“Pushed out” of school.

“Saying ‘it’s a learning curve’ does not make anything acceptable.”

An old Facebook post popped up on my screen, and as I read it, my head and heart were flooded with all the feelings from that time. Adam had been in school for two months.

I am sharing this because analysis of government statistics by a national charity found that ‘More pupils with statements of special educational needs or education health and care plans (EHCPs) are increasingly being “pushed out” of mainstream schools into special schools’, but there was no mention of all those who end up home educated. And there was no mention of the subtle ways that schools make parents feel that their children are not wanted.

These are copied and pasted from my responses to friends asking what was happening, because they knew that this was not an isolated bad day. I have a feeling that many will relate. Bear in mind this was just one day, in a whole series of days.

“SENCO keeps saying ‘it’s a learning curve’ in answer to every problem! Adam now has 5 outstanding homework ‘challenges’ in his file. (outstanding because they are far beyond his abilities) Another came home today. Another 5 words to learn. I shall put them with the 23 letter sounds and the other 5 words! Disabled parking space obstructed by 2 staff cars. On Monday they obstructed the lowered kerb. School disco tonight and all the others are allowed to go without their parents. Just peed off. The rain this morning has not helped!”

“They have no clue. This morning I was told by one of the office staff that the TA had parked there because there were no other spaces but that she would have moved it I asked. That would have involved parking elsewhere and taking Adam out of the car to go in and ask! At lunchtime there were 2 cars. From where each driver was sat at the point of parking, they would have been squarely viewing the A4 signs stating that it was parking for blue badge holders only.”

“As for the ‘challenges’ we brought the subject of differentiating the curriculum up at the recent TAC meeting, but “it is a learning curve!” He has been there 1 sixth of a school year and they knew all about him since last Easter yet he is still not being taught at his pace. He can’t get his form signed and get the big ‘Well Done’ that the others get. I need a few faster learners!”

“I love his TAs though.”

“Disabled space was abused again when we went to the disco. Parked further away and had to push Adam on the road due to lack of dropped kerbs. Got back to the car to find someone who has no idea what 8 feet looks like parked up behind me. Luckily I could still get the manual chair in but would not have stood a chance with the powered chair.”

“Are other schools really any better? The TAs looking after Adam are brilliant. Some of the staff are really keen to learn.”

“However, last Friday they had a supply teacher. His TAs came out with him at lunchtime and were enthusing about how brilliant this teacher had been with Adam and how fab she had been at including him. Said a lot that they noticed this.

Just how much energy do I have though? Which battles do I take on? In 2 weeks we start on amending the Statement again because he is only properly funded this term. Next term they have no funding for a second person but the TAs have found that the points in the day where only one of them is needed are few and far between.”

“On Monday the new physio is going in to train the TAs in putting Adam in his mobile stander. She has only actually seen me put him in it once and has never done it herself before.”  (yet they could not have training from me – the person who did it daily!)

“Then there is the toilet. Adam is the only physically disabled person in school (confirmed by his TAs that he is the only person who needs to use it on a daily basis) yet someone keeps going in, moving his special toilet chair and not putting it back. The TAs say it adds about 2 minutes to toileting time as there is not much room to manouvre things when the powered chair is in there. I took him in to the toilet tonight and had to position his chair before he could go. Putting the 4 brakes on the chair when it is in position is a bit difficult. Adam is starting to ask for the toilet in school time and when he says he needs to go he means now, not when you can get the toilet chair in position.”

“It just says to me that people at school do not respect disabled people. I spoke to the office staff at lunchtime as I parked blocking in the two cars (not Blue Badge holders) obstructing the disabled space. I made it clear that I did not expect Adam to be treated this way by staff in his own school.”


Friends suggested that I change schools but we had invested so much time in this one, although he had only attended for two months, there was nine months of work with them so far.

Eventually we took him out of school and have home educated for 5 years. It isn’t for everyone and it isn’t easy, but it is the best thing for our son. He is accepted, loved and wanted within home education groups, and nothing is ever a problem.

I wish I could advise families to keep battling, to keep arguing till a school gets it right, to keep reminding them not to obstruct Blue Badge spaces, to teach their child at their own pace, but I can’t. Because I know how hard it is.

Sometimes it is best to start afresh, find a new school or even a whole new way of doing things.

But no child should be “pushed out” of mainstream school.

19 thoughts on ““Pushed out” of school.

