Why can’t I get my kids to a special needs school?

Basildon Recorder: Frustration – Michael Mills with sons Ben and Josh Frustration – Michael Mills with sons Ben and Josh

THE father of twins is facing a battle to get them into a special needs school.

Michael Mills, from Langdon Hills, says he has been trying to get his sons, Josh and Ben, aged seven, into special education since the start of the year, but due to the high demand for places, he has been unable to get them into a special needs school.

The boys have speaking difficulties and even need help getting dressed. Josh attends regular physiotherapy sessions due to a lack of muscle development and suffers from nystagmus, which is an eye condition.

The boys have a statement of special needs, which states the nature of their learning disability, which was obtained 18 months ago.

Mr Mills, 56, of Albyns, said: “I have been trying for a long time to get the children into a school that is better suited for them, but it feels like I haven’t been given any help at all by Essex County Council.

“There must be a special needs school in south Essex that isn’t oversubscribed.

Mr Mills says the boys struggle to keep up at mainstream Lincewood Primary and since starting Year 3 last week, they have not been able to manage the workload.

He has applied for places at special schools in Basildon , Benfleet and Brentwood, but has had no success.

He said: “As soon as I got the statement, I was looking to put them into a special needs school as they need a different type of teaching.

“Lincewood has been brilliant, but the boys just cannot cope.

“Ben wakes up a real mess every morning and doesn’t want to leave the house. I just want them to be happy.”

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Essex County Council does not comment on individual cases.

“However, where it is accepted a child will benefit from placement in a special school, and the local school is oversubscribed, then the council will endeavour to find a place in an alternative school which will be acceptable.

“We are able to confirm there have been no cuts to funding nor the number of special school placements available.

“We do not operate a waiting list for special school placements and have received no other complaints in relation to special school places in this area.”

Comments (2)

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11:11am Sat 22 Sep 12

Elephantman2 says...

Essex County Council are notorious for avoiding their responsibilities to children with special needs. This is a bevahviour by the council that goes back at least 20 years; I know because of the issues faced by my niece and nephew in the 1990's/2000's.

Essex County Council will refuse to provide the support required by law and will then fight the parent all the way up the appeal procedure. They do this in the hope that the parent will give up and the council won't need to spend the money.

I suggest that you don't give up and fight this useless council all the way until you get what your children need. It took my niece and nephew the best part of 9 years; but they won and eventually got a good education at a special school.
Essex County Council are notorious for avoiding their responsibilities to children with special needs. This is a bevahviour by the council that goes back at least 20 years; I know because of the issues faced by my niece and nephew in the 1990's/2000's. Essex County Council will refuse to provide the support required by law and will then fight the parent all the way up the appeal procedure. They do this in the hope that the parent will give up and the council won't need to spend the money. I suggest that you don't give up and fight this useless council all the way until you get what your children need. It took my niece and nephew the best part of 9 years; but they won and eventually got a good education at a special school. Elephantman2

11:41am Sat 22 Sep 12

southendshrimper says...

My son use to attend porters grange school but due to his needs they could not help him. We got a statment from him & Southend Council were fantastic in helping us & him by getting him a place at St Christophers School. he loves his new school & runs out the door everyday when his bus turns up.

I hope Mr Mills get a place for his boys & they will be happy at there new school. Just keep going at at ECC they will get fed up in the end & find a place.
My son use to attend porters grange school but due to his needs they could not help him. We got a statment from him & Southend Council were fantastic in helping us & him by getting him a place at St Christophers School. he loves his new school & runs out the door everyday when his bus turns up. I hope Mr Mills get a place for his boys & they will be happy at there new school. Just keep going at at ECC they will get fed up in the end & find a place. southendshrimper

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