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January 2011



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THE FRUSTRATED parents of a Hucknall boy with an autism-type condition claim they are “in limbo” because they cannot find a suitable school for their son. 


Ten-year-old Caleb Ward, of Linby Road, suffers from Fragile X Syndrome, which is the most common genetic cause of autism. It means he gets anxious, struggles to interact socially and has difficulties in forming relationships with others.

He was previously a pupil at Hucknall’s award-winning Holy Cross Primary School on Leen Mills Lane. 


But since being suspended for five days on two occasions in June and July — amid claims he charged at teachers — he has been out of the educational system.

Caleb’s parents, Nichola (36) and Steve (39), say they were told their son could not return to Holy Cross. 


The school’s head teacher, Pat Snowdon, and Notts County Council, have rubbished this, saying a place is available for Caleb. He has also been offered a spot at the Carlton Digby Special School in Mapperley.

However the couple say the arrangements are not suitable for Caleb, who has “gone backwards” since leaving Holy Cross. 


“He was doing really well,” said Nichola, who has three other children — Trinity (eight), Lucas (five) and Bay (two), who also has Fragile X.


“As far as we were concerned, he was experiencing breakthroughs. He was starting to play with other children and write words for the first time. But we were called into the school because Caleb had started to become more aggressive.


“He was suspended twice and then we had to pick him up every lunchtime.”


The Wards say Caleb would struggle to get on at Carlton Digby and they want him to go to Sutherland House School in Carlton for children with autism. 

“Caleb is still registered with Holy Cross School. He received two exclusions, but has not been permanently excluded.


“Caleb’s parents, however, have expressed a preference to move their son to a special school and have therefore not allowed him to return to school for the term that began in September.

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