  1. I’m so sorry you had this awful experience, my son was pushed out of mainstream primary at 8 years old by a teacher that bullied, I fought for 6 months with the school, emails, letters, meetings, they nearly destroyed me, but it was nothing compared to what they were doing to my son, he’ll carry the scars for life. They’re working on another child now, it’s heartbreaking and I wish I could have done more to bring justice. Like you we now home educate, since March this year, it’s beautiful, blissful and there’s SO MUCH acceptance!! My only regret is that I didn’t pull him out earlier. It’s awfully sad, we home educated and did feel we had choice but so glad we’ve now arrived at this point. It’s awful what pain and suffering these schools cause families.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Very true. They shouldn’t be pushed out, and wouldn’t it be lovely if they were pulled in instead? If teachers and parents said they actively wanted them and would try anything? Far too many parents end up home educating when they never had that in mind :/

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I very much feel it needs to be firmly monitored, my goodness can you imagine if someone made a FOI request for all the children who have come from mainstream into home education with some kind of additional need or disability in the last 5 years, I’m sure the numbers would be scandalous.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. In Cornwall the LA are very open about admitting that they have a higher percentage than national average of children with a Statement of SEN or EHCP being home educated. Yet they ask themselves why.

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  4. I’m sitting here in tears of sorrow and rage. That society in the UK could let this happen to a child, one amongst many is abysmal. The Equality Act 2010 is supposed to protect disabled people and it just isn’t working. Disabled people have been persecuted by the present government to such an extent that the UN have openly criticized them and quite rightly too. While we are still in the EU is there any point in writing to your EU MP ? Maybe the British government don’t care but the EU might ?

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    1. I logged in to Facebook today to see another daily reminder.

      “Is about as cross as I can get with school.”

      “It was pouring down this morning. Drove to school and was pleased to find the disabled space clear. Took standing frame and powered chair out of the car and sat Adam in his chair. The lowered kerb to access school is the across the car park at the end of a long zebra crossing which runs across the car park. Adam drove to where he knows we go and I directed him and pushed the stander. Got there to find a car parked on the zebra and completely obstructing the lowered kerb. Adam could not get into school.”

      “I managed to shout to a teacher walking nearby and asked him to contact the office staff. Adam’s TA came out looking for him as the bell had rung several minutes earlier. Me, the TA and Adam had to wait in the pouring rain for the culprit to move her car. It was the same TA who obstructed the disabled space yesterday. Worse still, she is the high level TA in Adam’s class. Today, in the absence of the teacher she is taking the class. Learing curve? They are on a flipping straight line. Head is away today.”

      “Myself and the TA had to change Adam’s trousers before he could go to class as he was soaked. ”

      Reminders like this bring back all the hurt.

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  5. This is so sad. My youngest has sensory issues and the first school he went for taster sessions at were awful. They just said SPD was a made up thing and he was just badly behaved. He’s not even a bad kid – he just cries a lot when he’s overwhelmed. Anyway, we took him for sessions at another school and they’re so much better. They understand his needs and he definitely doesn’t get pushed out. I just wish all schools were the same.

    Louise x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am very sad hearing about how your children have been treated and find it disgusting that anyone is treated in this way, my daughter has profound and multiple learning difficulties and attends a fantastic special needs School she is now 13 and has been going to the same school since she was 2 and a half, there was never a question of her going to mainstream school but I have friends with children that have similar disabilities who sent their children to mainstream school their children have coped with this but there have been issues and when it came to secondary school they all had to go to a special needs School as they just wouldn’t cope with the curriculum and pace,
    I really don’t understand the reluctance for children to go to a special school the staff are dedicated, understanding and caring the facilities are amazing and the staff are already trained in using standing frames walkers and other equipment, the curriculum is set to the child’s ability and needs and they thrive, they also interact with their piers and make friends,
    From my experience my friends pushed for mainstream because they felt there was a stigma attached to special needs Schools but I would much prefer my daughter to be happy, cared for and accepted in school.
    This is only my experience but I listen to people saying their children must go to mainstream school no matter what, but all they seem to get is negativity and hassle from parents and teachers why fight when your child could be accepted and cared for

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It really is awful how SEN children or those with disabilities are treated by mainstream schools and are often like you said pushed out of school.My foster sister is in an SEN school and she has been treated badly and even bullied by her peers. It is so sad and it breaks my heart x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry you had to go through this. I’m glad home education is working for you both but it’s terrible you were pushed out of mainstream school. How hard is it not to block a disabled space?! Surely that’s just common sense?!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I find it ridiculous when someone cannot be “trained” (according to health and safety or whatever) by the parent of the person needing care! I was taught by the mum of a young man I took on social outings to push medication and water via his feeding tube. Because it wasn’t a school, or a care home, but a voluntary arrangement (all I needed was a day of epilepsy training and a CRB check) it was fine. He was fine, his mum was happy, and no barriers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. I train the people who help at home. I ended up showing the physio and she then talked the staff through it. Anyone can know the physical steps to put a child into a standing frame but you have to know the child and every little bodily detail when it involves manhandling a child who has complex bone, muscle and joint issues. Mum definitely knows every detail!

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