A Herefordshire mother says her protests to Herefordshire Council have finally prompted them to provide suitable schooling for her son.

Maia Clow-Whitelegg of Ledbury staged two solo protests outside the council’s Plough Lane, Hereford, offices after what she claimed was the council’s failure to address her son Henry’s special educational needs.

Henry, who has autism, stopped mainstream schooling at the start of the year after suffering school-related anxiety. He was supposed to have an education health care plan (EHCP), a legally binding arrangement with the council – but Ms Clow-Whitelegg said the council failed to finalise this for nearly six months, meaning it could not be enforced or challenged.

Meanwhile, Henry had no school place. “They were really poor at putting in non-school provision,” she said. “They left it up to me and said they would pay for it, then didn’t, leaving me £3,000 out of pocket.”

However, Ms Clow-Whitelegg’s persistence paid off with the arrival last Saturday of an approved EHCP outlining how Henry’s educational needs will be met.

“I should have had it in spring,” she said.

“It has been a real slog – you have to be dogged to even get the bare minimum. It’s a common experience. Special educational needs funding and provision is really poor.”


Henry now has a confirmed place for the new term at the specialist Bridge School, Hanley Swan, just over the Worcestershire border near Malvern.

A spokesperson for Herefordshire Council said it was unable to comment on individual cases in detail, but added: “We will continue to work with the parents to come to a mutually agreed arrangement for their child ready for the autumn term.”