Hastings parents’ fight for right education for their son with rare condition

Holly and Kes Mayatt with their son Harry. SUS-170516-163314001
Holly and Kes Mayatt with their son Harry. SUS-170516-163314001

The mother of a boy with a rare condition says she is fighting to get suitable education for him.

Holly Mayatt, of Sandown Road, said her son Harry, who attends All Saints Junior Academy, is struggling more and more at school due to him not being given specialist provision which she has asked for.

Harry has XYY syndrome, a rare chromosomal disorder. Symptoms may include learning disabilities and behavioural problems such as impulsivity. He also has SPD (sensory processing disorder).

Holly said: “Harry is an outgoing, funny, friendly, cheeky little boy who people tend to adore. He is physically extremely capable and takes part in many sports including rugby, boxing and wrestling.

“But he has struggled since moving up to junior school and it has got progressively worse since the beginning of this year. He is unable to cope in a class of 30 odd children. He has been excluded officially and unofficially 32 times since last September.

“An educational psychologist, Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) and Torfield outreach services have worked with the school and put many strategies in place but none have been effective.

“Harry got to the point where he was highly anxious about going into school. He is often restrained which has taken its toll on his emotional wellbeing and self-esteem.

“Despite evidence being sent to the county council’s Special Educational Needs (SEN) panel requesting a change of placement to specialist provision, they declined on the basis that the school could do more.

“Our GP wrote a letter to county recommending he is transferred as the environment of mainstream is causing him great emotional distress.

“It went back to panel for review, with more supporting information and my request for New Horizons but was declined again.

“In the meantime, Harry is being excluded most days. He is seldom able to complete a day at school, therefore not receiving the education he is entitled to.

“It is impossible to go to work and the stress of it all has put a major strain on our family.”

A county council spokesman said: “While we cannot comment on individual cases, East Sussex endeavours to work in partnership with parents to support their children in achieving the very best that they can, and we have a commitment to supporting children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in their local community.

“Nationally, more than 97 per cent of children are successfully educated in their local mainstream school; this includes those with SEND. Less than three per cent of all children have an Education Health and Care Plan and less than 1.5 per cent of the school population will require specialist provision – this is because the best place for the vast majority of children with additional needs is in their local mainstream school.

“On those occasions when children do need to attend specialist provision, we work hard to find provision that matches the child or young person’s specific needs.

“Parents and carers have the right to appeal a decision made by the panel through the Independent Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Tribunal.”

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