Tuesday, 9 March 2010

School Funding Meeting

Today was a day I have been dreading, the day of our appointment with the Dept Of Education to discuss Funding and Violet's entry to Primary School next year.

It was held at Violet's Preschool. Early Educator and Psychologist came from The Spastic Centre, Lady from DET (Dept Of Education) Regional Area Manager and Manger of Violet's Preschool. Unfortunately, Disability Support Service person was unable to attend the meeting.

We discussed Violet's medical conditions and disabilities in more detail and how this would effect her in the school environment. DET Regional Manager was quite approachable and gave us time to express our thoughts and fears about Violet starting school. Safety is our biggest concern and of course pending her Psych Report how she will cope with the Curriculum at school.

The Early Educator did annoy me on many occasion during the meeting acting as if there was nothing wrong with Violet and making out she was just a Neurotypical child, which I quickly put an end to by saying that "I did not agree with that" and "I don't care what you have to say, this is my daughter who I spend 24/7 with and know her best". Even Violet's Preschool Manager chimed in saying that Violet is very much in need of assistance, which was nice to have that backup from someone other than Dave and I.

DET Regional Manager explained that as Violet has so many different and complex conditions that she feels she would be eligible for some funding! Much better than we were originally told over the phone by her, seems someone had forgotten to mention she has a VP Shunt & Epilepsy which makes it a whole lot different. I gave her alot of reports to submit including a Vision Australia Report stating that her right eye is mildly visually impaired also.

I gave her a report I typed up detailing her additional needs both medically and Physically. She was quite impressed, saying that it was fantastic. So glad I took the time to type it out now!

She would like us to look at some of the local schools first. At the moment I drive Emily 15 minutes away from here to go to an out of area school because I didn't like the local schools 4 years ago when she started school. I told her this concern, but she wants me to still give them a chance, kind of hard when you live in a rough area of Sydney! She also mentioned another school about half an hour from here that is Mainstream but also has a Support Unit for mild-moderate ID (intellectual disability) with only a small class of 8 students with 1 teacher and 1 teachers aide.

So we have some huge decisions to make about what school to choose! Dave also requested information on Home Schooling.

DET Regional Manager said we will not know how much funding Violet will receive until she receives Violet's Psych Report aswell and will not be able to tell us anything until Term 4 when the funding is allocated, which seems a long time to find out!


Josephine said...

Isn't it a shame that sometimes we are forced to speak up and disagree repeatedly before some people seem to hear us?? But this sounds positive in the end, so I hope they give Violet the funding she needs and that you'll be happy with the school. I was super nervous about the school Avery's going to this year, but I'm glad I gave it a chance.

Melissa and Luke Young said...

Sounds like you did amazing job and are such a good advocate for Violet.... Hope you get a response that you are happy with regarding the funding...

Alison said...

Wow - that does seem like a long wait!

Good luck with school hunting. Can't you just apply to Emily's school straight away? Would you be happy for Violet to go there?

Such a big decision!

Sarah said...

Alison, DET Lady wants to avoid Emily's school due to the many stairs and uneven surfaces.

Rosalie said...

That is great that you gave heaps of info for them and put a stop to the early educator. If it were me i would be going with the support class school, i think it would make you feel more at ease about everything.

It really does suck that we have to wait so long. Heck even just for uniforms etc.. We may not even know for sure till just before Christmas which would make things difficult.

I'm so glad to hear that should get funding, i'm sure that at least is a bit of a relief.