PARENT speaks out over concerns over son's education at Wisbech school

I AM writing you this email because I would like to let other parents know that they are not alone if they are having problems with the Thomas Clarkson Community College in Wisbech. When I sent my son there in Year 7 (2005) I made the school aware that he

I AM writing you this email because I would like to let other parents know that they are not alone if they are having problems with the Thomas Clarkson Community College in Wisbech.

When I sent my son there in Year 7 (2005) I made the school aware that he had dyslexia, and that he would need help in lessons, but he never got any help.

Almost straight away he was really struggling in lessons. I contacted the school to see what could be done and was told he couldn't have help in the class room because he had no statement.

His behaviour at school started to get worse because he could not do the work set for him. He would leave the classroom and wait to go in to his next lesson or would pretend he was ill if his lesson was too difficult.

At this point I was on the phone daily asking if he could be assessed for the statement. I was given many reasons as to why he couldn't be statemented including being told there was nothing wrong with him he was just a naughty child.

Finally after 18 months they agreed for him to be seen by the educational psychologist to assess if he needed to be statemented. It took six months for an appointment, but the out come was good.

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We were told that yes he did need a statement and the school would be advised on what to do.

It then took another six weeks for the school to decide what they wanted to do and I was told they could only statement a few children a year and had already done as many as they could for the current year.

However they offered extra support in the class room and ICU (which is a unit for children with behaviour problems).

The difficulties he has in lessons and the fact this had gone on so long being ignored, his relationship with the teachers suffered, so we agreed this would be good for him.

Within weeks the help in the lessons had stopped due to funding, because of no statement, so the problems continued.

I started phoning the school again to see what could be done, then they started ringing me every time he walked out of a lesson and would suspend him from school. This made the situation worse, until which point in November 2008 they decided that the March Tuition Centre could help with his education.

At the time I was not pleased about this, as it just seemed like the school wanted a way to out of taking responsibility for the way my son had been treated.

However I agreed to let him go on the condition he was assessed again and this time statemented, so they agreed.

Before going to March Tuition Centre he was only going to sit a BTEC in construction, but he started the tuition centre and we started to see a big improvement in his work within weeks.

The statement came through in March 2009 with the help of the Tuition Centre and since then he has completed a entry level GCSE in Math's, and is now sitting a Math's GCSE, entry level GCSE in English, Science, and Art. He also does DT at the Centre which is all merits.

He has stayed at the Thomas Clarkson to complete his BTEC but with no success. Since going back in September he has had nothing but problems. The statement tells the school what help he needs in lessons and also funds that help. For the first two weeks of term he received no help in lessons at all, so I rang the school to be told I to arrange a meeting with them.

At the meeting I was told he was no longer on register at the school and should not be there. After sorting this out, the help he needed was hit and miss. After speaking to another teacher I was told he achieves well and can pass the course easily with the help he needs. But now it seems the school has given up on him. They have now asked for a review so that they don't have to continue with his BTEC.

I asked for his work to be sent home in October 2009 so that I could help at home and was refused. I asked yesterday for work to be sent home for him again and this time I received it, but I was disgusted to see the two different standards of work I was sent. From the teacher who said he could pass, all the work he needs to do is in a folder with a revision book for him to be able to complete the work. From the other teacher, all I received was a few random sheets of paper, that don't make any sense, with nothing to work from.

I am disgusted by the way the school have dealt with my son's education, and this will probably affect the rest of his life.

With the correct support and help from the school my son could have achieved so much more. This has been proved by him attending March Tuition Centre; they have even said they wish they had him there sooner so they could have had time to get him through his GCSE's instead of entry level because he is capable of passing them with the right support.


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