Family stunned at loss of special needs class at Perry Wood Primary School

0514508501 Paul Jackson 29.01.14WorcesterSteve Wright, Tina Wright and their son Jake Wright, nine, who has learning and behavior difficulties. Jake was part of Perrywood Primary School's Merlin Class but the class that helps him has been pulled.

Simon Rogers. 10.04.2008Perry Wood Primary School, Worcester.New Headteacher Ange Beddows with new deputy head Kay Butler. (3729916)

First published in News
Last updated

THE hasty removal of a class for children with extra educational needs has shaken the confidence of parents already worried about what is their children's primary school.

A group of year four children with learning and behavioural difficulties at Perry Wood Primary School, St Alban's Close were told on Monday they would be moved back to mainstream classes after being placed in Merlins class in September.

Parents were informed of the changes only when the children brought home a letter that evening which claimed their child had "made sufficient progress in their learning to rejoin their base class."

While a Merlins class for year five and six pupils will remain, the year four pupils will be moved back to mainstream classes by Monday.

But Steve and Tina Wright, from Humber Road, Worcester, claimed teachers told them their son Jake was still a year behind his peers at a parents' evening in November and fear it is a way for sponsor Griffin Schools Trust to expel certain pupils.

The nine-year-old has reactive attachment disorder and sensory problems which makes it difficult for him to cope with a classroom environment.

It is the latest worry for parents at the school after they were only informed this month that headteacher Ange Beddow had not been at the school since December but were not given a reason why.

Mrs Wright, Jake's 31-year-old stepmother, said: "We are really worried about how Jake is going to cope with the changes.

"He was making amazing progress in Merlins class, absolutely amazing, so to pull it is just wrong.

"The school should have let parents know first so we could prepare them for it and then given the children more time to adjust.

"It isn't fair on anyone because nobody in the world will be able to cope with a class of 30 children with four or five really challenging pupils and the other children will also suffer.

"It makes me think that they want to try and expel them because it will cost them less."

The letter home to parents also said: "This is a great achievement of which we are all proud, especially the children themselves.

"At this point in the year we feel that it is now appropriate and right to help them reintegrate.

"We will be organising meetings with each of you to discuss provision and targets."

It added that the Merlins teachers would help with the reintegration visits and one of the teachers would continue to support the children for the coming weeks as they settle back into their classes.

Mrs Wright praised the Merlins class teachers for their hard work but said Jake had not made enough progress to be able to move back into a mainstream class.

She added: "We are dreading Monday.

"It is going to be really hard for him and he is going to bring all his frustration back home too.

"He finds it hard enough to cope with school and didn't want to go before he started Merlin class.

"He is always going to be challenging but it seems such a shame.

"Merlin class is invaluable to him and to our family.

"They should at least have allowed us to prepare them properly but it seems to have been rushed through and the change is going to be so hard for them."

The Griffin Schools Trust did not return our calls or email.

Comments (2)

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2:06pm Fri 31 Jan 14

jb says...

I find it impossible to believe that every child in a special needs class can be ready at the same time to be reintegrated into mainstream, this sounds more like a cost cutting decision than anything else. If a child is deemed to have progressed to a certain stranded then it should be a very gradual process, literally a session at a time and not just plonked back onto a class full of children especially if they can't cope through sensory problems. It will be interesting to see that as this is an academy just how much they put the pupils needs before anything else as it appears they are accountable to no one.
I find it impossible to believe that every child in a special needs class can be ready at the same time to be reintegrated into mainstream, this sounds more like a cost cutting decision than anything else. If a child is deemed to have progressed to a certain stranded then it should be a very gradual process, literally a session at a time and not just plonked back onto a class full of children especially if they can't cope through sensory problems. It will be interesting to see that as this is an academy just how much they put the pupils needs before anything else as it appears they are accountable to no one. jb
  • Score: 2

7:46pm Fri 31 Jan 14

pwparent says...

The Merlins learning base is for pupils with dyslexia and speech/language difficulties which affect their learning and not for challenging behavior. It makes no difference I know to the story but WN get the facts right.
The Merlins learning base is for pupils with dyslexia and speech/language difficulties which affect their learning and not for challenging behavior. It makes no difference I know to the story but WN get the facts right. pwparent
  • Score: 1

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