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***(UK) Yorkshire councils "face rising demands" for SPED plans; kids face "lengthy delays"

2019, Yorkshire Post: Yorkshire families’ pain over year-long special needs delays https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/education/yorkshire-families-pain-over-year-long-special-needs-delays-1-9571924 Families across Yorkshire have faced lengthy delays over education, health and care plans for vulnerable children. Ruby Kitchen reports. A boy with autism, out of school for a year. A working mother, who has given up her job so she can be home to take the crisis calls that come every day. … Their children, with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), have been waiting in “limbo”, they say, as they battle to get care plans in place to support them in school. Councils face rising demand for these support services. There is no extra money, they warn. But the frustration for families, as they watch their children struggle, is palpable. … Across Yorkshire, in just one year to 2017, the number of applications for new plans rose 22 per cent. Authorities across the region have warned over a service buckling under the strain. Changes to the Children and Families Act (2014) add to the pressure, as authorities are now responsible for support until a young person is aged 25, but with no extra funding they say. Late last year, a family from Scarborough was among campaigners at SEND Action group which launched a High Court legal challenge - against the Government’s funding policy rather than local councils. … The Yorkshire Post, raising questions over delays this week, has been approached by a great number of families from across the region. … “I am well aware we are one of thousands of families in this position,” she said simply. “The system is both flawed and seriously underfunded.” Back in Holme Valley, Mrs Bennet’s 15-year-old son Jamie has autism, ADHD, and complex needs, and has struggled in school since the age of seven. To get an EHCP to formalise his needs took 67 weeks, over 15 months, when the rules state that it should have been completed in 20. … Sarah Grant, from Bradford, says she also gave up work to be at home for daughter Eva, aged 12, who was diagnosed with autism in October. Eva, struggling with anxiety, didn’t go to school for six months. …