Education and learning
If this is your first visit, check out the community guide. You will have to Join us or Sign in before you can post.

Exclusions!!! Disability discrimination towards my son

nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
edited June 2019 in Education and learning
Can anyone please tell me do I have the legal rights to see the evidence school have collected against my autistic son to allow them to exclude him? I am in complete disagreement with school and believe the exclusion is because of his behaviour due to his ASC. Any advice greatly welcomed

Replies

  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    What school is he at? Can you talk to them or not? If they will not allow you to see evidence you might consider withdrawing him from the school and either finding another one or homeschooling. Have you talked to the local council yet? They might also be able to answer your questions and provide advice too. 
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    No the principal is not very approachable. She has made her decision and it was clear in the phone conversation I had on Friday she has made up her mind. She complete avoided my question when asked 'this incident has happened because he has autism? Her response we will come back to that point!! She never did even though asked several times. I have queried their exclusions before regarding discrimination and I believed I had put my concerns forward to an impartial, unbiased governor whom I discovered to be the HR manager of school. Is this not a conflict of interest? Im in touch with sendiass but they are busy and do t respond quickly. He is in year 10, he has been at this school for 4 years and is doing well (apart from occasional incident) he is due to sit an exam on the 15th May!! It's a complete farce and there is no concern regarding his disability and his needs. I'll also add the principal is new in role and doesn't know my son well. It's all wrong yes he's had an incident but that's because of his Autism. 
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Speak to IPSEA concerning your rights, and that of your son. https://www.ipsea.org.uk

    The next bit is a technical, you can submit a Subject Access Request for your son, requesting all information they have on your son. The technical bit is there is usually an assumption anyone over 12 has the maturity to request their own data so you would need your son's consent to do this. If he does not have the expected maturity you do not need his consent.  They have 30 days to provide the information and cannot charge you.

    IPSEA will be able to help you with how to word the request for clarity, and confirm the information they may be able to withhold. Also if your son would meet the maturity requirement and if so how to handle his consent so the school do not apply undue pressure on him to withhold his consent. Personally I would not make the request regarding the particular incident as there have been previous exclusions. 

    IPSEA will also advise you what to do on the off chance they tell you they are not subject to SARs - which they are. It is likely to generate a lot of information to go through but should show if there are inconsistancies in what they have previously told you and general attitudes towards your son. At best it may give you the information to consider taking the school to tribunal for discrimination. If nothing else it will remind the principle that they do not hold all the power, and trust me is likely to cause a headache.

    IPSEA will be able to go through the current exclusion with you, what happened, how your son responded etc and if this is a matter of discrimination.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Geoark thank you. I already have the headache as the exclusion began last Thurs and Friday morning the senco rang me to inform me it looked like it would be a perm exclusion!! I am so stressed the gp has signed me off. Makes me very angry that these poor kids have to fight so much for simple things. His brother was excluded only last year and they seem to be exclusion mad and nevermind the children and families it effects long term. Thanks 
  • GeoarkGeoark Member, Scope Volunteer Posts: 1,373 Disability Gamechanger
    Unfortunately, and it seems academies in particular, some schools are fond of using this method of getting rid of 'problem' children.

    When my daughter was looking for a secondary school our number one choice was a new academy. Instead we ended up with one of the two schools we were determined she would not go to but there was nothing we could do. It was the best thing which happened to her. The school we wanted her to go to quickly developed a reputation of permanently excluding SEN students.

    When the school she was going to changed to an academy we had to sign a parent/student/school agreement. I refused to sign it, the new rules allowed them to keep students in detention for up to 2 hours without notifying the parents. As there had been a number of incidents with our daughter, including being chased home I was not prepared to wait for 2 hours before questioning if something had happened to her. I was even reassured that the provision would not affect my affect my daughter as she never got into trouble. In the end they changed it for us and the head countersigned it. Coming up to exam time the English department decided that it would keep all the children in her year behind for 2 hours a day for a week without saying anything to the parents, or the students until an hour before. My daughter had to sit in the classroom for five minutes as I had a discussion with the principle about them breaching the contract. Stupid department were not aware that we had the contract changed, and as I pointed out this was put as part of the disciplinary procedures not an excuse to extend the school day on a whim.

    Please do call IPSEA, you will need to book an appointment. Even if the school do permanently exclude your son you will still be able to do a subject access request. If it looks like IPSEA may take a while then give the Scope helpline a ring to see if they have further advice.

    I am tagging in @SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors to see if they have anything else to offer, but being a bank holiday it may not be seen until Tuesday the earliest.


    As an individual I stood alone.
    As a member of a group I did things.
    As part of a community I helped to create change!

  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    It really is one rule for schools and another for children and their parents! Why should it have to be a battle for our wonderful children? I will call them first thing Tuesday and get further advice, thank you. I'm in Leeds so seems another Yorkshire school is failing these fantastic kids NOT problem children. Thanks for the advice 
  • SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisorsSparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors Member Posts: 32 Pioneering
    Hi @nicw3

    So sorry to hear that you're having a tough time, and not for the first time it seems. As @Geoark has said, your best option is to speak to IPSEA. They are fantastic with SEN law and will be able to advise and link this to legal acts and other legislation. They also have lots of information on their website, including template letters to use when writing to the school, governors or the Local Authority. 

