Bristol Council to discuss the Special Educational Needs and Disability funding crisis

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We the undersigned call on Bristol City council to discuss the Special Educational Needs and Disability funding crisis and how it is affecting Bristol’s children and young people. 

The council has stated that outcomes for SEND children in Bristol are poor and that Bristol has the highest amount of fixed termed exclusions in the country, in both primary and secondary education (Bristol Schools' Forum meeting 22.5.18).

Despite this, they are making cuts of £5 million to the SEND high needs funding block. This means that children who need extra support in schools will not be provided with the appropriate funding, leaving schools in an increasingly impossible position.

How is that going to improve the outcomes for our children and young people with SEND? What’s the plan for these children? They still have SEND. They still have unmet needs.

There are many other failings in the system. Is the Mayor aware of these failings?

For example, Statutory Annual Reviews are not being carried out, with only 258 taking place last year, when there are over 2218 EHCPs in circulation (FOI request for March 2017 to March 2018). How will this be corrected and monitored?

Statutory requirements for requests for EHCP assessments, assessments themselves, and the creation of EHCP plans are not being followed. EHCPs issued are often non-compliant.

Bristol is not adhering to the Children and Families Act 2014, the Special Educational Needs and Disability Regulations 2014 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice.

We the undersigned ask that Bristol City council examines how they will rectify the above issues and how its plans to cut £5 million from their high needs funding block will improve the outcomes for children with SEND.



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