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(UK) Birmingham: 4 y.o. on waitlist for ASD assessment denied school place

May 10, 2023, Birmingham Mail: Mum livid as £20k-a-year private school turn down son with suspected autism https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/black-country/mum-livid-20k-year-private-26882585.amp

A mum has expressed her anger after her four-year-old son was denied a place at a private school due to his suspected autism. The woman said that the youngster was currently attending pre-school at the site and she wished for him to stay on to remain with his friends.

The family are on the waiting list for an autism assessment following a recommendation from the pre-school staff. And because of this, the mum says that her son has been denied a place in reception next year.

She wrote on Mumsnet: "DS (son) is just 4. He is at pre-school attached to a private school. He had an awful first few months there - very unsettled and unable to concentrate - to the point where he is now on waiting list for ASD diagnosis as the pre-school's recommendation.

"However, the last few months he has been doing so well. They have always been a little cold but they are professional and followed the local authority's advice and he has responded very well. They tell me all the time how much progress he is making and friends/family comment on the increase in confidence/verbal etc."

She adds that she attended a meeting with the private school to discuss him continuing into reception. The boy has a space at a local state school, but the mum says that big class sizes may be a downside to this option, despite the "lovely kids and teachers."

She continued: "The private school told me they couldn't cater for him as well as the state system, and that 'kids like him are better suited in the state system because they have the resources'. They said 'those schools can do things like sensory rooms, breakout areas, and with additional funding can provide 121 support - we can't and won't do any of that as we simply don't have the resources' (the fees are £20k [$25K] plus a year).

"The Senco then said "it's not our fault the government don't give us additional money for kids with challenges". They also said "our governors want us to be more competitive academically, so they are going to invest in that, not support for kids who are struggling. sorry to be blunt but that's the way it is"


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