Apologies for the forthcoming rant but I am fuming!

14 yo son with high functioning autism in comp with special needs unit from which he attends mainstream lessons. Several problems with the school regarding lack of communication and what I believe discrimination e.g. changing his options due to student refusing to work with him 'cause his autistic'. Didn't know about the change until after it'd happened but head denies all knowledge. Has LSAs which he really dislikes and who seem to only make him feel monitored and are clueless to episodes of bullying he has experienced (seen the proof).

Last October he comes home with letter regarding school trip to France in March. Due to his interest in history and that his cousin was going he was eager to go. Considered carefully and decided he was very capable, would aid his enthusiasm in history and benefit him both socially and educationally. Paid deposit and confirmed he had a place. Spoke to history teacher at parents evening in November who confirmed he had place, was happy for him to go. Paid further two instalments (£285 so far and sorted him a passport). 

In work today (on phones) noticed I had miscalls from school (always worries me as fear he is ill or been injured), my brother and mother all advising school trying to contact me re trip and its urgent.

Spoke to another teacher who advised he now can't go on the trip because they were 'concerned' he may need support and they can't provide it. 'What if they asked him to do something and he didn't immediately comply?' Only options were I also go and sit in a nearby hotel in France (if I accompanied my 14yo teenager on school trip with his mates he would disown me! Not to mention the hard time his mates would give him!). If he did go and there was any problem I would have to go to France to collect him. I stated this was extremely unfair as he'd been promised he could go, I'd paid out and there was no specific reason for the sudden change in decision other than he had aspergers and receives minimal support. Advised teacher to put it in writing and hung up. 

Five minutes later I rung the school and stated I would be there in 15 minutes and demanded to see the head and to have a copy of the governers. Arrived to be refused list of governers and after waiting about 20 minutes saw the head. Stated that we were informed they were happy for him to go, he was looking forward to it and now this sudden refusal. No recent events in school. Advised that under the Equality Act he had the right to the same educational experiences as any other child and if they feel he'd need extra support (which in this scenario I don't agree he does) that its a reasonable adjustment that they were duty bound to provide. Head complained that if a member of staff from unit accompanied him he'd have less in unit that week. This school gets extra money for children with additional needs such as my son so sorry not my or my son's problem!

I advised the head that if my son had done something terrible in school and he said to both of us if that happens again you will not go on the trip he'd had my total support but he hasn't. My son has been promised something he is very much looking forward to only to have it snatched away and why? because he's labelled with autism.

Stated I would be back Friday to pick up his written response. His gonna seek 'further advice and guidance'. Advised him that if in his letter the answer continues to be no I was it stated very clearly why. Said nothing to my son yet as waiting to see what happens Friday but seriously how can this be? Plan to take to local authority and make this situation public but I find it heart-breaking and am so angry. We are in 2018, can they really discriminate so blatantly when they are suppose to be a school that includes a provision especially for children with additional needs? 

This isn't my first battle with them and my desire to engage with them in next to nothing. I have considered other options but don't seem to be any. I'm scared for him to be in a school with no provision in-case he struggles and have no faith in the local schools here. Home education is not an option. My son's unhappy, I'm unhappy and there seems to be no way out. I'm counting the months till he leaves. 

I guess my question is am I right to feel this is discrimination? What should I do? And any advice in general would be much appreciated.

Thank-you in advance.

Parents Reply
  • capable of doing unpredictable things that can cause huge disruption

    Huh. That seems bogus to me. One of my teachers nearly burned down the school. Another messed about and then had to cancel the lesson - I'd never seen a fountain of mercury before, and it made quite a mess... it was almost as much fun as when he set the curtains on fire.

    Other schools had pupils that flushed lumps of potassium down the toilets...

    Annual skiing trips were notorious for under-age drinking. I have seen a photo of one lad from the year above me, mid-way between two balconies as he climbed down five floors to retrieve the illicit booze that they'd left to chill in the snow on top of the roof below. Presumably they continued to do this as the evening wore on(!)

    The French exchange trip I went on saw one pupil load up on beer before getting on the boat home. Then he drank two thirds a bottle of Ricard, neat. Needless to say, the channel crossing was quite eventful. 

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