Six years out of school and three tribunals: 13-year-old Kyle Rann 'failed' by Council

Gary, Harminder and Kyle
Gary, Harminder and Kyle

Kyle Rann is just 13 years-old and he should be able to expect to attend school like everyone else.

But the youngster, who has additional learning needs, has been passed from pillar to post by Buckinghamshire County Council (BCC) and the education system for the past six years, four years without a school to go to and two years in a part time placement.

Kyle's needs do not mean he cannot be taught in a mainstream school setting, but he does need a learning assistant and speech and language therapy to support this.

The family have been embroiled in a bitter feud between schools, BCC, and have had to attend three tribunals in a fight to get Kyle the education he deserves.

Kyle was left out of junior school for four years while Buckinghamshire County Council searched for the right placement, one that matched his EHC plan and could provide a place where Kyle could flourish, giving him the best chance of getting ahead in life.

An EHC plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life.

Kyle was eventually shoehorned into Millbrook School, but none of his provisions were met, and this caused him to fall a full school year behind in his progress, which was documented by the Local Authority educational psychological report.

Kyle's parents, Harminder and Gary claim were forced to go to their first tribunal after Senco and Millbrook's headteacher ignored their concerns, leaving no other option but to remove him from the school and wait for BCC to find a school where he will be supported as per his EHCP.

SEND Tribunals are a way parents can challenge local authorities when their child's schooling needs are not being met.

They are an expensive process, but many SEND parents feel that they are the only way of having their voices heard.

As a result of this tribunal, Kyle was allocated a place at Kingswood School, which had an ARPS, so Harminder and Gary had no choice but to accept this.

An ARP is provision, within a mainstream school, designed to provide specialist and targeted support for children with long term special educational needs.

Harminder said: "The head of Kingswood made it quite clear very early on that they did not want Kyle, and they could not support his additional schooling needs. No provision was provided for him during his time at school, despite being promised a learning support assistant (LSA) during the tribunal.

"Kyle was at school at Kingswood for two weeks part time, and came home crying every day, extremely disturbed and left with no support.

"This had an extremely detrimental effect on his mental health, he stopped eating, and had to take 15 days off school as he was so unhappy."

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAHMS) got involved with Kyle, the school were still failing to provide any support or work for him while he was at home.

Following this, the school made an extremely damaging allegations against the family which resulted in social services being involved, yet dropped the allegations just two days later citing no evidence.

This was two days before the Rann family were forced into their second tribunal against Buckinghamshire County Council.

Harminder said: "We have heard excuse, after excuse, after excuse. Kyle has suffered from being out of education for four years, and we just want what's best for our son.

"Why are BCC not complying with the EHCP plan? He's lost out on his education and not only this, his social development has been seriously hindered by this. The lack of support he's recieved has resulted in severe emotional trauma and anxiety.

Kyle is now at the age where he should be starting senior school, but this is deemed extremely unlikely in the preceding set of circumstances.

After the second tribunal, Kyle was allocated to Holmer Green Senior School, which was the only school in Bucks within a reasonable distance to have a language ARPS, which is specialist support for children with long term special education needs.

At Holmer Green, he was provided with a specialist teacher, who has been 'invaluable' in trying to get Kyle back up to speed with his work.

However the problems are far from over for Kyle.

Harminder said: "Kyle was promised at the preceding tribunal that he would be be given access to a speech and language therapist, to help him reintegrate back into school settings, and help him understand the abstract concepts of how we talk and communicate with each other.

"This hasn't been the case for over two years now, how can this be acceptable? It' certainly isn't legal. The problem is in these cases, the local authority is always looking at how much it costs, never at the needs of the child involved.

"Kyle has made great progress thanks to the employment of the specialist teacher, considering he is on a part-time timetable, with only part of his provision allocated. Every child must have access to a full time education.

"We just want him to have the best chance of making a success of his life."

Harminder also claims the school has been negative and un-supportive since day one.

Kyle and his parents were invited to a 'annual review', where they felt they were 'ganged up on' by staff members the SENCO at the school and the SEN Manager of BCC who has since left her job. They also claim the annual review was used as a way for the school to push Kyle out.

Harminder said: "It was always a money issue, not one of the best needs for the child. We were told at the annual review Kyle's placement was costing too much money. They wanted to place Kyle into a special needs school, which is not what he needs. a suitable placement for his need and social and emotional well being.

"For someone with milder needs than most at a SEND Special School, the experience for them can be traumatic. Kyle is not disruptive, and has a kind nature."

The SENCO and the Head of Holmer Green Secondary School are attempting to offload Kyle, even though his is finally settled, happy and making progress. The school has made false allegations to Social Services to bully parents to leave the school.

Harminder said: "It was always a money issue, not one of the best needs for the child. We were told at the annual review Kyle's placement was costing too much money. They wanted to place Kyle into a special needs school, which is not what he needs.

"For someone with milder needs than most at a SEND School, the experience for them can be traumatic. Kyle is not disruptive, and has a kind nature."

A Buckinghamshire County Council spokesman said: "The County Council's services for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities are a very high priority for us, and we continue to work to ensure that those children and young people receive the support they need in order to achieve fulfilling learning and lives.

“Whilst we are unable to publically respond to a specific case, we always strive to provide the appropriate educational support for children in line with their specific needs. To help with this, we are working closely with all our partners as well as parents and carers to redesign our special educational needs and/or disabilities services.

“We are also working with local settings to meet growing demand and investing in additional capacity for those groups where we are seeing high levels of increased need.”