Rae Price on SEN/dyslexia/gifted and talented

Rae Price was asked how she found out about Home Education and why she chose it for her son, Luke.

Wow! It seems such a long time ago now.

Luke said to me one evening "If you don't mind mam, I'm going to sleep in class from now on because I don't learn anything anyway, they just swing off the walls."

He was talking about the other kids he was in class with. The Ed Psych's report had just come and she had told the school he needed to be put into the top set for every subject but English as his dyslexia puts him at a major disadvantage with reading.

At the same time he had taken his poem, Inherent Grace, into school to show his English Teacher and all she said was "did you do this?" We were rightly upset once again by the ignorance of every damned teacher including the SENCO in this school.

The school moved Luke into the middle group for most subjects but refused to give him any support so he couldn't manage the work because he couldn't read the handouts.

At the end of my tether with them I called a meeting with the SENCO who took more than two weeks to ring me back and then another two weeks to organise it! She then attempted to cancel the meeting the day before as her moral support wasn't available. I told her, in no uncertain terms, that it was impossible to cancel as Luke's father had taken time off work to attend.

In the meeting she went out of her way to put Luke down and refused to give him any help at all. I removed Luke from school the following day but didn't de-reg him as we had asked for a meeting, not only with the school but with the LEA as well.

It took them 8 weeks to organise!! Everyone turned up from their Head Ed Psych, Luke's Ed Psych, Gifted and Talented LEA and school rep, SENCO and the Head Master and us.

The Head Master asked if Luke's case was unusual! Luke's Ed Psych and our Parent Partnership lady who teaches dyslexia awareness courses nearly fell off their chairs. We were offered a dinnerlady to help Luke in class. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against dinnerladies but this would be totally unsuitable.

After talking it over with our Parent Partnership lady and researching it on the web we de-regged him the following day.

After the terrible neglect and downright blatant attempts by the school to ruin Luke's confidence it is the best thing I ever did and would do it again in the blink of an eye.

Rae Price (2003)