A boy expelled from school aged just four has now been stuck at home so long he is scared to go outside, his mum says. Laura Jordan says she has been shocked to discover that councils are not required to get kids back into school if they are excluded before their fifth birthday.
Laura’s son Zac was kicked out of his primary school in Worcestershire last October after a number of behavior problems, including attacks on other pupils and staff, reports The Mirror.
However his mother believes he has undiagnosed special educational needs that can’t be dealt with in mainstream schools. Worcestershire County Council has since apologized for failing to find a suitable school for Zac and said it is working with his mum to get him back into education.
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“Zac started reception in September and within five weeks he had been permanently excluded” Laura, 36, from Redditch, Worcs said.
“It’s pure discrimination, the whole thing. I don’t think it’s morally right he’s out of school when people the same age as him are able to go to school. “He’s been left behind because he’s been excluded and offered no alternative schooling provision .
“He’s missed out on his education. This is going to affect him for the rest of his life.” Laura said Zac has become increasingly isolated following his exclusion of him from Holly Hill Church School, in Rubery last October.
She added: “I can’t even get him to leave the house. I have to force him to leave just to go to the shops. “He used to be happy outside the house. Now he does n’t want to leave and that’s because he’s not mixing with kids his age from him.
The mum-of-two does not deny that her son has issues, accepting that he attacked other children and staff at his school. However, she believes he has autism, ADHD and speech and language problems which make certain situations ‘overwhelming’ for him.
Laura added: “He was excluded because he’s got special educational needs and the school was not able to meet his needs. They couldn’t keep him and others safe.
“But they could’ve done other things before resorting to excluding him. This would’ve involved a possible managed move or alternative provision.
“Ultimately, they didn’t give him a chance or time to adjust to his environment or the new staff in his classroom.” She added that Worcestershire County Council has to find Zac a new school by April after he turned five in February.
The mum said: “It’s down to the local authority to find an alternative school for him. They have requested two special needs schools but they said they are full. “The council now want him in a local mainstream school. If the school accepts him, he will have no choice but to go there.
“I fear he will be excluded again if he is chucked into another mainstream school and we will be on this never-ending cycle of him going to schools and getting excluded.”
Laura now thinks the UK’s compulsory school age should be lowered to four-years-old so children cannot be expelled and left at home once they have started education.
A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Suspensions and permanent exclusions should only be used as a last resort, but we back headteachers to suspend or exclude pupils where it is necessary and helps maintain calm classrooms.
“We are consulting on changes to behavior and exclusions guidance to make sure this is used in a fair way, and the cross-government SEND Review will further consult on how children with special educational needs and disabilities are supported by the system, including in alternative provision.”