Parents describe 'horrendous' experience of Suffolk's SEND system

Twins Malakyi and Courtez, aged 4, are still waiting to start at a SEND school 

Twins Malakyi and Courtez, aged 4, are still waiting to start at a SEND school - Credit: Roxanne Chudleigh

Parents have shared their experiences of the SEND system in Suffolk describing the frustration they have felt waiting for school places, and at poor communication from Suffolk County Council. 

Roxanne Chudleigh, a single mum of four from Ipswich, says dealing with the SEND system in Suffolk has been "horrendous, stressful and upsetting" and has spoken of her fears that her twin sons, that are both autistic, will not get the opportunities and chances in life they deserve. 

Malakyi and Courtez

Malakyi and Courtez are both autistic and their mum Roxanne is worried they will miss out on the chances they deserve. - Credit: Roxanne Chudleigh

Miss Chudleigh, whose sons Malakyi and Courtez are four years old and still waiting to start school said: "Ten months ago I applied for schooling as I was told SEND services in Suffolk are lacking. 

"I live within walking distance from The Bridge (a SEND school in Ipswich), yet my boys have to attend an out of Ipswich provision, which is currently in the process of being set up and won't be ready until at least October half term.

Roxanne Chudleigh from Ipswich

Roxanne Chudleigh from Ipswich has described the struggle SEND parents and children in Suffolk face - Credit: Roxanne Chudleigh

"I have to sort out transport myself which will be paid for by Suffolk County Council, but I will have to track the driver myself to make sure the twins are safe during the journey, which fills me with anxiety as my boys can't talk."

Miss Chudleigh added: "I feel the lack of SEND services in 2021 is shocking and quite frankly shameful. The government and the council need to pull their heads out as we are struggling and so are our children."  

Kirsty Garrod, is another mum from Suffolk that has struggled with the SEND system in the county over recent years.

Her 10-year-old son, who is now in year six, has not seen an ADHD specialist since late 2019, with his mum chasing Suffolk County Council on a weekly basis when he was waiting for a SEND placement in year five. 

Most Read

Mrs Garrod said: " I think there needs to be a huge overhaul of SEND services in Suffolk, and mainly from the people in charge.

"The SEND units that I have looked at Castle Hill, Sidegate and Stone Lodge, were all stunning, all the staff were fantastic. And the school placements that my son currently attends are fantastic.

"It's not a problem with the schools, it is a problem with the system." 


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter