From petition creator Stacy Stafford: Victory for Aaron! Yesterday I received a letter from Glasgow City Council to say that they had decided to continue paying Aaron's transport costs to and from his school, the Craighalbert Centre! Aaron will now be allowed to stay in the school he loves and knows, AND we are able to continue to take him because his transport costs will now be covered. I cannot thank all of you who signed and shared this petition enough! The sharing was immensely helpful, and generated a lot of media interest and support. This means that I will not have to go to a Tribunal and be cross-examined by a lawyer just because I want my son to stay in his special needs school. It means that I will no longer have to worry about where the money is going to come from to take him to and from school, and it means that my family will not have to face the stress and upheaval of another legal battle with the Council. Most importantly, it means that Aaron will get to stay in his school with his friends, where his needs are being met exceptionally well, and where all of his wonderful teachers are! YOU made this happen! So thank you again. I would also like to thank the guys at Change.org for all of their support in my campaign and put out a special thank you to those of you who went the extra mile - you know who you are! Together, we have made an amazing thing happen in a very short space of time, and it has shown me that we now have the power as individuals, to get together and make a difference in the world. Please could you spare a thought for all of the other families who are in my situation. The sad fact is that there are many disabled children all around the country who are not getting access to the services they badly need because of bureaucracy and the money saving tactics of the Government and Local Authorities. The day I see senior Council Officials and politicians taking pay cuts, giving up their flash cars, and trimming down on expenses, is the day I will believe that the Council genuinely can't afford to pay for the essential services the most vulnerable people in society need. Aaron is going into hospital tomorrow for major surgery, so ironically, he will be off school for a few weeks. I would ask you to keep him in your thoughts and prayers over the next few days. Please keep fighting for all of the most vulnerable people in the world. They need our help, and we CAN make a difference. Love to you all, Stacy Stafford
Thanks to everyone who has signed this petiton so far, we have had a partial victory by managing to secure Aaron's Placement in his Special Needs School, The Craighalbert Centre! This is an amazing result in such a short space of time (only four days!) Unfortunately Glasgow City Council have now, suddenly, and without warning, decided to remove all financial support to cover the cost of transport for Aaron to and from his school, so the campaign continues.
My son Aaron Cleary is a severely disabled eight year old boy with a limited life expectancy. He cannot walk, talk, or even eat and he has complex medical, physical and educational needs. Aaron currently goes to the Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments, also known as The Craighalbert Centre. This is a specialist school which caters specifically for children like Aaron and my son is happy and settled there.
In order to get my son into this school I had to endure a year and a half long battle with Glasgow City Council and a two-week long court case which resulted in a court order being put in place requiring Glasgow City Council to send my son to the Craighalbert Centre for two years and cover all of his transport costs. At the time of the court case, the school was only able to offer Aaron a two year placement because they only schooled children up to the age of seven. Since then the Craighalbert Centre has changed its policy and is now able to offer my son a place in the school for the rest of his primary education.
Aaron loves his school. His needs are being met very well there, he is familiar with the staff, and all his friends are there. Aaron's educational psychologist, who works for Glasgow City Council, has admitted that his needs are being met there, but has been working to get Aaron out of the Craighalbert Centre - likely because of cost.
Because of her actions, I was forced to put in a placing request to Glasgow City Council to request that Aaron be allowed to stay in his school. Thanks to the pressure placed on the Council by this petition and your support, Glasgow City Council has made the decision to grant Aaron's Placing Request, allowing him to stay in his school for the rest of his Primary Education. Unfortunately there is a sting in the tail. Glasgow City Council have now decided to withdraw all transport costs from Aaron, with very little notice. From October onwards, Glasgow City Council have said that they will no longer be taking responsibility for Aaron's transport costs, which means that I will have to find the money to transport Aaron to and from his Special Needs school, which is twenty miles away, placing my family under huge financial strain.
We don't know whether we will be able to afford to keep up with paying Aaron's transport costs, and if we can't afford to pay to take him to his school, Glasgow City Council will be able to remove Aaron from The Craighalbert Centre on the grounds that we cannot transport him there.
I have once again been placed in the position of having to take Legal Action against the Council, just as I did two years ago. This will result in a tremendous amount of unnecessary upheaval for my family, myself and most importantly my son. Only this time I will have the added pressure of trying to find the money each month to cover my son's transport costs. Please sign this petition and share it with your friends on Facebook, to encourage Glasgow City Council to do the right thing and reinstate my son's transport costs so he can continue to go to his school.
Thank you for all of your help and support.