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Discussion in 'Personal' started by Trixie1, Nov 7, 2019.

  1. Trixie1

    Trixie1 New commenter

    Just need to offload....
    I have a really difficult class this year. Lots of individual needs that haven’t always been managed well in the past.
    One girl on the autistic spectrum is very low ability but also very disruptive. The parents have been in to see the SENCO today and had a meeting highlighting all of my failures. Subsequently senco relayed these to me - it took him an hour!
    I feel that nearly all of their comments are unfair. The girl is going home and telling the parents she’s had an awful day with me and I’ve been mean and give her a hard time. In my eyes, I’ve worked with her in lots of lessons, she’s joked and told me about things at home etc. I was absolutely floored when the senco told me their complaints.
    The senco would now like to hold a meeting with head, me, child and parents so that the child can tell me how they feel.
    I suppose I feel like everyone has taken her word and anything I say isn’t true. I have been told I have to work with her to celebrate her successes by keeping a book and taking photos and writing notes etc. With 30 kids who are already behind, I am struggling with how I’ll fit this in on top of everything else.
    I feel mean in saying that I feel totally unsupported by my senco and head. I know we are there for our children and I have been trying so hard but I can’t see my way out of feeling upset.
    My head has emailed about having ideas for a positive move forward but I feel it’s then as if it’s fine for them to say anything they like about me and I’m going to have to accept it whilst also doing whatever to please them.
    I’ve spent the night in tears and wondering how much more I can take in the job.
  2. Dragonlady30

    Dragonlady30 Star commenter

    Contact your union for support.
  3. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    Maybe it is time to be more proactive.

    Write down all the strategies and time you have spent with this child.
    If you have a TA in the classroom with you have they been witness to all you have been doing?

    Note down all evidence you have of the attention etc this child has received; plus the comments you have heard the child say.
    Do you have written work evidence that helps support you ?

    Can you request a TA to work more extensively with this child (might take some of the focus off you and put someone else into the 'blame frame')

    I agree re union advice as not for one minute does the proposed meeting in the format you have outlined seem supportive of you or indeed the child.
    Laphroig, foxtail3, knitone and 3 others like this.
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    sounds horrendous and intolerable
    knitone likes this.
  5. Bedlam3

    Bedlam3 Star commenter

    Good advice from HelenREMfan.
    You say the pupil has autism. Has she a diagnosis of this and if so what support is she supposed to be getting in school? Does she have / need an education, health and care plan or has she ever been assessed for one? Have you just been expected to get on with it or have they given you any training in autism to help you to meet her needs?

    It doesn't sound like the Senco was trying to help you - perhaps he was trying to put the blame on you to cover up that he hasn't supported you to manage her needs. Has he ever been in to observe her in class and recommend ways of supporting her? Or asked you how she is doing? Has he referred her to the LA autism team for support? If not then what help has he given?
  6. HelenREMfan

    HelenREMfan Star commenter

    At the risk of upsetting (again) the odd Senco on the site I think @Bedlam3 hits a nail on the head there. You should have had shedloads of support from the Senco and from what you write....it doesn't look like it.

    Have you requested help/support for this child/you and was it forthcoming? Proof of that request and lack of action?
    Has there been input from any other professionals? Speech and Language for example.... and anyone else who has more than likely been out on some jolly or other of so called training for special needs and who has never been tasked with feeding back to the staff on the ground who could use some of that info ??
  7. Trixie1

    Trixie1 New commenter

    Thanks @HelenREMfan and @Bedlam3. We are in a federation so see the senco in school once a week. No support in class - meetings with parents and professionals mostly. Parents refused to sign IEP as the accused me of forcing her to name me as a trusted adult who she could talk to if needed. As her class teacher I thought this would be quite good but senco has agreed to take me off! I’m mostly worried about having the rest of the year to deal with and at the moment I feel so sold out I can’t bear to think about any of it!
    Thank you for your thoughts
  8. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    I know just the balloon hat I would make your SENCO ... :) (very male orientated!)

    Perhaps autistic kids should have Individual Parent Plans ... ways that parents can work positively with their kids. Practical skills which are impossible in the classroom can do so much for autistic kids.

    Trixie1 likes this.
  9. Weald56

    Weald56 Established commenter

    Good advice above, I'd say. I can't envisage how it works having a SENCO shared across several schools and only being around once a week (indeed this story shows it doesn't work!).

    As mentioned above, I'd make sure everything that has been done to help is written down, and I'd contact my Union. I would NOT go to a meeting with the SENCO, HT, child and parents without someone 'in your court', preferably a Union member. Sounds like a kangaroo court.
    monicabilongame likes this.
  10. Brunel

    Brunel Lead commenter

    Totally agree with the advice to contact your union. In addition I’d be tempted to e-mail the Senco and Head telling them that you see any meeting as an opportunity to explore what measures should have been in place to support you and the student and an opportunity to discuss what improvements in that support need to be put in place. In my experience senior staff often go lukewarm on proposed meetings where they feel they may be put on the spot.
    smoothnewt and grumpydogwoman like this.
  11. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Fine. I'm assuming this is KS2?

    She can curate the book. The SENCO buys a Polaroid. The girl gets 1 to 3 snaps per day. She chooses. She snaps. She adds a comment. These comments are not marked for spelling etc. It's a fun scrap book. You can add a word if you want. Otherwise you put a sticker on it. Stickers also purchased by SENCO. Girl wants owl stickers? SENCO buys owl stickers.

    Job done.
    Trixie1, foxtail3 and caress like this.
  12. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    If the child has a diagnosis of autism she is entitled to the relevant support. Class teachers can't be expected to be expert in every kind of learning/behaviour need.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  13. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Do you have an autistic child?

    If so, do you think an Individual Parent Plan is a good idea?

  14. gruoch

    gruoch Occasional commenter

    Yes, but no longer at school.
    Any child with additional needs should have an IEP. I am confused as to why the parents refused this.
  15. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Some lovely unusual skills parents can teach their autistic kids are magic, balloon modelling and stiltwalking.

    Great for an Individual Parent Plan!

    Trixie1 likes this.
  16. Trixie1

    Trixie1 New commenter

    @circuskevin you are fab - thank you!
    My upset has turned to anger now, which seems much more manageable.
    Thanks all
    Weald56 likes this.

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