Autistic Burnley boy forced to quit school

Alan Entwistle and his son Jack

Alan Entwistle and his son Jack

First published in News
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A FATHER fears his nine-year-old son will 'fester away' if he is forced to attend a special school.

Jack Entwistle, who has autism, is at the centre of a row between his parents and Lancashire County Council after he was told he could not attend his mainstream Burnley primary school.

Now Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle is set to call for a debate in Parliament about the teaching of autistic children in Lancashire after being approached by Jack's parents and the families of two other local youngsters.

Jack’s dad, Alan Entwistle, of Marsden Road, claimed St James Lanehead CE Primary had broken the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act in saying that it ‘could not cope’ with Jack after he was diagnosed with autism in October 2012.

Mr Entwistle and his wife, Karen, have appealed the outcome of a special educational needs and disability tribunal, in which a judge backed the county council’s decision to send Jack to Pendle View Primary School, a special school in Colne.

They claim Jack, who is also visually impaired, was asked to leave the school with no notice on May 13.

He said: “There was no warning, no paperwork, nothing. He’s come on leaps and bounds at St James’s. He’s had a teaching assistant for the last seven months and in that period he’s gone through the roof.

“The problem is that LCC and the tribunal judges are not qualified to make judgements regarding placements for autistic children.

“The gist of the tribunal was that autism was not Jack’s primary disability. We have a letter from Great Ormond Street Hospital saying that it is. How can they over-rule that?

“They’re just throwing them on the scrapheap and into a special needs school to fester away.”

Sally Riley, Lancashire County Council's head of inclusion and disability support services, said: “It would be inappropriate for us to comment on any individual case.

“When the parents of a child with a statement of special educational needs express a preference for a certain school, such as an independent special school, it is the county council's duty to consider the placement very carefully.

“Sometimes we can find ourselves at odds with the parents’ preference and when this happens, a parent can take the case to the special educational needs and disability tribunal.

“Once such a case has been heard, the decision is taken out of the county council's hands. The judge's ruling is final.

“We have to abide by their directions, ensuring we take the actions they instruct us to take, within the timescales they set out.”

But Mr Entwistle denied it had been his choice to remove Jack from St James’s.

He said: “His mainstream school told us in October 2012 they could no longer cope with Jack.

“When we asked the county council for advice, they sent us a list of schools to look at. One was White Ash School in Oswaldtwistle and the other was Oliver House School in Chorley.

“We had interviews with both head teachers but only the Chorley one had space. LCC then used taxpayers’ money to fight to stop us from sending him to the one in Chorley, which we chose, and force him into Pendle View.

“We’re not troublemakers but we’re not prepared to send Jack to a special school where we think he will regress. It’s not the right environment for him.”

Mr Birtwistle will raise the matter with the House of Commons' Backbench Business Committee next Tuesday to call for ‘greater provision’ for youngsters with autism.

He said: “Some of these families have been led up the garden path by the education authority and we need to look at how we can help them.”

Comments (10)

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10:21am Tue 3 Jun 14

Tiger 1234 says...

I have a few children with different needs and have been forced to take LCC to several tribunals to get their needs met. The outcome of the tribunals often depends on the expertise of the judge and points of law and the needs of the child is not the priority it should be. LCC are very budget focused. They have lost experienced Educational Psychologists and replaced them with newly qualified less experienced ones who often do not pick up on and miss some children's needs. LCC have since Easter illegally asked parents to fill out forms which will automatically change existing statements of SEN come the new changes to the EHC plan. I say illegally as LCC are supposed to have independent parent supporters and local offers in place before the transfer to the new system takes place but it doesn't. The EHC plans are supposed to be transferred from statements of sen in a time period of 3 years. Transfer to the EHC happening at moves to secondary school or 6th form initially. Instead LCC are trying to transfer as many children and young people as possible to the new EHC plans before parents know their rights. The sen code of practice final edition has not even been published yet. Why I suspect LCC budgets have a place as it is what seems to behind most of their decisions, not the needs of our most vulnerable children.
I have a few children with different needs and have been forced to take LCC to several tribunals to get their needs met. The outcome of the tribunals often depends on the expertise of the judge and points of law and the needs of the child is not the priority it should be. LCC are very budget focused. They have lost experienced Educational Psychologists and replaced them with newly qualified less experienced ones who often do not pick up on and miss some children's needs. LCC have since Easter illegally asked parents to fill out forms which will automatically change existing statements of SEN come the new changes to the EHC plan. I say illegally as LCC are supposed to have independent parent supporters and local offers in place before the transfer to the new system takes place but it doesn't. The EHC plans are supposed to be transferred from statements of sen in a time period of 3 years. Transfer to the EHC happening at moves to secondary school or 6th form initially. Instead LCC are trying to transfer as many children and young people as possible to the new EHC plans before parents know their rights. The sen code of practice final edition has not even been published yet. Why I suspect LCC budgets have a place as it is what seems to behind most of their decisions, not the needs of our most vulnerable children. Tiger 1234
  • Score: 18

2:10pm Tue 3 Jun 14

nicolabennett77 says...

