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(UK) Staffordshire: Autistic boy denied a school place; mother 'devastated'

Oct 18, 2021, Staffordshire Live: Autistic boy misses first year of school as place can't be found for him

W. Midlands A mum has told of her devastation that her autistic and disabled son has missed his vital first year of school because a place could not be found for him. Mum Kira Machin, from Woodville, says she feels like she has been "going round in circles" since October 2019 as she had tried in vain to secure a school place for now six-year-old son, Enzo. He should have started school in September last year aged five but a place could not be found for him due to his special needs. Ms Machin had wanted Enzo to go to a main stream school initially and approached Derbyshire County Council, but a suitable place could not be found. Now she is desperate to get him into a special needs school, which she believes is vital for his development as "every single day he just gets further and further behind"…. But so far a suitable school has not been found for the youngster who also uses a wheelchair. Enzo has a development age of an 18-month-old and needs specialist care, she said. He was diagnosed with autism and global development delay at three years old…. She said: "The local authority told us they would meet Enzo's needs but they haven't yet. It was heartbreaking to see. We tried to get him into the schools nearby but it didn't go anywhere…. "At this point we're naming various schools. The whole process of applying for a school takes a few months. I think we named around eight schools. All of them said no. I don't know if that is because they were full or they could not cater for his needs. We cannot find out because we do not have the plan [Enzo's education health care plan drawn up by the authority] renewed. That includes specialist schools."… "I have done everything they want me to and I have been neglected. He has been forgotten about. It is not a slight disability either, he needs proper care. Every single day he just gets further and further behind. I just find myself back in the same cycle I have been in for years now." She said the education health care plan drawn by the county council after an assessment of Enzo's needs has now expired and needs renewing which would help her appeal rejections from schools….. "I am just devastated. All we are asking is that Enzo has an education like any other child." A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: "Supporting children with special education needs and disabilities is one of our most complex and sensitive areas of work. Each child’s case is unique and requires careful consideration.


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