Mother wins Suffolk Council 'cock up' school twins fight

Elliot and Holly Image copyright Hayley Duffety
Image caption Elliot and Holly's mother said if they were separated, "they would be terrified on the first day of school"

A mother of four-year-old twins assigned to different schools after a council "cock up" has won her battle to have them sent to the same place.

Hayley Duffety slammed Suffolk County Council after Holly and brother Elliot, who has cerebral palsy, were allocated to primaries four miles apart.

She had applied for them to attend Abbotts Green primary, Bury St Edmunds.

The authority has now apologised "for distress caused" and offered the twins places at the preferred school.

Ms Duffety said the authority's change of position was "fantastic news", adding it would have been distressing for the children to go to different schools.

"This was about keeping the twins together so that they could support each other in the new school," she said.

Image copyright Hayley Duffety
Image caption Hayley Duffety said it was "inconceivable" that her twins could be separated for school

Ms Duffety applied for places at the school last June, when she applied for the education, health and care plan (EHCP) for Elliot.

She was told the process would take 20 weeks and would be complete before the January cut-off for school place applications.

But she said the EHCP was not finished in time, and as a result Elliot's needs had not taken been taken into account.

Suffolk County Council said it accepted the delay in issuing the EHCP had an impact on the outcome of the application.

"We are sincerely sorry for the delay and distress caused to the family," said a council spokesman.

"We would like to wish both Holly and Elliot every success at their new school."

Image copyright Hayley Duffety
Image caption Elliot's disability is "purely physical", his mother says

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