On Friday I received the phone call I was dreading. J's case file had been discussed by the Panel for a special school placement and they turned him down. They didn't feel he was right for one of the C.L.i.P (Community Learning in Partnership) schools. They DID however suggest Grove House School a new specialist special Free school opening in September 2015. Interestingly back in March this is the same school they told me would not accept J. They said in March that he wouldn't meet the criteria ...apparently now he does!
I have given them permission to send J's file over to Grove House school for consideration. Not wanting to leave anything to chance I emailed the school to say that J's file was coming to them and had the positive response of an email back the next day to say they had received J's info and would discuss it at an admission's meeting next week. I will know by the end of the week if J has a place there or not.
If he does then great, the write up looks amazing and here are only 10 pupils per year group. Teaching will be done with speech and language therapists on hand to support pupils who need visual aids and receptive language support (like J). An occupational therapist will be employed full time to support with sensory needs too and there will be a sensory room. If accepted then J could stay until he is 19.
If J is not accepted then we will go to tribunal for a place at the special school.
I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed.
The other positive thing I take from this is that the LA have recognized mainstream education is not right for J and that he needs a different kind of teaching.