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How can this be right?


Devondaisy
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Need to let off steam ... sorry in advance!

 

Had a parent phone yesterday requesting a place for her 4 year old, immediately. They have moved from a different county due to personal issues. The child has extreme behavioural issues, Mum was quite open and honest about this. I have spoken to his previous setting who have advised that he will need 1:1 support. However, we are a very small setting and are currently supporting a number of other children with additional needs. I have been told that we must offer this child 15 hours per week as we technically have a place available, despite my concerns that we will not be able to meet his needs, nor indeed those of the other children if he joins us, with our current staffing levels. In addition, we will not receive any funding for him at all until next term but have to offer the place now!

 

How can this possibly be right? In the best interests of any of the children? Having met him today he has many issues and is physically and verbally abusive. I really want to help him, as he obviously needs and deserves this, but am feeling backed into a corner. We simply cannot employ more staff to support him if we are getting no money whatsoever for him for the rest of this term, and anyway recruiting more staff takes time, and all our current staff are doing all the hours they can to support the children we already have.

 

I sometimes wish we could get those people, who sit in an office at county HQ telling us what we must or must not do, to work in a setting for a few days to see what life is really like!

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Oh my goodness! :o

 

This is of no help at all - can you be 'made' to take this child???

 

If you are 'made' to take him - who is going to meet the costs - parents?

 

I'm so sorry that i can't think of anything positive and/or helpful to write........I couldn't just read and run.......

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I thought you were meant to be able to claim funding from another setting if a child joined you .mid term'. Not sure how this works or if it would help you. If he already has 1:1 in his previous setting there must be paperwork to support this and speed things up.

 

In the mean time, if you HAVE to take him make a point of immediately recording any issues, incident or concerns and then rattling cages straight away. Also see what help he has via health visitor etc.

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Who said you have to have him? Our council say we must provide a place but if we cant for whatever reason the onus is back on them to find one. Surely this is an interfering step too far in our business!

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I have to take him if I have a place available, and as not all my places are full then technically I do. I agreed with someone from the LA that if I could not meet his needs due to staffing I did not have to take him. However I had a call back saying that actually I do have to take him, otherwise I am breaching anti disability discrimination laws.

 

He is moving from a different county so there is no way to transfer funding. I am worried about the whole family to be honest as the move was very sudden (a midnight flit) and there were social workers involved with the family previously, and the previous setting had concerns about care. This is also the second move of pre-school for the 4 year old too.

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I don't know the ins and outs and legality but surely if he is known to have problems/issues before arriving with you, you wouldn't be doing your job if you didn't meet his needs and if you can't on current staffing then I think you have to say no.

 

If you had no spaces parent would have to go elsewhere so maybe she should to see if another setting has less pressure on their staffing currently.

 

About 3 years ago we gave a place to a child who had autism. He was already in "the system" so we thought it would be relatively easy to get support but no!

We had 12 weeks with no support and it was dreadful.

Staff moral was very low and the impact on the other children was dreadful.

 

I do so wish you luck.

Keep us posted!

 

*sorry our posts crossed there

Edited by Scarlettangel
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are you a pvi setting? if so then how can the LEA tell you what to do?? especially if you are not claiming funding for him surely they have no right to dictate your business to you

 

I agree with finleysmaid how can they dictate which children to take unless you are not PVI....?

Did they tell you which clause in the Disability and Equalities Act it is that you would be breaching? If they did please post as I am keen to know!

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The Disabilities Act surely didnt mean you have to take as many children as you're asked to without any hope of being able to support all their needs. Or did I miss something?

I havent read more than a few words of this but what I did read places the responsibility on the LEA,it might also have been updated but if it has its unlikely they would have changed that bit.

https://www.education.gov.uk/publications/eOrderingDownload/DfES%200581%20200MIG2228.pdf

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Oh my word that's insane to be forced to take on a child whose needs you cannot genuinely meet!!

Can you pull out some quotes from the EYFS relating to meeting the individual needs of the child and demonstrating how it's not possible for the reasons you have...the duty you have to the other children and the disruption not having full support will have to your quality and the other children.

 

Or buy some time by requesting his records and information from other setting/social services (not that they'll probably share for confidentiality reasons at this stage but worth a try)

 

Can you say yes you have a physical space, but in terms of staffing allocation you don't and they would be forcing you to work illegally out of ratio!

 

Have they given you an official quoted instruction that you have to take him...this is so wrong!

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Well as his 15 hours entitlement funding isn't in place for this term, then I really don't see that they can tell you to take him. Are the family willing and able to pay for his sessions for the remainder of the term? You do not have to provide a free place to any child!

