Local Authorities in England - Stop FAILING children with special educational needs!

Local Authorities in England - Stop FAILING children with special educational needs!

4 July 2021
Petition to
Ian Budd and
Signatures: 806Next Goal: 1,000
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Why this petition matters

Started by Laura White


Please SIGN.
We need our LOCAL AUTHORITIES to listen. The system is broken. This petition is to fight the bureaucracy! SEND children need better provision and better options. They need to be in educational settings that provide education, with real tangible prospects. Settings that enable children to flourish. NOT JUST THE CHEAPEST OPTION FOR THE LOCAL AUTHORITY.

Whilst this petition is about my son, my fight is with the bureaucracy within the SEND system in its entirety. Families up and down England are being failed. We are our children's advocates and we will no longer be silenced!

Data from Special Needs Jungle suggests:

'that local authorities collectively allocated around £55m of their scarce resources towards defending SENDIST appeals in 2019-20.

In all, since the SENDIST reforms became law in 2014, SNJ estimates that LAs have thrown around £200m of resources at SENDIST appeal defence.
Tribunal panels upheld local authority decisions in only 193 of 3,770 hearings last year – an LA success rate of 5%, the worst on record. 
Across the six full years since the SEND reforms became law, SENDIST panel hearings have upheld just 9% of local authority decisions' https://www.specialneedsjungle.com/95-decisions-favour-parents-nobody-wins-send-tribunal/

My sons and daughter have Special Educational Needs and my eldest attends a special school within North Warwickshire. My son is finishing Year 7 and he NEEDS to move schools NOW to a school that will help my son achieve his goals so that he can lead an independent and successful adult life. I am petitioning Warwickshire County Council as they have failed my son and are committing us to further delays by refusing our request. I have repeatedly asked (& begged) the Council to allow my son to attend a different school. His current school has failed him with inconsistent teaching staff & poor educational provision with no prospect of him gaining any qualifications. The school cannot meet my son's needs and has not acted in his best interests. They have also allowed my son to be verbally and physically bullied year on year. I have had to make two formal complaints with his school. They have apologised but nothing has changed and we no longer trust his school. My son has great potential and yet the school has no ambition for him. He, and others with special educational needs, deserve so much better.

The Council has refused to allow our son to attend a different school. Their reason? That his current school can 'meet his need'. Any parent with a child at a special school will be familiar with that phrase. They have not met my son's needs for years. My son attends a special provision that encompasses both primary and secondary school. As my son has attended a special needs school for his entire education to date, I was not afforded the opportunity to name a 'Secondary School' for my son in the same way that parents of children in a mainstream school are. This is in breach of disability legislation.

The Local Authority has told us that all of the Year 7 special school places are full. The only response that I receive from the Council is 'you can appeal if you want to'. This potentially adds months to our request and how can we appeal if these schools do not have a place?

This is Warwickshire County Councils tag line: 'Working together with our partners, we aim to improve the outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by promoting inclusion in mainstream settings, giving schools the skills and resources to meet the needs of learners and building the confidence of parents and carers.'.

The Local Authority is failing the children and parents in their constituency. Why are parents forced to spend years fighting, wasting precious time that our sons and daughters desperately need and cannot afford to waste? It would seem that our Local Authorities do not care what the ramifications are for families. We must hold our Councils to account! The parents of children with special educational needs demand that action is taken! Stop assuming that SEND staff know more about our children than we do. 

My son deserves a better education. He may have Autism but that does not mean that he cannot achieve great things. He needs a school that will invest time in him, that will want to see him succeed and flourish. He only has a brief time left in education, please do not let this go to waste. He deserves the best chances to improve his outcomes. Enough with bureaucracy. Local Authorities must end the constant stream of making parents appeal and attend tribunals. We all deserve better!

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Signatures: 806Next Goal: 1,000
Support now