Waldorf Salad Please

Since we won’t consider a school in Wigan for either of our boys, due to the failure to deal with, and subsequent attempted cover up of the safeguarding issues relating to our disabled son in a Wigan school, we are left to find a suitable school ourselves.

The shambolic EHC needs assessment that hasn’t even finished, yet has produced a finalised plan, provides no useful information as to a suitable school. Wigan Council have provided me with a long list of all secondary schools in neighbouring LAs, and I assume they think it’s reasonable for me to just go down the list, and visit every single one until I find one that might be suitable.

I’ve made a few enquiries and visited some schools. None really stand out as ‘The One’ after just the initial visit, but a couple need a second visit. The thing that has stood out though, is how difficult it has been to even get to visit some schools, and it makes me wonder if it would be this difficult to arrange visits for children without SEND.

Examples of phone calls to arrange visits:


Me: Hi, I was wondering if I could arrange to come and visit the school to look around please?
Sch:We’ve just had our open days/evenings.
Me: I know, sorry, I couldn’t make them, and I’d like to meet the head as my son has SEND
Sch: We are having another open day on xyz.
Me: Sorry, I’m working that day and can’t get time off
Sch: Ok I’ll have to ring you back………………
Sch: I’ve spoken to the head and that’s the only day he can do.
Me: But I can’t make it as I can’t get time off work.
Sch: Well I’m sorry but that’s the only day.


Me: Hi, I was wondering if I could arrange to come and visit the school to look around please?
Sch: what year is your child in?
Me: Y6, but I’m looking for secondary Y7
Sch: But all the places have just been allocated
Me: I know, but we didn’t go through the normal allocations system.
Sch: Why not?
Me: Because our son has SEND and we don’t know which school we want him to go to.
Sch: But you can’t just turn up on the first day of term in September if he hasn’t got a place here.
Me: I know that. We don’t even know if we want our son to come to this school yet. We just want to meet the head and discuss our sons needs and have a look around.
Sch: You can’t see the head. We’ve allocated the places now, you’ll have to speak to someone at the council. What year is he in, Y6?
Me: But I’d like to meet with the head. Yes, Y6.
Sch: well, I’m not sure what to do, I suppose the deputy could ring you. So he’s in Y6.
Me: We’d like to meet the Head. Is there an issue with meeting with the head?
Sch: What’s your number and I’ll get someone to ring you back? So, Y6.


Me: Hi, I was wondering if I could arrange to come and visit the school to look around please?
Sch: Do you live in xyz?
Me: No, we live in another LA.
Sch: Have your LA agreed to fund a place here?
Me: No, we don’t even know if we want a place here, as we want to look around it first to see if it would be suitable. Then we would discuss with our LA and take it from there.
Sch:what’s your son’s name and date of birth?…..Oh, so it would be a secondary place? What school is he at now?
Me: xxxxx primary
Sch:Where’s that?
Sch: where’s that?
Me: it’s in Lancashire, but we don’t live in Lancashire, we are in a different LA.
Schl: just hold the line…………..
Schl: you do know that our Y7 is full don’t you?
Me: No (((why the #$*@ would I !! )))
Sch: You can still look around but I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed because we are full.

It’s demoralising, but we’ll just keep looking.  In the meantime….


I’ll just have a Waldorf Salad






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