Namit has autism and learning difficulties, as well as a vision impairment, and enjoyed his primary education within a mainstream school. However, when it was time for him to move on to secondary school, his local authority was proposing that he should move to a specialist setting, one that primarily supports children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Here, we explain how our Specialist Education Support Team helped Namit's family work with the local authority, so that he went to the right school for him.
Namit’s parents felt that he had coped with mainstream education so far and he should have the right to move on to secondary school with many of his friends, as part of his development into adulthood. They were adamant that both his academic and social needs would be best met at a local mainstream school, which would also give him the chance to be part of his community. However, they were feeling pressured to take the advice from the local authority.
They felt strongly that his Education, Health and Care Plan did not fully highlight his needs, strengths, ambitions and wishes. In addition, because of the impact of coronavirus, his plan hadn't been updated (which is a requirement) to reflect Namit as a learner today.
Our Specialist Education Support Team came in to support the family and speak with the various schools, the local authority and the family, to ensure everyone was aware of Namit’s and his family’s wishes.
It took a lot of negotiation, discussions with the family and communication with the local authority but the outcome was a positive one. It was agreed that Namit should attend his school of choice, with the local authority putting in place the necessary support, including transport.
The whole family was overwhelmed by the good news and Namit was thrilled to be taking the next, very exciting step in his education.
Since then, the family have remained in contact with the Specialist Education Support Team, largely to celebrate Namit’s achievements. These have included Namit being named student of the week, in recognition of his outstanding attitude to his learning and his friends.