Tiger 1234 wrote:
I have a few children with different needs and have been forced to take LCC to several tribunals to get their needs met. The outcome of the tribunals often depends on the expertise of the judge and points of law and the needs of the child is not the priority it should be. LCC are very budget focused. They have lost experienced Educational Psychologists and replaced them with newly qualified less experienced ones who often do not pick up on and miss some children's needs. LCC have since Easter illegally asked parents to fill out forms which will automatically change existing statements of SEN come the new changes to the EHC plan. I say illegally as LCC are supposed to have independent parent supporters and local offers in place before the transfer to the new system takes place but it doesn't. The EHC plans are supposed to be transferred from statements of sen in a time period of 3 years. Transfer to the EHC happening at moves to secondary school or 6th form initially. Instead LCC are trying to transfer as many children and young people as possible to the new EHC plans before parents know their rights. The sen code of practice final edition has not even been published yet. Why I suspect LCC budgets have a place as it is what seems to behind most of their decisions, not the needs of our most vulnerable children.
So much for the needs of our children's education and what is best for them. Both my children have commented saying Jack was doing really well at St James and now to be forced to change schools is sure to unsettle him and affect his learning. For a school who are quick to comment on children's absences from school should know better and understand the detrimental effect this could have on Jack. Hope Jack and his parents get the outcome they are hoping for.
[quote][p][bold]Tiger 1234[/bold] wrote: I have a few children with different needs and have been forced to take LCC to several tribunals to get their needs met. The outcome of the tribunals often depends on the expertise of the judge and points of law and the needs of the child is not the priority it should be. LCC are very budget focused. They have lost experienced Educational Psychologists and replaced them with newly qualified less experienced ones who often do not pick up on and miss some children's needs. LCC have since Easter illegally asked parents to fill out forms which will automatically change existing statements of SEN come the new changes to the EHC plan. I say illegally as LCC are supposed to have independent parent supporters and local offers in place before the transfer to the new system takes place but it doesn't. The EHC plans are supposed to be transferred from statements of sen in a time period of 3 years. Transfer to the EHC happening at moves to secondary school or 6th form initially. Instead LCC are trying to transfer as many children and young people as possible to the new EHC plans before parents know their rights. The sen code of practice final edition has not even been published yet. Why I suspect LCC budgets have a place as it is what seems to behind most of their decisions, not the needs of our most vulnerable children.[/p][/quote]So much for the needs of our children's education and what is best for them. Both my children have commented saying Jack was doing really well at St James and now to be forced to change schools is sure to unsettle him and affect his learning. For a school who are quick to comment on children's absences from school should know better and understand the detrimental effect this could have on Jack. Hope Jack and his parents get the outcome they are hoping for. nicolabennett77
  • Score: 14

4:11pm Tue 3 Jun 14

CapitaBackHander says...

What? The childs needs would be met at a special school which surprisingly is catered for the needs of the child. Mainstream school may be able to attend to his needs some of the time but you are fooling yourself if you think he would be catered for at all time.
What? The childs needs would be met at a special school which surprisingly is catered for the needs of the child. Mainstream school may be able to attend to his needs some of the time but you are fooling yourself if you think he would be catered for at all time. CapitaBackHander
  • Score: 8

4:14pm Tue 3 Jun 14

CapitaBackHander says...

