Willesden mother plans to sue Brent Council in college row

Chopi Saib insist her son Nihal, pictured, should be given a place at West London Community College

Chopi Saib insist her son Nihal, pictured, should be given a place at West London Community College - Credit: Archant

A mother fighting to get her son who has learning difficulties into a college of her choice has said she will take legal action against Brent Council.

Chopi Saib of Ilex Road in Willesden insists her 19-year-old son, Nihal, should be given a place at West London Community College in Uxbridge which has specialist provision for adults with autism spectrum conditions.

But Brent Council want to send Nihal - who suffers from the genetic disorder fragile X syndrome and has autism and epilepsy - on a daily three-hour round trip to Oaklands College in St Albans which provides for students with learning difficulties.

Ms Saib said: “They have nothing in Brent.

“He (Nihal) is upset and was put on anti-depressants last month.

“I will keep him home, I will not send him to Oaklands, the council know that and they still say no.”

Ms Saib’s says Oaklands is too far away from home and the classes are too crowded for Nihal.

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She objects to Nihal only being offered a three day week at Oaklands and says the college’s holidays are too long compared to West London Community College.

Ms Saib also wants Nihal placed in a college that caters solely for special needs students.

In 2004, Ms Saib fought for 10 months to get Nihal into Pield Heath RC school in Uxbridge after going against Brent Council’s advice to put him into day care.

A Brent Council spokesman said: “We’ve offered to fund Nihal a place at Oaklands College because we feel it is best able to meet his needs.

“West London Community College is not a registered Further Education College. “The courses at Oaklands College are of a very good standard and it offers bespoke courses for young people like Nihal with learning disabilities.

“Other young people from Brent have gone there in recent years and done well at the college.

“While we understand that Chopi is disappointed with our decision, we care about being able to offer the best courses we can for Nihal which meet his needs and feel that Oaklands will provide this.”

As a result of his community work, Nihal received The Diana Award, signed by David Cameron for his “taking the time to improve the lives of others” earlier this year.

The award is a legacy to Diana Princess of Wales (1961-1997) and her belief that young people have the power to change the world for the better.

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