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Mainstream Schools Derby/mickleover


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#1 Eloise73

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 11:56 AM

Hi everyone,

I'm sort of new here after doing much lurking. Would really value your advice.

We are in Surrey currently, our daughter M is almost 4 and is starting mainstream pre-school in Surrey in a couple of weeks but we are very seriously considering moving to Derby (Mickleover/Etwall) next summer. Our daughter has a statement which, once you read past all the gobbledygook is 1:1 with bit of SALT and OT.

If any of you live in Derby/Derbyshire can you recommend any good mainstream schools for HFA/Aspergers kids?

Thanks!

#2 mumx6

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 04:02 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm sort of new here after doing much lurking. Would really value your advice.

We are in Surrey currently, our daughter M is almost 4 and is starting mainstream pre-school in Surrey in a couple of weeks but we are very seriously considering moving to Derby (Mickleover/Etwall) next summer. Our daughter has a statement which, once you read past all the gobbledygook is 1:1 with bit of SALT and OT.

If any of you live in Derby/Derbyshire can you recommend any good mainstream schools for HFA/Aspergers kids?

Thanks!



I have heard alderwasley is the school you would be looking for within the derbyshire area, i think they specialise in aspergers http://www.senadgroup.com/alderwasley/

#3 Helenllama

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:13 PM

Right on the boundary line then?

Etwall will come under Derbyshire, so if that is the case the best bet would speak to Maximus Prime.
Mickleover is a suburb so comes under Derby City Council itself.

And remember that Derbyshire/Derby City can review the statement when/if you move.

#4 maximus prime

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:29 PM

Hi as Helen says I'm in Derbyshire and in fact just twenty odd miles from Mickleover but we come under Derbyshire LA and Mickelover under Derby City LA.

For a mainstream primary I'd recommend my daughter's but it would be too far away for you.

Unfortunately I don't really have any knowledge of Derby City LA or their schools but my experience of Derbyshire of late has been the pits so wouldn't imagine Derby would be worse tbh.

http://www.autismsupport.co.uk/ these people who are based only ten miles from Mickelover might be able to help or point you in the right direction.

#5 Eloise73

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:52 PM

Thanks for your replies. We're going up this weekend to househunt and then in November to visit schools. DH thinks i'm overreacting and that M will be fine (she does love nursery and pre-school very much) so I guess we may just have to take a big leap and hope things will be ok.

There are many outstanding and good schools in villages outside of Derby so perhaps choosing a smaller school might be the way to go.

How do I go about figuring out whether Derby City or Derbyshire council is better?!!! I contacted the Derbyshire Autism support group, they were going to give me the number of someone who runs a support group for Derby. Sadly their funding is under review and in the new year they might not even be there, terrible.

Maximus: have you always lived in Derbyshire?

#6 maximus prime

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:21 PM

Yes, well since I was a child anyway I was born in Leicester.

Derbyshire is under pressure to make £70 million pounds worth of cuts and so my experience of them now is quite different to the LEA who issued my dd's statement five years ago tbh.

The SEN department are in tatters, many were allowed early retirement and now they have neither the staff nor the experience to deal with their duties.

The MP is dealing with a large number of parents where Derbyshire haven't met their statutory duty, ignored deadlines and children like my own son are without provision.

They plan major cuts to SEN transport as well if that may be needed in future.

For me I wouldn't choose to move to Derbyshire LEA but I have no inside knowledge of elsewhere so can't compare perhaps they are all as bad.

I'm shocked to read about DASG as they provide opportunities and respite for children with autism as our Children's Services don't consider Autism a disability.

SALT is very thin on the ground here, there is one SALT for the whole of county specialising in Autism and community SALTs aren't great either. OT is like hen's teeth tbh and don't work with mainstream schools anymore.

Not good is it?

One other thing though good and outstanding schools may not be the best school for a statemented child IME my daughter's school is only rated satisfactory but it is the best by miles for SEN and pastoral care.

#7 Eloise73

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 01:46 PM

Wow, well that's put me off :( When you say your son is left with no provision, do you mean he has for instance 1:1 in his statement but they don't allocate funding for the 1:1?

I can't complain too much about Surrey, so far they have been ok, we got a statement without a lot of trouble although I suspect that's because M's case isn't too complicated and she just needs a bit of help in the classroom to keep her focused and continued SALT and OT to help develop her language and she has difficulty with fine motor stuff like holding a crayon/pencil etc - we still can't tell if she's right or left handed although this week we're leaning more towards left...

Our reason for wanting to move up there was mostly to have a chance at buying a home and having more free time to do lots of outdoor stuff with M as she loves that sort of thing. Staying down here would mean not being able to buy and we really want to put down roots and have something to give to M later on. But we're not prepared to do that if moving up would be a horrible mistake education wise. Having said this I have no idea how the schools down here will play out. The primary M is going to attend if we don't move is very nice, rated outstanding and has lots of experience with aspergers/hfa kids and they were quite happy to have her attend there and M seemed to love it (walked into year 2, said hi, sat down and joined in for snack time without being invited or told lol)

It's disgusting how they are making these cuts, always targeting the vulnerable, just makes me so angry and frustrated.