nicolabennett77 wrote:
Tiger 1234 wrote:
I have a few children with different needs and have been forced to take LCC to several tribunals to get their needs met. The outcome of the tribunals often depends on the expertise of the judge and points of law and the needs of the child is not the priority it should be. LCC are very budget focused. They have lost experienced Educational Psychologists and replaced them with newly qualified less experienced ones who often do not pick up on and miss some children's needs. LCC have since Easter illegally asked parents to fill out forms which will automatically change existing statements of SEN come the new changes to the EHC plan. I say illegally as LCC are supposed to have independent parent supporters and local offers in place before the transfer to the new system takes place but it doesn't. The EHC plans are supposed to be transferred from statements of sen in a time period of 3 years. Transfer to the EHC happening at moves to secondary school or 6th form initially. Instead LCC are trying to transfer as many children and young people as possible to the new EHC plans before parents know their rights. The sen code of practice final edition has not even been published yet. Why I suspect LCC budgets have a place as it is what seems to behind most of their decisions, not the needs of our most vulnerable children.
So much for the needs of our children's education and what is best for them. Both my children have commented saying Jack was doing really well at St James and now to be forced to change schools is sure to unsettle him and affect his learning. For a school who are quick to comment on children's absences from school should know better and understand the detrimental effect this could have on Jack. Hope Jack and his parents get the outcome they are hoping for.
I don't know the school but your kids are highly unlikely to be any kind of decent judge on his education. They also don't know what a special school is or what they can do for his education.
[quote][p][bold]nicolabennett77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tiger 1234[/bold] wrote: I have a few children with different needs and have been forced to take LCC to several tribunals to get their needs met. The outcome of the tribunals often depends on the expertise of the judge and points of law and the needs of the child is not the priority it should be. LCC are very budget focused. They have lost experienced Educational Psychologists and replaced them with newly qualified less experienced ones who often do not pick up on and miss some children's needs. LCC have since Easter illegally asked parents to fill out forms which will automatically change existing statements of SEN come the new changes to the EHC plan. I say illegally as LCC are supposed to have independent parent supporters and local offers in place before the transfer to the new system takes place but it doesn't. The EHC plans are supposed to be transferred from statements of sen in a time period of 3 years. Transfer to the EHC happening at moves to secondary school or 6th form initially. Instead LCC are trying to transfer as many children and young people as possible to the new EHC plans before parents know their rights. The sen code of practice final edition has not even been published yet. Why I suspect LCC budgets have a place as it is what seems to behind most of their decisions, not the needs of our most vulnerable children.[/p][/quote]So much for the needs of our children's education and what is best for them. Both my children have commented saying Jack was doing really well at St James and now to be forced to change schools is sure to unsettle him and affect his learning. For a school who are quick to comment on children's absences from school should know better and understand the detrimental effect this could have on Jack. Hope Jack and his parents get the outcome they are hoping for.[/p][/quote]I don't know the school but your kids are highly unlikely to be any kind of decent judge on his education. They also don't know what a special school is or what they can do for his education. CapitaBackHander
  • Score: -4

4:14pm Tue 3 Jun 14

CapitaBackHander says...

nicolabennett77 wrote:
Tiger 1234 wrote:
I have a few children with different needs and have been forced to take LCC to several tribunals to get their needs met. The outcome of the tribunals often depends on the expertise of the judge and points of law and the needs of the child is not the priority it should be. LCC are very budget focused. They have lost experienced Educational Psychologists and replaced them with newly qualified less experienced ones who often do not pick up on and miss some children's needs. LCC have since Easter illegally asked parents to fill out forms which will automatically change existing statements of SEN come the new changes to the EHC plan. I say illegally as LCC are supposed to have independent parent supporters and local offers in place before the transfer to the new system takes place but it doesn't. The EHC plans are supposed to be transferred from statements of sen in a time period of 3 years. Transfer to the EHC happening at moves to secondary school or 6th form initially. Instead LCC are trying to transfer as many children and young people as possible to the new EHC plans before parents know their rights. The sen code of practice final edition has not even been published yet. Why I suspect LCC budgets have a place as it is what seems to behind most of their decisions, not the needs of our most vulnerable children.
So much for the needs of our children's education and what is best for them. Both my children have commented saying Jack was doing really well at St James and now to be forced to change schools is sure to unsettle him and affect his learning. For a school who are quick to comment on children's absences from school should know better and understand the detrimental effect this could have on Jack. Hope Jack and his parents get the outcome they are hoping for.
I don't know the school but your kids are highly unlikely to be any kind of decent judge on his education. They also don't know what a special school is or what they can do for his education.
[quote][p][bold]nicolabennett77[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tiger 1234[/bold] wrote: I have a few children with different needs and have been forced to take LCC to several tribunals to get their needs met. The outcome of the tribunals often depends on the expertise of the judge and points of law and the needs of the child is not the priority it should be. LCC are very budget focused. They have lost experienced Educational Psychologists and replaced them with newly qualified less experienced ones who often do not pick up on and miss some children's needs. LCC have since Easter illegally asked parents to fill out forms which will automatically change existing statements of SEN come the new changes to the EHC plan. I say illegally as LCC are supposed to have independent parent supporters and local offers in place before the transfer to the new system takes place but it doesn't. The EHC plans are supposed to be transferred from statements of sen in a time period of 3 years. Transfer to the EHC happening at moves to secondary school or 6th form initially. Instead LCC are trying to transfer as many children and young people as possible to the new EHC plans before parents know their rights. The sen code of practice final edition has not even been published yet. Why I suspect LCC budgets have a place as it is what seems to behind most of their decisions, not the needs of our most vulnerable children.[/p][/quote]So much for the needs of our children's education and what is best for them. Both my children have commented saying Jack was doing really well at St James and now to be forced to change schools is sure to unsettle him and affect his learning. For a school who are quick to comment on children's absences from school should know better and understand the detrimental effect this could have on Jack. Hope Jack and his parents get the outcome they are hoping for.[/p][/quote]I don't know the school but your kids are highly unlikely to be any kind of decent judge on his education. They also don't know what a special school is or what they can do for his education. CapitaBackHander
  • Score: -4

4:43pm Tue 3 Jun 14

glossopkid says...

