I've been waiting a YEAR for a school for my autistic son, 11, and the start of term is just weeks away – I'm furious | The Sun

A MUM is desperately trying to secure a school place for her son after waiting almost a year.

Samantha Taylor fears 11-year-old Alfie, who has autism, will fall behind if she doesn't find one before the new term starts next month.

The family say they applied to the council in October 2021, shortly after moving to the area.

But more than nine months later and Samantha is still waiting to find out where her boy will receive an education from September – despite most families having confirmation in March.

Samantha, from Newborough, Staffordshire, told StaffordshireLive: "Alfie still has no school and I feel just let down.

"He has come so far in his development and all the hard work done will be completely wasted.


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"I just don't know what I am doing next. It feels like it has been a constant effort and no-one is here to help us.

"Nothing is easy and it is just ridiculous. It has felt like nobody was bothered about him."

Samantha described Alfie's previous special school in Walsall, West Midlands, where the family lived before, as "absolutely fantastic" – but her experience in Staffordshire has left them feeling abandoned.

The council claims it is aware of Alfie's case and is working to find him a suitable secondary school.

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He will continue to attend his primary school until then.

Samantha, who works in a GP surgery, said: "Alfie is quite verbal and is more on the side of Aspergers.

"He communicates well but struggles with his emotions and mental health.

"When he was in mainstream school he got to the point where he would be sitting in the corner of the headteacher's office with his head in his hands.

"He couldn't go to mainstream school. He was moved which was fine."

When the mum queried why the process was taking so long, she said she was told that officials were "still working on it" due to potential Covid delays.

She waited another month, but was told again that Alfie's application was still be reviewed.

Eventually Samantha contacted one of her son's preferred schools, only to discover her paperwork had been sent off until April 29 – the same day she had called the council for an update.

Alfie has come so far in his development and all the hard work done will be completely wasted.

"I felt gutted really. I was so let down," she said.

"It just makes me think they don't care.

"If they'd been honest that an application was not made until April, I could have done something about it.

"It's like no one bothered. I just don't know what happens come September when all the other kids are starting big school.

"I want to know why there has been no communication.

"Where was the mistake made and why does he still have no school place now it's August?

"It is not just about him, it is about all the SEND children who have been let down by councils."

Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council Cabinet Member for Education and SEND, said demand for secondary special school places in the county is "very high" and "everything" is being done to get children into appropriate schools.

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He added: "In this case, we are aware of the issue and have been working hard with parents and a number of schools to ensure there is a suitable place available for Alfie in September at a preferred school.

"We will be contacting the family to discuss their concerns."

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