A MOTHER is calling for increased funding for specialist schools as her severely autistic son is faced with attending a mainstream school.

Ruth Ramsay of Goose Butts, Cleator Moor is joining a group of parents that are appealing the lack of places for their children at specialist schools.

She said: “The letters that they sent out were basically a few lines saying there was no space for our children.” Her son was denied a place at Mayfield School.

Dylan, 3, may have to attend Jericho Primary School in September which she believes will not be suitable for his needs. Her son’s challenging behaviour as a result of his condition can cause harm to himself and others, he needs one to one care at the pre-school he attends now.

Ruth has launched a petition to raise awareness of the issue.

She said: “The council have said this is because our government aren’t providing enough funding.”

Cabinet member for Schools and Learning, councillor Sue Sanderson said: “Following its move to new premises at Campus Whitehaven, the council agreed that Mayfield Special School should increase its Pupil Admission Number from 130 to 160 for the September 2019 intake to meet rising demand.

“However, demand for places for September 2020 has significantly exceeded what is available, and as a result some children have not received a place.

“Places are allocated and prioritised based on children’s level of need.”

She said: “The situation in Cumbria mirrors the national picture. Across the country, demand for places at Special Schools is increasing rapidly in line with the increasing prevalence of special educational needs. We understand parent’s frustration and call on government to recognise this need and fund councils appropriately.”