(UK) THOUSANDS of parents PROTEST SPED cuts; "support outstripping funds"

May 30, 2019, Guardian: Families rally against special educational needs funding cuts—Children, parents and teachers march across England over ‘national crisis’ in Send funding Thousands of families with children who have special educational needs and disabilities have staged protests across England against funding cuts. On Thursday afternoon, children, parents and teachers marched in 28 towns and cities including London, Bristol, Leeds and Birmingham in the first national action of its kind. Organisers of Send National Crisis said about 1,000 people attended a rally in Parliament Square in Westminster. Among the speakers was the campaigner Emma Parker, whose son James has spent 29 months out of school over the past five years because of exclusions and reduced timetables. “We have thousands of children across the UK who are not in schools, who are on reduced timetables and who don’t have access to the schools that they desperately need,” Parker said. … Statistics released on Thursday by the Department for Education show the number of children and young people with special educational needs or education, health and care plans in England increased by 34,200 (or 11%) from 2018. Though the government has said legislation introduced in 2014 increased funding for Send pupils, campaigners have said the growing number of children and young people requiring support is outstripping funds. The Local Government Association estimates that English councils face a Send funding gap of more than £500m this year…. …While we have increased the total amount allocated to high needs funding to £6.3bn this year, we recognise the pressures in the system and we are working with the sector ahead of the spending review to find a long-term, sustainable solution for high needs funding.”