View Full Version : Special Needs Schools.

10th May 2003, 00:55
My grand daughter is a special needs child, aged sixteen in June. As a result she will be changing schools then, and her parents have been given a list to visit.
One, which will remain annonymous at the moment had a young man of about 18 masturbating in the class room when she entered. No-one took any notice, or indeed any effort to stop this action. Our daughter was of course shocked at this action.
It now comes to pass that Essex council have told our daughter that this is the only school on the list they are prepared to fund Grand Daughter to. When told of the visit, and the apparent dis-interest in the social education of the pupils, she was asked 'Well, apart from that, why don't you want Zoe to go there?'
What actions would fellow Ppuners take now?

Python apart, this is a serious question.

10th May 2003, 01:09
Awful situation TJ.

To get action you probably need a combination of your MP and your Councillor, a friendly journalist (try the nationals and the telly first) and a lot of determination.

Good luck.

10th May 2003, 01:20
My cousin is 11, and started at senior school this year. He was offered a choice of one school, which his parents weren't happy with (although there was nothing quite so seriously wrong with it as what you describe). They wrote to the education department over and over again, called them just about every day, but all to no avail.

My uncle spends a lot of time working in Glasgow, and happened to come across a school with some spare capacity. He enrolled my cousin in this school. Every Sunday night, he flew to Glasgow with my cousin. My cousin went to school, my uncle went to work. They stayed with friends when they could, and at cheap B+Bs when they couldn't, and they flew back home to London on Friday night.

After two months of this, the local council eventually found a place for him at a more suitable school, where he has now settled in very well.

Stick with it. Do whatever you need to do. They will give in eventually, but your daughter must show that she will go to whatever lengths necessary to get your granddaughter placed in a suitable environment. Good luck.


10th May 2003, 03:59
I can completely understand your fears as an Grandparent in sending your granddaughter to a school where you believe she may be unsafe.

The apparent disregard of what the boy was doing may not infact have been a disregard at all, its hard to understand but sometimes it is the advice given to the carers when people have some sort of sexual disfunction.
I was a volunteer for 4 years in special education , a completely wonderful and enlighting time for me. I was often shocked at the way children were treated( not bad treatment I hasten to add just unusual in my mind) , it made no sense to me but when the results were viewed many of the treatments and interaction became obvious.

We had a young child who suffered with a sexual disfunction and as a "normal adult" when you see such things you want to tell them to stop , but we were told this was the worst thing we could do, that is why I am saying don't dismiss this school out of hand , perhaps you could speak with the head and gather some form of explaination. I f after that explaination you are still disatisfied and the Education department will still not relent then take the route of the local press ,your MP etc.

I can also say I wasn't only a volunteer in special education (something I did in my spare time ) but also worked in it professionally for 18 months. The staff and carers I encountered were wonderful people , I hope you are sucessful in finding an excellent school for your granddaughter.

11th May 2003, 07:09
That maybe very accaeptable if the pupils were all one sex, but in a mixed sex enviroment ,to me it it is very unacceptable,and very detrementle to the females I would think.
I agree with the other postings the route to take would be via youre MP as i have found our MP to be very helpful .

11th May 2003, 13:58
For what its worth frm the other side of the pond

I don't pretend to know your local politics, but I do believe that the local MP AND the local press are your best friends. Over here, that approach and a lawyer (this is the Land of Litigation after all) are our best weapons.

She's your granddaughter and she needs your best, I am a divorced Dad, I have had to suck it up big time for my babies, but hell that's my job. I guess this is your new job. sorry but don't give an inch. Good luck

11th May 2003, 17:25
During my nurse training I had a placement at one of the special schools in my locality.

