SEND Families From Birmingham Go To High Court Over Funding

26 June 2019, 06:29 | Updated: 26 June 2019, 06:33

Classroom of children

Parents of children with special educational needs are bringing a landmark High Court challenge against the Government over funding cuts to local authorities.

The families bringing the legal action say the Government is leaving councils across the country unable to fulfill their legal obligation of providing education to children with special educational needs and disabilities (Send).

Three families, from North Yorkshire, Birmingham and East Sussex, will argue the Government's approach to funding Send is unlawful.

Anne-Marie Irwin, the lawyer and public law specialist at law firm Irwin Mitchell - who is representing the families, said the case is the first time the Government has been taken to court over Send funding.

She said: "So many families are desperate to know that their children will be able to get the support they require to access an education, yet so many councils at the moment are resorting to budget cuts, which puts that under serious threat.

"Our clients in this case simply feel that enough is enough and want the Government to reconsider the level of support it is providing to local authorities on the issue of special educational needs."

The families are calling on Education Secretary Damian Hinds and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond to increase funding to local authorities.

The case is being brought by the families of 15-year-old Nico Heugh Simone, from Robertsbridge, East Sussex; nine-year-old Dakota Riddell, of Birmingham, west Midlands; and 14-year-old Benedict McFinnigan, from Scarborough, North Yorkshire.