My son has been rejected by 27 schools because of his autism – its disgusting

A "disgusted" mum has been left at her wit's end after her autistic son was refused from 27 schools in Kent.

Leanne Dale, 45, has been frantically trying to locate a school for her 13-year-old son Jack since last April, after he was sent home from the Bradfields Academy, Chatham due to his ‘challenging behaviour’.

Jack has ADHD, autism and an anxiety disorder and his mother says she has had no contact from his former school despite being on their register.

Since April 2021, Leanne has been forced to give up her job as a dinner lady to care for Jack and her 11-year old daughter and says that it’s unfair Jack is being treated as "unruly."

Speaking to KentOnline, she said: “We have got nothing. It has been really hard. It is causing so much stress.

"There is a shortage of schools but Jack is still entitled to a space. It is unbelievable. There must be a place somewhere. It is disgusting really.

"I cannot believe that Jack is the only child affected but we have been made to feel like our child is unruly."

In the interim, Medway Council has been providing home tuition to Jack however Leanne says he is missing out on the social side of school and his mental health has been affected.

After badgering the council's SEN team Leanne was told 13 schools in the Medway area had no space and the other 14 could not meet his needs.

The council says it has tried state and independent schools in Medway and in neighbouring local authorities.

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Celia Buxton, assistant director for education and SEND, said: "We are doing everything we can to help find a suitable school place, which is able to meet his complex needs.

"We have contacted a number of schools but unfortunately they either do not have any vacancies or are unable to meet his individual needs.

"While we continue to consult with suitable schools to find him a place we have arranged for a specialist tutor to help him.

"We are committed to ensuring every child in Medway receives the best education possible."

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