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Child Starting School In Pull Ups-legalities?


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Hi I'm posting to ask a question to help my friend. Her daughter is due to start school next week and still has to wear pull ups as she has medical issues with pooing. She is very tiny and very young and the doctor and consultant are involved and they both say she shouldn't start school yet but she is however very bright and ready for school in all other ways. My friend was desperately hoping that the issue would be resolved and has spent the summer in desperation trying to potty train her in vain and is now in a real panic about her starting school next week. On approaching the school for advice this week my friend met with a very frosty reception they have been less than sympathetic and have basically said she can only start school in pull ups if someone comes and changes her when she goes and until someone arrived, she would just have to remain in the pull up. Both parents work about half an hour away from the school so this would be really difficult for them. They just don't know what to do. As a reception teacher I have not had to deal with this kind of problem and at the school I teach I know we would be bending over backards to accommodate this but this is another school. I have said that I think the legalities are that the school cannot discriminate and have to accommodate her needs somehow- can anyone confirm this?

 

Deb

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Hi there.

The school does have to make reasonable adjustments, and as this appears to be a medical issue, they will want to involve the school nurse, Senco and may need to draw up a care plan. Its not really any different from support they(school) might give to others who have either SEN or medical needs (or both).

 

Was the school aware of this issue before hand? If they were already aware, then this should have really been discussed as part of an induction process.

 

If your friend doesn't get anywhere through normal discussions with the head/Senco etc, then they can make contact with the inclusion officer at the LA, who should then support the school to put in place what it needs to.

 

I hope your friend manages to get it sorted, without feeling awful, as that isn't a good way to begin many years of schooling, either for her or the child.

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I would have hoped that the parents would have spoken to the school prior to now regarding their child's needs and they then would have had some sort of plan to use in this situation.

 

I can see this from both sides, and from the point of view of the reception class teacher she may not have enough staff to accomodate changing a child and keeping safe the rest of the class. There may not be toilets near to the class either. . . . .

 

In our school we have had a similar issue this past year, but our school has a policy to protect both the child and the staff and it is that 2 staff have to be there when a child is being changed. So, a reception member of staff has brought the child into nursery where there is more space/ privacy for changing in the bathroom area and then one of the nursery staff looks on whilst the child is being changed. Thus not leaving reception without staff whilst child needs changing.

 

We in nursery try to encourage pull ups so that the child can at least be encouraged to go to the toilet by themselves and manage their own care at least a little.

 

I have found that children entering reception in a nappy has been seen more and more and in many cases it is laziness on the part of the parent BUT in cases where there is a medical issue I believe the school WILL have to sort this issue and make compromises to help this child enjoy all reception year has to offer!

 

I hope this is resolved soon for your friends daughter!

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Guest tinkerbell

I have had this situation in my reception class.The girl had a care plan drawn up with the school nurse and parents and we changed her or supported her changing herself as the year went by.It was a medical condition.We did know about the situation before she started school.

I feel sorry for your friend that it is am anxious time for her,its a shame the school has not been more approachable.

Edited by tinkerbell
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I had a very similar situation in a previous school. Child was sent in to school with her own backpack containing spare clothes and anything else she might need (nappy sacks etc.) We worked with the SENCO and child's carers to put a care plan in place. I didn't have a TA at all during this time but TAs throughout the school were on a rota basis to support. We had walkie talkies (I kept one and the TAs passed the other on between them) and I would contact them as necessary. As the child became used to school and us (and vice versa) a sort of 'toilet timetable' was created - i.e. the child was taken to the toilet at fixed times and 'encouraged'. If a change was needed it was given and obviously if a change was needed at other times during the day then someone would be available to help with this.

 

I'm not recommending this as a way of doing things - this was all in consultation with the carers and to meet this particular child's needs.

 

However, the school did know about the child's needs before starting and the start was delayed a little - we were at 3 point entry at the time and this child started one term later than they should have done to ensure that school could get all their policies/practices clear and in place.

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Sorry i haven't read all the replies but i have had this previously and as the SENCO at the time we put a plan in place as discussed with all parties. I wrote an intimate care policy based on info i had from Surrey (might even be available on the web) not sure I still have a copy as recently moved schools, but i will have a look!

 

You do need to accept this as it is a medical condition and put in place strategies to deal with and change said child, they cannot be left in soiled nappies - not easy i know!

 

Good Luck xx

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thanks everyone for your answers I can always rely on this forum! I have passed on all your replies to my friend. They have been waiting to see doctors/consultants for so long and it has only just all come to a head over the last few weeks they had talked to school about it before the summer but nothing was put in place as it was left that they would try to get her out of pull ups over the summer.

DebX

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A child who has just left my class who was not trained it wasn't a medical issue and whilst it was frustrating for staff who repeatedly had to stop working / playing etc with other children or the child himself to change him it would be against our inclusive school policy. I drew up an intitmate care po0licy, spent numerous time with mum and the boy trying to resolve / support and unless he has been successfully trained over the holidays will be going into Year 1 not continent.The most frustrating thing about it all was he wouldn't tell us, mum said he was embarrassed however he also laughed and suggested other children wet themselves if they needed to go too!

Eventually he went to see a paeditrician who suggested his intestine could be enlarged / stretched and to give him time. The school Nurse is involved now too.

 

S

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