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Could you say that you have filled your quota of spaces for children in need, you must be able to stipulate that at any one time you can only care for X amount of children with special needs or the whole system is a mockery, try very hard not to be pressurised into this, if we can stipulate how many 2,3,4 year old places we have I don't see why we may not stipulate how many special needs places we can offer at any one time.

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you are not refusing him a place because he has a disability you are refusing him a place because you cannot at present meet his needs. Schools are also able to refuse children places if they feel they cannot meet their needs (we know this because one of our children was asked to leave a local school !!). I would also be asking for all the paperwork to be in place before he starts so social services need to be contacted to find out what the issues are...this would just be seen as good transition (it might also scare MUm off if she didn't want to tell you the info!!)

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I agree, ask to see all relevant paperwork and for the contacts of other professionals involved so you can make afully informed decision. You need t review it as a staff team and your chair maybe too if you ave ne, so everyone can input into how best you can help the child and family.

It seem's your LA are passing the buck

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And speaking as someone who has just had a child who had been subject to a PPO and for whom we had several Social Worker TAC case meetings, I wouldn't take on another child without having all that paperwork and a good chat with the Social Worker first! It's bad enough when the scenario has been creeping up on you 'live'. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to take on a child with all that baggage and not be able to give them all the time and support they needed.

 

If you can't provide the right staffing ratio for this child then you haven't got an available place anyway.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2284735/Revoe-Primary-School-Headteacher-staff-suspended-restraining-aggressive-year-old-pupil.html

Interesting! The comments below the article seem to be from some parents who say 'what are teachers supposed to do when they are given children to teach without appropriate support etc etc' and from this thread we see how it begins!

 

Disclaimer: I'm not condoning any 'unlawful imprisonment' by sharing this article!! (Nor do I fully believe the DM is painting the full balanced picture!)

Edited by gingerbreadman
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As others have said - if you are a pvi setting you don't have to find a space for a child it is your LA's responsibility. If the child isn't funded then they are a paying customer - you cannot be expected to offer a place for nothing - if they are a paying customer does your fee structure have a banding for children requiring additional support (e.g, if parents want their child to have additional support and the LA aren't paying there is no reason you cannot charge - they do in private schools!). Under DDA you are required to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate a child with a disability. The site below gives some less jargonised descriptors of what is meant by reasonable adjustment and what is classed as a disability. Reasonable adjustments do not extend to offering additional support.

 

Hope this helps a bit

 

http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/wiki/The_Disability_Discrimination_Act_-_Its_Place_in_Education

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Thanks everyone, yet again I'm overwhelmed by the support and knowledge on this forum! Mum got quite annoyed yesterday when I said I couldn't take him straight away, as the primary school are taking his sibling tomorrow, so she is now looking at other pre-schools. Hopefully one of them will have space and staffing to be better able to meet his needs.

 

We are a committee run village pre-school. I don't know what the LA can do if we refuse to take him to be honest, but I feel more confident now that at least my reasons are valid.

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so wrong - placing him will not benefit him or the setting - if he is moving from another county then you should get the funding as it is only if he has been funded in the same county you would not for this term - suggest an IEP put in place before he starts and that if health and social are involved a nursery nurse from outside to support him - tell them this is the only way you are able to support him and offer place otherwise like everyone has said this is detrimental to btoh individual, setting and other children .

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Yep, stick to your guns, we're definilty all behind you.

If the LA ask about him, just tell them you couldnt accommodate his needs at this time due to other children within your setting needing extra attention so mom has gone to look elsewhere, then shut the door on it. Its not your problem, so dont let the LA make it so.

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devondaisy....he's an unfunded child they can't tell you to take him....stick to your guns ...we're all behind you !.....sometimes we need to remind our lea's that they do not own us!!! <_<

technically he is funded though isn't he as he would have recieved funding at his previous setting? I have had children cross borders into somerset and have had to take them 'free' and then attempt to claim the funding back from the previous setting, this has been sucessful on 2 out of 5 times so has left me a bit out of pocket and I usually try to 'persuade' parents to wait until the next funding period although how that is going to work now that the funding periods have effectively been stopped in somerset I don't know. I do, however, agree with all the other comments regarding not having the support in place for him, I have in the past had to drop a child from 15 to 6 hours a week as that was all we could provide 1:1 support for and our LA was fine with that and even commended me for putting the childs needs first (rather than financial gain)

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If a child leaves us we have to let the funding officer know and they reclaim the unused back from us...the new setting puts in a claim and it's either paid shortly after or in the new term, depending on timing.

 

It is a much fairer system than the old 'swings and roundabouts' way from yrs ago (but I say this as we had more children join mid term than leave and ended up footing the bill!)

 

If we were still working that way now I would be saying to the parent that they could start next term when funding is available...times are hard!

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