Jump to content

School or still need to homeschool?

Recommended Posts

Hello all!


We're a Dutch family thinking about moving to the UK.

We're homeschooling our boys because of the lack of edaquate education.

But our oldest (9 yrs old) has already started secondary school and in a few months I can't keep up anymore.

There are homeschool programs in the Netherlands, but far to expesive for a plasterers family.

And It's a hard struggle to get permission to homeschool each year and It's getting harder each year.

That's why we're thinking about moving to the UK.

So my question is: Are there any good schools for gifted kids with Asperger? Primary and secondary?

At the moment we don't mind were to move to as long as there's a job for my husband.

We were thinking about Essex but that's just because we'll be close to the airport.

Or is homeschooling a better option and if so, is there (financial) support for our kids?

I tried reading the topics on this forum, but with all the abbreviations I don't understand the answers. :huh:



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can home school in the UK, and maybe a parent doing that will post about it.


There are local authority maintained schools that have 'autism units', but in my experience they were for more severely autistic children, or the more academically capable ones were fed across to the mainstream classes. That was no good for my son as he could not cope with the mainstream environment, teaching methods, sensory issues etc.


So if you came to the UK, I think that home education might be where you would start.


Your child would need to get a Statement of Special Educational Needs, and you would need to ask the local authority to assess for that. That takes 26 weeks from start to finish. You need this because it is a legally binding document and everything it contains and details that your child needs, must be provided by law.


I think the first question you need to answer is whether your child would cope as a mainstream pupil in a mainstream secondary school.


We ended up going to 2 educational tribunals, and our son is now placed at an independent school for children with an autistic spectrum disorder, and where the majority of the children are average or above cognitive ability.


There is very little schooling specifically for those types of children that are capable, and yet cannot cope mainstream.


And if you end up at an educational tribunal, although the tribunal itself does not cost any money, you need to have reports on your child, and may need those professionals to also attend as expert witnesses to state that your child needs to go to xxxxxx school and that no local authority school could meet their needs. That will cost money. We paid for an Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist for reports and for them to attend. It cost about £10,000.


As this is a new system and a new country for yourselves, I would advise that if you did end up going to an educational tribunal that you didn't get independent reports just yet. Unless you are completely clear about the system and you know what you are doing. But I would advise you to go to an educational tribunal to get that experience.


The main problem you would have is proving that your child would not cope mainstream, when they have never been to a UK mainstream school. It maybe that a professionals report would cover that, but it might not. A tribunal is all evidence based. So you need to prove to the tribunal, with written evidence and expert advice, that your child has x, y and z diagnosis, and that the paperwork [correspondence and reports] details what he needs in very precise terms ie. 15 hours per term of 1:1 speech and language therapy delivered by a suitably qualified speech therapist. If you don't get that in the paperwork you cannot prove your child needs it.


Having home schooled for some time may go some way to prove that your child would not cope in a typical school, and that moving to the UK with a different language, is going to be even more difficult for them, and would be detrimental to them to even try.


But you need to start learning about special educational needs law in the UK. Download the SEN Code of Practice from the top of the education forum. This is a link to it. http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/s/special%20educational%20needs%20code%20of%20practice.pdf

Edited by Sally44

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this! It doesn't sound very hopefull...

We do have expert reports saying my kids can't go to school, but those reports are about the Dutch school system.

Will that "Statement of Special Educational Needs" also provide for the help with homeschooling??

We also have recent reports about our kids and their IQ and Autism.

I was hoping they could enroll in a good school that was able to cope with highly gifted (mild autistic) kids.

There's only one school for kids like that in the Netherlands....

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a link to something I found doing a google search.


They might have information about specific schools. BUT if they are not maintained by the local authority, and I doubt they would be, you would need to have a Statement for your child and for that specific school to be named as the placement.


If there are fees involved, which is probably the case if it is an independent type of school, then the LA are probably going to fight and say that their local secondary school can meet his needs. So you would end up at a Tribunal.


So I would contact http://www.potentialplusuk.org/file_upload/factsheets/P84.pdf

for information. And see what schools there are specifically for Aspergers and Gifted. Then see if your child would be able to get a place there. And then you would have to move to the UK and start the Statementing process which takes 26 weeks from start to finish. The finalised Statement will probably not be legally binding and the Local Authority may name their own local secondary school for your child. It is very likely you would have to go to an Educational Tribunal. So you would have to lodge an appeal to the Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal, and the appeal date would be about 4-6 months away. So potentially a whole year from the start of the Statementing process to the actual appeal. If you won your child would go to the school of your choice. If you lost he would have to go to the local mainstream school, or you would have to continue to home educate.


If you home educate in the UK that means the local authority has no legal responsibility for that child. Obviously there will be some checks that the child is receiving an education, but the LA does not have to provide anything. You might be able to involve a speech therapist via the NHS, but you would not get any occupational therapy input because they just don't provide therapy for the kind of issues our children tend to have such as Dyspraxia, Sensory processing DIsorder etc. Whereas a Statement would detail these therapies and the LA would have to pay to fund that therapy, which would usually be part of the school fees, or maybe in addition to the school fees.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you opt for home education, there is little, if any financial support available. .


This could mean problems if you intend to follow exam courses, as although the resources for study are relatively cheap, finding an exam centre and paying for sitting the exams can be time consuming and costly.


Sorry, this sounds all negative. We home educate, and we love it.


Home education gives you amazing freedom if your child doesn't fit into the standard education system, however if you are trying to re-create school at home, it may require a bit of forward planning.


If you intend to study for exams, it may be a good idea to join a group like http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HE-Exams-GCSE-A_AS_Levels-OU-Others/


Good luck with whatever you decide.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...