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Trying to access appropriate special educational needs like being 'pushed from pillar to post', says family

PUBLISHED: 07:30 05 March 2019 | UPDATED: 10:13 05 March 2019

Chris and Karen Stride-Noble from Lowestoft with their son Joseph, 9, who has special educational needs and hasn't been to school since April. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

Chris and Karen Stride-Noble from Lowestoft with their son Joseph, 9, who has special educational needs and hasn't been to school since April. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

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The family of an autistic youngster who was left without appropriate specialist education for more than a year has described being pushed from "pillar to post" in the fight for proper schooling, following a latest critical report.

Anne Humphrys and Bec Jasper have set up PACT support group for parents and families of children with disabilities.Anne Humphrys and Bec Jasper have set up PACT support group for parents and families of children with disabilities.

Chris and Karen Stride-Noble have been seeking specialist education support for their autistic son Joseph, who also suffers from behavioural issues and high anxiety.

The Lowestoft youngster had been taught at The Landing – a facility for children with high functioning autism – but he was unable to cope with class sizes, resulting in him having to take outside tutor education for three hours a day instead because of a shortage of other options.

Their plight for appropriate provision went to a tribunal, before securing a place at a school in Norwich – an hour away from home.

But Mrs Stride-Noble said the latest inspection report showed the struggle many parents were facing.

Members of the Suffolk Parent Carer Network, l-r, Anne Humphrys, Lucy Buckle, Sue Willgoss and Joanna Hammond. Picture: SUFFOLK PARENT CARER NETWORKMembers of the Suffolk Parent Carer Network, l-r, Anne Humphrys, Lucy Buckle, Sue Willgoss and Joanna Hammond. Picture: SUFFOLK PARENT CARER NETWORK

“In terms of the special needs provision it’s too little too late really,” she said. “They should have been planning on putting things in place a long time ago.

“It doesn’t really feel like they are being held to account.”

Mrs Stride-Noble said the report highlighted issues with education health and care plans, which the family had issues securing.

She said: “We have heard plans for however-many-millions being put into new places but they are talking about 2020/2021 until they are available so the situation is now. It just seems like we have been left in limbo.

“We are pushed from pillar to post and wondering who to get support from.”

A spokesman from the Suffolk Parent Carer Network, which works with parents and carers, said: “Whilst we have been involved in an enormous amount of work since the inspection, this report confirms what we already knew, that is the work has not yet been felt by families as some of the big changes have not yet started.

“There has not been sufficient priority given to changes which would immediately make a difference to families.”

Bec Jasper from Parents and Carers Together added that the cause’s monthly meetings with parents regularly heard stories of parents being told “not to bother applying as the child wouldn’t meet the criteria” and families having to take cases to tribunal.

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