Autistic boy, 11, has no school place due to Newham Council admin error

PUBLISHED: 07:00 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:32 14 September 2017

Ashton Hussain and mum Marie Thomas

Ashton Hussain and mum Marie Thomas

Marie Thomas

An admin blunder has left a severely autistic boy without a secondary school place more than a week after the start of the new term.

Ashton Hussain of Linton Gardens, Beckton, had his spot at Cumberland School taken by another child due to a Newham Council employee forgetting to tell teachers he was disabled.

Desperate mum Marie Thomas has since rung the Special Educational Needs (SEN) office more than 30 times to find a place for Ashton, 11, who has the mental age of a two-year-old.

“They admitted if my son wasn’t disabled he would have been in school right now,” said Marie.

“I was crying my eyes out yesterday,” she said. “It shouldn’t be happening to one disabled child in 2017.”

The single mum-of-four’s troubles started on May 3 when Cumberland School sent Ashton an offer letter requesting parent and son visit the mixed comprehensive on May 17.

“Lots of kids were going to be there so I thought that is not the kind of letter you will be sent if your son has autism,” said Marie.

She made a query with the school but received another letter soon after stating Ashton no longer had a place as SEN had not completed the correct paperwork in time.

Marie has spent the last four months trying to get the mix-up rectified and was assured a secondary school would be available as late as last week.

“Until Thursday, no-one had apologised to me,” she said. “I said how can Newham Council not know how many disabled children there are.”

The 32-year-old says Ashton is currently being diagnosed with ADHD and needs a school structure to “calm down” with activities such as music and drawing.

“He’s a destructive child, he’s hyper.” she said. “It is very stressful because my son cannot be left alone. He has to come to the toilet with me.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We are sorry for the delay in securing a school place in time for the start of the new term, and the council is working closely with Ms Thomas to find a solution as soon as possible.”

Related articles


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Newham Recorder visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Newham Recorder staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Newham Recorder account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Newham Stories


Lakeside Hammers maintained their immaculate home record with a comfortbale win over Edinburgh at Purfleet on Saturday.

Richard Lawson

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.


Footballers are set to swap the pitch for the pavement when they take on a 10km run for charity.

Elizabeth Olympic Park

Amber Rudd had to resign as home secretary after the Windrush scandal. Sajid Javid replaced her. I was in the House of Commons on April 30 for the new home secretary’s first appearance.

Home Office
Yesterday, 20:27

Former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini appeared to move a step closer to taking over at West Ham after Hebei China Fortune confirmed he was leaving the Chinese Super League club.

Premier League
Yesterday, 16:00

Have you ever wanted to perform on stage at Theatre Royal Stratford East?

Yesterday, 14:21

Essex Eagles continue the Royal London One-Day Cup schedule with a visit to Bristol to face Gloucestershire on Sunday.

Jamie Porter
Yesterday, 12:00

A Barking mosque is giving its support to Richard House Children’s Hospice during Ramadan this year.


Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists


Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Read more

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Read more

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Newham Recorder
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now