A MUM claims her son has had no education for two years after the council allegedly failed to find him a school place or sort out transport.
Allana Carvell said son Joshua is severely autistic and was left searching everywhere for a special educational needs or disability (SEND) school in Salford, Greater Manchester.
3Allana Carvell claims her local council didn’t help find her autistic son a space at a specialist schoolCredit: Allana Carvell3Joshua, 10, is non-verbal and severely autisticCredit: Allana Carvell3Joshua on his first day at Kingfisher Specialist School when the taxi didn’t arriveCredit: Allana CarvellThe 10-year-old, who is non-verbal, was previously removed from a school back in March 2019 after Allana had concerns they weren’t catering to his needs.
Allana, 44, claims the local council have struggled to find him a space at a SEND school since.
In the meantime Joshua was accepted at a special school in another area – and what seemed like a solution was actually around a 40 minute drive away from the boy’s home.
The single mum told The Sun online the two hours Joshua would spend in the taxi each day would have a huge impact on him.
She said: “[Joshua] has not got the mental capacity. He has the development of a 24-month old.”
Despite concerns, Allana decided to try the transportation – which she believed Salford City Council were arranging.
But as Joshua was dressed and waiting to go on his first day she says the transportation didn’t show.
When a driver eventually turned up, Allana claims she was told by the driver Joshua needed a personal assistant on all journeys.
Originally starting in September 2021, Joshua went in the taxi to the school with his 14-year-old brother Jack – but after two weeks Jack said he couldn’t do it anymore.
Desperate, the mum-of-five had to choose between getting her other kids to school on time or taking Joshua.
Worried about the long-term effect being stuck at home will have on Joshua, Allana said he has already smashed TVs, broken tablets and even thrown her phone out of a moving car on the motorway.
Since Joshua hasn’t be in education, Allana has been trying to educate him but admits “it’s a constant battle”.
“I’ve tried to do letters and reciting the alphabet, I’ve tried educational YouTube – but it’s really tough.
“I’ve tried to do my best [but] the situation is not acceptable anymore.”
Concerned for Joshua’s mental health, the single mum is lodging an official complaint over the council’s handling of the issue and said she will take it to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
Salford City Council has told The Sun Online a place at a Salford special school was offered – but refused.
However, Allana claims she told the council back in 2019 she didn’t want Joshua going to this particular school because of friends having problems there – which she says was accepted by the council at the time.
Salford City Council also said they have never refused to provide transport to school.
“The council has never refused to provide a taxi and escort to schools where the child was registered,” the spokesperson added.
“The council will provide a free taxi and escort or the family can use the £239 weekly allowance offered to them to make their own transport arrangements.
“Payment is conditional on the child attending school.
“The only period travel assistance was not offered because it was not required was from December 2021 to September 2022 when the family elected to educate the child at home.
“There was a slight delay in recruiting an escort in September 2022 but this was resolved by mid October 22.
“Transport options are in place. Our aim is to continue to work with the family in the interests of the child and secure attendance at school.”
However Allana claims “there are currently no arrangements in place and Joshua is still unable to have an education”.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk