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(UK) Peterborough: Disable boy only given 1 hour of school 3 days per week

Oct 5, 2022, Peterborough Telegraph: Family claim son with special educational needs 'let down by system' after being without school for three years https://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/people/family-claim-son-with-special-educational-needs-let-down-by-system-after-being-without-school-for-three-years-3867630

E. England

A Peterborough family believe that their son with special educational needs has been “failed by the education system” and has a “cognitive age of a two to four-year-old.”

The 11-year-old boy, whose parents have requested their son remain anonymous, hasn’t been in full time education since he was eight years old.

The family have said his hours of schooling were reduced to just one hour per day, for three days each week, for almost two years.

John Elding, 35, and Maria Wright, 30, from Bretton, say their son, who has severe learning disabilities, has missed out on three years of full time learning.

Peterborough City Council said that its SEND (Special Needs Education and Disabilities) team is “working closely” with the family and will continue to “achieve the best outcome for the child.”

The family have now managed to find their son a new school.

He is set to start at the Esland Isaac Newton School in Grantham – but it will take a journey of more than 45 minutes – 35 miles –to get to Lincolnshire each day from the family’s Peterborough home.

"He has been battling his needs since the age of two,” Maria, the child’s mum, said. "His former social worker said that he has been failed by the education system….

The child attended Eyrescroft Primary School from Reception to Year 3, before being referred to NeneGate School because his “needs were too complex”, the family said.

After beginning life at his new school by going in for normal school hours, the family say his hours of schooling were later reduced to just an hour per day for three days per week.

John gave up his job to care for his son.

"His needs are too complex for most schools,” he said….

Peterborough City Council said that “the child’s educational needs could not be met within the city” but it has arranged transport for him to and from school.

A Peterborough City Council spokesperson said: “Peterborough City Council are committed to finding appropriate school places for our children and young people. While we can’t comment on individual cases, we can confirm that the SEND team have been working closely with the family…

The boy, who is 11, has just been offered a full time place at school.