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Mum feels her daughter has been forgotten after four years out of school

A frustrated mother feels her child has been ‘forgotten’ after falling through the cracks of the education system.

Leanne, who did not want to be fully identified to protect her daughter’s privacy, has revealed that her daughter has missed almost four years of education and has not been able to sit her GCSEs.

After being expelled from Mossley Hollins High School in 2020, the teenager spent nine months in the Elmbridge pupil referral unit.

The expectation was that she would then return to mainstream school. But, according to Leanne, the council would not find her place in a mainstream school until a Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) had been completed.

This essentially outlines the educational, health and social needs of a child and sets out the additional support to meet those needs, based on assessments.

Leanne says her daughter has suspected ADHD and autism. This would mean she would need more one to one support but should still be able to remain in a mainstream school.

But Leanne says it took so long to get the EHCP from Tameside Council – two years – that her daughter is now 17, restricting the number of schools she can attend.

And, while Leanne had previously believed the EHCP would lead to a place being found for her daughter locally, the authority has suggested she go to school in London.

Having turned down a previous offer for her daughter, who is now nearly 18, to return to the Pupil Referral Unit, Leanne fears the teenager will never be able to get qualifications to progress in life.

“The nearest college suggested was in London,” she claimed. “We are based in Ashton, how can we get to London on a regular basis?

“I feel like we have been alone in this battle and that she has slipped through the net, a forgotten child.

“We are concerned because she will turn 18 in September. By law every child should have a right to an education, she has been denied that.

“We want her to go back to a mainstream school.”

Leanne claims a series of social workers from Tameside Council’s children’s services have worked on her case, but none have been much help.

Weekly phone calls and emails for the last two years have been responded to with “we will work it out” or “we will get back to you”, Leanne claims. No private tutors have been supplied by the council, which she feels her daughter should have a right to whilst they find her a place in a school or college.

A Tameside Council spokesperson said: “Clearly it would be wrong of us to comment on an individual case, and we are working with the family to address their concerns. The education and safety of every child and young person in the borough is of the highest importance.

“We work with parents, schools and partner agencies to agree and enact individual health and care plans tailored for the needs for each child and if parents ever have concerns about the plans or care of their child then these concerns will be investigated and addressed as a priority, working with everyone.

“Where families remain unhappy, there is an independent statutory complaints process.”

Leanne is worried about the mental impact this could have on her daughter, but also other people’s children. She fears there are many other, similar cases out there, and wants to highlight this issue that has gone under the radar for years.

“She has missed out on so much,” Leanne added. “She can’t do anything that her friends are doing (as they move on with their lives).

“For her she is thinking ‘why me’. She has just not been given that second chance.

“It was her saying she wanted to go back to school and get qualifications.”

Normally, if a child is unexpectedly missing from school parents would be contacted by the school or the local authority. This could result in a fine or prosecution if you don’t give your child an education. But this hasn’t happened in Leanne’s case – leaving her feeling like her daughter has been out of school for so long she has been forgotten.

“It was the way we were dismissed and how they didn’t care (that annoyed me).We have been stuck in this situation for years. The council needs to own up and accept responsibility for this.

There must be hundreds of parents dealing with the same issues.”


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