Autistic Teenager kicked out of college After one week after admission error

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James Parker said he feels like he’s been “thrown in the bin” after tutors handed his mum a letter on Friday saying they had made an mistake and he should find somewhere else to study.

 James Parker and his mum Emma were handed the heartbreaking letter on Friday

James Parker and his mum Emma were handed the heartbreaking letter on Friday

 James,. 16, pictured after his first day at college last week

James,. 16, pictured after his first day at college last week

The 16-year-old, from Norwich, had been accepted after an interview and started lessons last Monday.

But the letter stated a ‘consultation’ carried out over the summer holidays had ruled the college is ‘unable to provide the support required for James to have a successful year’.

Mum Emma, 40, a full-time carer, said being accepted on a pathways course had been a ‘lifeline’ for her son and the blunder has left his dreams shattered.

The mum-of-two told Sun Online: “My heart is broken for him.

“I’ve never seen him as happy as he was last week. He said it had been the best week of his life and even said ‘mum I could cry happy tears’.

“I arrived at the college on Friday to pick him up and was given the letter. We were both basically told ‘don’t come back’.

“James has been distraught ever since, in floods of tears and just not wanting to face the world.

“He told me he doesn’t want to try at anything ever again now. It could have been the making of him but he’s had it snatched away in the cruellest way possible.

“Mistakes can happen but the whole situation’s been handled terribly and the way it impact’s on James’ live is just horrible to see.

“The way his emotions work he is very vulnerable but he’s been treated as an afterthought. As a parent it gets you so angry – how dare they do this to him?”

James said: “I loved it when I started last week. It felt so natural, like a perfect fit, and I was excited to start my classes.

“Now I feel like I’ve been thrown in the bin.”

 City College Norwich said it made an error allowing James to enrol

City College Norwich said it made an error allowing James to enrol

James had studied at a specialist school for autistic pupils before leaving at the end of Year 11.

City College Norwich is a mainstream college which also caters for students with special educational needs.

The letter from the college reads: “Unfortunately, James has been enrolled in error at City College Norwich. Although an interview took place at the college, the tutor was unaware of a consultation which had taken place prior to the interview.

“Norfolk County Council should have informed you of the outcome of this consultation, which was that the college was unable to provide the support required to James to have a successful year.

“The council should then have worked with you to find a suitable placement for James. Unfortunately, this process did not take place and James was enrolled in error on Monday 4th September.

“We apologise that this error has taken place and we ask you not to send James back to college but would like to wish James all the very best for the future.”

A City College Norwich spokesman said: “It is deeply regrettable that a young man with high support needs found himself in the position of having started college, only for his place to be subsequently withdrawn.

“As we are unable to meet James’s support needs this should not have happened and we offer our unreserved apologies to James and his family for the distress this has caused.

“In March this year we conveyed our decision to Norfolk County Council that James needed a higher level of support and a different learning environment from that which the college is able to provide.

“Notwithstanding the family’s right to appeal that decision, this should have led to alternative provision being sought that could better meet James’s identified needs.

“However, a separate application for James was made direct to the college in July, effectively bypassing the EHCP consultation process.

“On the basis of the information that was available to our staff at the time, this led to a place being offered to James which was conditional on the right support and funding being available.

“We are clear that this very unfortunate and isolated incident should not have happened. We are now reviewing our application processes to make sure that something like this cannot happen again.”

Norfolk County Council said it had made repeated attempts to contact James’ family but would now try and find him an alternative place to study.

A spokesman said: “We are very disappointed that this situation has come about because we have made repeated attempts over several months to speak to the family about James’s future.

“We remain very keen to work with James and his family to secure the best possible outcome for his education and urge them to respond to our offers of a meeting as soon as possible to talk through the options.”

source:thesun.co.uk

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