Mum’s fight to help son’s education

NDET 19-6-12 BWJ 6 Old Whittington Woman's Special Needs Claim Rachel Bower with son, Daniel.
NDET 19-6-12 BWJ 6 Old Whittington Woman's Special Needs Claim Rachel Bower with son, Daniel.

A WORRIED mum fears her struggling son could be abandoned by the education system after council bosses have turned down his application for special needs support.

Rachel Bowers, 34, of Roecar Close, at Old Whittington, Chesterfield, told how Derbyshire County Council rejected Abercrombie Primary School’s application for a special needs statement for her seven year-old son.

She said: “Daniel struggles to dress himself and to socialise and he has co-ordination and concentration problems – he can’t even write his name.

“Without one-to-one support he will just sit at the back of classrooms and do nothing. They’re brushing him off. I’m scared he could slip through the net and be left with no hope.”

Ms Bowers claims a psychologist stated Daniel needs one-to-one support, his hospital consultant recommended special needs status and that Abercrombie School has been supportive, but insists he needs special needs status and support to progress.

She fears he could be autistic because he is dependent on fixed routines and does not cope with change or socialising and has verbal communication difficulties.

Abercrombie School headteacher Neil Jones said: “Daniel does need support. The school is putting in a lot of support and he needs as much as possible.”

Ms Bowers, who is considering an appeal, received a letter last month confirming the school’s application for a special needs statement had been rejected.

The letter conceded Daniel has learning difficulties but claimed he does not suffer with communication problems and there are no medical grounds for the status to be granted so he should be taught in normal classes. A council spokesman said: “We take our responsibility for every child very seriously. When assessing needs, we consider the case carefully and act in the child’s interests.”