Strange bangs and vibrations are coming into our house from the flat above. I hope it is just the tenants’ washing machine throwing a wobbly. And I hope it stops, otherwise we will have to buy them a new washing machine.
Meanwhile the saga of the school special needs policy grinds on. I saw the SENCO (special needs coordinator) this morning, and since my earlier emails, Genius Brat’s teaching assistant support has magically rematerialized. However she has also confirmed that there are only 8.6 TAs (what does 0.6 of a TA look like?) to fulfil the support hours on around 54 statements. This is clearly woefully inadequate, and I feel justified in organizing the parents’ meeting I have organized for Saturday (though woefully unqualified to lead it). It looks as though a feasible number of parents will be coming to it too. And we have a grant promised from the NUT to cover expenses (eg room hire, refreshments).
As well as running this (admittedly with a competent co-organizer who knows more than I do), I have four tasks given to me by the CBT therapist. I am beginning to think this therapy is going to give me another breakdown. Of course, I could always say that this is too much, and decide which of the four I am prepared to try. Since I am not good enough at saying No, I could surely practise by saying No to the therapist?
Finally in this blog of bits, the Over Keen Girlfriend crisis and the German Coursework Crisis seem to have been temporarily resolved. Though I expect they will both crop up again. I wouldn’t go back to being a teenager for anything – not even for a wrinkle free body (have you ever noticed how those extra powerful hand drying machines blow the loose skin on the back of your hand into little waves if you are over 50?)
My only excuse (but it’s a good one) for not blogging since last Monday, is that The Demon Headmaster has struck again and I have been much preoccupied with doing stuff about it. To elucidate, I have discovered that my son is currently getting 0% of the 32 1/2 hours of teaching assistant support that his statement entitles him to. This is even more invidious when you consider that we live in Borough A, which issues his statement, but the school is in Borough B. This means Borough A is giving the school around £20,000 specifically for my child and the school is spending it on something else. In any other context this would be called fraud. And he is by no means the only child not getting their support, indeed one child’s parents are taking the school to the High Court over the lack of implementation of their child’s statement.
Not only that but it seems the school has revived a policy they tried to implement a couple of years ago, to put statemented kids in a ‘special’ class, which may result in all the learning support resources being directed to this group, and no support for those left in the mainstream classes. Which can hardly be called inclusion.
Fired by righteous indignation I have been working with one other parent to revive the defunct Inclusion Group, and we have got a meeting going for next weekend. We also sent details to both the boroughs involved. I just hope parents turn up in decent numbers so we can present a united front to the school. What this head has done to special needs kids is truly appalling. The sad thing is, I was in a café last week with some parents from the school with ‘normal’ kids, and they all think he’s wonderful.
Had to go to son’s school today to get an update on how he is doing back in mainstream (he has been out of school for a year getting help with his special needs which are social rather than intellectual). Everything seems to be going unexpectedly well – which doesn’t give us evidence for our tribunal appeal to get him into a specialist school, but OTOH if he copes in mainstream, perhaps the appeal won’t be needed. The only problem is, the school has mislaid the laptop which he was given by a charity – how I wish I’d taken it home after all when it was first given. He really needs it because even he can’t read his handwriting, resulting in homework not getting done because he can no longer read the notes he made on what the homework was!
No sooner had I got home and started work than the school called to say he was very cold, having gone out on this bright but crisp autumn day in only a T-shirt (I was still asleep when he left, leaving school preparation to The Grouch, or I would have protested). Also he was not very focussed, and I had indeed found that his Ritalin tablet was put out but not taken. So I had to rush back to the school two sweatshirts and his tablet bottle, driving this time because I couldn’t face the walk again, and thus polluting the atmosphere quite unnecessarily. If only they’d noticed all this while I was still at the school the first time. And I *still* forgot to take the Tesco vouchers I have been hoarding…