A petition to keep a special needs primary school for autistic children has almost 5,000 signatures in just five days.
The online petition was launched in the wake of consultation instigated by Lincolnshire County Council to make all special schools cater for “all needs”.
Gosberton House Academy currently caters for children with autism and worried parents have launched a petition to keep it that way. It is the only school specialising in autism in the county.
“The changes proposed are suggesting that autism is like any other disability and that one size fits all provision will be adequate, said Kylie Tregent, who started the petition. “The specialist environment at Gosberton is why our children flourish and that these plans will inevitably cause the watering-down of skills,” she added.
A parent who signed the petition stated: “My son is at Gosberton House and if it wasn’t for the school and the great teachers within the school, he wouldn’t be where he is today.”
The county council is proposing changes to the Special Educational Needs provision in the county. It aims to provide school places more locally, rather than have them children take long journeys.
But a consultation meeting held in South Holland last week heard MP John Hayes back parents in their bid to keep Gosberton House Academy as it is – or even to increase the age to 14.
“There were around 30 parents at the meeting along with John Hayes. He was incredibly supportive and we hope they listen,” said parent Jane Peck.
“If they want to spend money on special needs, then have the academy take pupils to the age of 14. There is a need for it.
“The online petition has huge support and we just hope the academy is left alone,” she added.
The petition can be found at https://www.change.org/p/coralie-cross-safeguard-autism-provision
The county council is reviewing special education across the county and the process is due to end on March 14.