changes in the education system for children with additional needs.
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Ive started this petition after seeing failure after failure in the education system in fife for children with additional support needs. I know I’m not alone in my feelings as I’ve spoken with many other families, teachers & professionals of the same opinions.
Heres a little back ground to our families situation , our little girl Evie who is 7 years old is currently attending saline primary and has done so since nursery.
She has a very rare and complex diagnosis which include life long issues with congenital heart disease, lung disease and asplenia as well as numerous other conditions which severely affect her health and education.
For the past 4 years, Evie has had the same PSA level 2 who she has grown a strong bond with and has helped her education and also due to her medical training, has used her knowledge of Evie’s unpredictable condition to act swiftly and appropriately on several occasions where she has required immediate medical attention and even an occasion where an ambulance has been dispatched to ‘blue light’ her to hospital with heart related complications.
Other than myself and my husband, And the psa the only person whom we absolutely trust without concern to look after Evie when we are not present. She is the third PSA assigned to Evie’s care after some concerns were raised with her second PSA which may have affected Evie’s transition during her nursery period.
We as parents were required to attend nursery for approximately 8months on a daily basis with Evie to ensure every possible care scenario was discussed with The psa due to the unpredictable and complexed nature of Evie’s illnesses and to encourage her to have as normal engagement behaviour as possible due to obvious trust issues Evie has with adults, most likely caused by extended and ongoing hospitalisation, tests and surgeries etc.
Just before the summer holidays it had came to our attention that the head teacher and people above her had made some ‘changes’ to the care of pupils with additional support needs which, for lack of a better term, is two steps backward and ‘undoes’ all of the joint effort to get Evie where she is today. This includes The head teacher relieving The psa of her duties as she is currently level 2 and her employment doesn’t suit the schools annual budget.
As well as Evie, there is several other children in the same school with additional educational and medical support needs which we’re well aware of as being a small community village, parents frequently discuss matters of all natures.
Regardless of the multiple pupils that require the support, The head teacher and fife council has decided that only 2 level 3 PSA’s are adequate for all of the pupils combined which directly affects the safety and well-being of any number of the concerned pupils at any time.
Main decisions have been made already before we had a say in our child’s care most of which based on saving money over ‘getting it right for every child’ (GIRFEC).
We also feel excluded from the decision making process which contradicts the policies included in the ‘GIRFEC approach’ namely,
* puts the best interests of the child at the heart of decision making
* takes a holistic approach to the well-being of a child.
* Works with children, young people and their families on ways to improve wellbeing
* Advocates preventative work and early intervention to support children, young people and their families
* Believes professionals must work together in the best interests of the child
Having carried out some basic and publicly available research on GIRFEC, the policies repeat the standard 8 areas of well-being.
* safe (which Evie is currently but wont be safe if the new staff arrangement is put in place indefinitely)
* Healthy (which sadly Evie will never be due to her conditions)
* Achieving, *nurtured, *active, *respected, *responsible and *included (all of which are priorities which we feel Cheryl encourages on a daily basis)
Sadly since Evie was born with these life limiting conditions, we as parents have had, so far, 7 years of fighting with numerous ‘professional services’ for her basic needs and human rights... most of which are unfortunately determined by budgets and not common sense and parent input.
Both myself and my husband are constantly anxious and are tired of the never ending up hill struggle as a result of the stresses of raising a child with such needs as Evie and all issues such as the above mentioned as well as our home life and our professional careers which often suffer. Decisions of professionals across both Evie’s educational and medical requirements are simply adding to the daily struggle.
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