I’m sorry for the delay in updating you all following our third Professionals meeting on Friday.
By way of reminder…our case went back to panel last Monday and it was a multi-agency panel again meaning representatives from both social care and education were present. The reason for this was because of our desire for Jude to attend a residential school which requires funding from both sides (education for the daytime schooling and social for the residential part). Previously, the social care side had refused to pay their part however because we and the professionals feel very strongly that day provision isn’t adequate for Jude, we have pushed and pushed and insisted on a subsequent meeting with all parties.
The outcome of last Monday’s meeting was not entirely negative. Social care didn’t say an outright no to funding his residential stays but they did say they wanted further information. Not entirely sure what else we could lay on the table, we had one additional report to give them from an Educational Psychologist that pinpointed Jude’s need for a very holistic education. For him, it isn’t about the 9am-3pm lessons; he needs it to support him socially and emotionally and therefore the transitional regularity of going back and forth to school, the changes in each days routine, the family life at home, is just too much for him. I also wrote a letter to the panel members (lucky them!) which explained my reasons for believing residential school is best for Jude. Needless to say, it was a pretty long letter. I tried to be as succinct as I could but it was still a good few pages long and highlighted positives from every family members point of view.
Friday arrived and I spent the whole day with butterflies in my stomach, imagining this table with professionals in the surrounding. In a nutshell, what they have said is this:
- the school I originally wanted for Jude and visited last month has no space available at present.
- As a consequence, they are willing to consider two other residential schooling options.
- If one or both of these schools feel they can meet Jude’s needs then he may attend our chosen one AS OF SEPTEMBER.
Basically, they have finally agreed that Jude can attend the school provision of my choice as long as Panel ok their final choice. This is the school provision that I have been campaigning for for a loooooong time.
I can’t explain with particular clarity how I feel about it all. Initially, reading the email from my SEN Officer explaining all of the above I had this sudden surge of absolute relief and excitement. We won! Then the guilt kicked it…I’m sending Jude away. Then slowly over the last few days, the reality and rationality of it all that we’re sending Jude to a school where he will be so happy. He’ll be content, have his own space, he’ll have that consistent familiarity that he needs, the same people, he can sit and eat relaxed in the knowledge that he isn’t having to rush off anywhere afterwards or that when he wakes up the next morning, he doesn’t have to wait for a bus! It’s funny trying to see life through Jude’s eyes but I’m trying my hardest to accept the fact what we have managed to achieve is the ultimate outcome for Jude. He’ll learn independence, how to socialise, how to take care of himself and hopefully he’ll gain a bit of inner peace. I can go and see him in the week if and when I/he wants me to and then we’ll collect him home again each weekend.
Genuinely very excited about September now. Still holding back a little though as I don’t entirely trust the Panel…