Nine-year-old Milton Keynes girl with autism has not been able to go to school for a whole year

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Meet cheeky-faced Meagan Lodge, the girl her mum feels has been branded such a child from hell that she has been kept off school for an entire year.

The academically bright nine-year-old has notched up a long list of punishments and exclusions.

Mum Mandy said: “My daughter’s only ‘crime’ is that she has autism and also an anxiety disorder. When she’s handled incorrectly she will lash out, kick and scream.

“Her behaviour is part of her disability -yet it seems she’s treated like the child from hell,” said Mandy.

In October last year Meagan was excluded for the final time from Willen Primary School, where she had attended since the age of four.

“They said it was only for a couple of days. But when we went back we were told they couldn’t take her because her teaching assistant had suddenly had a baby without realising she was pregnant. It was a bizarre reason,” said Mandy.

She says she was “coerced” into writing a letter stating she would home educate.

“I was told it would help my case that she needed to go to a dedicated special needs school. But a year later, she’s still at home and her education is 
suffering.”

Forced to give up her beautician job, Mandy has been to the council’s SEN panel three times to beg for a specialist school. Each time she has been refused and told Meagan is fit for a mainstream school with a special needs unit.

“I’ve had a look at schools with units but I have yet to find one that could cope with her,” she said.

“She needs a small, calm school where people understand her and prevent her going into meltdown. A special school would be perfect.”

A spokesman for Milton Keynes Council said: “We have been working closely with this family and the school to try and reach a solution.”

He added: “We understand the school is still open to having Meagan back and both the school and the council are very keen to ensure that she is back in full-time education as soon as possible. We are confident that we can work through the family’s concerns and achieve positive outcomes for Meagan.”