Bexley mum will take council to court after autistic son refused extra support at school

Belvedere, Bexley, UK – Kelly Feria De La Torre 42, says she will take Bexley Council to court for the second time. Her son Joshua, 11 has Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

She is fighting to get Joshua a council-funded teaching assistant to help him for 18 hours a week at school.

The family received a letter from Bexley Council on January 29, which said:

“I am writing to inform you the local authority do not propose to make any amendments to Joshua’s statement of special educational needs.

“The review report requested that 18 hours of support a week should be attached to Joshua’s Statement.

“The panel’s decision was “the monitoring statement to remain in place with no additional support. Joshua’s special educational needs can be met by the school.”

Kelly told reporter Melissa Hills from News Shopper:

“The school has been amazing and are really pushing the council for the extra help but they don’t want to budge.”

Kelly will be appealing the decision and is planning to take them to court.

Joshua is in a transition class at the moment but in September he will join a mainstream class in Year 8 and will not receive any additional help.

Kelly added:

“It’s going to be tough if Joshua doesn’t get the help he needs.”

A Bexley Council spokesman said:

“The panel considered the statutory assessment carefully and concluded that they thought Joshua’s special educational needs could be met within the 15 hours per week already allocated to his school and they gave him a ‘monitoring statement’”

He added that the panel decided that his needs could still be met within the 15 hours.

School headteacher Guy Nichols said:

“The academy is supportive of Mrs Feria De La Torre’s case to ensure that Joshua has appropriate levels of funding and provision to meet his special educational need. Our position has been one to provide evidenced based assessment of need to the parent and local authority.”

The full article by Melissa Hills on the News Shopper website can be read here