Parents seeking legal against Government over special needs cuts

Parents seeking legal against Government over special needs cuts

A campaign group is set to launch legal action against the Government after claiming that 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.

The Send Family Action group is claiming there is a national crisis and have launched a crowdfunding campaign towards their legal challenge.

They say teaching assistants and specialist teachers have been cut, and children are struggling to access vital services – including speech and language and occupational therapy.

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.

Families argue that grants do not leave councils with enough money to fulfil legal obligations to provide the right care for SEND pupils.

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.

Many funding cuts to SEND like this one are being challenged locally, with a judicial review against Surrey council due in the High Court next week, but parents are now looking at direct action against the Government.

A spokesperson for the Send Family Action group said: “The issue of councils being able to fund specialist services is a growing problem, with concern that an increasing number of local authorities are failing to meet their statutory responsibilities to disabled children.

“The families are concerned that local authorities are not receiving enough funding so wish to investigate whether there are legal grounds to challenge the Government over its funding support. They believe that thousands of children across the UK with special educational needs are currently unable to receive the support that they need.”