On the 30th June thousands of parents of children with SEND issues (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) are to protest at cuts to funding that have left their children either unable to attend school or are being left with inadequate support.
Taking place across 25 locations the planned action is intended to raise the profile of the matter prior to the expected spending review. Areas being targeted include Birmingham, Bristol, Colchester, Dorchester, Leamington Spa, Matlock, Widnes and Worthington.
The action will culminate with James Parker, aged 13, handing a petition to 10 Downing Street in an attempt to end what is being described as a “national crisis in SEND”.
James, who is the son of a Primary School teacher, has been out of the education process for 29 months, during the last five years, as a result of both exclusions and reduced timetables. Consequently, whilst his Primary School tried to support his needs, he was unable to find a Secondary School who would accept him. As such he has spent 9 months at home.
James’ mother, Emma, described her son as a, “bright little lad who has been broken by the education system”. She further commented, “I’ve got a child who has not been in full-time education for five years. He is struggling to engage with the curriculum. We want more money for Send. We don’t want our children to be deemed a drain on schools. We need schools to be fully funded and we need child adolescent mental health services to be fully funded.”
Consequently the Government has said that funding has increased since 2014 when individual care plans were introduced. Yet campaigners are stating that the current demand is outstripping the available funding. It is suggested, by The Local Government Association, that there is a shortfall of £500m this year. As such many parents are resorting to legal action to support their children’s needs.
The Government has stated that it currently spends £6 billion on high needs funding.
Should you wish to discuss a specific education matter please call 0333 202 7175 and our team will be happy to assist.