Our children are being failed every day. These stories are far from rare and expose the hostile environment set out for our children by those entrusted with their support. Social and educational exclusion of those children with Special Educational Needs is commonplace with many children losing years while the parents are forced to fight every step of the way.
Some names have been changed to protect the individuals' privacy.
Lyndsay Terry, whose son, Bradley, has autism, told BBC Radio Suffolk that her dealings with the service were "a constant battle, every step of the way".
"They don't communicate with us - they make decisions without telling us, when we call we're told people are busy, or questions aren't answered properly," she said.
"All we want is somebody to listen; it is extremely frustrating."
So, as we stand at the moment, we are going to tribunal for the second time in three years, we have been failed by multiple agencies of the state and find ourselves wondering what the future actually holds for our young person. It is a terrible worry, we are older parents, he has no siblings and very few relatives, none whom would be able to care for him going forward. Helping him to achieve independence and happiness is the biggest thing in our lives as we are well aware that we will not be around forever and we want to secure his future as best we can.
Please can I put our story forward our son Freddie has Austism, Dyslexia, Tinitus and extreme anxiety.
The council have totally ignored us throughout this, they have lied and been damn underhanded. They have totally ignored the requirements of his EHCP and are proposing to put him in an unbuilt unit in totally the wrong setting under his EHCP. Freddie is 14 at the end of the month and we feel the council have totally destroyed his future and it is criminal dereliction of duty by SCC... He has been offered a place at a specialist school but the council have not even acknowledged this as an option. From our point of view it seems the council are in complete denial about ASD or other special needs. Just over the border in Essex they are taking this issue seriously. Suffolk are failing gifted children and we need to get this out there. Someone at SCC is actively choosing to ruin children’s life chances and some very serious questions need asking...
SCC paid for an entire year at an independent specialist school placement knowing my daughter was no longer a pupil there. They were sent letters from myself, doctors and psychiatrist all saying my daughter could no longer attend and that the school was very damaging to her mental health. ( no wonder considering what she went through) SCC decided it was easier to pretend she still went to school and paid for her placement rather than deal with the situation. Talk about waste of public expenditure!! My daughter was mentally and physically bullied by children but mostly adults at her so called independent specialist school, thank goodness it closed down !!! My daughter still has therapy to help her overcome what happened to her 6 years later.
In 2019 a finalised EHCP was not shared with all the services that needed to provide provision. This was not an isolated occurrence.
In Jan 2020 the head of CISS said that she would go back to the LA to raise concerns that EHCP information is not sent directly to CISS and all agencies named on the plan.
In April 2020 the Assistant Director for Children's Services was going to follow this up with the relevant managers to ensure they review the approach and avoid this happening again.
In November 2020 it was recognised by SCC that CISS did not received the EHCP in a timely fashion from Family Services. They advised that they had raised it with senior members of the Local Authority's Inclusion Service and systems and processes are being reviewed to ensure this doesn't happen again.
This is not timely action and did the systems and processes ever get reviewed?
My son has been out of school for 3 years because they had put him in the wrong school that couldn't meet his need we have had to fight tooth and nail I got him in for a private Ed psych report and they have just agreed to put him in the school he should of been from the start please keep fighting it is really hard and has made me really poorly but to see that they had to do this when they really didn't want to is worth every tear.
School ruined my child's life with a lack of education n lack of awareness of Asperger's n the damage it caused being put in a mainstream school and classed as the naughty kid.
We had to remove our son from his mainstream high school in 2019 due to being unable to cope academically and emotionally. He was also being bullied both verbally and physically by peers. He's diagnosed with dyspraxia, dyslexia, hypermobility and we are currently waiting for an ados assessment at the Newberry. He was out of school for a year until Scc placed him in a unit which we highlighted at the time as being unsuitable. His needs could not be met there and he struggled within the setting with other children. It broke down and he has been home again since Nov 2020. Yet scc are still favouring placing him in another unsuitable unit and ignoring our parental choice of school, even though they have said they can meet his needs. The council still haven't given us any final decision on placement so potentially we may have nothing again for Sept. We are currently in the process of taking it to appeal. The whole thing is just a nightmare, my health is suffering and its affecting our whole family. I really feel for you both its just heartbreaking and it shouldn't be this way. I honestly feel like I can't see an end to it. They just don't care and I'm appalled at how many of us and our children are in the same position.
