A MOTHER has hit out at Essex County Council for taking her to court over her autistic son’s school attendance, despite asking the authority for help.

Jodyleigh Eyre said she has sought support in getting her seven-year-old son Danny to Hazelmere Junior School in Colchester.

The 32-year-old has to “pick him up kicking and screaming” when it comes to school time and often has to abort her attempts.

“Danny was diagnosed with autism last year and since then his behaviour and mental health has got worse, from hurting himself to not wanting to leave the house,” said Ms Eyre.

Gazette: Family - Jodyleigh Eyre with her son Danny, sevenFamily - Jodyleigh Eyre with her son Danny, seven (Image: Newsquest)

“He hits his head, he’s angry, he doesn’t sleep. He is on sleeping medication but it often doesn’t work.

“He is hearing voices in his head and he is scared. He doesn’t know what to do with himself.”

The mum-of-three said she was “angry and upset” when she received a letter from Essex County Council stating it would be fining her over Danny’s school attendance in 2021.

But she refused to pay the fine, leading to the authority taking her to court over the dispute.

Gazette: Struggling - Jodyleigh Eyre said it is a challenge to get her son Danny to schoolStruggling - Jodyleigh Eyre said it is a challenge to get her son Danny to school (Image: Newsquest)

The mother said she had already reached out to the authority for help with getting her son, who is in Year 2, to leave the house and go to school.

It came as a health visitor and various other support networks were unable to remedy the situation.

Ms Eyre, who lives in White City, Colchester, is now due to appear in court within the coming months and is scared she might be sent to prison.

“All I can do is cry because I feel like no one is listening to how my son is feeling,” she said.

Gazette: Row - Essex County Council has taken the mother to courtRow - Essex County Council has taken the mother to court

“This has made me feel invisible, like no one is watching. I’m angry and upset because the ones who are meant to look out for you haven’t done so.

“I have been to many organisations in the past for help and support and feel that no one is listening to us.

“It is getting to the point where it affects everyone's mental health.”

County council: 'Parents have a legal duty to ensure their children attend school'

An Essex County Council spokesman said: “Parents have a legal duty to ensure their children attend school regularly in accordance with the rules prescribed by the school.

“The council’s Attendance Specialist Team provides advice and guidance to schools to encourage early intervention in cases where the school attendance pattern of a pupil is a cause for concern.

“Schools use various strategies to support pupils to improve their attendance patterns.

“It is imperative parents remain engaged in discussions and work consistently with schools and other professionals so that the necessary support is made available where barriers to regular attendance have been identified.

“Every lesson really does count, and it is important that parents send their child to school so they can access and enjoy all the educational opportunities and experiences and ensure they get the best start to academic life.”

The spokesman said the council has made it clear that where parents do not pay the fine within 28 days, a decision will be made on whether to take them to court.