Mum’s anger as her two autistic sons are left without school places

Michaela Hart is angry over no school placement for her two autistic son's Jayden Gibson aged 8 and Joshua Gilhespy Hart aged 4 (R)
Michaela Hart is angry over no school placement for her two autistic son's Jayden Gibson aged 8 and Joshua Gilhespy Hart aged 4 (R)
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A frustrated mother is furious after her two autistic sons have been left without school places

Michaela Hart returned to her hometown of South Shields from Durfries in Scotland, before the summer holidays with her children Jayden Gibson, eight, and Joshua Gilhespy Hart, four.

Michaela Hart.

Michaela Hart.

Due to family bereavements the 27-year-old decided to stay in the borough and tried to register her two sons in special schools.

But, when September arrived, neither of the boys had places.

Council bosses say both boys needs to be assessed before they can get a place because there are no Statements of Special Educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plans in Scotland.

Miss Hart said: “The boys were in special schools in Scotland. I tried to get them places in similar schools in South Shields, but I was told there was no space.

“Jayden especially needs to be in an environment that caters for autism. He doesn’t react to change very well. He likes routine, so this is all very distressing for him.

“It’s now in October and neither of my boys are in school.”

Miss Hart said she had a tour of Forest View Primary School last week - which is not a school for youngsters special educational needs - in Whiteleas.

However, she still hasn’t heard anything back.

She said: “This is a mainstream school, so it won’t be ideal, but even with this one I still haven’t heard anything back.

“I need both my boys to attend the same school as I can’t drive and trying to get them both to different places on time would be a nightmare.

“I am worried for them both because with their autism. People might just think they’re misbehaving or being disruptive, when that’s not the care. They need proper care.”

The council say that Forest View Primary has until November 14 to decide whether or not to accept the children.

A spokesman for the Council said: “As there are no Statements of Special Educational needs or Education, Health and Care Plans in Scotland. “The boys will need to be assessed once they are in school.

“The applications were sent to the mother’s preferred school - Forest View Primary School - on the same day we received them. In accordance with our procedure the school has 20 school days in which to admit the children subject to places being available and that 20 school day limit is 14 November.”