Access to after school clubs for children with SEN who need TA support

Jan Cross's picture
My children have special educational Needs. One of them has full statement and full time TA support. He has been unable to access after school clubs on a regular basis as the school will not fund TA support after the school day ends. We have on occasion paid for the TA support to be provided (and the school has invoiced us). However, if he had taken part in a school production, the many hours of TA support that would be needed for rehearsals would make the activity too costly for us.

I am wondering how common this state of affairs is and if any parents have experience of TA support for after school clubs being funded by the school? We have just had to decide that our son doesn't do after school clubs, and we have found activities for him elsewhere. Our other son now does not wish to do the after school clubs, I suspect in solidarity for his brother. I would be interested to know how other schools deal with this situation.
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Roger Titcombe's picture
Sun, 11/05/2014 - 15:41

I am a little puzzled by the attitude of the school. I suppose it hangs on the contract of the TA's and the culture of the school. The precise wording of the Statement could be important. It might be worth having the Statement reviewed or at least asking for advice from the LA.

In my school the extended school day was seen as mainstream provision even though participation was not compulsory on the part of pupils. I think there could be a discrimination argument. Surely every pupil has the same right to be able to attend the extended curriculum of the school. I certainly don't like the idea of SEN pupils being invoiced by the school for the costs of tuition/supervision in any circumstances.

At least your child will presumably be spared detentions on the same argument!

Is this school an Academy by any chance?

Roger Titcombe's picture
Sun, 11/05/2014 - 15:42

Obviously I mean the parents of SEN pupils.

Jan Cross's picture
Sun, 11/05/2014 - 20:07

Yes, it is an academy. On the whole provision has been good but my boys were so put off by the difficulty of accessing the after school activities that they have both elected to do other things outside of school, and we were happy about that, as they were run by people who included them.

Marilyn's picture
Tue, 10/02/2015 - 22:08

I am not impressed by the local authorities failure to meet this unmet need for our children with special needs after school clubs. Is it too difficult to imagine the impact it may have on a family or even single parent who is either in employment or studying? I have struggled with this issue of childcare as the only specialist afterschool club was closed down, and my daughter was rejected by another club which stated they had staff shortages and could not guarantee her safety. There is a need for a service for children with learning disabilities afterschool club. I am determined to run such an organisation as soon as possible since it appears not to be a key area of need to be met by local authorities.

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