A four-year-old boy with non-verbal autism has been rejected from a SEND school in York for the second year in a row, his furious mum says.

Natalie Gill, who lives in Tang Hall, said her son Alfie was denied a place at Hob Moor Oaks School - which is the only school in York with SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) provision - for a second year.

City of York Council said Hob Moor Oaks had limited capacity for SEND students and places were allocated on the basis of greatest need.  

Natalie, a single mother of two and full time carer, said: "He has quite complex needs. Alfie is non-verbal autistic with pica, bowel problems and learning delay."

Alfie is currently at Lakeside primary school. Natalie said: "The mainstream school he’s at right now is amazing, they do a great job and go above and beyond but he needs a whole package of support."

York Press: AlfieAlfie (Image: Natalie Gill)


Natalie added: "I know there’s limited spaces (at Hob Moor Oaks) and other families in the same position as us.

"I think it’s disgusting, it’s terrifying other families are going through this, there’s not enough schools.

"I know they can’t create a place at the click of a finger, but we know this is nothing new.

"The system is failing all these little children."

City of York Council is responsible for the provision of SEND school places in York. 

Martin Kelly, corporate director of children and education at the council, said: "We are able to confirm that places at Hob Moor Oaks (York’s school for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at primary age), are limited.

York Press: Alfie is 4 years old, non-verbal autistic with pica, bowel problems and learning delayAlfie is 4 years old, non-verbal autistic with pica, bowel problems and learning delay (Image: Natalie Gill)

"Allocations for the limited places are made on the basis of greatest need.  

"In York, as across the country, the number of children with SEND has increased significantly in recent years and our focus is on improving the breadth of provision in the city to meet the changing needs of our children and young people.

"Whilst additional, specialist provision has been created over the last 18 months there remains an increasing demand for specialist support.

"We are ambitious about improving outcomes for all our children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in York, while recognising the pressures created by increased demand and funding constraints."



Cllr Bob Webb, executive member for education, children and young people, speaking on behalf of York's Labour party, said: "Provision of specialist education places for SEND children and young people is vitally important in fulfilling our responsibility to meet the needs of all. 

"Unfortunately at present the funding available from Government in meeting that need just isn’t there. This applies to both primary and secondary school age pupils. 

"I can assure families affected that we’ll continue to work to do all we can to expand provision in future within available resources."