Guest bishop3912

Special Educational Support in SA schools

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    Guest bishop3912

    Hi we have a child with mild dyslexia who currently gets about 2 hours a week in total in assistance with reading, writing, spellings etc here in his UK school (yr 3 UK aged 8).

     

    I know that there are a few teachers on this site, plus parents that may have children with similar problems, and wondered what your views are in respect of the SA schooling, do they also get the same help in the schools in SA or do you have to "jump through hoops" to get any assistance/extra support lessons for them (I have his UK SENCO paperwork to bring with me).

     

    Obviously our sons education is a major concern for us and we dont want to make the move over only to find that albeit he will have a nicer life, his education will suffer.

     

    Many thanks

     

    Bishop3912:notworthy:

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    Guest Nick11

    Support is pityful here. I was talking to my friend yesterday who is a teacher. She has a child with asphergers...quite bad...won't go into details.. but back in the u.k he would have be statemented... she gets 4 hours a week for him!!!!

    The school has had to fight tooth and nail for this.

    We have many conversations comparing the education system here and in oz. Even she admits special needs in DECS is shameful here.

    You have more chance of support if you put him in private school..but that costs.

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    She has a child with asphergers...quite bad...won't go into details.. but back in the u.k he would have be statemented... she gets 4 hours a week for him!!!!

    The school has had to fight tooth and nail for this.

    We have many conversations comparing the education system here and in oz. Even she admits special needs in DECS is shameful here.

     

    Speaking as a teacher working over here in the UK, things have got a lot worse over the past couple of years. Often, a statement comes without any funding or resources. Hence, the childs needs are just given lip service, but nothing actually happens.

     

    I dont think that SEN provision is a major strength of either nation, but I would much rather take my chances over in Adelaide. The decline in the UK is alarming.

    Paul

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    Obviously I don't doubt what Nick11 has said but my experience has been different. I am sure parents have had to prove their child's entitlement to help, but I think the choice of school makes a difference (obviously lol!)

     

    The schools that I have worked in, or the kids have gone to, have attended well to the needs of the kids in their care. The teachers responsible for those kids with special needs have been proactive to ensure that each child gets exactly what they need even if the kid isn't actually entitled to the hours they allocate to them.

     

    I really don't wish to seem argumentative or as though I'm wearing the old 'rose coloured glasses', I just have a different opinion :).

     

    LC

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    Guest Adelaide_bound
    Speaking as a teacher working over here in the UK, things have got a lot worse over the past couple of years. Often, a statement comes without any funding or resources. Hence, the childs needs are just given lip service, but nothing actually happens.

     

    I dont think that SEN provision is a major strength of either nation, but I would much rather take my chances over in Adelaide. The decline in the UK is alarming.

    Paul

     

    I would second this - as a teacher here in the UK the children I know in main stream primary are not getting any entitlement, we are having to fight and push to get very low ability SEN children any help at all, and any that is is all classroom based, class teacher support, no hours, no extra support, no extra funding (apart from assessment). It was slightly better when we were 'down south', but not especially, certainly no statementing, no 1:1 hours at all even for my most severe children. The only children that seemed to get any assistance are those 'lucky' enough to be judged severe enough to be placed in Special Needs School (generally because the parents had shouted so long so loudly and the children had very severe behavioural problems (not 'naughty' children but children on the Autistic Spectrum who would bite/spit/etc)), or those that were just missing out on getting a Level 4 by year 6, so were given the 1:1 programme for Literacy.

     

    From discussions with county and heads, funding is being cut hugely (we have lost whole departments that were tasked with this), which means the situation will get even worse. So from that point of view, I can't see how it can be any worse in Australia.

     

    This being the case, it can come down to whether your child has a good teacher, and the numbers in the class imho (speaking as someone who has no experience of teaching in Australia at all), in both countries.

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    Guest ebstar

    Unfortunately i have yet to experience Oz schools but i have so many issues with UK schools they surely can't be that bad.I have 3 children attending 3 seperate schools.My youngest (8) had cystic masses in his neck and chest as a new born.These were only discovered when his breathing became bad.I won't go into the lengthy details but basically when they opperated his left vochal chord was damaged (vochal chord palsy).He had stopped breathing a couple of times so doctors were keen to monitor his development.In early years i checked his progress regulary with the teacher,who always told me he was on a par with his peers.Then 3 days before the end of term she informs me she has no idea what to do with him and that i need to consult his doctor,health visitor,school nurse etc:arghh:. From that point on,the school made every excuse that there was something wrong with him including cerabal palsy(just because his condition names palsy).They were trying to label him instead of help him.After very little progress in 2.5 years we made the decision to move him.He has been in his new school 1.5 years and is working at an average level among his peers in most areas.The extra help from both his teacher and assistant have done so much for him.Unfortunately due to cuts in funding the school is loosing most of the teaching assistants which will have a huge impact on those children that rely on it.

    The school my daughter (10) attends has a very poor record of helping any child with special needs.Many of the children are statemented when they go on to secondary.

