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(UK) Lincoln: $122M for special schools, over 500 more school places; 'increasing demand'

Oct 4, 2023, BBC News: Autistic boy, 4, still at nursery in row over Lincoln specialist school places

E. England

A four-year-old boy with autism is still attending nursery after his parents were told there were no places at specialist schools in the area.
Jaxon, from Lincoln, who is non-verbal and wears nappies, should have started school in September.

But his parents said they had kept him back as they did not believe he could "thrive" in a mainstream school….

Jaxon's mother, Lucy Burghart, said he would stay at nursery at least until the result of their appeal against the council's decision was heard next week.

Because he turns five in November, legally he must start school the following term, which will be in January.

Ms Burghart said doctors had told her that with "significant support" her son would be able to achieve the same as other members of his age group.

However, she said she believed a mainstream school setting could not offer this.

Ms Burghart added that home-schooling Jaxon was "not an option" as she and his dad both worked….

Meanwhile, Sharnie Philpot, the mother of another boy from Lincoln with autism, has said she was "floored" when the council said there would be no space for her son at a specialist school.

Three-year-old Ralphi is also non-verbal, has been diagnosed with global development delay and is under assessment for an eating disorder known as pica.

Ms Philpot said Ralphi "deserves the resources and support" of a specialist school to thrive, believing her son would be too anxious and "unable to cope" in a mainstream educational setting.

In a statement, Lincolnshire County Council said: "Our aim is to ensure that children with special educational needs get the support they require.

"Sometimes that means a place at a special school, but, in many cases, a mainstream school with additional support is appropriate."…

"Lincolnshire, like all other areas of the country, continues to see increasing demand for special school places," the authority said. "In light of that, the council is investing £100m [$122M] in local special schools, which is creating over 500 additional places."


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