The idea of integrating my daughter into the pupil referral unit via the home tuition service has failed. After months of struggling to get my daughter to go into the building we’ve now decided that it’s not worth continuing with something that’s upsetting her so much. It’s not just the building she hates but the process of transition from home to home tutor to PRU that has not worked. One of the reasons why I think it hasn’t worked well is that the home tuition service is not adequately resourced to support my daughter. Some of the problems we have encountered are:-
- home tuition is staffed by part time retired teachers who in the main want to do a bit of teaching around their retirement.
- as a result they are not fully committed to teaching my daughter as they only teach one or two days a week. In some cases they take days off and holidays at short notice which leaves us without any tutorial support. As a result there is no consistency which is confusing my daughter. It is also very difficult to fit the needs of both my children around such an inflexible service.
- no care is given to transition and where one tutor leaves (ie for a holiday) another one is brought in with little thought to how my child moves from one to another.
- the tutors are not properly briefed and few (if any) have detailed knowledge about my daughter’s statement of SEN and her learning difficulties. One tutor whom I showed my daughter’s statement to laughed in my face as she told me that I would never get her needs met. As a result few are adapting their teaching methods to suit my daughter’s needs leaving her confused about what is expected of her and anxious about forthcoming lessons.
The service has been so poor that my daughter has not been able to access any meaningful education. As a result we have now obtained help from Ipsea who have advised us on how to proceed. I will not be detailing that advice here because it’s specific to our situation but suffice to say we’re now looking at alternative ways of integrating her back into education. This means we will be looking at specialist schools in the area. I will keep you updated about progress but it’s likely we’re now on a very rocky path with our local authority but needs must if it means getting our daughter’s right to an appropriate education met.
PS: We’re also thinking about writing to our MP to complain about the lack of support for our daughter. We think that a child who stops attending school (for whatever reason) should have access to health services to help them overcome the emotional/mental health difficulties associated with school related anxiety. Unfortunately CAMHS refused to see my daughter and we were left with home tuition but as I have described above the tutors are not experienced enough. It’s disgraceful that families like mine are abandoned in this way and it makes me very angry that children such as my daughter are left to suffer.