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    Guest Nick11

    Lazy cow..Im so glad you have had a positive experience..it's so nice to hear a positive experience from someine in oz.

    I was concerned about my sons speech and hearing...the schools reaction was to give me an information sheet and tell me to go away and sort it out myself!!!!

    As a teacher who has taught both here and in the u.k...I was disgusted.

    Please don't come here under the illusion that it will be plain sailing. I had to get my son tested at my own expense and when the results came back the school basically said he had no chance of any extra help but had I though of a private tutor!!!!

     

    Just thought I would mention there are a few schools here with special needs units attatched to them..which have excellent reputations..but are heavily oversubcribed.

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    Guest bishop3912

    Nick11 do u know how to find out a list of the schools that have special needs units attached to them? as obviously we would prefer to look at these rather than other schools? I have tried to search the DECS website but cant seem to find it. Thanks Bishop3912

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    Lazy cow..Im so glad you have had a positive experience..it's so nice to hear a positive experience from someine in oz..

     

    Thank you. :) I have perhaps been lucky to work with people who care and will go that bit further to help the child and their carer...but I guess, to a certain extent, that is partly luck. Whatever profession, there will be some people who are there because they care and others that are just...well, there! And because I have largely worked in special needs (11 years) I have probably met more of the former than the latter lol!

     

    Obviously Nick11, you didn't get the help you needed or the advice you expected, which is disappointing but I hope things have worked out for your son.

    :wubclub:

    LC

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    Guest Nick11
    Thank you. :) I have perhaps been lucky to work with people who care and will go that bit further to help the child and their carer...but I guess, to a certain extent, that is partly luck. Whatever profession, there will be some people who are there because they care and others that are just...well, there! And because I have largely worked in special needs (11 years) I have probably met more of the former than the latter lol!

     

    Obviously Nick11, you didn't get the help you needed or the advice you expected, which is disappointing but I hope things have worked out for your son.

    :wubclub:

    LC

     

    It's not just that Lazy cow....I have taught in lots of different schools here and I think it is frightening what is classed as special needs teaching here undertaken by people who have no qualifications in that area at all. It is frightening !

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    Guest Adelaide_bound
    what is classed as special needs teaching here undertaken by people who have no qualifications in that area at all. It is frightening !

     

    (This has come out all wrong and sounds all argumentative and tectchy - it wasn't meant to be, but its late and my brain is no longer working - sorry! :o Just take the words with a pinch of salt, and try and get the meaning, not the really bad way I'm saying it, pretty please with sugar on....)

     

    Hmmm, don't be so quick to judge. I didn't have any special needs teaching qualifications when I started in it, and now only have training in things like Makaton etc, but would like to think I am bleeding good (or at least thats what the parents etc tell me, and the kids seem pretty happy too). Come to think of it, I don't think any of the teachers at my last SLD school had any special needs qualifications, just 'normal' PGCEs/BEds etc

     

    Qualifications are not the be-all and end-all of everything.

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    Guest sarahtwinn82

    Braeview school in Happy Valley cater for children who need extra support and they even have a special education unit. They are a mixed school between ordinary primary kids and kids that need a bit of help and kids that have downs or are physically challanged etc.

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    Guest Nick11
    (This has come out all wrong and sounds all argumentative and tectchy - it wasn't meant to be, but its late and my brain is no longer working - sorry! :o Just take the words with a pinch of salt, and try and get the meaning, not the really bad way I'm saying it, pretty please with sugar on....)

     

    Hmmm, don't be so quick to judge. I didn't have any special needs teaching qualifications when I started in it, and now only have training in things like Makaton etc, but would like to think I am bleeding good (or at least thats what the parents etc tell me, and the kids seem pretty happy too). Come to think of it, I don't think any of the teachers at my last SLD school had any special needs qualifications, just 'normal' PGCEs/BEds etc

     

    Qualifications are not the be-all and end-all of everything.

     

    Normal B.EDs have special need units attatched to them...my special needs units lasted over a year.

    Here a lot of sso jobs are given to parents who help out in school..now personally I believe this is wrong.

    Here in Adelaide you need a qualification to serve coffee!!!!!! So why don't you need one to teach children with special needs.

    Qualifications give you the basics to do the job and then experience helps you perfect the job.

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    Guest Adelaide_bound

    Here in Adelaide you need a qualification to serve coffee!!!!!! .

     

    OMG - really! Hmmm, might have to rethink what the OH is going to do then :biglaugh:

     

    Have to say, I think the UK is going this way (with mothers helping out/doing job etc) whether this is due to funding or just don't give a damn attitude, its soooo frustrating. However, isn't this the same the world over - useless people not doing their job, with a few good'uns doing right lol - together we could rule the world ya know :P;)

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    Hi Bishop 3912,

     

    Have you ever seen the DORE programme (www.dore.co.uk/could be com). Friends of ours has a son now age 10 whose dyslexia was assessed by DORE 1 year ago, he was given a programme of activities to complete daily and my god you should see the change in him. He has gone from a little boy who had help in school by support worker and who wouldn't pick up a book to one who can't put one down and his confidence in his school work has improved tremendously, now he doesn't get any support in class. It really is worth a look.

