Mum's fury at son's schooling decision

By Annie DavidsonA MOTHER has criticised education bosses after being told her disabled son could not attend the school of her choice.Joan Watson wants her son Jonathan who has Down's Syndrome to go to Lexden Springs special school in Colchester.

By Annie Davidson

A MOTHER has criticised education bosses after being told her disabled son could not attend the school of her choice.

Joan Watson wants her son Jonathan who has Down's Syndrome to go to Lexden Springs special school in Colchester.

The 16-year-old would undertake three years of life skills lessons in September, including computer training.


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But Mrs Watson has been told by Essex County Council that her son must go to the Windsor School in Clacton because it is closer to their home in Frinton Road, Kirby Cross.

Jonathan, who has a mental age of five, has gone to Market Fields special school in Elmstead Market since the age of six.

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He originally went to the Leas special school in Clacton, but left because he was unhappy there.

Mrs Watson, 48, who is a single mother, said: “He is very happy at Market Fields. It is all he has know for 10 years.

“All the children in his class will be going to Lexden Springs, which is where I want him to go.

“It is very difficult to explain to him that he cannot go there because he lives in the wrong place. He doesn't know anyone at the Windsor and cannot understand why he is not going with everyone else.”

Mrs Watson - who has two other children, Matthew, 19 and Simon, 11 - said she had wanted Jonathan to go to a mainstream primary school to begin with, but the county council would not allow it.

“I feel when you are the parent of a disabled child, you have no choices. The county council are telling me where my son must be sent and I am not given any say in the matter,” she added.

Mrs Watson has been told she can send Jonathan to Lexden Springs if she arranges and funds his travel to and from the school. She is considering whether to appeal against the decision.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said: “These are both very good schools.

“We always try to place children at the most convenient school for the family. We will happily meet parent and child to discuss any issues they may have.”

annie.davidson@eadt.co.uk

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