Super-Bright Boy Forced To Change School - Because He Is Autistic

14/08/2014 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

Boy with IQ of 168 forced to switch schools - because he's autistic

A boy who is top of his class with an IQ of 168 has been told he has to leave school – because he is autistic.

Eight-year-old Christian Farrington has a photographic memory and the academic ability of a child twice his age.

But he has been told that he will have to move from Ely St John's Community Primary School because it costs the local authority too much to educate him.

Now his mum, Gabrielle Pakpourtabrizi, 25, from Ely, Cambs., is taking legal action.

She said: "Taking him out of the school he loves and putting him in a special needs school will pull the carpet from underneath him and completely ruin him.

"He has surpassed everyone's expectations and no child deserves to be taken away from a school that is working for them."

Experts say Christian has the academic ability of a 15-year-old but he has high-functioning autism, which means he can struggle with some social situations.

He has had a one-to-one teaching assistant at his school to help him deal with loud environments and busy classes.

But the local authority now wants to move him to a school for children with learning difficulties after Ely St John's asked for funding for a second teaching assistant.

Gabrielle said he was thriving at school and the decision will see his progress stall and rare talents wasted.

Gabrielle said: "The only reason they're doing this is to save money as they don't want to have to pay to support Christian as he progresses through mainstream school. What he's achieving at his current primary school is priceless.

"He will not be intellectually stimulated there (at a special school). I will be willing to back a change, but only if it is the correct one for my son."

Gabrielle has launched tribunal proceedings against Cambridgeshire County Council's decision to move him to Gretton School in Girton. If he has to move, Gabrielle would prefer him to go to a specialist boarding school further away.

A Special Educational Needs and Disability Tribunal will decide if Christian should move to the special school.

A council spokesman said: "It is agreed that Christian requires specialist provision.

"The county council has identified an independent special school in the county which can meet his needs, but his parents have not accepted this.

"They have identified an alternative school, but due to its distance from his home, Christian would have to be a weekly boarder. We feel this is inappropriate for a seven-year-old [Christian turned eight yesterday].

"His parents disagree and have lodged an appeal, which they are entitled to do."

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