CISS and thrive process, using the graduated approach, proved our child was getting worse not better, only onboard after after being threatened with fines by EWO, (really scary btw) even though it is unmet needs not behaviour causing problem. Higher needs funding awarded but none spent, speech therapy refused, emotional support in the classroom refused, EHCP refused, excluded from all future school trips because deemed too great a risk and staffing required too expensive. Education other than in school refused, finally Camhs refused to declare medically unfit, good job we could go private. It shouldn't be this hard. Child is so low they are a shell of their former self, tics, struggles to speak at times. Top level student at year 6 Sats, will struggle to get provision for 5 GCSEs now. System is completely broken and not fit for purpose, and governed by money alone. Damage caused by continued struggle and mishandling and delays in decisions and appropriate (or any) help, immeasurable.
In the week before summer half-term, parents were informed suddenly that their children would be placed on part time education timetables with more than half the week, unsupported, at home for the remainder of the year. This parent tells us of the distress and damage caused.
I am writing to you because someone needs to start thinking about the actual children and how it has an affect on them. We'll this is me and how I feel.
I have been out of school for nearly two years and it is giving me a lot of anxiety. I feel forgotten and like I don't belong anywhere. I can't made friends or learn like other my age.
Quite frankly you have let me down the way children are being treated with special needs like myself is horrible...
My son is still waiting for specialist placement and a meeting for updating he EHCP. This was agreed at mediation yet nothing has been done. My son has complex needs he leaves primary school this year after all the information they have had from professionals they wanted to put him in to a mainstream High school - had wrote to them saying they can't have him as they cant support he needs. I'm having to fight and fight so at the moment my child has no high school to go to in September.
Our son is 6 years old, he is diagnosed with Autism and is on the waiting list for ADHD. He was traumatised by a mainstream School where at the age of 4 he was self harming due to unmet needs and consistantly being punished for behaviours related to his hidden disability such as stimming and not being able to pay attention and sit still during assembly.
He was constantly in a state of fight or flight, punching himself in the head, scratching his face, he said he hated the world and wanted to die.
He was unofficially excluded and told to stay home for three days while they were filming the School play. He was not able to attend trips unless we went. In 2020 we felt like we had lost our child, who was once such a happy, confident little boy.
After being rejected for an EHCP we appealed, we won that battle but then the next one started to try and get him into a specialist unit. After the stress and a long fight we got him a place, however this is still not the right placement.
My son hasn't been in school for 3 years and they did nothing. I have had too fight so hard paid for a private Ed Phsyc report and there was no coming back from that, they had to do something but were still fighting it .
It was clear very early on that my grandson was different, I've watched in horror the roller coaster journey my daughter has been through, and the worst part is feeling so helpless. The system in Suffolk is broken and flawed, and with every day that passes I see her struggle with her own mental health, yet she still fights every single day for her son, a fight that is cruel and unnecessary, a fight that comes naturally for other children. This is all so wrong
My Complex ASD son was out of Education for a couple of years having been off rolled by one " outstanding " special school as " too complex" ( or too expensive/ too much work as suffered from severe anxiety as not supported or his condition adequately understood?) ...battles battles battles...finally found a school.out of county who could support his needs. Battles, battles, battles for funding despite proving nowhere in Suffolk ( SCC couldn't find anywhere and why we had to keep him home yet it was still all on us to fight for). He's happy, doing well sooooo now 16, more battles battles battles to keep him there, where he is finally supported. Why?? Too expensive! Why? Because they " can" support his needs! Oh....cant go there then anymore. Experts say " any move now will be significantly detrimental to his development, mental.health and wellbeing. It will lead to crisis ( from LD CAMHS specialist) SCC education say, " Not enough evidence...Prove it even more!
Five years fighting for a vulnerable child's needs.
After having no choice but to instruct a solicitor to write a pre-action protocol letter, my child is now receiving some of the provision. The provider was sent an old EHCP. My child had no provision for 22 weeks.
I am still waiting for educational therapeutic provision stated in Section F. No referral has been made yet despite the tribunal order being issued in November 2020.
Our story. Currently at complaint point to LA director of children's services for school not doing Section F of plan for last 12 months and school are not amending or willing to talk via their correct complaint process. Also children coming out hurt and no one will talk about their injuries. Also children at breaking point who have been calm and happy when provision was in place / home schooled with provision done here. Have requested review brought forward and school removed from section i. Head fighting to prevent review being earlier.
My son has an EHC plan which so far has been completely disregarded, the last school he was sent to by the LEA we had to remove him from as he was bullied threatened with a knife, the teaching staff did not listen to any of our concerns. I cannot cope with this anymore on my own.
When we moved to Suffolk the SENCO looked at our sons statement and said "Well you won’t get any of that on Suffolk". To be fair she was right