May 31, 2019, Birmingham Live: 'Our children are at breaking point' - hundreds of parents rally over 'shameful' SEND funding crisis—Parents of kids with special needs say getting any support is a horrendous battle https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/our-children-breaking-point-hundreds-16356197 Hundreds of parents from across the West Midlands descended on Victoria Square today to protest funding cuts that are pushing their children to “breaking point”. The SEND National Crisis rally was one of a number of national events aimed at pressuring the government to do more to fund special education specifically, and school budgets generally. … They voiced the heartbreaking struggles they face daily. One parent said she was attending the event as she claims the education system she has witnessed is “completely and utterly broken”. Sylvia Stanway has two Autistic children and the battle to ensure they receive an education has cost her and her husband thousands. … “There are so many children who are unable to access education. The older they get the worse it is - they end up in mental health facilities or with addictions…. Rachel Tenacious has also spent thousands in campaigning to get her autistic daughter the right provisions. The 52-year-old said the battle not only caused a financial strain, but also damaged her own mental health and wellbeing. “I can’t imagine how much it has cost us,” she said. “It took us 81 weeks instead of the set 18 to get an education health care plan…. Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our ambition is for every child, no matter the challenges they face, to have access to a world class education that sets them up for life. "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 £250 million up to 2020 to help manage these costs.
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