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A start date for Alice

Fulltime Foster Carer - Harriet author of: A Less Ordinary Family

A start date for Alice

Wednesday 6th July Blog

So today we have our first TAC (Team around the Child) meeting for Alice.  The Inclusion support team have called the meeting with the hope that we can move forward in getting her into school.  They have invited (deep breath) the Head Teacher, SENCo (Special Educational Needs Coordinator), Head of the Special Education Needs Department of the Local Authority, Social Workers – both local authority and fostering agency, Property Services Representative, Home Tutoring Service, Community Burins Team and Head of the Looked After Children in Education Department.  I am really hoping that by having all these professionals in one place will help to get some decisions made!

The meeting was across the other side of the county, so I made sure Charlie came home early from work to look after Alice and Lauren – who are still at home whilst we sort school places.  I inevitably leave early, arrive early and have time to wait when I get there.  I am so paranoid about arriving late, that I do the opposite and always have time when i get to any meeting!

The meeting was held in a new building – very impressive offices, we all couldn’t help but notice the huge plaque on the wall saying that it had been funded with money from The European Union.  In light of the vote last week to exit the EU, it seemed a little sad that we will no longer benefit from funding.

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised that almost all of those who had come were all supporting Alice starting school as soon as possible.  The representative from Property Services had managed to get the building work on the disabled changing facilities brought forward by two months.  She was sorry they would not be starting until September, but explained how complex the situation was – extending the facilities, moving drains, adding a shower.  They were not just thinking of Alice, but they want to future-proof the facilities and ensure that other children with disabilities will be able to use the room too.

The only disagreement was from the Head of the Special Education Department at the LEA.  He informed us all that Alice had been on Roll at the new school since we moved here in May.  This was news to me, and certainly news to the school.  The lady from the Home Tutoring Service seemed totally confused.  She had been reporting Alice’s attendance to the Children Missing From Education Department and not to school.  After quite a heated discussion between him and school everyone had to agree to disagree.

By the end of the meeting what was agreed was that Alice could start school at the beginning of term in September.   Until the building work was completed and the new staff trained, I would be expected to go into school to do Alice’s Catheter twice a day.  Although this will be a bit of a bind, I think I would have agreed to anything to get her into school!  It definitely felt like progress had been made.  A start date for Alice is really what we all needed!

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