No school for six months for Rochester teen
As children go back to school this
week, one teenager won’t be returning to the classroom.
William Brown has not been in class
for the past six months after he had to leave his former school
because of behavioural issues.
His mum, Jennifer Arthy,corr
decided she would try to home school the 13-year-old, who suffers
from attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and
oppositional defiant disorder (OFF), until she could get him
enrolled at another school.
However, six months after he left
Aylesford Sports College, a place at a Medway school has still not
been found for William.
Jennifer had applied for him to go
to Strood Academy or, as a second choice, Thomas Aveling, but
despite liaising with Medway Council to try and get him back in
class, a place has still not been found.
The 39-year-old, who lives on a
houseboat at Cuxton Marina, in Station Road, said: “William did
have behavioural issues at his last school, but then he was
diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and was put on medication.
“The medication takes some time to
kick in but after being on it just a week, it was felt it was best
for him to leave rather than being asked to leave as then it would
not look bad on his school record. I agreed and signed the form,
but didn’t realise it would take so long to find another school, no
one explained to me that they were academies and that it’s up to
them if they don’t want to take a child.”
Medway Council said it is
attempting to find a place for William at another academy.
Jennifer admits William did have
behavioural problems but she feels he was misunderstood by his
former teachers and since he has been taking the medication, his
behaviour has improved.
Jennifer added: “I’ve tried to home
school him, but it’s hard, he’s itching to get back to school and
misses his friends.
“He needs to get in a school soon
as he’s missing vital learning, I just want to find him a place as
soon as possible.
“He’s a polite boy who does have
some problems, but he deserves to go to school.
"If the shoe was on the other foot
and I had not sent him to school for six months, I would be in
prison by now.”
A Medway Council spokesman said:
“We would urge parents not to take their children out of school
without having arranged a place at another.
“Even if the family are moving to a
new area – which is not the case in this instance – parents should
plan ahead as it may be difficult, or we may be unable to find a
place in a school they want straight away.
“We have asked Strood Academy if
they can take this child, but they have said they are unable
“We are now attempting to place the
child with another academy in Medway.
“Although the mother had agreed to home school her child until a
place was found, this is not ideal as parents do need to keep to a
full curriculum to ensure this is achieved, which can be
“For most secondary schools in the
area now, Medway Council no longer acts as the admissions
authority, as the majority have become independent academies.
“But we do co-ordinate the
admissions for all schools. It is the individual school’s decision
to take, or state if they are unable to take, a pupil seeking a
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