A MOTHER is living in a caravan 120 miles from home with her seven-year-old son so he can go to a special needs school.

Dr Helen Hunt and her son Wilf have spent the last two years living on a campsite so he can attend nearby Ingfield Manor.

She made the decision so Wilf, who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, can receive extra support at the school in Billingshurst.

The pair live there during term-time, only travelling back to their home to Weymouth, Dorset, on weekends and holidays.

Helen said: “Life in a caravan is challenging. I have to top up my water supply each day, dispose of my waste water and empty my toilet.

"Showering in a caravan is a bit of a squeeze and washing a child with cerebral palsy is even more awkward."

Helen made the decision when she noticed Wilf was struggling at his local specialist school.

The family presented a case to Dorset Council to have him educated at a school with specific cerebral palsy support.

Wilf, who also has global developmental delay, is non-verbal and has severe learning difficulties, was then given a place at Ingfield Manor

The council’s funding for Wilf’s place is reviewed annually, and both the family and the school wish for his education to continue at Ingfield Manor, despite the unusual living situation.

Helen added: “For Wilf, and for many other cerebral palsy children, adequate educational provision is the difference between learning to use a spoon or eating with hands, it’s the difference between learning to support his own weight when transitioning from his wheelchair to a toilet rather than having the house kitted out with hoists.

“It is the difference between him learning life skills that parents of neurotypical children take for granted, or him retreating further and further into a world where I, his mum, cannot reach him.

“I’m delighted with Wilf’s progress at Ingfield and I just hope he can continue to attend until he finishes school. He’s animated and excited when I pick him up, he can use cutlery and walk through parallel bars, and loves listening to everything from The Beatles to Johnny Cash. The school has been amazing for him.”

Ingfield Manor School follows a conductive education curriculum which focuses on "developing the potential of each individual".

Since attending the school, recently rated "outstanding" by Ofsted, Wilf has shown significant improvements in his capabilities.

He is also noticeably happier at the end of the school day.

School principal Nicola Dodds said: “At Ingfield Manor, we support students with multiple neurological motor impairments, and we understand how important it is to have a tailored educational plan to suit each individual child.

“Wilf has joined the school under quite unusual circumstances, and we commend his mum and dad Julian for fighting so hard to get him the educational opportunities he deserves.

“We will continue to support Helen and Julian every time they are required to make the case to the council for Wilf attending Ingfield Manor.”

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