Out of school for 21 months, "BCC special educational needs department are failing my son"

Young Ryley Stribling has been home educated since February 2018 because his parents feel that 'they have no other option' after repeated failures from the council.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 11:33 am
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 12:33 pm
Kye Stribling's son has been home educated since February 2018 because his parents feel that 'they have no other option' after repeated failures from the council.

Ryley has been home educated since February 2018 because his parents feel that 'they have no other option' after repeated failures from the council.

The family believe he should be placed in a special educational needs school.

However back in 2018 the family were told the only way for them to achieve this was to go through social services and to tell them they cannot cope with him being home schooled.

Social Services have been involved and have contacted the education department many times suggesting he needs to be in a school.

The view was echoed by Ryley's paediatrician who has also written to them 'multiple times'.

Wind on to May 2019, his mother Kye Stribling made an official request to have his son placed at a local school.

He has an up to date Education, Health and Care plan (EHCP), which means there should not be a lengthy wait for a school placement.

Kye was then told to visit several local SEND schools.

However, when trying to arrange a viewing at several schools, the schools told the family they needed to be referred by the Bucks SEND team.

This was a further delay, all the while Kye's child was not getting the schooling he deserves.

Finally the SEND team contacted the said schools to confirm that the family could view them.

After some deliberation, the family settled on Chiltern Way Academy whose school was 'perfect' for Ryley,

Kye said: "Weeks went by with no contact from BCC, although I kept emailing and calling most days.

"Whenever I phoned, I was told our SEN officer was on leave.

"In July, they finally responded to say a member of staff from Chiltern Way Academy would be visiting us to meet Ryley, to discuss which Academy of theirs was best suited to his needs."

However, nothing was done.

"We kept phoning and phoning, not just me, but Ryley's social worker and paediatrician, but to no avail."

Finally, in September the BCC SEND worker got back to the family.

But only to tell the family there was no room at Chiltern Way Academy.

They were instead offered a place at Stoney Dean School, a school that is completely unsuited to Ryley's ECHP plan and that could not provide for his needs.

Kye added: "This was very frustrating and again just seemed like another delay tactic. They knew full well his needs do not match for that school.

"They had however told my sons social worker about an outreach programme not commonly offered called 'Tool Shed' which sounded like a feasible new option."

Kye was told how 'Tool Shed' was a wonderful programme so the family were optimistic about this new chance for Ryley to continue his education.

The family were told it would be a matter of days before Ryley was enrolled on this new programme.

Kye said: "We were so relieved to finally feel like we would be getting our son an education.

"The time off school and loneliness had turned into depression for my son.

"He was self harming and lashing out. We need a school, some sort of outlet asap."

However this optimism was short lived.

After ANOTHER two weeks of phone calls, the family were left devastated after they were told the placement was no longer a suitable option, with no explanation.

They were told to look at college placings instead. He won't be accepted into any college until September 2020. The SEND team must have known this.

Kye added: "The fury I feel is unimaginable.

"I emailed back straight away demanding an explanation, only to be met with an automated email saying the person responsible was on leave.

"I feel so let down, it's another delay. It's hard to see how they aren't doing this on purpose.

"Someone at BCC needs to take responsibility for their actions. This is my child's future at stake here.

"I have been looking at every feasible option to get Ryley back into education but yet again all hopes of getting Ryley into a school has been crushed and my son has sunk deeper and deeper into depression with no friends or nothing to look forward to."

"No education and no future."

Kye has further questions about the legality of BCC's position.

"How can it be legal to keep a child out of education for five months? I am being passed pillar to post with Ryley all the time he's falling behind with his education.

"I have now issued a formal complaint to BCC about their treatment of my son. He deserves so much better than this."

Buckinghamshire County Council said in response:

A Buckinghamshire County Council spokesman said: “We are working closely with the family in this case to identify the most appropriate steps to take to resolve this situation as quickly as possible. Our priority is to ensure that Ryley’s educational needs are met in the right way and in the right setting for him.”