A family is battling in court for support for their ‘severely dyslexic’ daughter.
Having struggled at mainstream school, Shaylee Davis is now thriving at Maple Hayes Dyslexia School in Lichfield after her parents got an independent assessment and transferred her themselves.
But the Walsall Local Authority is refusing to fund her education at the specialist school.
Shaylee, 10, is so devastated she has threatened to ‘break her legs’ if she has to go back to Short Heath Junior, a mainstream school in Willenhall.
Her parents Chrissla and Mark, from Willenhall, are appealing a court’s decision to have Shaylee’s EHC (Education, Heath and Care) plan changed.
“Shaylee is a completely different child to how she was at mainstream school,” said Chrissla, who shares the one hour drive to and from Maple Hayes with husband Mark.
“At mainstream school, she rarely spent time with the rest of her class because she was that far behind. Instead she’d work with a teaching assistant who would write things out for her to copy.”
The Davis family paid for Shaylee to have a private tutor for four years and eventually the tutor admitted she could not progress Shaylee any further and that she thought she was dyslexic.
“Since starting at Maple Hayes she’s begun to think for herself and develop her vocabulary and writing, using a morphological approach whereby she builds her words with pictures,” said Chrissla, who is also mum to Kiara, 16, and Jayden, 15.
“It’s the way she learns there that makes a difference.
“Before, it didn’t matter how many times you went over something, she couldn’t seem to grasp it.
“It got to the stage where she was asking ‘why am I so dumb?’ and ‘why am I not smart like my friends?’
“Now we’re able to say there’s nothing wrong with you, it’s just you learn completely differently.”
It costs £4,920 per term to go to Maple Hayes.
Chrissla and Mark are having to pay for Shaylee to go to Maple Hayes whilst they wait for a chance to appeal the court’s decision.
During this time, Walsall Local Authority is continuing to fund her place at Short Heath – despite the fact she has not attended the Willenhall school since June.