Hundreds of shocking cases of children with special needs being forced out of school have emerged as figures reveal a £1.2bn drop in real-terms funding over the past four years. The Independent reports.
Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are out of school for years at a time as government funding to local authorities has failed to keep up with a rise in demand.
In a litany of case studies revealed to The Independent, families say long periods at home have damaged their children’s mental health as they wait for councils to find suitable provision.
The stories came to light as a National Education Union (NEU) report warns that local authorities in England have reached “crisis point”, with nine out of 10 facing shortfalls of thousands of pounds.
A number of parents told The Independent that their children had been at home for long periods after being excluded or “off-rolled” – a process of removing a child from the school’s register.
Some say they were encouraged by schools to withdraw their children amid a lack of resources.
The report comes as hundreds of delegates of the NEU annual conference will debate whether to orchestrate a national campaign to oppose cuts in educational provision in Liverpool on Tuesday.
Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the NEU, warned that many local councils have been left “on the brink” amid funding cuts for SEND provision.
He said: “This is an appalling way to be addressing the education of some of our most vulnerable children and young people and is causing untold misery and worry for thousands of families.”
Mr Courtney added: “It is leading to very bad consequences for children where special needs support is being cut in schools and local authorities, and we hear stories of children that are out of the system for years at a time sometimes.”
Has your family suffered due to funding cuts? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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