Sheffield mum's fury after son with SEN spends over two years out of full time education

A Sheffield mum says she has ‘exhausted all her options’ in her fight to get her son with special education needs (SEN) into a school that is better equipped to handle him.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 5:00 pm

Emerson Burrows, 12, from Westfield, has been in and out of full time education for the past over two years after being permanently expelled from Emmanuel Junior Academy in Year 6.

He has sensory processing disorder (SPD) meaning he perceives sensory information differently than most people, often responding inappropriately in situations, and is currently being assessed for autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

His mother Diane, 38, said she has been fighting for him to be placed in a specialist school which is better suited to caring for children with SEN but this has been to no avail.

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Twelve-year-old Emerson Burrows from Westfield, has been in and out of full time education for the past over two years. Stock image.

The mother-of-five said: “The SEN department just aren’t bothered. He won’t go to school because he gets anxiety when he is there and they just don't know how to handle him right and send him home.

“He doesn't know how to act properly and is very behind developmentally. Emerson is just in and out of school constantly, I can't even remember the last time he did a full week.”

Emerson is currently registered at Westfield School and has an education, health and care plan (EHCP) which allows him to access additional SEN support.

“I don’t ever see my son being in full time education again,” Diane added. “It is the SEN department who are meant to be helping children like Emerson but he just isn’t getting any help.”

Councillor Abtisam Mohamed, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills at Sheffield Council, said Emerson’s case had been reviewed and “several attempts” had been made to contact Diane.

She said: “As always, we try our very best to review cases at the earliest opportunity, but this can take time in order to make sure that the best provision is provided.

“This process involves the parents, and we rely on parents making decisions around their child’s care. Whilst this case has been managed within the usual process and a school place in line with the parent’s request is being offered, we will still investigate the time delay.”