There were mixed pupils - I can remember one 14 year old who was sitting in the class with his hand down his trousers on his penis, 'playing', but not masterbating. He was told to refrain each time ''as it is socially unacceptable to behave in this way in company.''
At one 'session' I witnessed him grabbing the hand of a girl sitting next to him and placed her hand in that region, again these actions were stopped immediately

These kids may have learning difficulties, however, they have to try to learn social behaviour.
I would have the same concerns as yourself and family Terry, had I been in your situation and I would speak to the Head, the Governers and anyone else to voice your concerns.

On the funding issue, surely if there is money available for funding and you dislike the establishment designated, why on earth can't they make it available to be used elsewhere?
I know with social services accommodation the money is allocated and all the client has to do is find somewhere suitable that will accept the person - it works 'out of area' too........ this means that a client is resident in another area, but their own authority pays the other authority......It's all comes out of the same pot at the end of the day, so what difference does it make?

In the education system if one moves a child to another school because the child is having problems, the original school pays for transport to another place.

Maybe you should contact your MP by letter explaining the problem and then meet him face to face, if you get no joy from the agencies concerned.

Your Grandaughter deserves the best education and care you can find, it's completely unacceptable to expect her to be forced to go to a place that is, in your opinion unacceptable.

My neighbour is Deputy Head of a school for kids with Special Needs, I will speak to her later today and let you know what she has to say on the subject.

Good luck................and fight them all the way! :ok:

11th May 2003, 17:51
The funding issue is not as simple as you may think , I used to place children in various special schools. To place a child out of county is extremely difficult. There are very limited places at special schools , another area will not take out of county children when it prevents a child from their own area being placed.

As I said talk to the head Teacher before jumping to conclusions , the Knee jerk reaction may have a place sometimes but not here.

The mentally Handicapped are often young children trapped in adult bodies, they are kept away from society and so people fear them , most are very gentle souls.

11th May 2003, 18:36
Terry, flower certainly knows what she is talking about.

I used to be Chairman of Governors of a special school, and while what your granddaughter saw was, no doubt, extremely disturbing, I can see many situations in which it would not be appropriate to say anything.

A few questions for you to consider and not necessarily answer here:-
1) Who provided the parents with this list of schools?
2) Have Essex given any reasons for their refusal to fund attendance at any other school?
3) Has the Ed Psych given any opinion on the matter?
4) What exactly are your GD's "special needs"?

In my former profession, I worked extremely closely with all sorts of schools. The opinion of one of my colleagues (to which I don't entirely subscribe, but do to a certain extent) is that there is no such thing as a "good" school or a "bad" school. For any given pupil there is either the right school or the wrong school. To decide that you need to assess very carefully what your GD's needs are, and decide which school will be best able to meet those.

As regards the incident you describe, I think it best you follow flower's advice and ask about it. The answer may well set your mind at rest.

If you are still unhappy, enlist the support of your MP.

11th May 2003, 18:59

flower's post raises interesting points.
Your post does'nt indicate that you've spoken to those in charge of the boy at the time and those in charge of the school in question.If you have'nt, then maybe that'd be a good first step towards sorting things out?Apologies if you've done this.

Be interested to know what they say.

12th May 2003, 06:14
Maybe your daughter should contact ACE, I am sure they will be able to offer some advice or at least point you in the right direction. I hope it all works out for Zoe.

http://www.ace-ed.org.uk/ (http://)

SLF 999
12th May 2003, 17:26
As the father of a special needs daughter (aged 7) I share your concerns. We are lucky that we managed to get her into a good local school, but I do know of people who have had their children in schools in the south east of England (we are in Edinburgh).

My first point of contact would be with the school to ask for an explination and if you are unhappy with the outcome or still have concerns then kick up hell at the local council !, in local government he who shouts loudest usually gets what they want, they will try to fob you off with its the only one available but you are entitled to pick the school that you want her to go to and one which will suit her needs best, even if its outside your local area.

Have you spoken to social work dept to get them involved? I try to avoid them but when you need something done they can usually pull strings on your behalf

I know that your not in Edinburgh but if you need any info on schools here please send me a mail.