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Mother's call for special school

PUBLISHED: 12:13 08 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:20 30 June 2010

A Norfolk mother claims she has been forced to send her nine-year-old son to a boarding school 160 miles away because of a lack of provision in the county for his complex needs.

A Norfolk mother claims she has been forced to send her nine-year-old son to a boarding school 160 miles away because of a lack of provision in the county for his complex needs.

Kerry Smith, 41, of Lichfield Road, Great Yarmouth, said her son Jack Brown has Asperger's syndrome, a type of autism, and his extreme behavioural problems made him unsuitable for education in mainstream schools.

After taking him out of Southtown's Edward Worlledge Primary School last term, Ms Smith was first directed to a school in Lincolnshire, which turned out to be unsuitable, before finding him a place at Horton House school in Hull, East Yorkshire.

She said: “There are so many children with autism that there must be a case for having a similar special school in this area.”

“Other schools I was told about were even further away in Scotland and Wales. Although Jack will get superb specialist attention at Horton House it is a shame he has to board so far away.”

Ms Smith praised staff at Edward Worlledge for doing their best but said they had acknowledged a year ago Jack needed a special school.

“When he was in regular classes, his inappropriate behaviour included touching children or adults, shouting out and taking his trousers down. One day, he went mad and threw everything around the classroom,” she said.

He had been educated in the school's special inclusion unit for a while but his behaviour eventually deteriorated there as well and he was excluded on a number of occasions.

She said: “Edward Worlledge kept trying but it was making my life more and more stressful. It was hard getting him to school with him kicking and screaming and then I was constantly waiting for a phone call.”


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