SEN, special educational needs, statements have now been replaced by EHCs, Education Health and Care statements.
This seemingly superficial mnemonic change, hides a multitude of sins.
Funding for special needs day schools, after 16 no longer exists.
EHCs, are not subject to OFSTED, or tribunal challenge, and providers are untested, unregulated, and unassessed.
The Local Authority fund, whatever ‘provision’ they choose, and, they alone, decide its adequacy.
A clear conflict of interest, and, recipe for corruption, and, inadequate provision.
As Care, is now part of special education needs, social services are charged with assessing parents neglect, parenting, and abuse.
The LA can intervene, at any time, and remove your child by court order, to care if under 16, if over, to independent living.
So the draconian power of the state, is by virtue of the Children and Families Act 2014, now incorporated into education, and, can be used to silence any criticism, or dissent.
At 16 special needs schools, are replaced, by ad hoc ‘education’ packages, that teach only, ‘independent’ living skills, which most already have ie eating properly, helping cook, getting drinks, sorting clothes, throwing out rubbish.
My daughter’s ‘education’ skills, were inter alia, table manners, carrying a bag, mixing a cake, getting her own coffee and juice, all things, she could already do, if she wanted to.
‘Independent’ living, is heavily risk, and health, and safety assessed, to avoid legal claims, and requires residents, to be supervised at all times, so most of these skills will never be used, or needed, except in so far as they make the support cheaper and therefore more profitable.
So at 16, all special needs teenagers are deprived of everything a school, and its community have to offer, and taught ‘skills’, they already have, until they are 25.
All deeply patronising, and discriminatory, to those deemed to have ‘learning difficulties’.
And a good tick box, unaccountable source of income.
Norman Lamb’s consultation, on the implementation of the strategy for adults with autism in England, published earlier this month, promotes this system, by providing money, to train the trainers, and create, and teach ‘employability’ skills.
An industry, has already been created, on the basis of these ‘emperors clothes ’, and is set to increase.
It would appear from these initiatives;
Disability, will create jobs, but not for the disabled.
Spends money, but not on schools.
Isabel, is now on her second ‘education’ package.
It is now 8 weeks, since our ‘education’ package meeting, I posted about in, ‘Where is the cavalry?
The owner of the provider company, asked to meet us again the Monday after that meeting.
‘What we thought of the meeting?’
I replied it served no purpose.
She made no comment.
She continued with questions about Issy’s care, and communication, my advice, the same as in our 2 hour meeting in August, only this time, she took notes.
It occurred to me, but apparently not to anyone else, that Issy’s care plan might be useful, so I provided it.
Three months ago, both the LA education manager, and this measured lady, confessed to knowing little about Isabel, and, it would appear, nothing had changed.
Why, still no sharing of children in need meeting minutes, care plans, education report, or liaison with Issy previous education package manager.
She left, promising to send her ‘proposed plan’.
It arrived via email two days later.
It was less than one side of A4, and consisted of 3 stages, the first concluded,
‘ we are not able to make a reasonable long term plan, as we don’t yet have IB’s voice to influence and shape such a plan’.
The third concludes,
‘Our aim is to build sufficient trust and confidence to encourage IB to start getting out of the house and to start attending Yewtree House. At this stage will aim to make another, longer term plan which will be shaped by IB’s voice’.
This plan, gave no inkling, as to how, she proposed to do this, or even the hours, or tasks, the PAs, would undertake, nor in what way we, as promised, employed them, nor mention of the ‘pot of money’, the LA funding lady, had repeatedly told us, this lady, held on our behalf.
All this had taken 7 and a half months, and 9 hours of meetings.
And, it appeared, excepting, to allow Isabel’s voice, the same as the previous ‘education’ package.
But, instead of an agency worker, and an assistant teacher, and the package’s office, we had 2 PAs, and, an empty Lodge.
‘is a longer term plan going to be shaped by ‘Isabel’s voice’?
And what was that plan?
LA funding, facilities and policy, appeared to allow, only one future plan, the suggestion of which, appeared to have forced Isabel into her bedroom for the past eight months.
Was Issy’s her voice, still not loud enough?
The lady, who owned the education package company, insisted on introducing her two PAs, necessitating, two more meetings in the kitchen.
