June 4, 2014

LCCBurnley, UK – Jack Entwistle, 9 who has autism and who is also visually impaired, has been told by Lancashire County Council (LCC) that he can no longer attend his mainstream primary school.

Local MP Gordon Birtwistle who was approached by Jack’s parents, is now to call for a debate in Parliament about the teaching of autistic children in Lancashire.

Alan Entwistle, Jack’s father, claims that 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.

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

Jack, was asked to leave the school with no notice on May 13.

Mr Entwistle 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.”

He adds that the problem is the LCC and that the tribunal judges are not qualified in order to make judgements regarding placements for autistic children.

Sally Riley, Lancashire County Council’s head of Inclusion and Disability Support Services was not able to comment on this particular case as it would be deemed inappropriate but did say:

“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.

The original and full article by Chris Adams in the Lancashire Telegraph can be read here


About the author 

Jo Worgan

Jo Worgan is a published author, writer and blogger. She has a degree in English Literature. She writes about life with her youngest son who is on the autistic spectrum. Jo tweets (@mummyworgan) and is also a freelance columnist for the Lancaster Guardian. ‘My Life with Tom, Living With Autism‘ is her second book and a culmination of her blog posts, and available on Kindle now, along with her first book, Life on the Spectrum. The Preschool years.

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