Yesterday I got back from school to find a letter from the school.
Confused, I read it.
It was the head teacher’s reply to the MP regarding my email to him.
Here is what The Muppet had to say! (No wonder she wasn’t at the meeting!)
Thank you for your letter regarding Dinky. I am sure you will have realised this is a complex and unusual situation.
Dinky joined our school during the last summer term from ‘X’ school. ‘X’ school is an outstanding school. The staff recognised that Dinky had special needs and were concerned about keeping her safe in school.
Since Dinky has been at our school we have done everything within our power to ensure that we provide for her needs. In the 7 months that Dinky has been at our school (she has been there 10 months!), Dinky and her mother have had support from:
- an assessment for a statement (was first brought up by the muppet)
- Educational psychology (suggested by Paed and Camhs, and part of statement process)
- Social communication team (suggested by Pead and head of paeds, and part of statement process)
- Social care (I didn’t ask them to be involved!)
- Specialist Nurture group provision (I didn’t want Dinky in there in the first place!)
- Parent Partnership (are useless)
- SALT (only after I paid for a private assessment)
- 1:1 TA support (Only started in October for 35 minutes a day, only ‘full time’ for 4 days)
- Personalised learning and timetable (Only since starting in nurture group)
- CDC/ NHS/ Paediatrician (Started before she went to this school)
- Special needs group (Started before she started this school)
(Most of these are only recent, since November! or only started as soon as mid-January/early February- also missed out integrated services!)
There has almost always been a senior member of staff available to talk to mum however mum will only speak to certain members of staff and sometimes because of teaching commitments it is not possible for a specific member of staff to be available at a specific time.
(I said I wouldn’t talk to her! I was willing to talk to ANYONE else, I made that very clear! SO there wasn’t anyone available for 3 and a half days… for 15 minutes! BULL!)
It is important that all parents understand that Headteachers have a statutory duty to follow all child protection procedures as laid down by the local safeguarding board. Furthermore all headteachers have a responsibility to ensure that all children and staff are safe when they are at school. Thus if a child assaults an adult there will be consequences as outlined in the schools Behaviour Policy.
(I do understand that if they had legitimate concerns that they have to contact social care, which is fine, but to leave out PDA was WRONG! I do understand the safety of the other students, except they only account for 30% of her exclusions!)
I can understand Dinky’s mum’s frustration that things are not happening fast enough for her daughter. I can also understand her upset when Professional diagnosis and advice do not agree with hers.
- the only professional diagnosis is the provisional one of PDA which I agree with
- The only time I haven’t agreed was with the first Paed who said he didn’t know what PDA was.
- The only thing they can be talking about is their own ‘diagnosis’ of attachment, but they are not allowed to diagnose.
- THEY are the ones who have disagreed with the provisional diagnosis! THEY refused to follow advice from SN group leader. THEY wouldn’t listen to any strategies that could help!
In 15 years of leadership of schools in 2 counties, I have not known things to move so quickly. (pfft, this is slow! I have pushed for EVERYTHING, and she is ENTITLED and NEEDS most of those involved!) I am also clear that no other mainstream school in the area could offer any more for Dinky. (well she obviously doesn’t know very much! There is another mainstream school that would have acted much sooner, and have dog therapy and more SEN trained staff! I’m not saying that Dinky would cope there in a class of 30, but they can offer more!)
I hope that this information proves useful. I am copying this letter to Dinky’s Mum to ensure communication is clear.
signed The Muppet
SERIOUSLY!!!! What a MUPPET! She is making me out to be a Munchausen’s mum or a pushy parent unwilling to take other views on board! I am going to make it my goal to get her fired so she cant keep doing this to parents. She has already pushed another child with ASD- possibly PDA out of the school!
Once I finally calmed down I thought I would have a look into the family initiative the Integrated services lady brought up.
This was the first thing I saw
is a County Council initiative relating to the Government’s ‘Helping troubled families turn their lives around‘ policy. It brings together local organisation to support vulnerable families.