    In the meantime, please do make sure that you have a paper trail for all information you have received from the school about your son. You'll need this moving forward, so do document everything you have, including conversations you've had with school, where, who with and when. Also ensure that the school have made reasonable adjustments for your son to be able to access the provision in school (including sitting his exams in May). 

    Also, do contact the Scope helpline as they may also be able to offer additional advice. 

    Please do keep us updated, and we'll try and help if there's anything else we can do. 
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Thank you I'm just so devasted for him. We've just reviewed his ehcp in March and there were no school concerns so it feels so wrong they exclude now. It has just been a big farce and to me dealt with so very badly. I mean should I really have found out from my daughter at 1.30 Friday afternoon and then finally the principal ring me 2 hours later and bare face lie that the decision had just been made?! This investigation they have done has only been done to back them up and not in the interest of my son. The new principal is quite intimidating and when she did this last year with my other son I was a little mouse and she bossed me around. Well not this time I'm not going to allow her to ruin his life which is what it will do!! 4 years he's been at that school and due to start exams he won't be able to just transfer and get on with it..... He is autistic and struggles to cope with change. He is at such an unfair disadvantage before he even starts. Thanks and I will be ringing 1st thing Tuesday morning 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    I know how you feel now. I arranged a number of appointments to view the local schools and ask questions too. None of them gave me any confidence that they would meet my son’s needs. I contacted a number of different schools in the area as well. Very few of my questions were answered. I found that really hard. Prepare yourself for life as a homeschooling mom or try to look at other schools. I visited four or five schools. 
    Get as much information as you can possibly find. Talk with other parents and see what the local shopkeepers say about the kids attending the school. One useful source of information on the school is the website of the school. I know this is not easy but hang in there. 
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    It's not easy and as a single mum of 3 kids I can't see how I'd survive out of work?! All this on top of going for my other sons ASC assessment in 10 days. Nightmare
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Well this saga is still ongoing, however, school have over ruled the permanent exclusion and my son will eventually be allowed back. After finding out more and more details of how school mishandled the situation and their poor decision making which led to the exclusion in the first place I would now like to know legally if they are allowing my son back can I persue disability discrimination?
    Thanks in advance for any responses. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @nicw3, thank you for taking the time to update us about this, how are you feeling? It must have been very draining to be still fighting. I personally am unsure about this but I really hope someone in the community is able to offer advice soon :)
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    Hi @nicw3
    I'm sorry to hear this is still going on. Do you have a timetable for when your son will be allowed back?

    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    No, no timescale. The senco came round on Monday and explained the bits he had to do and the reintegration plan he has to put together. He then text me at teatime to say his bit is done and STARS team will review that next week. So at least another week of my son at home being socially excluded from his friends. It amazes me that all these months we have been off school have so many weeks and days to give me decisions after meetings yet we don't appear to have the same protection?! School are completely getting away with what they have done and it's only my son and us as a family whom are suffering for their mistakes. How is this day and age are they allowed to get away with this??? And don't get me started on the under staffing of autism trained staff!
    It's all so very wrong and unfair on my son. 
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I really hope you are not waiting much longer as this really is so unfair and like you say, how has it gone on so long already! Have the STARS team being much help? My brother has Autism so I've heard about the work they do. 
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    It is ridiculous how long this is dragging on for, especially as school recognise it was their poor decision making that lead to the situation!! As yet Stars have only attended a meeting I had last week at school and got me and my son to complete the sensory profile sheets. I have a meeting set up for the 8th July with Stars and in the meantime my son is STILL stuck at home. It is all extremely frightening at the actual lack of support and training schools have. This is a school with over 60 autistic pupils and they only have 2 lever/tier 3 trained staff, one of which was not even in school the day of the incident. The senco told me on Monday that school are now looking at training 3 members of staff to level/tier 2 and 2 more staff members to level/tier 3!! Surely these children deserved this before now?? My son has attended this school for 4 1/2 years and this is the first time school have approached Stars for my son.
  • Chloe_ScopeChloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,652 Disability Gamechanger
    I can only imagine how frustrating it is! Please do let us know how the meeting goes on the 8th. As you say, it does sound like a lack of support considering how many pupils they have to support. I hope STARS will be able to implement solutions for you and your son.
    Community Partner
    Scope

    Tell us what you think?
    Complete our feedback form to help us to improve your community.
  • Adrian_ScopeAdrian_Scope Testing team Posts: 7,954

    Scope community team

    HI @nicw3.
    I'm so sorry to read this. I'm going to tag @SparkleSheffieldAutismAdvisors as they might be able to suggest some alternatives.
    Senior Community Partner
    Scope

    Your feedback is really important to the development of the online community, so please remember to complete our online community annual survey
  • nicw3nicw3 Member Posts: 20 Connected
    Thank you I'll have a look at the link. I'm in Leeds so not a million miles away from Sheffield. 
  • April2018momApril2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    edited June 2019
    No offence but this is why I homeschool. We couldn’t find a local special needs school that only worked with physically challenged kids so we decided to explore alternative education options. 
Sign in or join us to comment.