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(UK) Waltham Forest Council sees "20 % rise in demand for SEND services since... 2014"

Updated: Aug 11, 2019

July 26, 2019, Guardian: Leader demands more funding from Government for Special Educational Needs https://www.guardian-series.co.uk/news/17794762.leader-demands-funding-government-special-educational-needs/ A council leader has written to the Government calling for more funding for special needs education. Cllr Clare Coghill, leader of Waltham Forest Council, wrote to former Education Secretary Damian Hinds demanding an end to the uncertainty faced by families with children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND). Damian Hinds was replaced as education secretary by Gavin Williamson after Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday. The move comes after protests outside the town hall earlier this year in which parents accused the council of “repeatedly refusing support” for SEND children. Cllr Coghill said: “Like many in our community, I am deeply concerned SEND provision both in Waltham Forest and further afield. … The borough has seen a 20 per cent rise in demand for SEND services since changes to the way it is funded came in in 2014, but the leader said Government funding has failed to keep pace. Cllr Coghill added: “This is a situation we have seen right across the country. We have been consulting on changes to how we allocate the funding – but after listening to parents’ concerns we are now pausing this to lobby Government for extra funding for children, parents, and schools alike.” … Tina said: “Everyone deserves the right to fulfil their potential. Some children might struggle in social situations but excel at their studies; others may have amazing social skills but find it difficult to keep up with the rest of the class academically. Wherever their talents lie, with the right support every child can thrive.” … Waltham Forest Council estimates it will be short of £4.2 million [$5.2M U.S.] for its SEND and other educational support budget by 2020/21 if no action is taken. Cllr Coghill said: “This is completely unsustainable. Our children and young people deserve better.” Cllr Grace Williams, cabinet member for children, young people and families, also lobbied the Education Secretary for additional SEND funding to be introduced as soon as possible. …