Targeting 1,200 families with multiple, complex issues and delivering new solutions to persistent problems will lead to lasting, positive change for families and communities.
Who we are targeting and how
Who: vulnerable families…
Targeting families with problems relating to:
- crime – young people involved in crime and anti-social behaviour;
- education – children not in school;
- worklessness – adults on out-of-work benefits;
- other health and social issues; and
- children vulnerable to repeating previous cycles of negativity and lost opportunity.
How: a new approach for real change…
- A single Keyworker – building trust and giving committed, intensive support and coaching.
- Family plans – working by consent for goals which the family sets itself.
- Local services, all working together using a new coordinated approach, supporting the whole family.
- Dynamic, persistent and respectful – really getting involved with a family’s problems, not giving up, and building confidence and capability.
The result: huge personal and social benefits…
- Children attending school regularly.
- Parents in jobs or training.
- Lower levels of crime and anti-social behaviour – healthier and happier communities.
- Families working better as a unit, able to look after and support each other.
- Better life prospects and breaking cycles of negative attitudes.
- Better use of public funds.
So, everyone gains!
Hmmmm… not so happy.
What’s expected from the family?
By working with us we would like you to agree to:
A family agreement
This is an agreement between all members of your family to work with the Programme and sets out the situation now and what you are aiming for. It gives information on what support you will be offered and how you will make the changes needed.
A family plan
Your family plan will be written and agreed with you and your family worker. We will need your permission to share information we may have about you with other organisations, who may be able to support you in achieving your goals.
By taking part in the programme, you are taking the first step towards making positive changes to the lives of your family members. This is your commitment that you want positive changes for you and for your family.
The result of the work you will do with your family worker will help you to feel more positive about managing your role in the family and your local community and help all family members to build new skills and increase their confidence.
The goal is:
- Children attending school regularly.
- Parents in jobs or working towards employment.
- Lower levels of crime and anti-social behaviour – healthier and happier communities.
- Families working better together, able to look after and support each other.
- Better life prospects.
Sounds like a parenting programme.
The aim of the programme is to work with families who are experiencing problems with crime and anti-social behaviour, children who need support to regularly attend school, adults who are not able to work and families who are dealing with health and social issues.
The project aims to improve outcomes for children, young people and their families throughout the county where they are vulnerable to the effects of worklessness, missed educational opportunities, crime and disorder and may be facing health and other social issues.
Then there is a video.
PC PLOD: in my 28 years of policing, is that those who cause the most problems in society, those that commit crime and anti social behaviour, were brought up in families which were dysfunctional. When they grow up themselves to have families the cycle is repeated.
County council representative: county council provides social services and support for families and children, and it is entirely appropriate that we carry out our duties particularly in safeguarding those children.
PC Plod: when a child is brought up in a stable and loving family , they generally grow to be positive members of our community. But when they are brought up in families where there is abuse or neglect, poor parenting skills, absentee fathers or multiple partners, they can have a negative impact for the rest of their lives.
county council rep: If we can give them a better start in life, if they can get to school, ready for school, ready for learning, that gives them a real tremendous chance, and often those children are in poverty. It is a very important point to get them out of poverty by getting them ready for education, ready to learn and that is what will lift them out of poverty in the future
PC Plod: This county is an affluent county, however there are parts where 1 in 3 children live in poverty. The charity Barnardos says that can have a massive impact on a child’s development because their parents can not afford the basics, such as a pair of school shoes, or 3 square meals a day, or a school coat, or have friends round for tea, which has an impact on their development as they grow up.
County council rep: Over the years we have a developed an approach which is the same across the country, which is about a sticking plaster on those troubled families. (video of a distant family where the adults are smoking and a man holds a beer can, a child is in a buggy and a child just stands next to it). We go in, we get them straight, set them on their course, and move away from them. But often we haven’t solved the problems, the deep seated problems within those families.
