Mother launches crowdfunder for legal costs following institution of prosecution against her for her autistic child’s non-attendance at school

Justine Pierce’s son has attention deficit disorder and is on the autism spectrum. As a result he is too anxious to go to his mainstream school.

Despite Justine having explained her son’s difficulties, the Council have instigated a prosecution against her for her son’s non-attendance before first assessing what support is required to meet his educational needs.

Justine has now launched a crowdfunder to pay for legal advice from MG&Co with a view to challenging the Council’s decision to commence a prosecution.

This is not an isolated case. Recently, West Sussex County Council withdrew a prosecution against another of our clients after judicial review pre-action correspondence

Justine says:

“As I have been fighting this injustice, it has become apparent that there are many other families facing the same problems and unfair prosecution over school attendance. This needs highlighting, as parents of SEND children with very real issues, life is hard enough without local authorities taking unjust action and making life so much harder.”

Rachel Etheridge says:

“The Local Authority’s decision to instigate this prosecution is of great concern for Justine. Having to defend these proceedings – which carries with it the threat of a fine and criminal record – is causing Justine and her child considerable anxiety.

We recently acted for another parent of an autistic emotionally based school refuser where following pre-action correspondence the Council withdrew the prosecution and agreed to carry out an Education and Health Care Assessment

“As with Justine’s case, the prosecution was pursued before any assessment of her child’s educational needs. Our view is that the prosecution against Justine is equally challengeable and we hope the crowdfunder can help us to secure a positive outcome for her and her son”.

If you would like to learn more about the case please contact Rachel Etheridge here.