top of page

(UK) Suffolk: $66M for 1115 special places by 2025

Nov 10, 2022, E. Anglian Daily Times: Mum desperate for special school placement for non-verbal autistic child

E. England

A Suffolk mum said she feels like she is 'going round in circles' finding a suitable school placement for her severely autistic child.

Skye Wallace, 27 of Saxmundham, said she has been told by several specialists that her son Carter, who will soon turn five and is non-verbal, should go to a special school to accommodate his needs.

But Ms Wallace said Suffolk County Council (SCC) has been unable to find a place for him and has said he should start in mainstream school, which has left her feeling let down. "I am not getting the help, I am just going round in circles," she said.

"I have had specialists say he is severely autistic and couldn't cope in mainstream school but then they [SCC] say he has to go into a mainstream.

"They agree with me that he needs to go into a special school but they keep saying 'the spaces are full.'"

Ms Wallace said the lack of provisions for Carter are impacting her mental health, making her feel anxious and depressed, and causing her to worry about his education and progression. She said at one point she was emailing the council 10 times a week and she is currently waiting for a meeting to discuss Carter being put on a waiting list….

"He needs a special school and I will pack up and move to one if I have to."

Councillor Rachel Hood, cabinet member for education, SEND and Skills, said: “We understand the frustrations that parents face if the provision on offer doesn’t meet their expectations and we will continue to work with families to find the right solution for their child or young person.

“By 2025, we are on track to deliver up to 1115 new specialist places for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. This follows an investment of £54million [$66M].

“These placements are made up of newly built SEND schools or new units connected to mainstream schools. So far more than 700 new places have opened.

"We have also secured funding from the Department for Education for a new special school for children with severe learning difficulties in the Saxmundham area.”


bottom of page