PC Plod: Research from Montreal shows violent adolescents didn’t just become violent, that they displayed violence as young as 6 and could have been predicted that they would go that way at the age of 3. That is why it is so important that they are given a stable upbringing.
County council rep: we are working with those families to manage those deep seated problems. To help families to learn to help themselves so they can actually move forward with their lives with confidence. The change in behaviours is so important. But it is particularly important for those very young children. (out comes a mum with a young child and a police officer smiling down the road). If we can give them a better start in life, if we can get them to school ready for school, ready for learning that gives them a real tremendous chance
PC Plod: At the moment agencies support families in need independently, we are not joined up, we do not co ordinate our activity. This programme is about providing a single worker, that can bring agencies together and provide the support that families need.
Project worker: I am a project worker, we work with families with multiple problems, which is often intergenerational and entrenched. We work with the whole family, but with a child focus. We have small caseloads, we can work with a family for up to 18 months.
A Mum: the project has helped me put in boundaries, understand my children a lot more, work with my children.
Project worker: I have been working with families for over three years, in that time, I have really seen the benefit of the long term, whole family work that we do. Really noticed the difference and changes in families, we work holistically with every family member, build their confidence and trust.
A Mum: You have to having a trusting relationship with them, and my experience is, they put a lot of things in place for me to help me with my parenting, my boundaries, understanding my children a lot more.
Project worker: Often there are a lot of agencies involved, and families are really overwhelmed with what is expected of them, and often, they don’t know what is expected of them, and they are being pulled in one direction to another. So my job is to really co-ordinate that, and take it one step at a time, often in baby steps to achieve what they need.
A Mum: I don’t get judged, they support me they don’t judge my parenting they help me rather than tell me that is the way I have got to do it. It is working together, having a trusting relationship, so that I don’t fell that I am being intimidated.
Project worker: In my experience the project approach is the best way forward in tackling those deep entrenched family issues, that not only impact families, but impact on communities and societies on the whole.
PC Plod: We have already seen a big success with the project workers, and in X and Y for example we have seen a 64% reduction in antisocial behaviour with those families that have engaged
County council rep: We are not seeing this as a 3 year project which ‘troubled families’ is about, we believe that if we can move this forward in the service, we believe we can get sustained improvement in those families that have real troubles, and perhaps we wont be seeing the children and the grandchildren of the parents that we are helping now and that is our drive because in the end, we are spending £9 BILLION of tax payers money and we have to question if you are not getting good results why are you spending the money that way? Far better to invest it in a far better outcome, which I really think we will deliver.
A Mum: Well, it is a lot more calmer in my house now, I am not so stressed up anymore. The project have made me understand that there are other ways of dealing with my children’s behaviour in the aspect of parenting, getting different strategies, I just feel so more, its like a chip has been taken off my shoulder, because I know that I have got someone on the other end of the phone I can talk to if I am having a stressful day.
PC Plod: To tackle some of the difficult problems in society like crime and disorder we have to take a long term view, we have to help that person when they were a child by supporting their family, it is a bit like those who built the cathedrals in our country, those who laid the foundations many of whom never saw the end result, and that is what this project is about, it is about getting upstream and providing support for that family so that that child grows up not to be a criminal, but to be a positive member of society.
A Mum: I would like to thank the project, for all their work, if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am today with my children and having a happy life with my kids, and I hope their work continues, particularly with other parents the same as what they have given me. Hope in life. So thank you.
Yes because that’s it, just send round some jumped up parenting prodigy to help me non judgementally turn my parenting around so that my child doesn’t become a criminal and become a burden to society!
My child has a disability NOT A FLAMING ASBO!
It is disgusting!
I don’t even know what to do now. I am seriously Peed off!
Today Dinky was quite relaxed. We went to watch the Lego Movie, she struggled a little but had her ear defenders on throughout, But she absolutely loved it!
We went shopping and she was busy on her Ipad in the trolley with a Lego movie App. I managed to get all the bits for her party on Sunday! So we are almost there!
Dinky is nearly 6!!!