Mum’s anger after disabled son left without special school place he needs

Debbie Reid with deaf son Jaden, who has not been to school since July.
Debbie Reid with deaf son Jaden, who has not been to school since July.

A Tyneside mum claims council education bosses changed her disabled son’s health care plan – leaving him without a school that can meet his needs.

Debbie Reid is locked in a bitter school row with South Tyneside Council and says its officials changed her nine-year-old son Jaden’s school preference from Bamburgh School to Epinay Business and Enterprise School without her consent.

Debbie Reid with deaf son Jaden, who has not been to school since July.

Debbie Reid with deaf son Jaden, who has not been to school since July.

Jaden is profoundly deaf and suffers from learning disabilities – including dyspraxia and autism.

The family live on the Primrose Esatate, in Jarrow ,and he was formerly a pupil at Fellgate Primary School.

The school could not meet his needs and, following a diagnosis of autism diagnosis earlier this year, mum-of-three Debbie, 34, was forced to look for an alternative school for him.

She is now taking the council to a tribunal to have the decision changed.

“The council have failed to meet the needs of my son” Debbie Reid

Mrs Reid, who is Jaden’s full-time carer, said: “When I received the final copy of his health care plan in August I found the named school was changed to Epinay in Jarrow without my knowledge or my permission.

“I did Jaden’s health care plan back in April when Fellgate said they couldn’t meet his needs. I put down Bamburgh for his prefered school.

“I received emails from pupil services saying that he was a priority and that Bamburgh was the best school for him.”

She added: “I have now been told that there was no room for him at Bamburgh and that he has to go to Epinay.

“But he didn’t like it there. Because of his additional needs, he could couldn’t cope with it.

“When I raised this with the council, they said we had to look outside of the borough, but there was no availability there when I looked.”

Jaden, who has been deaf since he was born, is out of the education system until a tribunal hearing in December to challnege the issue.

She added: “The council have failed to meet the needs of my son and are making him more socially isolated than he already is.

“Jaden is becoming more withdrawn and we are getting no help or support.

“It’s like his needs don’t matter. I am not blaming his old school but the council.

“He was meant to start school in September but, because the council changed his main school without my knowledge. he is out of education.”

A spokesman for the council said: “As this case is the subject of a tribunal, we are unable to make any comment.”