SAFEGUARD AUTISM PROVISION
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Lincolnshire County Council are proposing changes to Gosberton House Academy, the only Autism specialist school in the county and 1 of only 33 in the country.
The changes proposed are suggesting that autism is like any other disability and that one size fits all provision will be adequate. We expressed our feelings and understanding of our children's needs to be very different to that of certain other disabilities. There is good reason why the government put in place a specific piece of legislation, the Autism Act 2009, because current disability and equality law does not protect the complexity of ASD.
To Add to this, there is also a deficit of £5 million in these proposed and the schools will be expected to fund the shortfall.
The specialist environment at gosberton is why our children flourish and that these plans will inevitably cause the watering down of skills in order to meet generalistic needs.
We want to protect the specialist provision we have. Not have it watered down. Autism is different.
We want a commitment in writing from LCC that if the insist on this that the existing provision is not put at risk so we can retain our NAS status.
If we must be all need an additional building to support SLD that will allow the autism provision to continue as it currently stands, it works!
The expansion of age to 14 years, this extends provision and places and create stability and consistency of education which would allow the children to then be of and age they can access colleges (colleges can take from 14). This would allow our children to access subject specific course in areas of interest giving them a much better chance at academic success.
These changes will have long term effects on all our children and schools in Lincolnshire, not just children with additional needs.
If these changes go ahead we will see a dumbing down of specialist schools, to all needs and an increase of SEN children back in mainstream education, but without a plan or funding for staff and support needed by these children.
By reclassifying Gosberton House Academy from Autism specialist to ‘all needs’ parents will loose the option of sending their child if that school isn’t the nearest special needs school to them and transport funding.
‘All needs’!!! That’s a huge range to cover within a classroom.
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