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(UK) Colchester: 11-yr old with autism has no school place; appropriate school "are full"

Sept 28, 2021, Essex County Standard: Full schools leave young bright spark without an education

SE England A woman whose son has autism and ADHD has been left without a school due to the complex nature of his disability. Stacey McShane, who lives in Parson’s Heath, Colchester, has been trying to find an appropriate school for her 11-year-old son Noah, who, despite being able academically, needs support from specialist members of staff. The most appropriate schools which could cater for Noah’s special needs, Kingswode Hoe School and Market Field School, are full. Mrs McShane says because her son is academic and quickly grasps all his subjects, a special school for those with severe learning difficulties would be unsuitable. The dilemma has left Mrs McShane in a seemingly impossible situation. She said: “As things stand, I am completely stuck. Noah can’t go to any of the severe special needs schools because his autism and ADHD just isn’t severe enough. “He has been allocated Colchester Academy, but they can’t keep him safe there.” Mrs McShane’s son had been at Roach Vale Primary School, where smaller classes and more support staff had been available, but she fears Colchester Academy won’t be able to give him such close attention due to its size. “In Year 6, he had a class of six children, but he can’t be in five different classes with 30 children. Roach Vale Primary School was brilliant with him. “He’s not going to get these provisions at a mainstream secondary school.”… A statement added: “An existing SEND tribunal is ongoing in this case, but in general terms if an offer of a place has been made, it will be because the council believes the place is appropriate to the needs of a pupil.”…


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