The school talk to me!

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It has been a testing week, with the school.

To recap

Friday last week: I was told that dinky was playing games in the staff room 1:1 in the mornings, and asked for someone to phone and tell me what is going on. No one did

Monday: I asked for someone to call me to tell me what was going on. No one did.

Tuesday: I asked someone to call me, no one did. I went to the school at 1pm and asked for someone to explain why dinky was in the staff room playing games. No one was able to tell me, so I took her home, and said she will come back when someone calls me to tell me what is going on.

Wednesday: no call – emailed MP and governors.

Thursday: no call

This morning: phoned school and told them I had contacted the governors, and if I don’t get a call back to have a meeting with the school today, I will be taking it further as they are failing in their duty of care.

I got a call back from the office inviting me to see enlightened deputy and work-shy SENCO at 2pm.

I get to the school- dinky was with my dad- and I wait for the deputy. As I’m waiting the Muppet walks in and says hello to the office staff, and then to me. I begrudgingly say hello back.

The deputy came out to meet me. I was determined to not get angry, and only go with what Dinky NEEDS.
We discuss my can of red bull, which was actually only the second one of the day which is extremely good for me as I go through around 4 cans a day and haven’t had anymore.
Apparently the SENCO was going to make notes and comment here and there, and the deputy was going to talk to me.
She asked if I wanted to start seeing as I asked for the meeting.
I told her that I wanted to discuss Dinky’s education. She asked how dinky had been at home for the last few days.
I said she had actually been really good. She has been calm happy and even done some writing!
I told her how I found out about the change, and how disappointed I was that I had to go to such great lengths and STILL no-one would talk to me. Dinky was unhappy about the change, she doesn’t tend to tell me things about school but she was unhappy enough to tell me about it, so it must have thrown her. I couldn’t explain it to her, prepare her or reassure her because I didn’t actually know about the change and couldn’t help. Which of course didn’t help her.

The SENCO said that she would like to point out that The Muppet was available twice this week, but I was the one that declined. I very politely said

yes, I am aware of that. I am not being childish, but I have very good reason to be angry with her and this conversation needed to be focused on Dinky, not regarding an isolated incident. I have made my feelings regarding this quite clear to the office staff, and all the professionals I have spoken to regarding this issue agree that I have a very good reason to feel the way I do. I am not angry at the school. This is about Dinky and her education, which is the most important thing. I can’t believe that there was NO point in the last 5 days that not a SINGLE other member of senior leadership team could not have contacted me regarding this issue, ESPECIALLY when I took her home.

I was not expecting this

I completely take on board your points, and there is NO excuse as to why we didn’t contact you or discuss this with you at the time. Your points about reassuring and preparing dinky, are valid ones.

I pointed out that while most parents do not need to know very much, but that is because their kids are doing what they are meant to, sitting in a classroom with 29 other kids and learning the things with their peers. Dinky is not however one of these children. I heard she was playing games with a 1:1 in the mornings and it didn’t sound right. Surely as her parent I deserve to know how things are going with her education.

Again the deputy apologised and said that again I had a very valid point, and that in future they would talk to me about changes to her provision. I told them if they don’t have time, I would be happy to receive a note home, just so I can help to prepare her for the changes.

They both agreed that this was acceptable.

They said the plan was to have this 1:1 to get to know dinky. Have her for an hour in the mornings and then go to do choosing in the nurture room, back to the 1:1 for a short while after break, nurture for a small period before lunch, and then back to nurture for practical learning and social skills through games.
Initially, the 1:1 would be getting to know her and possibly doing learning through games in the second session. The learning will be taken slowly so the 1:1 can learn to identify her triggers and gauge anxiety.
Choice based learning will be brought in slowly in order not to make too many changes at once.

It didn’t sound as bad as I thought. And in truth sounds like a decent enough plan. It could work for a few months before I get her moved schools. True she probably won’t learn too much, but she won’t learn much anyway given the school have NO IDEA what they are actually doing, and dinky finds it hard anyway.

Dinky finds phonics mornings hard. Which I am not surprised at. Basically the whole school splits off into small groups and spread round the entire school. We had a TAC before just as it was ending and there were literally small groups of children EVERYWHERE. In the corridors, in the staff room, senior leadership offices, halls, library, studio, everywhere! Dinky has a habit of disturbing the nearest group of children to get out of doing her task.

I offered for dinky to go in later. It isn’t fair on the other kids, and I know how disruptive she can be, so dinky will start 30 minutes later.

We discussed the reports a very small amount as when I brought them up the SENCO kept changing the subject. She was trying to get out of admitting she was WRONG! Although did admit that the ed psych report was spot on, despite the deputy saying that the reports are only a snapshot of what goes on.

At some point I did discuss the misunderstanding the school has on the leaving school issue, I told them that I wasn’t perfect, that I sometimes didn’t put all the pieces together, but it seems that it is not just the transition to come home, but the demands that she needs to get through to get home.
I turn up and immediately have to try and get her to put her shoes on, her coat on, and for her to walk home.
When I put her shoes, coat and book bag in my rucksack and agreed to carry her to the bus stop, she left fine. The demands were gone.

Dinky will be back again on Monday. The deputy has arranged to hold a meeting next Friday to discuss how next week goes. She also said it was a very positive meeting. (If I’m honest I think they thought I was going to be a royal PITA, I probably might have been if I wasn’t so bloody tired! 😉 kidding)

I have probably left bits out but that it what happened.

I also got a call from the social worker who is going into school to see a dinky on Monday and then coming here at 1.30pm. Luckily I have the SN group leader coming out to join me at the meeting, to reiterate that they have no concerns, and that the school have been entirely unhelpful with anything and frequently misunderstand Dinky.

So all in all another stressful week.

My dad commented after dinky went to bed, that he is amazed how I haven’t cracked under the pressure, I haven’t gone back to smoking, and I haven’t cracked open a bottle of anything. While maintaining a healthier diet.

Sure because money issues are really ANOTHER headache I need! Not! Smoking is now ridiculously expensive as is alcohol (well the decent stuff anyway, when I do have a tipple, I’m a sprits girl! ). Plus alcohol also leads to feeling horrid and then morning hangovers.

I love my dad, but he does say the oddest things!

Have a good weekend! I might post again Sunday, but tomorrow I’m having a film night!

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3 thoughts on “The school talk to me!

  1. I can totally understand your point. It’s hard to balance learning needs with social and emotional level of a PDA/autistic child. I can see why you would rather have her educated amongst the other kids at all times, but it seems like you could understand this new arrangement too. Sucks quite a bit that you weren’t informed beforehand.

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