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Finlay Mudge has severe bilateral optic atrophy. What others can see at a distance of 60 metres, he can barely discern at three and is registered blind. Finlay had been educated in a small independent primary school with the LEA funding the support and additional materials and resources he required to work on the curriculum in exactly the same way as his classmates.
This had suited this bright young lad very well and he was keeping up with his peers and enjoying school. However for his secondary education the local authority proposed to move him to a large local academy with some additional, limited adult support. Among other things, that meant Finlay would have to spend break times sitting in a classroom on his own rather than being involved in the playground – a prospect that did not appeal to him.
His parents decided to challenge the suitability of the placement and provision offered by the local authority and decided to get help from Access Legal when it became evident they would need legal advice to match the heavyweight resources the LEA were mustering against them.
Thanks to our advice the family successfully challenged the local authority’s decision at Tribunal and secured a residential placement for Finlay at the start of the academic year at New College, Worcester. His placement is fully funded by the local authority until he reaches the age of 19, including weekly transport to and from home and school.