Letters Extra: Who's policing the LEAs?

My son is eight years old, he has a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder with concomitant semantic and pragmatic disorder. This means that he demonstrates impairments with his social communication, language and behaviour.

He is a pupil, in the Wyre Forest area, of a mainstream maintained primary school. His behaviour tends to go through peaks and troughs, he exhibits very challenging behaviour, due to the nature of his special needs.

He has had a statement of special educational needs since starting school at the age of five, outlined in this statement together with other interventions is that he is to receive 30 hours support per week.

Since starting school he has had a succession of untrained and inexperienced support assistants. This has lead to interventions set out by psychologists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists not being carried out, a two year period in which he did not even have a Individual education plan, and a blatant disregard for prescribed restraint procedures.

From last October until April of this year he had no support at all and from April until this week only half of the 30hrs, due to the resignation of his current support assistants, one of whom has been offered a post as a classroom assistant in another school where she can earn the same money without the stress of having to deal with a child with challenging behaviour.

It is a government directive that every effort should be made to educate children with special educational needs in mainstream schools and policies have been put in place to ensure that the childs needs are met, ie a statement of special educational needs, individual education plans etc.

The question is, what are these policies worth when they can so easily be disregarded and the courts can not compel them to be adhered to?

We are all aware that as parents if we do not send our children to school we are breraking the law and it is possible that we could face imprisonment.

When the LEA blatantly disregards a statement of special educational needs they are not working within the law, what is their punishment?

Mrs Elizabeth Pilsbury

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