A DISABLED ten-year-old has been out of school since May last year amid an ongoing dispute between a family and her school.

Lexden Springs Special School, in Winstree Road, Stanway, excluded Elsie Dundon last year after claiming she needed a break from school due to reaching consistent “crisis points”.

The ten-year-old has severe autism, a learning disability and is unable to speak.

Her devastated family was told by Essex County Council Elsie would have to wait until the next academic year commencing in September before she would be back at school.

However, following contact with the Gazette, a place at the family’s preferred school - Doucecroft School in Eight Ash Green - has now been offered.

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Dad Kevin Dundon and mum Frankie said the decision to exclude Elsie was a shock and they said teachers at the school she attended for four years had previously said the pupil’s laugh lit up the classroom.

They claim they met with the headteacher of the school, Simon Wall, for an explanation as to what was going on.

They said he said he didn’t want the then nine-year-old Elsie to “end up in a secure hospital being restrained and drugged”.

Mr Dundon said: “It has been an extremely emotional and stressful time with a whole host of emotions.

“This came as such a shock and it is so upsetting the school have not wanted to help Elsie. We feel hugely let down and upset.

“The sudden stop to the school routine was really tough for Elsie to adjust to. The longer she is out of school, the harder it is going to be for her to adjust to a new school placement.”

The father-of-four explained how he was told his daughter will not be placed into a new school until September at the earliest, however, he says a place has now been offered.

A spokesman for Essex County Council said it has recently responded to the family and is working with them to find a solution.

It added interim tuition has also been offered.

Head: 'We have kept a place open for Elsie'

THE headteacher of Lexden Springs Special School has rejected accusations the school treated a disabled ten-year-old unfairly.

Simon Wall, who leads the school in Winstree Road, Stanway, confirmed a pupil was excluded “very briefly” for four days and was due to return to the classroom.

Gazette: Simon WallSimon Wall

He says a letter was then sent to the parents of the child in question to make them “fully aware” about the circumstances surrounding the exclusion.

He added at a reintegration meeting, the parents said they would not be sending the pupil back into school and would be home educating.

Mr Wall said: “The school has continued to hold a place open for the pupil. The parents have continued to make the decision not to send their child back to our school.

“Following a Freedom of Information request, the parents have had a copy of all reports, emails and paperwork relating to their child.

“The matter has been to my chair of governors repeatedly.”

Following approached to Essex County Council from the Gazette, Elsie has now been offered a place at Doucecroft School, Eight Ash Green.