My daughter has been out of school for THREE YEARS as the council can't find her a 'suitable space'

A FURIOUS mum claims her 10-year-old daughter has been out of school for THREE YEARS because the council can't find her a "suitable place".

Lisa Riley claims her daughter Layla Fielding – who has ADHD, sensory processing disorder and anxiety – has been "devastated" by the lack of classroom time in Bury, Greater Manchester.


Layla told Manchester Evening News: "I think I've missed out on a lot by not going to school. I've been missing out on learning, socialising and everything like that.

"I feel like I haven't got any friends now and I feel lonely sometimes."

The special education needs youngster was expelled from a school in Rochdale when she was in Year Three.

Layla was then placed in another school – St. Joseph & St. Bede's in Bury – for a short spell, but she bolted out of school grounds in the middle of the day.

Eventually, the council found her a fully-funded place in a special education needs school – but Lisa refused to send her, insisting the classroom had to be mainstream.

She claimed Layla's needs are "not particularly unusual" and can be coped with if teachers are fully aware.

Lisa has blasted Bury council for not finding a mainstream spot for Layla after the mum was forced to quit her job to look after her daughter at home.

The mum added: "I just find it staggering to think the council can't accommodate or find one single place to suit Layla.

"My daughter deserves better than the council are delivering for her."

A Bury Council spokesperson said Layla had a place in a school throughout this time, but Lisa didn't deem it good enough.

A statement read: "We always strive to ensure that all children, whatever their circumstances, are provided with the education that is most appropriate for them and in the right setting.

“We have worked extensively with Ms Riley over many months to find the solution that is best for her and her daughter. At all times Layla has had a school place.

My daughter deserves better than the council are delivering for her.

“Following her exclusion, a place for Layla was provided at a primary school in Bury in 2019.

"To support her successful reintegration into school a plan was agreed with a part-time in school and with specialist part-time provision off-site, however as this broke down the school moved to providing full-time offsite provision.

“In January 2020, the council agreed to fund full-time provision with an approved alternative provider to continue to work with Layla and reintegrate her back into her school environment.

"Her mainstream school found it challenging to meet Layla's needs, but Ms Riley was of the view that a school had to be a mainstream school and special provision would not be considered.

"Unfortunately, this has delayed reaching an alternative arrangement for Layla.

“Layla has a place at her primary school and is currently being provided with education offsite with an approved alternative provider as Layla has struggled to adapt to her school environment.

“We are consulting with a range of primary mainstream schools and considering specialist provision alongside these options in order to identify the most suitable setting for Layla.”


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