Alice finally started her new school last week. Although we moved in May and her school place was confirmed, there was a delay in her start date while the school, LEA and social services negotiated funding. This included funding for one-to-one staff to look after Alice in school as well as funding for a new ramp and building project – to make a new disabled changing facility – which can house an adjustable changing bed. After what has felt like an eternity at home, I was very relieved that she was finally given a start date!
The ramp into her classroom was fitted at school over the summer holidays. I was also pleased to find out that the building project for the changing room had been brought forward from November to the start of September. As we arrived at school last week we could see a number work vans on site! Once the building work is completed, staff can be trained to look after the medical side of things. Until then, I will be going in to school twice a day to do her catheter. All being well, everything should be in place by half term, and I will no longer have to go in each day.
I have been extremely impressed so far with the school. I know it is early days and we are probably still in a ‘honeymoon’ period, but so far I have been quite overwhelmed with how professional the school are. In particular it is so good to see a Head Teacher who loves his job and is so well respected by the staff, children, parents and community. The SENCo (Special Needs Coordinator) is fantastic. She has already got a handle of where we are at with Alice. She has organised professionals to come in and assess her, she is working with the Occupational Therapist and Physiotherapist to ensure she gets the right support physically, she has called for a review of her Education and Health Care Plan, as well as training the new staff in new interventions to help her…. all that and Alice has only been in school for 7 school days!
It feels like more has been done to support her in the last week than was done in the last year at her old school. As I say I know it is early days, but so far so good! Each day when we drop Alice off, the ramp into her classroom seems to stand for so much more than mere entry to the school – it seems to sum up their whole approach to education and how they can allow each child to flourish and be properly catered for. Funny how a mere ramp can become one of our favourite sights!
A Less Ordinary Family Blog