Mother facing council at tribunal over son’s education | Cambridge News | 4 December 2013

December 4, 2013


From the Cambridge News, 4 December 2013 (story by Eleanor Dickinson).

00754352 - 250x167A desperate mother has launched a fight for her sick son’s chance to have an education after his illness forced him to leave school two years ago.

Jane Waters, from Arrington, has been at loggerheads with Cambridgeshire County Council since 2011, when her son Findlay found himself unable to attend St Ivo School, St Ives, due to severe chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Mrs Waters and her husband Richard are facing the council at a tribunal today (Wednesday, December 4).

The 59-year-old said: “The council has failed our son. His illness means he cannot attend school and he desperately needs a tutor to come teach him and a computer with the right software so he can use distance learning to get the education he needs.

“To have to go to court to get these things is just ridiculous.”

Findlay, 16, began suffering from CFS in September 2011 after the whole family was struck down by a virus during the summer holidays.

Finding himself crippled with extreme fatigue, sickness and mental confusion, Findlay wasforced to drop out school completely by January 2012, despite his best efforts to keep attending. Now more than two years later, the once active teenager finds himself mostly confined to his bed and without any GCSEs.

His mother said:

“He is a very bright and intelligent boy. Before he became ill, he struggled with dyslexia and dyspraxia, and yet achieved a grade 8 in his maths in his Year 9 exams and was set to do 10 GCSEs.

“He really wants to study maths and physics at Cambridge University. But since his illness he has had no tuition in either of those subjects and has only been given 35 hours of tuition in English.”

Mr and Mrs Waters were facing County Council representatives at a Special Educational Needs and Disability tribunal in Cambridge yesterday in the hope of gaining a maths and physics tutor and the rights computer equipment so Findlay can get back on the educationaltracks.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council said:

“The council has offered appropriate tuition and continues to engage with the family to find the best way to meet their son’s needs.

“A parental appeal is being made to HM Court first tier tribunal and as such it would not be right for us to comment further.”

St Ivo School declined to comment.

1 thought on “Mother facing council at tribunal over son’s education | Cambridge News | 4 December 2013”

  1. Utterly shocking and shows the lack of support in some areas. My foster son was at a Special Needs School which basically refused to understand his M.E. Thankfully he was signed off school totally during April 2012 and of course missed all his exams. Last September he started at our local Bridgwater College (Somerset UK) their support has been amazing. They have an open door Counselling Service and an M.E. Support Group. He was ill in bed from last Nov until June this year. The College kept in regular contact, sent him get well cards and emails and his Tutor came to visit him. He went back this Sept but 2nd day caught a cold and hasn’t yet been able to return but College are in constant contact and say when he is able to return to do it gradually. This is what all education establishments should be like. Very best wishes to Jane and her son.

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