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(UK) Lincolnshire: 'Whole educational system is unfit to support people like Luke'

Sept 25, 2019, Lincolnshire Live: 'Why doesn't anyone want me?' - Heartbroken autistic boy left without place at special needs school—His mother says he has been let down by a system 'unfit' for his needs https://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/local-news/why-doesnt-anyone-want-me-3354322 A young boy with autism and ADHD has been left heartbroken after being left without a place at a special needs school. Luke Hall, 12, originally moved back to the county earlier last year and was able to secure a place at St George's Academy in Ruskington. The school had originally accepted Luke under an educational health care plan provided by Peterborough Council. However, after just a few short months at St George's, it became apparent that Luke's educational needs had increased. Following a review in May this year, the school advised that Luke's needs were better suited to a special school where he could receive the support he desperately needed. Luke's mum Vicki Hall, 36, says the decision was made to try and move Luke into a school that was closer to home and better suited to his complex needs…. "His condition meant that every journey was incredibly traumatic." To secure a school placement, consultation papers detailing Luke's specific educational needs should have been sent off by Lincolnshire County Council to all available schools in the area, including special schools. Vicki says she believes that these papers were only sent on the last day of term before the six weeks holidays, even though she was originally told they were sent out in May. "Every school the council sent off the consultation papers to said no," she said. "Before the holidays, we went to view Athena school in Sincil Bank in Lincoln which is a special needs school that would be able to cater for Luke's needs. … "I chased and chased the council every two weeks to see whether the council had managed to secure Luke a place, but received no response. I finally got fed up and rang Athena myself to discover they had not received any contact from the council since I rang and therefore didn't have a place for Luke." Vicki was then informed by the council that Luke would be secured a place at The Priory Witham Academy, only to find out two days later when she rang the school that Luke did not have a place. "I feel I have been lied to and let down repeatedly by the council," said Vicki. "Luke is still on the record for St George's despite him no longer attending there. There's still a taxi arranged for him that arrives everyday to take Luke to St George's," said Vicki…. "Luke's mental health has greatly deteriorated. He's prone to self harm and often hits, bites and cuts himself…. "The school was set to visit tomorrow have accepted Luke's consultation but upon further discussion even they have said that they might not be able to meet the complex emotional and social support required. "The whole educational system is unfit to support people like Luke." … Laranya Caslin, principal at St George's Academy said: "Sometimes we do have student whose educational needs emerge as being more suited to provision from a Special School. … "This can often be a difficult and lengthy process and we continue to support that child to the best of our ability and keep them on roll until a more suitable school place has been found."… "Unfortunately we did not have a space available for this pupil, as the year group was full to capacity. "I understand that an alternative school place is being sought and that the local authority is continuing to support in the process."