Belfast Telegraph

Price son's school costs defended

Representatives for Katie Price have hit back after criticism that the model and businesswoman's disabled son has schooling and transport costs paid for by a local authority, even though she could afford to pay herself.

Price, who has made several million pounds through her empire, told how many of the costs were met by the taxpayer, as she continued her time in the Celebrity Big Brother house.

But the revelation led to a clash with housemate Katie Hopkins who suggested she should foot the bill herself.

Price's son Harvey is blind and has a range of other disabilities including autism, ADHD and Prader-Willi syndrome.

During a discussion on the Channel 5 show, she said: "He has a driver who takes him to school each day. He travels with a special nurse who looks after him and the driver is mindful of the situation - it's taxpayer-funded, which is good."

She said the cost, if she were to meet it herself, would be "up to a grand a day".

Hopkins responded by telling her: "With the amount you earn I find that tricky, when you could afford it yourself."

Many critics expressed their views online saying they thought she should contribute.

Price's team posted a statement online which explained that the £1,000 sum to which she referred was not the cost to the local authority but her estimate of the fees if she used a private driver.

It read: " The cost of the school placement together with transport is not means-tested as it is provided for the child. Local authorities do not have special needs schools locally as these have been closed during the last 15 years as it was deemed a cheaper option to transport children out of borough.

"If Harvey's school was on his doorstep as with schools for healthy children then this would not apply, but it was the Government's choice to close the special needs schools.

"The education law states that the local authority must provide transport to and from the school that is named in the statement. This must be appropriate to the child's needs and include the provision of an escort (in Harvey's case a nurse) who is trained to cope with the child's medical needs.

"The escort (nurse) is because Harvey's condition is life-threatening and he has to have someone capable of giving emergency injections to save his life.

"Kate's calculation of £1,000 per day is based on hiring her private driver and a private nurse, to drive to and from her home to Harvey's school twice a day (which is 1.5 hours drive each way). This is not the sum the local authority pays."

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