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(UK) BBC: "National Crisis" in SPED; 13,000 sign petition sent to 10 Downing Street

May 30, 2019, (UK) BBC News: Special needs: Petition demands action on 'national crisis' https://www.bbc.com/news/education-48448424 Disabled children and their families have taken to the streets today to demand action on "the national crisis" in special needs funding. Send National Crisis campaigners delivered a 13,000-signature petition to Downing Street ahead of a rally in Parliament Square. They say special needs funding is failing to keep pace with demand. Ministers say they are increasing the cash available. The organisers say rallies in 28 towns and cities, from Leeds and Liverpool to Reading and Rhyl, are part of the first national action of its kind. … They add: "As a result, more disabled children are out of school, or being illegally excluded or off-rolled, and more families are having to fight to get the right provision." … "This is clearly a crisis, with pupils and parents bearing the brunt of real-terms funding cuts and the wholly inadequate planning by government," said NEU joint general secretary Kevin Courtney. Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the head teachers' union NAHT, added: "We urgently need the government to recognise the true scale of the problem and release more money from the Treasury, both for schools and for health and social care services." … But five years on, parents and carers say the system is not working and last year, Ofsted described the failure to deliver support for thousands of children in England with diagnosed special educational needs as "a national scandal"…. The government says it is putting more funding into special needs support … "Funding for the high-needs budget is a priority for this government and we know that councils and schools are facing pressures. That's why in December we provided an extra £250m up to 2020 to help manage these costs. "This takes the total amount that we have allocated for high-needs funding to £6.3bn this year, compared to £5bn in 2013….