Independent schools and learning disabilities

6 posts
Genie
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:43 pm
Share this post on:

Independent schools and learning disabilities

Postby Genie » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:53 pm

Hello everyone

My LO, aged 7, is likely to be diagnosed with a mild learning disorder (dysgraphia). I know that state schools are required to support their students with disabilities, but what about independent schools? Last year, a child at our school was diagnosed with dyslexia; the school did not support his needs and basically encouraged him to leave (which he did). I don't want my child to have to change schools, as the learning disorder has already caused stress. Can independent schools brush away children with disabilities, or are they required to support?
thanks.
Bibbity
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:05 pm
Share this post on:

Re: Independent schools and learning disabilities

Postby Bibbity » Mon Jan 29, 2018 2:43 pm

It depends a lot on the individual school, I am afraid. My own (unfortunate) experience with a pre-prep in Peckham is that schools talk about inclusion and support for the sake of a good public face but when it comes to being inclusive and providing support, they are less forthcoming and can even be hostile.

Re dysgraphia, can you check if the school is Crested accredited? I don't know if that would make a difference. Are you considering The Dominie? The head at my child's school was very critical of his writing (in reception) which I found quite a shortsighted and narrow perspective on his abilities.
2009Kat
Posts: 295
Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:33 pm
Share this post on:

Re: Independent schools and learning disabilities

Postby 2009Kat » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:49 pm

In independent schools there is a contract between parents and school which governs the relationship and provision. State schools are different and are also bound by the provisions of the law/code on SEN (which do not apply to independent schools although they are of course entitled to follow them).
Independent schools are however bound by the Equality Act and therefore cannot discriminate against disabilities and should make “reasonable adjustments”.
In reality and extremely sadly some independent schools just ask children with difficulties to leave.
Genie
Posts: 47
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:43 pm
Share this post on:

Re: Independent schools and learning disabilities

Postby Genie » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:46 am

Thanks everyone. Your responses, along with some anecdotal stories I've heard, has been very disheartening. The school won't formally test for another 10 months, so when they do so we'll see if they follow through on the promises made on their website. I would be grateful for any other advice, or to hear your experiences.
JKEducate
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed May 31, 2017 4:26 pm
Share this post on:

Re: Independent schools and learning disabilities

Postby JKEducate » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:20 pm

Dear Genie
I'm sorry you are feeling anxious about your child's potential diagnosis. I hope you will find this useful:

Having talked to many head teachers at independent schools, I'd say the consensus seems to be that if they are able to support that child and meet for their needs then they are very happy to have them in their independent schools, as long as they can independently access the curriculum and keep up. The school is happy to amend and support the children with mild spld… give them laptops, extra time etc. However, if the needs of a child applying to their school are more significant and, having read the EP report they feel they cannot support the child, then they will not offer them a place. They ask for full disclosure and to read all professional reports before deciding if they can meet that child’s needs in their school. They judge it case by case.

If you would like to discuss your situation further with us, please call 020 3488 0754.

We could also explore whether extra specialist help might support your child both ahead of and after any diagnosis, and help them stay in their current school.

Best wishes,
Katie Krais
JK Educate
Bibbity
Posts: 30
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2014 9:05 pm
Share this post on:

Re: Independent schools and learning disabilities

Postby Bibbity » Mon Feb 19, 2018 12:36 pm

The thing is Katie, that there is a big difference between what schools say, and how they behave when the real child turns up and (a) starts eating into their profits and (b) won't necessarily be adding to their leavers' destinations list in they way they'd like. PR is one thing. An actual child is another.

If you are a parent of a child with special/additional needs who has been well received and accommodated by an independent school, please do tell me about the school. I would love to hear about it.