I sometimes wish I still smoked...I do appreciate your honesty.

#8 maximus prime

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 02:12 PM

No Jack went to a unit attached to a mainstream secondary school that was an 11 to 16 placement.

The LEA have delayed and timewasted and come up with no alternatives for Jack's post 16.

Under pressure from a solicitor they have now said the mainstream school is to be named on his statement despite the school saying they can't meet his needs.

We are still waiting for a final amended statement and then we can take it to Tribunal which would currently be January at the earliest.

So Jack has no placement in September and the statement that was a specialist provision statement has been rewritten without reassessment to give Jack 30 hours TA support in an environment that has neither the curriculum nor peer group to meet his needs.

#9 imperfect parent

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:11 PM

There is good and bad in every county, as MP will acknowledge she has experienced the two extremes in one county.

It is fair to say that there are at least 3 counties who have not complied with the law on the issuing of statements and too many of us here have had to use solicitors for a variety of issues.

The difficulty is that the situation changes all the time, and the real issue with education is that one size does not fit all. All children are different, and what suits one does not suit another.

It only takes one person to change in a school to change it for a child. I chose my daughter's secondary over a nearer one only to find that staff changes at the nearer one improved it by the time she started :headspin:

The real issue is how LEAs communicate with parents, and so far I haven't seen any post good experiences.

Only if you were moving to somewhere with no specialism (like our county) would I suggest that you reconsider on the grounds of schools. We have mainstream schools, but the attached units are for children with severe learning difficulties who are not expected to take GCSE's, not much good for Aspergers children, nor to be honest for physically active children. They cater for the child who is likely to receive the same input from day services as an adult. We have no special schools at all.

#10 maximus prime

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:27 PM

There is good and bad in every county, as MP will acknowledge she has experienced the two extremes in one county.


Definitely, I think the cuts have had a huge impact around here. Five years ago deadlines were met and the LEA genuinely wanted to avoid Tribunal. I think they still do want to avoid Tribunal but it's financially worth their while to stall up until the line and so they do that.

With schools as well a change of head or SENCo can totally alter the ethos of the school and the priority they place on SEN. The school that catered so well for Jack had a change of head and SENCo and Lucy was left traumatised.

Lucy now attends a school in a highly deprived area, it's a school I wouldn't have thought of tbh because lots of the parents in the playground are scary but it's a great school for SEN and right for Lucy's needs.

It's a case of knowing what you want and looking until you find it I suppose.

#11 Eloise73

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:48 PM

At the moment we are only thinking about primary education, no idea what M's needs will be for secondary and would be willing to move for that or would seriously consider homeschooling as that is something that has always interested me (even before having M). I've also heard that a new school called High Grange in Mickleover has opened and its an independent school for kids btw 7 and 18 I think with aspergers and high functioning autism and it sounds ideal should M not cope in mainstream as the units/special schools in Derby/surrounding areas don't seem appropriate settings for her.

I've heard nightmare stories about Surrey, some of my friends have had a horrible time even trying to get a statutory assessment and their kids have considerably more complicated needs than M, was relieved but also felt guilty when M got her statement and they were denied stat assessment :( At first I thought they gave her a statement just to get rid of me (as i'm persistent and was becoming a pain in their backside) but I suspect its just that they figure she would be easy to statement and 'cheap' sadly.

We've not had any SALT here except a couple of group sessions which were rubbish, the OT was brilliant but we could only have 4 sessions and so all the early intervention we'd done has been done privately.

So if I was just speaking for myself i'd say Surrey was pretty average compared to most but if I was going by my friends' experiences i'd say it was appalling which is why I figured moving to Derbyshire wouldn't probably be much different.

I imagine i'll feel guilty no matter what we decide, its my nature!

Maximus: I cannot imagine how stressful that is. Someone told me that Derbyshire don't like to go to tribunal, might they cave in before January? It's just ridiculous you have to go through all of that. Is Jack now going to have to go to mainstream with no support at all??

#12 maximus prime

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 07:23 PM

Derbyshire five years ago would avoid Tribunal, just a parent who appeared determined was enough to get them to backtrack. All their literature states they prefer to avoid Tribunal but in actual fact it's proving cost effective to keep delaying so would imagine they'll take it to the wire.The cuts really have hit hard unfortunately.

Jack won't be going to the named school in September, he wouldn't survive, the solicitor will push for the LEA to provide interim tuition but that's no substitute for specialist provision amongst his peers unfortunately.

#13 Eloise73

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 12:53 PM

Hi,

Just wanted to do a small update. We went up to Derby this weekend, loved it, had a great time at Markeaton Park, what an amazing place, wish we had a park like that down here!

We loved Mickleover very much but the main problem we're having at the moment is deciding whether to buy in Derbyshire or Derby City Council.

Derbyshire Council sound like they know what they are talking about when I ring. Derby City Council has 3 people working as case officers and i've spoken with two of them and they don't seem as confident or knowledgeable which is a bit of a worry.

Am dreading choosing the wrong place!

Thank you guys again for your help and advice xx




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