Dyslexic boy loses court fight for aid

DYSLEXICS' GROUPS called on the Government to live up to its rhetoric on education yesterday after a highly gifted teenager was refused financial backing to go to university.

Alexander Faludy, 15, with an IQ off the normal scale, would have been the youngest Cambridge University undergraduate since William Pitt the Younger, despite suffering severe dyslexia; he can write only two illegible words a minute and also suffers from dyspraxia, "clumsy child syndrome".

His family believed the local council should provide funds for his degree course.

But a High Court judge ruled yesterday that Portsmouth City Council was correct in deciding that it had no duty to assess Alexander for special education needs or to provide extra financial support for his degree in theology and history of art.

Alexander and his family, of Servant Road, Portsmouth, now fear that his university place could be threatened if they fail to win financial backing from other sources.

Alexander, the son of two teachers, had told the judge at a hearing that he planned to go to Peterhouse in October, but he needed special equipment to read books and write his essays.

But Portsmouth City Council has refused him any extra money as he was not at a local authority school. His parents sent him to Milton Abbey, a fee-paying boys' boarding school in Dorset, three years ago, because he was being bullied at his state school.

After the ruling the family's solicitor, Samantha Chambers, said the family was disappointed. "Now that the local education authority will not be financially supporting Alex in his placement he must try to secure funding for his course at Cambridge from other sources.

"It would be very sad if, after overcoming his very significant learning difficulties, his place at Cambridge could be threatened by lack of finances."

She said the family would now need to raise between pounds 5,000 and pounds 10,000 a year for Alexander's three-year course to pay for tuition, equipment and someone to help him.

The British Dyslexic Association said there was still a moral case for support to be made available to Alexander Faludy, and others like him. It called on the Government to back its rhetoric by setting educational targets for children with special needs.

The association's chief executive, Joanne Rule, said: "There is a simple moral case for Alexander Faludy to be given the support he needs to reach his full potential.

"Alexander is exceptional, a truly gifted child. But there are many other dyslexic children whose ordinary school careers are equally unhappy, stuck in lower-stream groups regardless of their ability and afraid of being bullied.

"The Government must signal its determination that schools have higher expectations of pupils with special educational needs by setting targets for their performance."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Opilio Recruitment: Full Stack Software Developer

£35k - 45k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We are currently recruit...

Opilio Recruitment: Senior Developer

£50k - 60k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...

Opilio Recruitment: Senior Front End Developer

£50k - 70k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: We have an exciting Seni...

Opilio Recruitment: Senior Digital Designer

£50k - 55k per year + Benefits: Opilio Recruitment: An exciting opportunity ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game