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Dad Spearheads New School Campaign

Monday October 6 2014




A DAD who gave up work to look after his autistic son is spearheading a campaign to open a new school in Barnsley.

Greenacre special school and a team of parents are submitting an application to open a new 'free school' for 480 pupils, which will teach children with special and complex needs alongside other children.

Jonathan Wainwright is heading the steering group which is working on the application for government funding.

He firmly believes that parents of children with special and complex needs should have the choice to send their children to mainstream schools, but the new school is unlikely to benefit his family - he's doing it for the benefit of future children.

"What we want is genuine acceptance," said Jonathan, of Pashley Grove, Wombwell.

His son Billy, three, is 'classically autistic' and has no verbal communication at all while his daughter Madeleine, five, is what he calls 'typically developing' as he likes to avoid the word 'normal'.

"I want to stand at the school gate as a parent to Billy, and a parent to Madeleine. I want to go to the same parties, the same parents' evenings, the same everything."

Susan Hayter, principal of Greenacre, said: "We believe there is a shortage of spaces for primary pupils in the town centre area."

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Reply Posted by Me on Monday October 6 2014 at 14:54
My little boy with autism and other issues is attending a mainstream school, however, the school are hinting at they don't feel they are meeting his needs aka we have no idea how to cope with issues autism brings

Reply Posted by Jane on Monday October 6 2014 at 15:39
I have 2 kids, both autistic, both completely different, some children with special needs shouldnt be in mainstream and some could manage, its unfair to have special kids in a school that doesnt understand them,doesnt have the time, too many kids, and the child cant understand the kids and social situations around them, they end up alone and isolated and sometimes angry.. every situation is different and needs to be judged that way