What price should we pay for an education?!

Published May 10, 2016 by thefamilyof5

Why must everything be one long continuous fight!?

In the last 6 years I don’t think there has ever been a time when I’ve not been fighting for support for something for my children! Social care, medical support, education, its never ending!

I’ve been through some pretty tough things in my life, but being an adoptive parent is by far the hardest. Its a really lonely journey, and not many people, professional or not, truly understand the difficulties faced by children suffering the long term effects of neglect and trauma, which makes getting any support nigh on impossible.

We were forced to home educate the girls last year, it wasn’t planned, and it certainly wasn’t choice. Id hoped that the Local Education Authority (LEA) would help us, Id hoped that they’d recognise that I’ve done, am doing, everything I possibly can to help my girls achieve the very best they can. It seems not. We requested some help to fund some tuition via big girls EHC Plan (education health care plan, replaced the statement of special educational needs), not a lot, just a few measly hours a week, I think I said 3hours. It seems that even though they were giving schools thousands of pounds to support her in school, plus the £1900 for her Pupil Premium, they cant even pay for a few hours of tuition. She’s only 3+ years behind though so what the hell eh! Who needs an education anyway!

I also applied recently for an EHC Plan for middle girl, school had planned to do it just before we removed her. The LEA wrote to me today, apparently they don’t feel she qualifies even for an assessment, something to do with mostly achieving a level 2a in year 4 and being seen by an autism service to be chatting to a peer at school on one occasion and seeming to understand the instructions in class?! Mostly nonsense, the Level 2a was probably the only accurate part.

I currently pay £20 a week for 1hours math tuition for my girls. All I wanted was 3hours! 3 measly hours of tuition!! £60 a week! I’m fairly sure all the EHCP panels and tribunals they’ll make me attend will cost a hell of a lot more than £60 a week! They all attracted £1900 each in pupil premium at school, that’s without an EHC Plan, apparently I cant even access that, so where is that money now, what happens to it? The government set it aside for my children’s education, yet they can’t access it unless we completely risk destroying their mental health, and our family unit, just so they can be in school!?

My LEA would prefer I put big girl on anxiety medication (the real cost of which would no doubt be life long and provided by a different department) and sent her to school, rather than provide a few hours a week in tuition! They would rather that middle girl withdrew back in to herself and spent every day scared and confused in school (with therapy paid for by someone else for her foreseeable future), than provide her with a few hours tuition! They would rather my baby girl gave in to the chaos within her, detached from the world and survived in school (with services funded by all manner of departments throughout her life to keep her on the straight and narrow), than support her in an environment that she feels safe. My LEA don’t care if my children are achieving, feeling safe, happy and content (they weren’t in school) or having a mental breakdown, being medicated, or even if our family breaks down, because the cost of all that comes down to a different department!

It shouldn’t be this hard. ALL of my girls deserve an education and the opportunities that will provide them with, but they all also deserve a mommy that isn’t completely exhausted from providing it.






12 comments on “What price should we pay for an education?!

  • What a difficult situation you’re in, there really is no excuse for the LEA or whoever not to find money to help when it was not your choice to home educate in the first place. I dare say there is plenty of money wasted on unnecessary things that could instead benefit families like yours. Hopefully things will change and you will get a break of luck soon.

  • Very much agree with you – we have been able to put ours in the private system to secure small class size and a nurturing environment- we can’t qualify for pupil premium either – I often wonder if LA simply think “issues” disappear because you are not following the “standard” route.

  • I think not being able to give your kids the things you know they need–and not even being able to get others to acknowledge what they need–is terribly difficult to cope with. It’s like being a very poor parent who can’t feed her kids. You can’t take care of their minds and hearts, because you just don’t have the resources yourself and the state refuses to give them to you. It’s so very, very upsetting.

  • 1) It’s probably worth getting someone medical to back you up formally. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a doctor or psychologist who thinks meeting a child’s emotional needs is generally a better option than medication. Similarly, if there are other professionals who might write helpful reports, get started now (or be stuck on waiting lists when evidence deadlines come up).

    2) The Tribunal process is time-consuming, and can be emotionally draining. It’s useful to get some expert input. SOS-SEN, National Autistic Society and IPSEA all have advice helplines. In some areas, there’s a local law centre charity who can assist too.

    3) The local authority may produce much data and many experts supporting their view. This view is often that the child is doing quite well enough, and the parent is probably odd/deranged/neglectful/over-involved. Or just too pushy to accept they simply have a low-achieving or disabled child.

    4) The last thing any LA wants to do pre-Tribubal is fund a competent tutor who will carefully document your child’s poor baseline and accelerated progress once her needs are met. It’s like asking a turkey to design a Christmas menu.

    5) What you offer your children is probably going to be far, far better than any provision available via the school system. A decent EHCP helps, but may still not match your own efforts.

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