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Your child’s teacher undoubtedly knows your child has an attention problem. In fact, many parents find out their child has ADHD as a result of getting one too many emails or phone calls from frustrated teachers. Now that you have a diagnosis, it’s time to work as a team. Remember the best approach to help your child is to forge a strong working relationship with your SENco, teachers and TAs.  Don’t antagonise the school staff; get them on your side. Above all, communicate with them as often as possible.

ADHD Richmond works closely with local schools and can organise a variety of training packages for teachers,  focusing on meeting the needs of students with ADHD. Training is delivered by expert ADHD Advisory Teachers from our colleagues at the Emotional Health Service,  ADDISS or ADHD Foundation.  Contact us in the first instance: communications@adhdrichmond.org

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101 REASONABLE ADJUSTMENTS

Eva Akins, a SEN lawyer, has produced an excellent document called 101 reasonable Adjustments for ADHD which will guide you through what you can expect for your ADHD student in mainstream or specialist school

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The Richmond Educational Psychology Service can provide, with your school’s financial support, your child with help

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It can be hard knowing who to speak to about your child. This MindEd site is a good guide

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Here are the slides from our Talk (April 25 2017) on Education & ADHD by the Director of Education Charis Penfold and Behaviour specialist Kamal Riar: ADHD PRESENTATION – 25.04.17

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Read this information about Special Educational Needs (SEN) and what to do if you think your child has SEN.

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This is a useful Parent- School Communication log to use at meetings about your child ParentTeacherCommunicationLog_ENG 

and here’s how to keep your child’s IEP info neat and tidy

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CHOOSING A SCHOOL/COLLEGE

Advice on School admissions, children and young people with disabilities or special educational needs from the Council for Disabled children

Here are some UK schools which are experienced in ADHD matters and here is another list of schools with SEN experience

and here’s a list of Independent_non_maintained_special_schools

This school , the Camelia Botnar Foundation, offers 16-21 year olds, in problematic situations at home due to circumstances outside of their control, an opportunity to learn a skilled trade and embark on a useful career

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Choosing a school for your ADHD child can be problematic. Here are the Richmond  schools with SEN and specialistprovisionprospectus And here are the Kingston schools with special provision

Richmond and Kingston Boroughs may fund out of borough schools to pupils with either a statement or Education, Health and Care Plan  but it is not at all easy and a legal battle can often be the only way to achieve this. Beware that if you choose to send your child before agreement from AfC fees will not be back-dated. Here are some “Out of Borough” schools funded by Richmond or Kingston

SEN: Accessing specialist units or special schools

You already know your child will need extra support at school. The question is what type and where it is best for them to have it?  The preference is always for your child to go to a regular mainstream school if this setting can meet their needs, but that’s not always possible.

1. Special units and schools cater to different needs so you have to find out what ones might suit your child
You should be able to get a list of all the local (Borough) maintained special units and schools from your borough. This should list specialisms such as Autism, SCLN (social, communication and language needs) and BESD (behavioural, emotional and social difficulties). Or it may group into mild, moderate or severe learning difficulties.  Get the ones for your neighbouring boroughs too, they may be closer or better suited.
Look to see which ones might work for your child, then visit all of the ones you have identified with your education, health and care plan (EHCP), draft or otherwise, in your hand. Compare their offering with your child’s requirements.
2. Ultimately your borough places your child and allocates places to special schools
Of course the borough take your preference into account, but its a bit of a shock to realise you actually get more say when choosing a mainstream setting than a specialist one.
Most special schools require to be named in the child’s EHCP.  Make it easy for the borough to place your child where you want. Match your child’s  EHCP with your preferred schools offering, facilities and abilities.  Make your preference known to the borough as soon as possible.   Then, have a back up in case it goes wrong.

3. Become phone friends with your case officer

Your case officer is your voice within the borough office.  Given that the borough decides where to offer you a school place it makes sense to use this resource.  In most cases a SEN panel meets once a week to approve or discuss SEN school placements in the current EHCP process.   Your case officer can make suggestions about where to look and what panels might say. They often know where there are ‘spaces’ in specialist settings or can guide you on who to contact for visits.  They tend to be very busy people doing a lot of leg work – make sure that it’s for you.

And remember you can get help or an advocate to help if you can’t make these calls.

4. Don’t assume that you won’t get in

Places in special schools change.  Pupils grow out of the school either in terms of age or their needs so places can open up.  The borough may be able to provide additional support to a school or unit so they can meet the needs of your child.

5. No places?  Don’t rule out independent or private special schools

If there is no place suitable within a maintained school, then under the borough’s legal obligations they must provide suitable education to meet your child’s needs and place your child in a school even if it means having to come to a fee paying arrangement or sending them out of borough.

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Here’s what maintained schools must publish online

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A PASTORAL SUPPORT PLAN (PSP)

A Pastoral Support Plan (PSP) is a school based programme which isdesigned to help a child to improve their social, emotional and behavioural skills.Read more here: Publications-Pastoral Support Programme Guidance

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Here are some homework tips from our friends at Can Do Courses

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EHS

Is your child feeling under pressure from school exams? The Emotional Health Service offers some useful ideas in Dealing with exam stress

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IPSEA

Independent Parental Special Education Advice:  find out what help is available for students sitting exams

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CaptureCommunities Empowerment Network provides free educational advice, support and representation to parents across London.

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Fresh Start In Education was set up to help children who struggle with education and for whatever reason have been, or are about to be, excluded from regular education

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AfC lgoYou may need to know who to contact at Achieving for Children when considering an education matter. Here’s the  AfC-senior-management-structure

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School refusal? Read this useful guide: nfis-parents-guide-to-supporting-a-child-when-they-struggle-to-attend-school-v-1

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Home-schooling. Find tutors here

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FURTHER EDUCATION

Access 1st offers needs assessments, advice and support for ADHD students in Higher Education.