On Tuesday (23 October) Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet Member for Schools, Councillor Sue Sanderson, will join a delegation of representatives from around England heading to Westminster to demand extra funding for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in our schools.
The delegation will present a petition with over 32,000 signatures to Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education as part of the National Education Union’s (NEU) ‘Stop School Cuts’ campaign.
The petition calls on the Secretary of State to properly fund SEND in all schools/colleges, ensuring no child has to wait for a place in school and give power and funding back to local authorities so they can commission SEND support and services in line with what children in their community need.
Cllr Sanderson said: “I’m proud to be joining the delegation and lending the council’s weight to this campaign. It is absolutely vital that government takes this funding crisis seriously. Despite the claims to the contrary, funding for schools is simply not enough to keep pace with increasing pupil numbers with a SEND diagnosis and other costs. Thousands of schools are walking a budget tightrope and children’s educations’ are suffering.
“Specifically for SEND, the Government is failing to provide the funding necessary for schools and local councils to give children with SEND adequate support. Nationally school cuts are leading to losses of staff, equipment and care required to safeguard children with the most complex needs in the classroom. The Government has a basic duty to make sure all children can access school but instead it’s failing thousands of children who just want to learn.”
The petition follows a letter sent to the Secretary of State from leaders of councils across England, including Cumbria, earlier this year.
Full details of the campaign can be found at https://neu.org.uk/send-crisis