May 27, 2021, East Anglican Daily News: Education chiefs defend SEND provision and pledge to meet campaigners https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/education/suffolk-education-chiefs-defend-send-provision-8006362 E. England
Education chiefs are to meet campaigners pressing for improvements in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision in Suffolk. The newly-formed Campaign for Change (SEND Suffolk) group has called for urgent action over what it describes as the "disgraceful state" of the current provision and said parents are "still being failed". The group has claimed there has been no visible change in provision since a scathing Ofsted inspection in 2016. While admitting there is still work to be done, Suffolk County Council has defended its record and told the group of the huge amount of action which is being taken to address the concerns…. "Nearly 18,000 young people are supported in some way through local SEND services…. Mr Hicks said many of the campaign group's concerns related to schools, and individual cases, and he would speak to the new cabinet member being appointed on May 27 to discuss arranging a meeting with representatives of the group to personally hear its concerns. Suffolk County Council has committed to invest £45million[$64M US] in 870 new SEND education places with some 210 places created in 2020/21 with a further 310 places due to become available in the school year 2021/22, despite facing many challenges surrounding the pandemic…. "The number of EHCPs in Suffolk now stands at around 5900, with nearly 12,000 additional children receiving SEND education support.