Education and learning
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Portage

jodie24jodie24 Member Posts: 9
edited June 2014 in Education and learning
Hello, just wondering what other people's experiences of portage or extra funding in pre school is. My 4 yr old son has spastic dip and we are fortunate that he is very mobile. However he cannot see in 3d has co-orindation problems, mobility isnt great and does fall. We had contact from Portage who did 2 home visits and 3 visits in school. The pre school applied for funding and was awarded 3 hours a week funding which enabled a worker to do "one to one" with him. This helped him lots with co ordination and every day task which he finds hard. This was for 6 months and we were under the impression the school could re apply & get it. HOWEVER we just found out via the school i may add and not portage that the fudning will NOT be continued and the school was told not even to bother applying. I have contested thsi with the funding manager who said my son was doing so well it didnt need ot continued. I disagree as feel he is doing well because of the one to one. She has agreed to have the portage worker attend weekly for 6 weeks (although last time it was spread over a few weeks). I still may contest as feel the funding was valuable. Has anyone else had this experience of funding being stopped.?? I know we are lucky and there are other children who may need the fudning more but this is such an important year before he goes to school. We also have another child with CP so are not able to give the time required at home as much as we would like . thanks

Replies

  • katlilkatlil Member Posts: 17
    Hi. I hate to say this but you have been lucky getting anything.

    We applied for Portage when Lily was little but we were refused on the grounds that she attended a day nursery whilst I worked. We were told that Portage is only given to children who stay at home. I tried to argue that the girls at nursery were not experienced enough to help Lily, but that was ignored.

    There is no OT provision in our area, so because we've had no Portage either, Lily has had no help whatsoever with her fine motor skills and self help skills.

    She now attends a mainstream school and I feel is struggling to manage with the fine motor stuff, but again no help is being offered.

  • hilsflynnhilsflynn Member Posts: 24
    Hi,
    I think Portage varies significantly from area to area both in terms of who it helps, where it helps them and how often. I believe that it is actually a charity - although we are very lucky in our area that the local authority provides funding for it. My son received weekly portage sessions (term time only) between the ages of 1 and 3 - some of those visits took place at his nursery placement which he attended once day a week, but the vast majority were at home. We qualified for help from Portage because he received help from at least 2 other specialist services (e.g. physio, OT, community nursing, hearing impairment team). We had to go on a waiting list for a term or so.

    If he had stayed at nursery for his government funded nursery placement I believe that he would have continued to receive the same level of service until he started school at 4. However, he has now started at pre-school at the school named in his statement and Portage are providing a handover to the school - he is receiving weekly visits this half term, then monthly until Easter. My son atttends a mainstream pre-school with special provision for the deaf and therefore the Portage handover is focussed on them understanding his CP issues. If he was at a mainstream school with special provision for the physically impaired (or a special school) then Portage would have ended at the end of the last school year.

    As I say, I know provision varies significantly by area - some places have no access and I know that in the adjacent local authority area they are based in a hospital, you have to visit them and I think the time allocation is very low.

    Good luck
  • jodie24jodie24 Member Posts: 9
    thank you both for your replies which are helpful to know. I am writing to the special needs Caseworker outlining reasons why I feel it should continue and then at least I feel I have done what I can! It s just such a shame he was doing well and its now been stopped. thank you kind regards x
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