Successful action against local authority to fund place at independent special school
Bethany* has a diagnosis of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (high functioning) with hyperactivity, impulsivity and possible co-morbid ADHD. She was placed in a mainstream primary school where she was repeatedly sent home and excluded from school for poor behaviour. She was also often stopped from taking part in school trips and school activities.
We helped Bethany's mother to identify a more appropriate independent special school for her daughter but the Local Authority ('LA') insisted that her needs could be met at the local mainstream school. The LA refused to fund her placement at the independent special school.
Bethany's behaviour deteriorated at her local mainstream school and she was subject to more exclusions due to behaviour caused by her disability. The placement eventually broke down completely and she was placed in a temporary Pupil Referral Unit where she was also experienced difficulties.
We lodged a First Tier Tribunal appeal, on Bethany's mother's behalf, against the Statement of Special Educational Needs and a Disability Discrimination Claim against the exclusions imposed on her. Prior to the tribunal hearing the LA conceded and agreed to the changes Bethany's mother was seeking to the Statement of Special Educational Needs and agreed to fund the independent special school placement.
Bethany is currently attending the special school and doing extremely well. We are delighted to report that she has not been excluded since and is making significant academic progress. The Disability Discrimination Claim is still ongoing.
*This is not the child's real name