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(UK) National SPED protest planned; ' increasing'

Sept 25, 2023, Chronicle Live: Councillor and mum to join Newcastle special educational needs protest to fight against 'unfair' system

NE England

Coun Scott's autistic son has to travel 30 miles to go to school

A councillor and mother to an autistic child has announced she will be attending a protest next month to "fight for the rights" of children with special educational needs.

The protest is part of a national effort with events across the country all organised by SEND Reform England - made up of 10 mums from up and down the UK who met via social media and formed the campaign in May this year.

The North East event will be held on Friday, October 13 outside the civic centre in Newcastle. Labour's Coun Angie Scott, who represents the Prudhoe North ward on Northumberland County Council, said she is attending in order to call for improved Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) education facilities in the south east of Northumberland….

“I believe children should have the right to a fairer education close to home, have a voice in the community they live in and thrive with their peers. I would urge people with children with special educational needs to join us on 13 October to demonstrate the strength of feeling.

The system for our children needs to be better. We should not have to fight or campaign for the things we need to enable our children to achieve their potential in life.”

SEND Reform UK was formed earlier this year following "disparaging" comments made by Responding to Coun Scott's comments, Northumberland County Council's cabinet member for children's services Guy Renner Thompson said the council had a "solid plan" in place to improve education for all the county's children.

He said: "We want every child in Northumberland to have access to a good school and inclusive provision that is as close to home as possible, but in line with the national picture, data from our schools tells us that demand for specialist provision is increasing.

"That’s why, in November last year, Cabinet approved our first SEND Capacity and Place Planning Strategy setting out the steps we’re going to take over the next five years to make this happen. These steps will be taken by working closely with our schools and our communities and include a wide range of initiatives - some of which are complete, others are in progress or planned for the future.


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