Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Email #19

Dear Mrs New-caseworker

Christmas and form filling got in the way, but I want to personally thank you for attending the meeting late last year, about Lewis. I appreciate it was quite a way to come and ran on outside office hours; so, thank you.

I also want to let you know that I now have a receipt from the SEND tribunal team for my application, although an appeal number is yet to be advised.

I was unable to take a copy of the application for myself (no shops in Seaford with a photocopier and school was closed), but the initial form has a very small box for reasons. For your information I said in as many words that:

Lewis has Asperger syndrome with attendent dyslexic/dyspraxic difficulties

This is the second time application for assessment & statement has gone to stage 2 yet received a note in lieu

Lewis is about to go up to senior school.

Both the Ed Psych and Senco at his current school have said and are prepared to say again that he needs a statement.

The note in Lieu was apparently awarded based on some sign of academic strengths

These are unlikely to be shows of true potential, compared with the 98% certainty that he is actually a gifted child

These improvements in a restricted area of the curriculum would not in any case have become evident without the school consistently helping him at a level well beyond SEN+, including, this year, 12.5 hours per week of paid one-on-one, plus at many other times being the primary focus of the TA supposedly in attendance for the benefit of whole class.

I have recorded the Ed Psych and SENCo's opinions that this level of support is in itself not enough - their opinion being that he needs even better provision than that in a primary school setting, and yet more to access any education in a larger, freer senior school setting. In other words, I guess, that if his current statemented-style level of provision were actually sanctioned by a statement, it would still need a better one.

I do hope that if it comes to tribunal we can handle this amicably, as you can see from my wording (6, 7) I would love this to be settled with no blame apportioned.

It would delight me if we could avoid this necessarily adversarial process altogether and I know your department will have received a subsequent letter from Chyngton School, so I have to ask, did you manage, yet, to convey the strength of the Educational Psychologist's statement to your superior? Or the extra information that came up concerning Lewis' so-called strengths and the levels of support the school is going over budget to provide for him in order to keep him in a classroom setting?

Was there any possibility at all that the committee might look again in light of this information rather than going direct to tribunal?

I very much look forward to hearing from you.

Wishing you a Happy New Year


P.S. Personal FYI - It seems the photographs mentioned at the meeting are working. Last time I checked he has come a lot closer to finally knowing all the names of the thirty children he has shared a classroom with for the past six years, but still has a mental block about one of the two Teaching Assistants, although she has only been in his classroom since September. (I would imagine he still hasn't got the first clue who many other staff are, or whether they have related to him briefly in the past.)
In an ideal world this kind of basic support wouldn't eat into his academic day, but then in a really ideal world, he wouldn't need it. I just hope its written in to his provision for senior school because classes and teachers change so fast there that he won't have a clue.


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