Mum’s spe­cial needs vic­tory

The Jewish Chronicle - - Community - BY JESSICA ELGOT

A HACK­NEY mother has won the right to choose a new place­ment for her spe­cial needs son af­ter the clo­sure of Manch­ester’s Delamere For­est School.

Hack­ney LEA had ear­marked 13-yearold Daniel Jones from Manor House for apla­ceinPhilipGreenMe­mo­ri­alS­chool, a Dorset res­i­den­tial es­tab­lish­ment.

But Daniel’s mother Max­ine was keen to se­cure a place at LVS Has­socks, near Brighton, cater­ing for chil­dren with autism and other spe­cial needs. LVS — which has higher fees than Hack­ney’s pre­ferred school — had agreed to pro­vide kosher meals and Jewish stud­ies for two other for­mer Delamere pupils.

Rabbi Michael Bern­stein, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Em­bee Spe­cial Ed­u­ca­tional con­sul­tancy, spent weeks lob­by­ing the coun­cil on be­half of the fam­ily and had sev­eral meet­ings with Hack­ney’s head of SEN as­sess­ment and mon­i­tor­ing, Neil Hud­son. Agree­ment was reached last Fri­day.

“This was the worst time for the school to close down and par­ents were ex­tremely wor­ried about get­ting their chil­dren into a school,” Rabbi Bern­stein said. “But so many school of­fices were shut for the sum­mer. It would have been ex­tremely trau­matic and dis­rup­tive for the child.

“The mea­sure of sig­nif­i­cant co­or­di­na­tion and co-op­er­a­tion that has fea­tured in this case par­tic­u­larly war­rants men­tion. The Learn­ing Trust [LEA] has dis­played great em­pa­thy for Ms Jones and Daniel who, through no fault of theirs, were con­fronted with this un­ten­able sit­u­a­tion.”

As pre­vi­ously re­ported, Ms Jones re­ceived an apol­ogy and com­pen­sa­tion from Hack­ney for lack of sup­port over past is­sues with his ed­u­ca­tion and care.

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