A FATHER has protested at Lancashire County Council’s refusal to find a mainstream school place for his teenage son.

Terence Clarke has hoped that when 15-year-old Daniel Brooks came to live with him in October last year he would be able to attend Burnley’s Unity College.

But he was not awarded a place there or at alternative secondary school in the town.

Since then the teenager who has ADHD – has been home-tutored despite Mr Clarke of Waddington Avenue, Burnley, appealing the decision and involving his MP Julie Cooper.

The only place suggested for Daniel was at Coal Clough Academy – a special ‘alternative provision’ school in the town.

Single father Mr Clarke, who also has a three-year-old son on the autistic spectrum, does not believe this is suitable for his child who should be preparing for his GCSEs in Year 10 or 11 of a normal secondary school.

In a letter to Mrs Cooper, the county council’s director of education Edwina Grant admits: “There have clearly been unnecessary delays in identifying appropriate education for Daniel.”

Mr Clarke, 41, said: “My son has now lost half a year’s education.

“Daniel has ADHD but is not disruptive. He is a bright lad.

“He moved in with me from his mother and step-father’s in North Yorkshire in October. They were in the military and had moved around a lot.

“I asked for him to go to Unity College but in Year 10 not Year 11 so he could catch up. He had started school in Year 10 in Catterick. He did not get a place at Unity College and so far the only suggestion has been Coal Clough special school. That is not suitable as he tends to pick up the behaviour of those around him.

“Daniel should be in a mainstream secondary school preparing for his GCSEs not at home.

“I paid for him to be home tutored now Lancashire County Council is paying for it.

“My MP Julie Cooper got a letter from Edwina Grant apologising for the delay.

“This has gone on far too long. I just want my son in a mainstream school where he belongs preparing for his exams.”

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Mrs Grant told Mrs Cooper: “School admissions has contacted two local schools again requesting a place for Daniel and this has gone to appeal.

“The place would have to be offered as a Year 11 place and then a request to repeat the year made to the school. The service is in direct contact with Mr Clarke and is offering support with this process.”

Cllr Phillippa Williamson, the county council’s cabinet member schools, said: “While we are unable to comment on individual cases, we do strive to support parents and children, and ensure that a suitable school place is offered taking account of a child’s circumstances.

“Tutors can also be provided to help ensure a pupil not in a school setting continues to access education.

“The county council has a responsibility to make provision for pupils that are of statutory school age, however the decision to allow a pupil to repeat a year is not made by the local authority but is made at the discretion of individual headteachers.

“It is accepted that the council has taken some time to address this issue and there are lessons to learn from that.”