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Discussion in 'Parenting' started by polmac, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. polmac

    polmac New commenter

    wonder if I might have some help or advice please. My child is due to go to secondary school in 2020. At present he is in a ASN school as he was premature and delayed. He has caught up and is now doing quite well. He is particularly skilled in Literacy and Geography and is very keen to learn.

    We have been told since he was in P2 that academically there is no reason why he should not attend mainstream secondary but he can have a problem with social skills eg organisation wise, moving round the building in a secondary school, large classes etc.

    He is capable of Nat 4s and 5s but the ASN Secondary does not offer this and most of the mainstream secondary schools are too crowded and large for him. although there are classroom assistants and ASNAs there but not allocated to him so lunchtimes could be tricky.

    Our only option would be a private secondary school which would allow him to access an appropriate curriculum and be in a smaller class. However there are no CAs or ASNAs in these schools

    Has anyone else been in this position or could offer another alternative to our dilemma please?

    Thanks so much
  2. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    So much depends on the secondaries available in your area, and you really need to be booking to visit these and talk to relevant people about how he might cope and what support might be available, as well as get a feel for what the school is like, particularly at lunch/break times if you think they may be an issue. Start doing that this term - there's usually a bit more time available now for staff to meet you.
    Obviously with the private school you factor in the smaller classes when looking at the lack of support staff.

    Have you considered moving him to a mainstream primary, so that he can begin to get used to being in a "larger" environment? Perhaps with only one year left the benefit is not worth the disruption of an extra change of school.
  3. PaulShipmanSmith

    PaulShipmanSmith New commenter

    It's understandable that you have concerns about your son going to a mainstream secondary school. He will benefit from the educational opportunities but there will be the limited resources regarding the ASN teachers.
    There is the issue with the lunch breaks and crowds but you could discuss this with the school to find out if they can help.
    Going to a private school would have certain advantages because you will be paying to provide your son with a more tailored education programme.
    In theory, the advantage of him going to private school will be smaller class sizes and the teachers would be able to give him more of their attention.
    You will need to research the full school fees and discuss with the establishments what they can do to help your son.
    The private schools may provide special needs assistance. Different private schools may have their own programme to accommodate special needs issues.
    If you are in receipt of any government benefits, help may be available for his education fees. It could be worth looking into.
    Another option you could consider would be to send your son to the Additional Support Needs secondary school for his general education. This would enable your son to continue in the environment that he already knows.
    For the advanced element of his education (that the ASN secondary does not provide), you could consider private, one-to-one tuition (or very small, private classes) as a supplement to his ASN study programme. The private tuition should cover your son's advanced study in which the ASN secondary cannot - such as the NAT 4s and NAT 5s.
    There will be costs involved - but more likely by the hour, rather that paying 'upfront' for a whole year of private schooling. Your son could follow a tailored programme involving the subjects that he is really interested in, such as the geography and literacy.
    It's understandably a difficult choice to make for your son. However. From what you have written, he seems like a very talented lad.
    It's just working out a programme that will accommodate his circumstances yet encourage him to develop his academic skills and take his education further.

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