Despite in August, exclaiming,
‘I could get 2 PAs in tomorrow, but things had to be done properly, and it won’t be cheap’.
Our social worker had emailed, without being asked, that the PAs were not CQC approved, restraint trained, nor risk assessed , so could not be left alone with Issy, nor support me with Isabel’s personal care.
Why not ?
The measured lady, arrived in the kitchen, with the first PA, we were not informed, if she was, as stated in the plan.
’The person who would be stepping into the role of senior PA is highly skilled in intensive inter reaction’
The Measured Lady greeted us with the usual,
‘How are things?’
My husband shrugged his shoulders, with a
‘What can you say’.
She looked bemused, but, made no comment.
Our proposed, ‘Mary Poppins’, was slight, quiet, appearing in her mid twenties, and, wonderfully unobtrusive.
I told her she had a heavy burden resting on her shoulders.
But she remained silent.
She declined coffee, so I made some without asking, for her boss.
As no one spoke, or asked, I wittered on about Isabel… in bed, lack of appetite.
The slight ‘Mary Poppins’ to be, confessed she knew nothing about Issy.
There’s a surprise.
Their silence, forced more wittering, lack of any medical care, 3 such Isabel’s, died needlessly each week, but still no reaction.
The slight lady, asked if she could go into Isabel’s bedroom, so I took her in, and, not wanting to interfere with her, hopefully, magical powers, I left.
She returned to the kitchen, several minutes later, without comment.
Surely a good sign ?
Later, she went in again, this time without asking, a really good sign.
Two days later, the second PA was in the kitchen.
Some bad news, from the measured lady.
Our proposed ‘Mary Poppins’, had, on her first visit to Issy’s bedroom, sat on her bed.
Aptly, singing along to Issy’s Mary Poppin’s DVD.
Issy had probably told her to go, as she always did, but when she hadn’t, pulled her hair.
Or maybe this never happened, and she just did not want to be part of spy and remove?
This, and the proposed PA’s own family commitments, had made her think again about working with Issy.
A new PA had to be found.
All our meetings, Issy’s background, which she was ignorant of.
And common sense, had not stopped her sitting on Issy’s bed on a first meeting, and staying.
Our remaining PA was to come on Mondays and Tuesdays, but, no specific times or hours, were mentioned.
I suggested later in the morning, so the remaining PA, a sophisticated, polished, extremely affable young lady, promised to see me at 11 am, the following Monday.
She arrived at 11.20, and Issy was up.
Having been up all night.
She stayed in the kitchen, I made her a coffee, and chatted.
Issy came in three times for juice, and the PA left.
On Tuesday, she arrived later, about 12, and stayed just over half an hour, Issy was not up.
She said, she’d come on Friday, with the beads, she threads, which Issy might want to join in with.
The measured lady, rang on Thursday, asking if we could meet the next week, to discuss how things were going.
I updated her, and, that her PA was coming tomorrow. She said good.
But the PA did not arrive on Friday, so I thought she must have meant Monday, but she didn’t arrive on Monday either, and there were no phone calls.
She eventually arrived at 3.30 on Tuesday, with no mention of Monday, or Friday, nor why she was so late.
Issy, was still in bed, so she sat on her bedroom floor for half an hour, Issy told her to go, and she left.
On Monday the PA arrived at 12.40 pm and stayed 40 minutes, chatted over a coffee, and stood in Issy’s bedroom, whilst I tried unsuccessfully, to get her up.
She asked, if it was OK to come again around 7.00 pm sometime, but not which day.
I said she could drop in, whenever, she wanted to.
But she didn’t drop in not even on her designated Tuesday.
On Wednesday, within hours of us, relaying this to the social services complaint investigator, in a meeting about our formal complaint in June, the LA education coordinator, emailed me.
He had spoken to the measured lady that Monday, and,
‘She tells me that there has been some progress and the support worker is starting to build a relationship with Isabel.
Our aim is to introduce staff from Lodge, and eventually use this, as a base for Isabel’s learning.
Please let me know if you think we are able to accelerate this process or have any suggestions on how we may be more effective’.
In reply, I emailed back the specific times and outcomes of the PAs visits.
He emailed back.
’Thank you for the update and I will discuss with (measured lady). What do you consider to be most appropriate times to be engaging with Isabel at present?’
Such, is special needs ‘education’.