TV presenter struggling to find school for autistic son – and says there are many other ‘desperate’ parents

The Mirror is reporting that TV presenter Melanie Sykes is struggling to find a school for her 11-year-old autistic son after he was asked to leave a mainstream academy.

The TV presenter says she has met many other “desperate parents” in a similar position and worries being unable to find a suitable secondary school for her son Valentino will affect him in later life.

Mel said: “We are doing everything we can but there are so many obstacles. Valentino could be independent, self-sufficient and a very valuable member of society, but he may lose the ability to live that life and slip through the net.”

Valentino was diagnosed with autism in 2006 when he was just two years old and had thrived in a mainstream primary school but problems arose when he started at an academy in London last September.

His progress was recently reviewed and staff felt it was better if he left the school.

More at: Devastated Melanie Sykes struggling to find school place for her 11-year-old autistic son

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Categories: Parenting.


  1. Chris1434

    Really? But surely academies are supposed to be this great solution. Nobody could possibly have predicted that they would fail to cater for SEN students……… (Sarcasm)

  2. Nairb1

    Welcome to the wonderful world of academies. This issue will become the norm and not just for autistic pupils.

  3. Mum of AS son

    Speaking form experience this is not an ‘academies’ issue – this is a system wide issue of a total lack of:- (a) understanding at secondary level (b) funding and (c) true commitment to ‘personalised learning’, that everyone harps on about but doesn’t actually exist for any child that doesn’t ‘fit the box’.

    When will everyone wake up and realise that if you invest at secondary age level and get it right at this age – the rewards for the young people, society and the public purse will be immense.

  4. gov2

    @Mum of AS son  So, all those schools that the government will soon be forcing to become academies are not already beginning to consider what they might and will have to do to avoid having, or excluding, difficult cases in order to keep abreast of the phony ‘successes’ of academy schools are not actually doing that?  That what you think?

  5. Allchanges

    SchoolsImprove Parents of autistic kids have been desperate for YEARS. Nobody gives a FCUK about them.

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