Well today was interesting! (As are most days when you have a wonderful child with PDA- diagnosed or otherwise!) Today was no exception.
Dinky was being slow, wouldn’t get ready for school, and was hissing at me over getting her shoes on. I knew it was because she was going into that sorry excuse for a school. She was going to go into the staffroom and play games, they would try to force work on her because they think that somehow if she is happy playing games she is then cured of PDA temporarily, then they see that is not the case!
I purposely didn’t book anything in for today as I wanted to do the other housework that I have been neglecting (the deep clean stuff and moving the piles of clean washing into the relevant rooms rather than taking them from the pile to wear that day!), and have a bit of time with NO paperwork, no phone calls, and no emails.
Well it didn’t quite happen.
I watched a film, got bored had a look for things online. Started worrying about getting a call from school. Then I got annoyed as I remembered that the school were supposed to phone me yesterday to discuss Dinky’s provision within the school. I didn’t get that phone call. I then got really annoyed as technically I haven’t been informed of the provision change.
I was no longer in the mood to ‘relax’, so I looked up carers assessments, and by law I am entitled to one, and phoned the local number, only o be passed back to the numpties at the child disability team. Who again said that Dinky didn’t fit their criteria. I said I wasn’t asking for Dinky to be assessed, I was asking for my needs as a carer to be assessed, by law if you are caring for an individual for a substantial amount of time, which I do, then you are entitled to a carers assessment. She said she would send out forms. I got extremely confused, as I am sure someone has to be present at an assessment. She tried to fob me off with a one off £250 payment for a short break for parent carers which is an annual pay out. As if I could pay for a 1:1 support for Dinky for a few hours a week for a whole year on £250!
I asked for a carers assessment. She had no idea what I was talking about. MUPPET!
I got fed up.
I started thinking about the TAC, the social communication report and all the other stuff the school haven’t done and got very angry.
In July’s TAC I told them this would happen.
In September’s TAC The Muppet asked what I was so afraid of, I told her I was worried it will escalate and Dinky wont cope.
Now we have had 8 exclusions in 9 weeks, dinky playing games in the staffroom and stressing out at home, barely sleeping. Pfft.
I wanted answers.
I grabbed my coat and walked to the school. I asked the receptionist if there was any member of leadership team- apart from The Muppet, that was free to discuss Dinky’s provision. She said that she couldn’t find anyone. I told her it was a simple thing that I am asking, surely there must be someone that can tell me how the school plans on educating Dinky.
She said The Muppet would be available in 5 minutes. I picked up the school prospectus and read the following
In my role as Head Teacher I am often asked to describe what I think is important about our academy. My answer is always the same. We put the children first. Every child is special. Every child is unique. Every child deserves the opportunity to be happy, to feel safe, to feel valued and to be successful.
and ended with “Unless you happen to be Dinky! Also I do not want to start an argument with her today, omission of facts is equal to lying, she should remember that in future when contacting social services about families! If you can not tell me how the school intends to provide an education for my child then, can you please go get my child”
Out she comes with Dinky who is upset that she is leaving at playtime. I tell her we are going to go get something special from the shop and play together at home. She is not coming home because she is in trouble with the school, rather, that mummy is very cross at the school, and I want to take care of her. Which she was happy with.
The receptionist asked me to sign dinky out. I wrote her name, and under ‘class’ wrote
Staff room or where ever suits the school
Under reason I wrote
Not being educated
That should be fun for other parents to read as they sign their children out of school for the rest of the week!
Until the school have the decency to contact me and tell me what they are planning to do regarding dinky’s education for the time that she is there, then I shall keep her off. The more time she spends off the worse her record is, the more likely that everyone involved in her statutory assessment process realises that this IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!
An education establishment that is not educating one of its SEN pupils.
When we got home and Dinky was spinning, while watching monsters inc on the TV, Anna Kennedy OBE, posted this on facebook:
which is exactly what I am trying to do for dinky.
I wont give up, it is not in my nature! I WILL find a way to make it happen, but first I need everyone’s attention… I believe her attendance rate dropping like a sack of spuds from 100% (with the exclusion of the exclusions) down to however low it will go until I get answers and am satisfied that the school are going to act in Dinky’s best interests, should be enough to get the attention of the relevant professionals! Then I can make my case for getting her in the right provision. All the research indicates early intervention is key, so how come we have gone past that.. how bad does it have to get before someone pays attention?
Its the illusion of Inclusion. Dinky is not being included in mainstream, if anything she is being excluded to the hilt without being excluded from the premises, this is not good enough! This should not be allowed to happen… How are people going to know unless I make them aware… Drastic times call for Drastic measures!
I am aware that there is a possibility that I might be fined by the local authority for unauthorised absence. Although I am sure I can fight that on a number of grounds, namely that the reason for the fines is because the children should be in school getting an education, well, in Dinky’s case even if she is in school she is not receiving an education! They would probably have to take me to court in order to get a penny from me! Of course then I could launch a counter claim for the times she has been illegally excluded from school!
I told Dinky that there is no school tomorrow, that we are going to have a nice relaxing day. She watched the rest of Monsters Inc, then as I was setting up the table ready for Lego stealth learning at the end of the film, I called her. I went over to find her absolutely Sparko on the sofa. She hasn’t slept much in 2 nights, that is with her having her melatonin and having gone to soft play for two and a half hours yesterday!
The relief of not going to school was evident. I cant home school, I just don’t have the capacity in myself to do it. However this will do until they get her in a special school that can meet her needs.
People (especially those who are technically called ‘professionals’), tend to underestimate me and judge me by the fact I live in jeans a fleece jumper and a baseball cap (and I look about 15- which is not good!). Well, I think they have royally done it now!
I will not give up. My Dinky DESERVES better!
We both felt so much better since I brought her home and she had her spinning time.
I shall keep the blog updated!