GORDON Birtwistle will meet with a top government official this week to discuss the issue of a schoolboy whose family claim was forced out of his school because he is autistic.
The Burnley MP has been granted a meeting with Edward Timpson, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Children and Families, to talk about Lanehead pupil Jack Entwistle.
Jack, nine, was told to leave St James’s Lanehead CE Primary School because teachers ‘could not cope’ with his disability, his family claim.
As well as meeting Mr Timpson, Mr Birtwistle is expected to lead a televised House of Commons debate on July 17 regarding the education of youngsters with autism in Lancashire.
Jack’s parents, Alan and Karen, believe Lancashire County Council has breached the Disability Discrimination Act by asking him to leave, and are currently schooling him at home.
The family, of Marsden Road, is also appealing the outcome of a special educational needs and disability tribunal, which ruled that Jack should attend Pendle View Primary School, Colne. They believe he will ‘fester away’ there.
Mr Entwistle has also written to Sally Riley, the county council’s head of inclusion and disability support services, call- ing for her resignation.
In a letter to the authority, Mr Entwistle said: “Given you are aware our tribunal case is presently in appeal, to be heard on August 7, it is astonishing that on May 13 you personally sanctioned Jack’s removal from St James’s Lanehead, the school he has attended since the age of four.
“You are therefore personally responsible for Jack currently being out of school.”
It concluded: “We no longer trust you to look after our son’s best interests and wellbeing, and as such will be calling for your immediate resignation over this and many similar cases across Lancashire.”
Mr Birtwistle, a Liberal Democrat, will meet Mr Timpson, MP for Crewe and Nantwich, on Wednesday.