Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mum Wins School Battle

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Mum Wins School Battle

Article excerpt

Byline: James Johnston

The mum of an autistic boy who repeatedly went AWOL from his special school is celebrating after winning her battle with education chiefs.

James Bliss has made regular escape bids from Westlands School in Thornaby since he started there two years ago.

And last November a major police search was launched on Teesside to find the nine-year-old after he slipped away from staff.

Two hours later he was found by officers nearly five miles away on the Haverton Hill road off the A19.

Six weeks later the youngster fled again, this time disappearing for an hour before turning up a mile away near a busy stretch of the A174.

Mum Alison, 39, of Yarm, was so concerned she launched a legal bid against Stockton Education Authority - claiming Westlands had failed in its duty of care - to have him switched to another school.

Her case was due before the High Court and a local tribunal this month.

But after last-minute talks with education chiefs, James has been allowed to make the move to Thornhill School, Sunderland, this summer. …

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