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'It's heartbreaking' - mother's 13-month-long battle to get autistic son into specialist school rumbles on

PUBLISHED: 12:20 29 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:07 29 July 2019

Rebecca Jeckells, 33, from Caister with her five-year-old son Lucas who has autism. Picture: Submitted

Rebecca Jeckells, 33, from Caister with her five-year-old son Lucas who has autism. Picture: Submitted

Archant

A mother-of-one's 13-month-long battle to get her autistic son transferred to a specialist school is set to rumble on into the next academic year.

Lucas enjoys spending time visiting and petting animals when he isn't at school. Picture: SubmittedLucas enjoys spending time visiting and petting animals when he isn't at school. Picture: Submitted

Rebecca Jeckells, 33, has been waiting since June 2018 to be given the green light to move her son Lucas from Caister Infant School.

The 33-year-old has expressed her devastation at the delay.

"It's heartbreaking," she said.

"Things just seem to be getting harder and harder.

Mrs Jeckells said she is devastated by the ongoing delays to get her son transferred to a specialist school. Picture: SubmittedMrs Jeckells said she is devastated by the ongoing delays to get her son transferred to a specialist school. Picture: Submitted

"All I am trying to do is give my son the best opportunity in life and I just seem to be being met by obstacles."

In May this year, the infant school submitted documents to Norfolk County Council to allow the five-year-old to be assessed.

Two months on, Mrs Jeckells in still waiting for the county council to visit the school.

A spokesman for Norfolk County Council said: "We're sorry to hear Mrs Jeckell's is still waiting for her son's assessment and understand her frustration.

"We aren't able to comment on specific cases but are fully aware of current delays for education, health and care plans (EHCPs) which is why we are investing £1.5m to double the size of our specialist education team."

The authority added it tries to complete assessments within eight weeks of the request.

Although Mrs Jeckells previously raised concerns about the way Lucas was being looked after at Caister Infant School, she said she is pleased the school has listened to her issues.

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She said: "The school is doing everything they can and I really appreciate that.

"His teacher in particular has been brilliant.

"Although Lucas is behind where all the other children are he has definitely made improvements."

The Caister mum's concerns surrounded her son's reduced timetable and his lack of supervision at break and lunch times.

The 33-year-old believes John Grant - a school which specialises in looking after children with learning difficulties - in Caister, would be the ideal place to send Lucas, but until he has been assessed she is unable to move him.

Mrs Jeckells hopes her son, who will move into year one, will be assessed within the first few weeks of the new academic year.

Caister Infant School have been contacted for comment.

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