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(UK) Birmingham: 27 special needs schools "in increasing crisis"

July 19, 2019, Birmingham Live: Despair from city heads over special schools crisis: 'We could be facing bankruptcy and closures' …The shocking impact of funding challenges on Birmingham's special schools is laid bare today in a dossier of despair from head teachers. The loss of teachers and support staff, crowded classes and axed specialist services are putting the city's reputation for 'outstanding' special school provision at risk, according to a damning catalogue of concerns. Some heads are even contemplating schools closing in the forseeable future on safety grounds unless intensive emergency help is given quickly to rescue the ailing sector, which educates and looks after 4,300 of the city's children. "We could be bankrupt within three years, leaving hundreds of kids with nowhere to go. That's how serious this is," said Selly Oak Trust School head Chris Field. … The group of heads are now calling on the new Prime Minister to make it one of his first priorities to visit and see for himself the devastating impact of cuts and pressures on these schools. … "Our schools are stretched to the limit, forced to cut back on the curriculum and opportunities for students, and losing jobs. "There are 27 special schools in Birmingham that are doing outstanding work, supporting the most vulnerable children in our city. But they are in increasing crisis. This has to end."… The head at Queensbury School, a secondary for 11-19 year olds with moderate learning difficulties and autism, said: "...the environments for staff to teach and students to learn are shameful for a developed country."… * Increased risk of expulsions or breakdown of placements for children with behaviour issues, due to lack of staff to support them. …


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