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(UK) Leeds: "Still significantly short of specialist provision places"

Sept 13, 2021, Yorkshire Evening Post: Calls for more government investment into special needs education as major concerns are aired about Leeds' "significantly short" provision

Northern England Leeds is still "significantly" short of special needs education and parents are angry and pressured by delays into a review of provision that has already taken two years so far, says the leader of one of the city's main facilities. It comes as a campaign, backed by politicians and charities, is urging the Government to include disabled people and their parents and carers at the heart of its SEND (special education needs and disabilities) review. In an open letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, campaigners claim that those most directly affected have been “largely excluded and even misrepresented” in the document which got underway in 2019 to look at how services for families can be improved, but campaigners say they are not being adequately consulted…. “There are major concerns moving forward that there is a lack of specialist places on both a national and local level. In Leeds alone, we are still significantly short of specialist provision places and while Leeds City Council is trying hard to rectify this through the expansion of current provision, along with a new specialist free school, more needs to be done at central Government level through investment in this area…. A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We aim to improve outcomes and better prepare young people with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) effectively for adult life through our Send Review, which is an ongoing process. “These claims are misleading. This Government is committed to supporting and protecting children with SEND – ahead of our public consultation and publication of our proposals, we are working closely with children and young people with SEND, their parents and carers to ensure their views remain at the heart of this work.”


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