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(UK) Birmingham: Mom claims autism school failing her son

Apr 10, 2023, Birmingham Live: Furious mum says son is kept 'prisoner' in mainstream school that 'doesn't meet his special needs' https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/furious-mum-says-son-kept-26620025.amp

Central England

A furious mum is locked in a bitter row with council bosses over her child's education. Katie Hattersley has claimed her son Joe is being kept "prisoner" in a school that doesn't meet his complex needs.

The 17-year-old attends Hazel Oak in Solihull. The all-age special school - rated outstanding in its most recent Ofsted report - caters for children with moderate learning difficulties, many of whom are on the autistic spectrum.

But Katie wants to move Joe to another school in Coventry. She claimed Joe, who has speech and language difficulties, currently gets little more than a "babysitting service" at the provider's sixth form.

Katie told how a shake-up of its sixth form provision in September 2019 had led to Joe attending classes at nearby Solihull College. The optician described it as a "horrendous situation" and said he had been moved "from the safe environment of the special school site to three rented classrooms in a huge mainstream further education college".

In a statement, Solihull Council said it couldn't comment on individual cases. But bosses defended the school and said it had "provided essential specialist support for many years".

Katie Hattersley with her son Joe at home in Solihull (Image: Darren Quinton/Birmingham Live)

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