. We started a complaints procedure and received a letter back stating that they take exception to us saying they are being non-inclusive – they just don't think they would be able to accommodate E and strongly advise against continuing to try and get him a place with them. 

I have to say, it puzzles me as to why E would pose such an insurmountable problem to them. After all, the numerous medical and educational professionals who have met and officially reported on him all agree that he will thrive in, and be an asset to, a mainstream school as long as he has extra support (which he does). I could understand if the school already has so many children with additional needs it just wouldn't be viable for the teachers to manage another one. However, on reading the publicly available school intake information, it turns out that this particular school hasn't accepted any children with additional needs this year. Our "non-inclusive" comment doesn't feel that far off the mark...

Ultimately we’ll have to drop the fight soon. It galls me that we'll be letting them get away with this behaviour as they’ll just carry on ticking the box for being an inclusive school when they’re so clearly not. However, we’ll have other fights heading our way over the coming years and for now it’s better to focus our energy on working with the school that have accepted E to ensure he gets the best out of his time there.