(UK) Bristol reverses cuts to SPED; 'increasing demand/complexity of ...needs'

Sept 9, 2018, Bristol Live: Parents call on Bristol council to reverse £5million of illegal cuts to education after court judgement Parents of children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND) have called on Bristol City Council to apologise and reverse its £5million illegal cuts. Two Bristol mums took the council to court earlier this year, with the High Court judge ruling in the parents’ favour last month. In his judgement, Judge Barry Cotter QC said the council had acted unlawfully and ordered the cuts to be reversed. Parents have now backed a council motion - set to be heard on Tuesday, September 11 - calling for it to apologise and make the appropriate amendments…. “Council notes that the Mayor decided to propose cuts of £5m to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities High Needs Block budget in January (referenced as a Deficit Recovery Programme) and regret that this extraordinary reduction in funding for children that need additional support was not fully included in the budget papers for February Full Council. “Council notes that the judges found that the council had breached the Children’s and Families Act 2014…. “We truly appreciate how sensitive this issue is, and know it is difficult to contemplate changing budgets without causing concern. “We want to stand united with local families and schools in highlighting the national funding shortages for SEND and work together with them on a way forward. “It always was and remains our intention to work closely with everyone affected wherever required, considering carefully the details of how we might reduce spending and deliver SEND services within the grant given by Government. “The large pressure on our SEND budget is due to increasing demand and complexity of children and young people’s needs, but mostly because we do not get enough money from Government in this area.