City College Norwich autistic student ‘binned’ from course
An autistic teenager who was thrown off his college course just days after starting said he feels as though he has been “thrown away in a bin”.
City College Norwich said James Parker, 16, had been “enrolled in error”.
His mother was told by letter that the college had made a mistake and that James, from Norwich, could not return.
The college has apologised to the family, but James said: “I just wanted to study there, I don’t know how they can do that.”
Special needs charity Families in Focus said the decision to remove James just three days after he began at the college was “shocking”.
Lesley Bailey, from the charity, said: “He must be devastated.
“It’s preventing him from having an education that he has a right to like any other young person of 16… and he has that right until he’s 25 because he has a learning difficulty.”
Mrs Parker was told in a letter by City College Norwich that James was no longer able to go there as it could not meet his needs.
The college told the BBC it had assessed James in March and had informed Norfolk County Council that he needed a “higher level of support and a different learning environment” than it could provide.
It said a tutor enrolled James in error in July after the family bypassed the assessment process and made a direct application to the college.
Norfolk County Council said it had made repeated attempts over several months to speak to the family about James’ future.
“We remain very keen to work with James and his family to secure the best possible outcome for his education,” it said in a statement.
Mrs Parker said that during the last term at school, James had not needed one-to-one support and could often cope with difficult social situations.
“James feels like nobody wants him,” she added.