St Albans boy WILL go to school after Herts County Council reverses decision

Lucas Osborne and Laura Berrill.

Lucas Osborne and Laura Berrill. - Credit: Archant

A St Albans teenager who has been out of school for almost a year will restart in September after a council decision to refuse him funding for a school to cater to his needs was reversed.

Lucas Berrill Osborne, 17, has high-functioning Asperger’s and mum Laura Berrill wanted to send him to The Priory School in Swindon, a school which caters for students with special needs, but County Hall refused to make provision for it.

They have now reversed this decision following an article in the Herts Advertiser and an appeal from Lucas’ MP, Anne Main.

Laura said: “I am absolutely relived.

“It’s been six months of hard work trying to get my case across. I had so much evidence going for Lucas when they turned him down so I was completely gobsmacked.

“I know it’s a case of money, but he has such a strong case, but I jumped through all the hoops and proved it was for him.

“It’s a weight off my shoulders and it’s enabled me to get back on my feet work-wise.

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“I know so many families fall through the net, but keep on fighting.”

The final details are being thrashed out by the headteacher and the council, but Laura has thanked Anne Main for stepping in to help them.

Mrs Main said: “This is excellent news and I am absolutely delighted for Lucas. Every young person deserves to have the education that suits their needs and abilities.

“I wish Lucas every success as he starts at Priory College.”

A county council spokesperson said: “Following a recommendation from the High Needs Funding panel about education provision, the council has been carrying out further consultation to consider the viability of this provision and whether it was the best option for Lucas.

“This is part of the normal process we follow for all recommendations and has been taking place over the last few weeks. Lucas’ parents have been made aware of this.

“As a result, the decision has been reviewed and the council concluded that the parents’ preferred setting should be named.

“We are now working with Lucas’ family to ensure a supported transition is put in place.”