Every new school year since the eldest started, we have had a
meeting with a new SENCo. The new SENCo always tells us that they have no information
about the children. They didn’t know they were adopted. They weren’t aware that
there was any funding attached to them. They didn’t know anything of their back
story, despite me providing annually updated ‘passports’ of key information to
their new teachers.
I’m grinding my teeth as I write this.
We asked this year’s SENCo, wasn’t she supposed to be privy
to that sort of information, about the most vulnerable students? She agreed that
it would be helpful, but that the safeguarding leads were reticent about
She listened really well to us, this new SENCo, and gave the
appearance of both understanding and agreeing with our concerns about the kids’
needs being largely ignored by the school. She made notes about actions, unlike
most of her predecessors. But WILL she act? Or will she give us the sympathetic
face at meetings and do absolutely nothing in the times between?
Maybe, as has repeatedly happened, she will put key
activities and supportive adults in place and then cancel them without telling
us. For example, both our kids were disclosing to the TA running some of their interventions
last year. We found out today that that lady had left in June and nothing had
been put in place afterwards. The school did not think we needed to be told.
This school, striving for an Outstanding rating, is doing
really well with its SATs results. It has also made its nurture room into a cloakroom,
got rid of its counsellor, refused free trauma training, locked up the records
of its vulnerable children so that the SENCo can’t see them, spent money on astroturf
instead of a dedicated TA for a class… the list goes on.
While we’ve been there, we’ve had to rely upon the hardworking
teachers; individuals valiantly covering or making up for their leaders’ lack
of care. You don’t get a great teacher every year though, do you?
So why not leave? Well, transitions aren’t our favourite
thing. But if the school doesn’t sort itself out this year, I think we really
Fingers are crossed for the latest SENCo and, this term, we’ve
finally managed to get CAMHS to give us some back up. Someone there is chasing
the Virtual Head who SHOULD, in turn, investigate whether my children are
getting their due. That is all we want – to know that they’re getting the things
they are entitled to. Why is that so hard for the school to understand?