Mother on hunger strike over school

The mother of an autistic child has gone on hunger strike in
protest at a council’s decision that her daughter should be
educated in a mainstream school.

Hayley Castle believes her daughter, Ellie, who attends a
mainstream nursery with one-to-one support, should be placed at a
school for children with special needs. But a Hertfordshire council
spokesperson said assessments of the four year old had shown that
she had improved by going to the nursery.

“The provision panel previously agreed that Ellie would benefit
from attending a mainstream school with specialist support. It was
felt that Ellie would benefit from mixing with other children of
the same age and copying their social interaction skills.” She
added that many children with autism “are educated very
successfully in mainstream schools with specialist support”.

The council’s provision panel, which considers cases of children
who might benefit from more specialist provision, will review the
case next week.

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