Norfolk mum forced to leave her job because of a lack of SEN place for her son

Watch a report from Rob Setchell

A mother from Norwich says she's will have to quit her job after being told she may have to wait a year for a new place for her autistic son who's being permanently excluded from his specialist school.

Dawn Chamberlain's 12-year-old son Kairo is autistic but he's been waiting three years for an assessment.

He's about to be permanently excluded from his special school in Norfolk and he has nowhere else to go.

She said: "Change is not a good thing for these children and that just means more change for him and my whole family. I'm a working mum. That means I have to hand my notice in and leave my job to be able to accommodate him because he'll now be at home full time until a new school placement is found for him."

The school Kairo attends, Aurora Eccles near Snetterton, said:

“Sometimes there’s no alternative but to accept that Aurora Eccles isn’t the right school for a particular student whose needs cannot be met in our environment.

“It is always a difficult decision to reach balancing the best interests of all the students in our care with the higher needs of a particular child.

“In these circumstances we work compassionately with the family and the student’s local authority as they look for a more suitable alternative placement.”

Grace and her son Issac

Dawn isn't alone. For months now ITV News Anglia has highlighted the vast number of parents and children being left behind by a system designed to help.

Gracey Mae Coe's son Issac has had speech problems since he was two and is waiting on an ADHD diagnosis.

His mum fears he'll be held back - and made to repeat reception in a mainstream school - rather than getting the specialist support he needs.

"Everyone's on the same boat. We've got so many families across Cambridgeshire who haven't got a special school but they really do need one to get the most out of the education and that worries me to death, I don't want him to go back into reception.

There's a review into the provision of SEND care and education, something promised by the government in 2019.

Harlow MP Robert Halfon is the chair of the education select committee, says the government need to publish the review now, adding that "we've been waiting over a year now."

He says things have gone "badly wrong" and that often bureaucracy gets in the way of people getting what they need.

"Too often people have to come and see their MPs to try and get the right plan for their children, there is a postcode lottery of provision and the government have to publish their review. I strongly welcome that there's been an extra £2.6 billion to support children with special educational needs in the budget, but it's also about ensuring the resources that are provided are spent in the right way."

The Government says it knows the system needs change - and cash. It's SEND review is ongoing.