(UK) THOUSANDS of disabled students lack services despite $8B increase this year

Sept 26, 2018, Independent: Parents seek legal action against government over ‘national crisis’ of special needs cuts Thousands of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are not getting the support they need because of a lack of funding to schools and councils, a campaign group has claimed as it seeks to launch legal action against the government. Claiming there is a "national crisis" SEND Family Action, have launched a national crowdfunding campaign towards a legal challenge of education secretary Damian Hinds. Teaching assistants and specialist teachers have been cut, and children are struggling to access vital services – including speech and language and occupational therapy, the families say. Some schools are refusing to admit SEND children, encouraging parents to remove them or exclude them, as they can no longer afford to support their needs, according to the crowdfunding page. The families, among them parents from North Yorkshire and East Sussex, argue that grants do not leave councils with enough money to fulfil their legal obligation to provide care for SEND pupils. … She added: “Cuts to SEND budgets are being made across the country. It has got to the point now where this is a national crisis. Nico has close friends who have spent years out of school and their parents have repeatedly been fighting for an appropriate placement and provision so he has seen first-hand the heartache this has caused.”… Last month, parents of children with special educational needs won a landmark case after taking Bristol City Council to the High Court over £5m cuts to the SEND budget…. He added that core schools funding was increasing to £43.5bn [$57B US dollars] by 2020. "Included in that total, the national high needs budget for children and young people with more complex SEND is £6 billion [$7.8B US dollars] this year," he said….