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9 year old son put on reduced timetable at school - can they do this?

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I have been a member of this forum for years, and used to post a lot regarding my eldest son who has ADHD/AS. He is now 18 and is just about to go to Uni, so all the battling has paid off!

However, I now find myself in a similar situation with my 9 year old son. He is not yet diagnosed, but I am positive he is also on the Autistic Spectrum.

He is in mainstream school, where he has struggled since he was in reception. School have given him minimal support, and have pretty much ignored my pleas for help for him. He struggles hugely in social situations, doesn't cope well with any change, and also struggles with organising himself with his work. He has been bullied the whole time he has been at school, mostly by other children winding him up because they always get a reaction from him. School have always struggled with his behaviour, but have have hardly done anything to address this.

He has just started in year 5 and so far, has struggled worse than ever to settle into his new class. He has been removing himself from lessons, crawling around the school, locking himself in a metal locker, trying to climb out of windows and refusing to do any work.

They have given him a "safe place" to go to when he is stressed, but so far this has not helped him at all. The staff say he is "choosing" to behave in this way, in order to seek attention 😕.

In the last 2 weeks he has been excluded twice, once for hitting back at someone who was bullying him, then for running away from school. Police were called and I found him in a friend's garden 😯.

Since then, they have put him on a reduced timetable, which they have called a "Pastoral package ". He is only allowed in school until 10.40 every day, which gives him 1hour 30 minutes of learning. They are sending work home for him to do, but I don't agree with what they're doing so I have point blank refused to help him do the work at home. He can't cope with the work without assistance.

What I want to know is can school actually do this? They have given me no time span either, they just said they'll take it day by day. I asked if he could stay for lunch tomorrow, but they said no because he'd kicked a boy at play time today ( the boy was winding him up and there was no one supervising him).

It feels like school don't know how to handle him (or don't want to), so the easy option is to send him home. They said to me the reason for sending him home is to "avoid further exclusions".

They are in the process of applying for emergency support for him and also applying for EHCP.

I asked the school if they could give him 1 to 1 support NOW, but they said it doesn't work like that.

I'm desperate for advice. I don't know what to do 😢

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Call IPSEA - I'm pretty sure this falls into Illegal Exclusion. They should be able to provide one-to-one support for him until the emergency help comes through to pay for it longer term. It may be he needs support outside class if it is bullying- can they not introduce circle of friends?

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I'd also recommend calling IPSEA.

Get the information about an Educational and Health Care Plan.

Your son has SEN. If his needs are identified and provision put in place, he should be in school full time.

If his current school cannot do that then he needs to go to a school that can.

If he is around average cognitive ability that may mean either a LA school that caters for children like your son - or an independent primary school.


My son refused school for the whole of year 5. He was already at a mainstream primary with 'enhanced' provision for children with ASD, but still could not cope.


We eventually got a placement at an independent special school for year 6 onwards. He is still there and will leave age 19. His attendance has not always been brilliant becuase of the difficulties and anxiety he has. But there is no other school he could have coped with and certainly not a mainstream one. He was also too capable for a LA special school.


Your son needs an EHCP asap, and you have to start now because everything is on a 'graduated approach'. That means they have to try something, have it fail, and then move onto the next thing. But a reduced timetable is not the answer at this stage.


My son has been on a reduced timetable on and off over the years, again due to anxiety, ASD, OCD, Dyslexia etc etc. But he is now reading and writing and expected to take GCSEs.

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