DCSIMG

Horsham family’s desperate wait for ten-year-old’s school place

JPCT 070114 S14021212x Roffey. Jamie has ADHD and is Autistic, and hasn't been to school since moving here in October. Mum Caroline is desperate to get him a school place -photo by Steve Cobb

JPCT 070114 S14021212x Roffey. Jamie has ADHD and is Autistic, and hasn't been to school since moving here in October. Mum Caroline is desperate to get him a school place -photo by Steve Cobb

‘Angry and stressed’ is how a desperate mother feels after waiting four months for her son to be awarded a school place.

And the wait is not yet over for Caroline Jones, 27, and her ten-year-old son Jamie.

Since the family moved to Horsham in October, the Special Educational Needs department of West Sussex County Council has not been able to find a place for Jamie, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and is autistic.

Caroline said: “Mainstream schools say his needs are too much but none of them have met him.

“Special schools are saying he is too academically clever. So where does he fit in?

“I am angry and stressed. I work at home and I’m a start-up business and it’s affecting my work - I have had to cancel meetings and courses.”

Caroline said the family has applied to several local primary schools including Heron Way, Arunside, St John’s, Leechpool and Manor Green.

However, despite Caroline visiting Heron Way, none of the schools were able to offer Jamie a place.

She said: “I just want the best for him like every parent does.

“I’m not asking for the best school with the best Ofsted, but I just want him to be put in to a school.

“We are looking at a minimum of five months of him out of school.

“I am a private person but if it is in the public eye something might get done.”

Caroline initially preferred for Jamie to attend a special needs school but said the lack of options meant she has not been able to choose.

She said: “He has been in mainstream schools and my complaint is how the other children react to him - he gets taunted and bullied.”

Caroline explained her belief that Jamie’s needs are affecting his chance, and added she thought the county council could be doing more to secure him a school place.

She also explained that Jamie has not been able to meet or make friends with other children since the family moved to the area.

She added: “He says he feels frustrated, angry and upset, and he is isolated.

“He is not meeting other children since we have been here.”

A spokesperson for West Sussex County Council said: “Whilst we would have expected a Horsham school placement to have been made before now, this has not happened, despite our best efforts.

“We have, however, secured interim educational provision for Jamie via the West Sussex Alternative Provision College (the service commissioned by WSCC to provide education for children and young people out of school) and we have kept Mrs Jones informed as soon as there have been any developments.

“We continue to work with Mrs Jones and schools regarding Jamie’s longer term placement and share her aim for a solution to be found soon.”

 

Comments

 
 

Back to the top of the page