Plaistow girl, 5, in school carer funding row

A DISABLED youngster has been left unable to attend school after education chiefs stopped funds for a carer.

The parents of Lacey Williams claim she needs round-the-clock supervision, but bosses say she does not have “special education needs”.

Lacey suffers from a rare form of short gut syndrome, meaning she is not able to move about normally.

Although she is due to turn five in April, Lacey is just 2ft 6in tall and is easily knocked over.

She cannot run or jump and suffers from allergies to foods including milk and eggs.

Lacey had been attending the nursery at Portway Primary School in Plaistow until December, where she was provided with a personal carer funded out of the school’s budget.

But when she was due to take up a place in the school’s reception class last month, her parents were told the service would be withdrawn due to a cash shortfall.

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Newham Council said a care plan - monitored by the class teacher - would mean Lacey would be able to take part in lessons.

But mother Kay, 27, of Chadd Green, does not agree and is refusing to let her daughter attend.

She said: “She needs someone to help her get around, eat meals and just to look out for things with her when she’s playing.

“Basically, she needs someone with her 24-7, but the school only has one teacher per class and there are so many things that could go wrong.

“It’s so upsetting because she really wants to go to school.”

Mrs Williams and her husband Martin, 33, are now planning to appeal the council’s decision.

A council spokeswoman said: ”Kay Williams put in a request for a statutory assessment for her daughter. However as her needs were already known this was deemed unnecessary.

“Although Lacey will need to be monitored within school because of her medical condition she does not require a statutory assessment as these assessments are for learning needs.

“A statutory assessment is an assessment of children’s special educational and learning needs. Lacey is able to access the early years foundation curriculum and national curriculum and is making progress.

“There is a care plan in place at Portway School and staff are aware of her needs. The plan includes triggers to look out for and what to do in an emergency.”