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Child twice let down by council now ‘not sleeping’ due to transport changes

PUBLISHED: 06:30 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:30 05 August 2020

Dylan Hunter has been let down by Norfolk County Council again. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Dylan Hunter has been let down by Norfolk County Council again. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Archant

The mother of a child who the county council twice failed to provide education for says he is now anxious and sleepless after being told his school transport is set to be altered.

Amy Hunter and son Dylan, who has twice been failed by Norfolk County Council; Picture: Amy HunterAmy Hunter and son Dylan, who has twice been failed by Norfolk County Council; Picture: Amy Hunter

Norfolk County Council (NCC) paid £1,650 to Amy Hunter’s family, who were forced to pay for homeschooling out of their own pockets for their son Dylan - after his educational needs were not met by two different schools.

And at a cabinet meeting on Monday, bosses vowed changes were being made and told parents “communication will improve”.

READ MORE: ‘It will not happen again’ - pledge as boy left out of school for seven months

However, Ms Hunter said in spite of the council’s pledge, her son, who has autism, has been left anxious and “not sleeping” after the family were told by the taxi firm who take him to school that his transport could be changing.

Sara Tough (left) and John Fisher. Picture: Norfolk County Council/Julian Claxton Photography.Sara Tough (left) and John Fisher. Picture: Norfolk County Council/Julian Claxton Photography.

But the council says it has contacted the family to tell them.

Ten-year-old Dylan goes to school in Suffolk with a driver he gets on well with.

And Ms Hunter says despite asking the council for clarity, she has not received any information, with just two weeks to go before Dylan returns to school, which was making him anxious and affecting his sleep and behaviour.

She said: “If this is working well for him, why do they have to change it? If they change his taxi, how am I going to transition him from one to the other?

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“I’m going to be left having to take him to school. He’s not sleeping. They just do not care.”

READ MORE: ‘Passed from pillar to post’ - Mum of autistic boy twice failed by council tells of her family’s struggle

She added: “It’s never about the child in all of these things. I know several children who are in a far worse position with all this.

“I can name people and give times and dates of when I’ve had poor communication.

“You’re left with nothing and nobody takes ownership.”

Ms Hunter said she felt issues at the council were “restricted by the organisation and the leaders - that’s where the failings are”.

She added: “It’s so frustrating. If you get this right now, he won’t need it in the future. I will prepare him for the world around him.”

John Fisher, cabinet member for children’s services said the taxi contract had been given to a new provider due to regulations and said: “We completely understand that any changes can be difficult for children, which is why we ask new providers to make contact with families and arrange a visit before the school term begins.

“We contacted Ms Hunter earlier in summer confirming we were re-letting the contract and said we would be in touch with new details when we have them.

“These have just been confirmed, so we will be in touch again to update the family.”

READ MORE: Council let same child ‘fall through the cracks’ of education twice, watchdog rules


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