Leigh Park parents tell of struggle to get disabled daughter into school

A COUPLE have told of their desperation to get their daughter '“ who has speech and learning difficulties '“ back into school.

Friday, 7th October 2016, 6:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 8:55 pm
Parents Katrina and Daniel Handley with their daughter Jasmine Picture: Sarah Standing (161377-3751)

Daniel and Katrina Handley, from Leigh Park, took nine-year-old Jasmine out of the specialist unit at Morelands Primary in Waterlooville after one year when they noticed changes in her behaviour – but say an alternative school cannot be found until September 2017.

Daniel, 35, said: ‘I went to the school one day and they said that Jasmine had changed all of a sudden.

‘‘She started hiding under the bed in the morning, which says to me that something pretty severe had happened.’

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The couple’s concern only grew when Jasmine started self-harming.

Daniel said: ‘She had started banging her head against the walls, and punching them. She would come home with bruises on her forehead.

‘The school was adamant that nothing had happened and they could not understand what changed.

‘Jasmine even seemed to be making small progress at one point, which was great.’

Morelands Primary’s headteacher Anya Loynes said: ‘The school cannot comment on individual pupils, but we are aware of this pupil and are working closely with the local authority to resolve the situation.

The couple have resorted to home-schooling Jasmine between their jobs.

Despite their efforts to get Jasmine back into school, they claim that Winchester’s special educational needs department is unable to find a school with a vacancy until September 2017.

‘I’m lucky that I only work part-time at the moment, but we’re not teachers so we can only do so much’, says painter and decorator Daniel.

‘All I want is to get my daughter back into school and to get her an education.’

Hampshire County Council said it was unable to comment in detail about the case.

A spokesperson said: ‘We can assure you that the council is working with the family and Hampshire schools to find a place for Jasmine at a school that best meets her needs.’