I am quite disgusted with LCC, especially Sally Riley. Do you or your officers really know how it feels to have a disabled child and the hurdles parents have to go through to maintain/ lead a life of quality. No you don't , your there to save money for LCC because that is your job. I have worked with many authorities but Lancashire is the worst when it comes to listening to parents n taking notice.

This child should be given the choice of having an inclusive education, special schools do not always meet the needs of every child. Every child is different and unique and should be seen as that instead of being put under the umbrella of disability and the status quo of disability.
Well done to the parents for sticking up for their child's needs.
I am quite disgusted with LCC, especially Sally Riley. Do you or your officers really know how it feels to have a disabled child and the hurdles parents have to go through to maintain/ lead a life of quality. No you don't , your there to save money for LCC because that is your job. I have worked with many authorities but Lancashire is the worst when it comes to listening to parents n taking notice. This child should be given the choice of having an inclusive education, special schools do not always meet the needs of every child. Every child is different and unique and should be seen as that instead of being put under the umbrella of disability and the status quo of disability. Well done to the parents for sticking up for their child's needs. glossopkid
  • Score: 18

4:54pm Tue 3 Jun 14

the white witch says...

This child should not be discounted because of a special gift of autism, he is after all still human and still needs what any other child needs, an education. If people looked further than the nose they would see that every child is as equal as the other. Don`t discriminate against kids with special gifts.
This child should not be discounted because of a special gift of autism, he is after all still human and still needs what any other child needs, an education. If people looked further than the nose they would see that every child is as equal as the other. Don`t discriminate against kids with special gifts. the white witch
  • Score: 8

5:08pm Tue 3 Jun 14

Carleton Green says...

As a practitioner of some 30 years in special education my dedicated colleagues and I are appauld to read the suggestion that young people in our communities are 'left to vester'. The happiness and development of each individual young person in our learning communities is our paramount concern.
As a practitioner of some 30 years in special education my dedicated colleagues and I are appauld to read the suggestion that young people in our communities are 'left to vester'. The happiness and development of each individual young person in our learning communities is our paramount concern. Carleton Green
  • Score: 4

7:30pm Tue 3 Jun 14

peely says...

Carleton Green wrote:
As a practitioner of some 30 years in special education my dedicated colleagues and I are appauld to read the suggestion that young people in our communities are 'left to vester'. The happiness and development of each individual young person in our learning communities is our paramount concern.
Suggest after 30 yrs you need to go back to school for some spelling tuition !
[quote][p][bold]Carleton Green[/bold] wrote: As a practitioner of some 30 years in special education my dedicated colleagues and I are appauld to read the suggestion that young people in our communities are 'left to vester'. The happiness and development of each individual young person in our learning communities is our paramount concern.[/p][/quote]Suggest after 30 yrs you need to go back to school for some spelling tuition ! peely
  • Score: 13

8:04pm Tue 3 Jun 14

wilddog says...

CapitaBackHander wrote:
What? The childs needs would be met at a special school which surprisingly is catered for the needs of the child. Mainstream school may be able to attend to his needs some of the time but you are fooling yourself if you think he would be catered for at all time.
Listen here oh wise idiot!

If the lad has come on leaps and bounds,how are the school not catering for him? People like you make me sick to the core. Special schools? There are no special schools, as you are singling out people from society with disabilities and thinking that its right! It aint right and never will be. No child is born with a disability as its wot we as supposed Human beings class it as! A child aint a pet ya know! Blood boiling now!
[quote][p][bold]CapitaBackHander[/bold] wrote: What? The childs needs would be met at a special school which surprisingly is catered for the needs of the child. Mainstream school may be able to attend to his needs some of the time but you are fooling yourself if you think he would be catered for at all time.[/p][/quote]Listen here oh wise idiot! If the lad has come on leaps and bounds,how are the school not catering for him? People like you make me sick to the core. Special schools? There are no special schools, as you are singling out people from society with disabilities and thinking that its right! It aint right and never will be. No child is born with a disability as its wot we as supposed Human beings class it as! A child aint a pet ya know! Blood boiling now! wilddog
  • Score: 4

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