Saturday, 16 August 2014

Moving Our Child Up a Year - Part Three

Before the Summer holidays, I had written about our meetings with Z's school and the arrangements for his class after the Summer holidays. You can read Part One and Part Two to catch up if you wish.

We were given the opportunity to decide whether we wanted to move Z up a year or let him move on with children his age. Z wasn't happy that he was being separated from his friends again and, having spoken to family, friends and even a retired headteacher, we decided we wanted to move Z up from Primary 3, where he should be going, and in to Primary 4.

Once we had given our decision, we had a meeting with the Senior Education Officer (SEO). They listened to our reasons for wanting to move Z but I didn't really felt they heard our reasons for wanting to move him and the meeting didn't go well at all. We felt like we'd been taken in to an office to be given the brush off by someone more senior than the Headteacher. We were told that Z would not be moved however, the school would continue to accommodate Z's learning by taking him out of his P3 class and placing him in a P4 class for his Math and Literacy lessons. We felt this would be really disruptive for Z and isolate him from the other children. We weren't happy.

We decided to pursue the request and went to the next person in the chain of command. I never got a response from them but the SEO came back to me again and reiterated that Z would not be moved up a year. The reason for this was if they moved him, they'd have every parent who thought their child was bright asking for their kids to be moved and a school could not function like that. I disagreed. Z had exceptional circumstances for making the move, both academically and socially and I felt that they should be looking at his case on an individual basis and not based on textbook development.

Having had no response from the next person in command, the SEO's boss, we went to the highest of the highest. Husband had the conversation with the Chief of Education and it was a totally different conversation from the one we had had with the SEO. For starters, the CoE was moved up when they were at school and agreed that it had had no impact on them. Husband explained the reasons for requesting the move, explained that we had hoped that Z would have been seen by the Educational Psychologist as requested when he was in nursery and if they could show us evidence that this move would be detrimental to Z, then we wouldn't do it. But we didn't believe that to be the case. Husband really felt like the CoE listened and more importantly HEARD what we were saying. The CoE told Husband to leave it with them and they would get back to us.

It was an anxious wait...

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