A was at real risk of permanent exclusion from primary school at the age of 8 which would have had an extremely negative impact on his education and his life choices.  He was given a second chance by another primary school but continued to struggle.  He spent 6 years at a Special school for children with Social Emotional and Mental Health needs where he made great progress in many ways.

A is now in the Sixth form at a local mainstream school studying for 3 A levels and in the words of the Senco ‘flourishing’, he is doing well academically and has a small group of friends.  He is talking about applying for university.

A’s journey has been immense for him and for us without the support of SENDIASS he would not be where he is now.

A’s journey and how SENDIASS supported us

  • We first heard of Oxfordshire SENDIASS soon after A  was diagnosed with Autsim at the age of 4. We received a Parent Partnership (as the service when then called) leaflet from the Autism outreach worker (now C & I service) who saw him in school.  The school Senco dismissed the leaflet saying the service was only for parents having difficulty with schools and we wouldn’t need it.  
  • Our son struggled in school and we rang SENDIASS and received advice on a number of occasions which helped us to know what support A should have and how best to approach the school.  
  • A continued to struggle and received numerous fixed term exclusions and many internal exclusions.  
  • We had always supported the school, being active in the PTA and on the Governing body, we had an older child in the school who was doing well. However as A was not receiving sufficient support and there was an unwillingness to understand his needs. Our relationship with school deteriorated. Without the support of SENDIASS both in phone calls and in attending meetings, we would have struggled to maintain the any form of working relationship with the school leadership and Senco.
  • By the age of 8 A was at risk of permanent exclusion, the support of SENDIASS in advising us and in attending meetings helped to keep him in school.
  • Despite several requests, and advice from other professionals to do so, the school refused to apply for statuory assessment for A stating he wouldn’t get a statement as he was ‘too academically able’ even though he was not accessing education due to his social and emotional needs.  SENDIASS staff helped us with our parental request for Statutory Assessment.
  • Our relationship with school broke down when we informed them by email that we had requested Statutory Assessment, a dismissive email about this from the Head intended for the Senco was sent to us by mistake, at which point we lost any remaining trust in the school leadership. 
  • SENDIASS staff were supportive to us, helping us at a very emotionally difficult time and they helped us through the process of finding a place for A in another school.
  • In year 4 A moved schools to a very supportive and understanding school who took on his request for statutory assessment and within 5 months, he was given a Statement of Special Needs with full time 1:1 support.
  • He was well supported but continued to struggle in a mainstream environment. SENDIASS continued to give telephone advice and attended a TAC meeting where it was decided it was best to look into a move to a Specialist setting.
  • SENDIASS gave us advice and direction on how to navigate the process of requesting a specialist placement for A. A was offered a place at the SEMHS Special school and started at the school in year 6.
  • A was at this special setting for 6 years he made huge progress socially and emotionally and gained more independence as well as achieving 7 GCSEs with good grades.
  • A wanted to move to a mainstream school Sixth Form to study A levels, SENDIASS gave us support to ensure that his EHCP was fully up to date, reflected his needs and the provision that he would require to access a mainstream school. This was essential to ensure his new school knew his needs and the support he would need before offering A a place.
  • A is now in year 12 at a local mainstream school, staff understand him and his needs and he is well supported and receives the provision outlined in all the areas of his EHCP.  He is studying A levels in History, Economics and Politics and talking of applying to university in due course.

N.B. We have anonymised this story using letters in alphabetical order starting with A.