A MILITARY wife has hit out at Oxfordshire County Council, accusing the authority of disrupting her disabled son's education.

Kira Lothian has claimed the council was late to share information with their new authority when they moved from Abingdon to Staffordshire in July.

She said the delays have left her youngest son Gabriell without a place in school, causing his mental health to suffer.

The 14-year-old has profound complex needs, including autism, and is fed by tube.

Oxford Mail:

She said: "We emailed the Oxfordshire special educational needs and disabilities team and our officer, and also sent our preferred choice to the Staffordshire SEND team so that everyone was aware of the move dates and Gabriell’s needs.

“When you move county with an education and health care plan [for a disabled child], the expectation is that the plan moves too but that didn’t happen for us.

“Due to the lateness that his plan arrived at Staffordshire, schools weren’t consulted until they reopened in September.

“Locally, there are now no schools available that can meet his needs.

“Our son needs to be in school, he thrives on routine and really enjoys school.

“Being out of school is starting to affect his mental health now too.”

Oxfordshire County Council said all actions were completed within a 'necessary timeframe'.

Mrs Lothian expressed her frustration at the wider problem surrounding children with specialist needs struggling to get into a school which can fulfil their needs.

She said: “There are many other disabled children that are currently out of school through no fault of their own.

“Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for children with disabilities, and something needs to change – they have a right to an education.

“If we kept our children out of school, we would be fined anything upwards of £60.

“It’s really sad that other people are going through this situation.”

A spokesperson for the county council confirmed a complaint had been received regarding Mrs Lothian’s case.

The spokesperson said: “Following investigation, this complaint was not upheld as all necessary actions had been completed within the legal timescales.”

The Lothian family is pursuing legal action, with an online fundraiser created to help their efforts.

Mrs Lothian said: “At the moment, the fundraiser is to support us but the more people that contact us, we’re looking at opening it out.

“The Army has been really good for us and been really supportive.”

For the GoFundMe, visit: gofundme.com/f/get-gabe-back-to-school.


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