Children & Parents In Birmingham To Stage Protest Over Special Educational Needs Funding
30 May 2019, 08:13 | Updated: 30 May 2019, 08:18
Thousands of parents, disabled children and young people will take to the streets to demand the Government acts to end the "national crisis" in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) funding.
Campaign group SEND National Crisis will deliver a petition with more than 12,000 signatures to Downing Street at midday on Thursday.
This will be followed by a rally in Parliament Square.
Campaigners will also gather in 26 other locations across England and Wales in what they say is the first national action of its kind.
"A lot of children are being internally excluded now"— Heart West Midlands News (@HeartWMidsNews) May 30, 2019
Parents and children are holding a rally in #Birmingham later - demanding more funding for children with special educational needs or disability #SendNationalCrisis #HeartNews pic.twitter.com/1KCqQ25f01
According to the National Education Union (NEU), special needs provision in England has lost out on £1.2 billion since 2015.
It says funding granted to local authorities has failed to keep pace demand for SEND provision.
The number of children and young people with an education health and care plan has increased by 33% since 2015.
Children and Families Minister and MP for Stratford-upon-Avon Nadhim Zahawi said: "Our ambition is for every child, no matter the challenges they face, to have access to a world-class education that sets them up for life.
"Funding for the high needs budget is a priority for this government and we know that councils and schools are facing pressures - that's why in December we provided an extra £250 million up to 2020 to help manage these costs.
"This takes the total amount that we have allocated for high needs funding to £6.3 billion this year, compared to £5 billion in 2013.
"At the same time, the Education Secretary has been clear that we are working closely with the sector as we approach the spending review, we have launched a call for evidence to make sure the funding system is getting money to the right places at the right time and we are revising the SEND code of practice to improve ways to identify and meet special educational needs."