So I’m doing the rounds looking for mainstream schools for Logan, I have my list ready and last week I got to peak inside my first primary school. When Bella was this age I viewed 3 special schools as mainstream was never an option for her. I was nervous as I always am in unfamiliar territory but I knew the questions I had to ask and was ready to ask them.
The head teacher made her speech about how basically none of us had a chance of getting our kids in as it’s so exclusive and over subscribed…good start! She did mention that children with an EHCP in place to priority so I saw a tiny glimmer of hope. Two year 6 girls, who as I pointed out are more confident than I am now, showed us around and gave us the student eye view. I was stunned, the classes were enormous, vast, bigger than most of my rooms at secondary school. I imagine most people think ‘wow look at all this space’, I think, ‘how the hell is a teacher going to spot my sons needs across this room.’ Let’s face it we all have our own ideas of what makes a perfect setting and I wasn’t convinced from the outset that this was it.
After the tour the head teacher was taking questions and I strolled up bolstered by my rehearsal in my head, “Can I ask what your SEN policy is?” She looked as if I had asked for Pi to 100 decimal places. She stuttered slightly and then told me that their SEN offer is on the website, which of course I know, it’s a legal obligation not exactly an offer. I then went on to tell her about Logan and how his main issues are with transitioning and adapting to new environments…she asked if he has a diagnosis. Of course he has a flipping diagnosis!! Is what I wanted to say but of course I just assured her he did as well as that his EHCP was going through (which she hadn’t asked about.)
There were a few brief words but her over riding comments which stuck with me,as she said them both twice and were her very first and last comments on the subject were;
We’re not a special school and We will try our best.
So I left, in shock. I am going to give her some slack and allow for the fact that she was under pressure having lots of parents asking any question they think up. I’m also going to admit that she couldn’t have given me an actual real solution to Logan’s need there on the spot however even a suggestion I speak to the SENSO, or her at a later date when it’s quiet would have been better. What parent of any child will ever be happy with We’ll try our best?
It certainly isn’t good enough for my children anyway, no matter how popular the school is! Onwards and upwards I hope.