PARENTS of two autistic twins in York have spoken of their relief after being told that both their sons can now attend the same school together.

In March this year, Peter and Rhiannon Hale, who live in Acomb, were given the news that their sons had been given places in different schools. Jasper was offered a place at Hob Moor Oaks School, which supports children with special education needs, while his twin brother Reuben was given a place at St Paul's Primary - a mainstream school in the city.

The family's second place school declined both of the twins, stating they would be unable to meet their needs. Their third choice accepted both, but said "although we've said yes, we do feel that a specialist provision may best suit Reuben's needs".

Both Reuben and Jasper are non-verbal and have Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) detailing "significant" difficulties.

Speaking to The Press in March, Peter said that he could not understand the logic of sending them to different schools - and said the family felt like they were part of a "horrible experiment".

The twins were diagnosed autistic in April last year, with legal documents drawn up by City of York Council and the NHS showing both have "significant difficulty" with social interaction and communication.

Last week, following a successful appeal, a tribunal ruled that both boys should attend the same special school and Reuben is now expected to join his brother at Hob Moor Oaks after the October half-term.

York Press: Reuben and Jasper will attend Hob Moor Oaks School together after the October half-termReuben and Jasper will attend Hob Moor Oaks School together after the October half-term (Image: Supplied)

Peter, 41, who is a former special needs teacher, said: "We've had many sleepless nights in the fight to get Reuben his school place. We were extremely worried.

"It's been a long, drawn-out, draining process, but we got the result we needed for both boys.

"We are sympathetic to the pressures that both the local authority and schools are under in terms of SEND provision.

"It's just a feeling of relief for us now."

Peter and Rhiannon, who run a day nursery in the city together, thanked organisations and individuals who have helped them for their support.

Martin Kelly, corporate director of children and education at City of York Council, said: “The council have been working very closely with the family throughout and had reached an agreeable way forward prior to the tribunal. This was confirmed by the tribunal.”