By EP I mean Educational Psychologist.
I’m starting to get my head around the funding tools at the moment. The fact is that children with more complex needs need more funding.
But the EP is the gatekeeper. The gatekeeper to the funding.
So I’m looking at some of the children in the school with more unusual needs. For example there is a child in one year who we’ve put into a smaller group so that he can develop better relationships both with his peers and adults. He’s a real attention seeker – shouting out, bumping into others, passing wind loudly and doing a range of things to make people notice him.
And once a week we have a real wobble with him. Last week he almost punched his fist through a computer screen. This week he left the main activity without any explanation and started making something out of Dienes apparatus. He wouldn’t return to what everyone else was doing. He did his own thing.
And then I’m looking at the funding tool and wondering if we should get any extra funding for him. He has not made any progress for two years because his behaviour has inhibited it and part of the reason for educating him in a small group is not only to improve his own learning but to reduce the negative impact on others. He has been holding back the rest of his class.
But of course small groups cost more money. They mean twice the amount of staff. And we get nothing extra for this child.
So it makes sense, if he’ll only make progress in small groups to fund a small group. Therefore we should apply for said funding.
But the EP is the gatekeeper.
The example provided for me reads: “…usually refuses to do any written work in class. When staff persist, he tries to storm out of the room or makes for other students and will destroy if not prevented…” and so it goes on.
But he’s not quite that bad. Because we’ve nurtured and cared for him. And because, off our own backs, we have taught him in a small group. But he could be that bad, given a less nurturing environment and a larger class.
But will the EP see that? When they check my request for more funding will they actually see behaviour that deserves it? Or will they say a troubled child who’s actually doing OK.
I’m seeing more and more that as a SENCo you have to have the EP on your side. I’m meeting him on Monday. I hope we get off to a good start. Maybe I should flirt with him a little? Or maybe I definitely shouldn’t?
Roll on Monday.