Derbyshire mum's 'nightmare' fight to get special needs schooling help for her son

A Derbyshire mum says the county council has “failed” her 13-year-old son for years and he is suffering appalling stress and torment as a result.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 2:43 pm

Roxy Bond, aged 32, says she has been battling for years for her son William to have the extra support she believes he needs for his schooling.

She said she had no idea what she was letting herself in for when she first approached Derbyshire County Council seven years ago and says what followed has caused immeasurable stress and disruption.

Mrs Bond, who works in the wedding industry, says she has had to reluctantly hound the county council to get support for her child and she is still pushing to achieve this, now taking the authority to a formal tribunal.

Roxy Bond with her son, William

She says the council only granted an education, health and care plan for William in April.

An EHC Plan is a legally-binding document agreed between the county council, school, parent and child which outlines the support which will be offered and how it will be provided.

William has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and has some communication issues.

Mrs Bond, who lives in South Wingfield with husband Chris, and three children; Ethan (14), William (13) and Gracie (seven), says she has been very reluctant to “kick up a fuss” and it has taken over much of her day-to-day life.

She said: “I just feel absolutely terrible. I thought I would have a fight on my hands but I didn’t think I would still be here fighting after seven years, when he has three years left in school. What future does he have now?

“All through his education he has been labelled as the naughty boy but his behaviour is just him reacting to what is happening around him. It is not just him ‘being a lad’.

“I’ve been told by teachers that in all their years of teaching they had never seen a child as naughty as him.

“He is having violent outbursts due to school stress and he thinks everything is his fault.

“It has been a nightmare for our family and now he hates school.

“Some days he just will not get out of the car, he sits in the car and won’t get out and we cannot get him to go to school, so we just come home.

“No-one in the school would come out and help. We had to pester and kick up a fuss and I didn’t want to do that. Now someone from the school comes out to help us.

“I just want to see him thrive but he has bad mental health, has low self-esteem and has a stammer.

“I feel that William is being discriminated against due to not being able to thrive like his peers due to his disabilities.”

Earlier this month, the council apologised and branded its own support of a child with special educational needs a “failure” and suspected there may be other children it has also failed.

It said it could not rule out failing further children with special educational needs.

A spokesperson for Derbyshire County Council said: “We’re aware of this family’s case and continue to be in discussions with them.

“They have an allocated SEND worker and we’re working together to find the best way forward.”