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    Hi Guys

    I can only comment on one school in Adelaide as all my three boys go/went to the same school. The teachers I have seen/dealth with at this school have gone above and beyond their job description to help and support my kids to settle into the Ozzie life here. They have and continue to support my boys both emotionally and academically. Two out the three have dyslexia and they constantly do everything they can to find courses/career paths that will help them now and in the future. In the UK they had no help from nursery up until they left in secondary school. My one son has gone from an E grade student to pulling C's and above and got an B in English. So just my opinion I go with the education here.

     

    Regards Janine

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    That is really encouraging Janine. We have a 11 yr old who doesn't find school an easy place, and is the main thing that is really concerning us with the move. Could I ask which school your children going/went to. There's nothing better than recommendations.

    Many thanks

    Bev

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    It's not just that Lazy cow....I have taught in lots of different schools here and I think it is frightening what is classed as special needs teaching here undertaken by people who have no qualifications in that area at all. It is frightening !

     

    Sounds intriguing and worrying, Nick11. I would be interested which schools but as that's just me being nosey and as this is a public forum, I know you can't post! One thing that might sound rude but truly isn't meant to be...were you a TRT and if so were you at each school long enough to judge? See, it did sound rude :sad: but IMHO, it can take a while to see below the surface. Please do not think I am trivialising your experiences but I think the thread is in danger of splitting into an 'Australian SEN provision is brilliant or rubbish' argument rather than the advice and perhaps reassurance initially asked for?

     

    As for SSOs being lucky mums who have simply drifted into the job..whilst I am sure that happened, specially back in the day, many of the parents who help out have specialist skills such as nursing or 1:1 experience with ASDs, ADHD, APD etc. To become an SSO you actually have to register and need to have your skills verified by a school. Verification is a wordy, in depth process..or was when I did it..and not simply a pencil-pushing exercise.

     

    I am not claiming that with only 5+ years of working in schools here I am in any way an expert lol but my experiences have obviously been far more positive than yours and I would hate a concerned parent to make a decision re.emigrating on the back of anything either one of us have posted. :)

     

    Ok, that's it from me!

    :) LC

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    Guest kfoley0681

    i have to say in my opinion i dont think the schools help here for special needs is any worse than in the uk. as with all schools in any country you need to look around and decided what suits yours and your childrens needs. my children go to gulfview heights ps here and its fantastic whilst my kids dont have special needs the learning and confidence building that has happened is so impressive for me. at there school we also have childen with asergers, aultism and downsymdrone and they are treated like all the other childrens but do get the extra help they need. they have so that help in them classes and also they have a room with a special needs teacher that the children are taken to for extra help. dont be afraid to go into schools look around and ask lots of questionsd. if they dont offer or cant answer your needs find some where that does!

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    [quote=

    Here a lot of sso jobs are given to parents who help out in school..now personally I believe this is wrong.

    Here in Adelaide you need a qualification to serve coffee!!!!!! So why don't you need one to teach children with special needs..

     

    I missed this the first time lol!

     

    I can agree with you on this one except (you knew there would be a caveat, hey) if you are including SSOs in that! Teachers most definately would benefit from extra attention being paid to SEN as well as discipline. However, SSOs have to be verified to help in delivering the curriculum, in addition to having the essential disability training. SSOs are not there to teach.

     

    Whether working in class or in small groups, our job is to support the teacher, not teach the kids. That means that the teacher remains responsible for what and how, we work with the kids. In fact, that lack of responsibility is one of the privileges of working as an SSO - I am able to work with individuals rather than en masse and I do not have the long hours and responsibility associated with being a teacher!

     

    In a bit of a rush so I hope that made sense!

    :goofy: lC

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    Guest bishop3912

    Hi Janine, can you pm me the details of the school, as I am making a list of recommended schools, from peoples experiences, to put top of my list to look at one we land.

     

    Regards Corinne x

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    Guest Nick11

    Yes Lazy cow it did make sense.

    You are right about me doing trt...a lot of the sso's I have come across have been doing the job for a very long time and to coin a phrase... dead men's shoes comes to mind!!! The quality of some of their work is beyond comprehension.

    Having worked in special schools as well..the quality of ssos there is amazing...mainstream schools could do well to copy this.

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    Guest Nick11
    Nick11 do u know how to find out a list of the schools that have special needs units attached to them? as obviously we would prefer to look at these rather than other schools? I have tried to search the DECS website but cant seem to find it. Thanks Bishop3912

     

    I know Hallett cove has one ,and I think Modbury in the north may have one.

     

    Sorry can't be of any more help.

    Maybe there are others who know on this forum.

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    My son has aspergers and gets 5 hours a week with a SSO I am a SSO and ECW but I'm working in childcare becaouse these jobs can be hard to get in to. I have been offered a job working with children with extra needs but thats not come through DECs who I had to get my skills verified with its because I have become friends with the princable so I must say its not whay=t you know its who;)

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