Stop the Restructure of the Integrated Resource at King Ecgbert School - Sheffield

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My name is Tracey Cox. My son Mackenzie is a pupil in the IR unit at KES. I've set up this petition in the hope to holt any decisions that are going to restructure the IR unit. My son has Autism, ADHD and PDA. He started in Y7 last September and is a completely changed child. All down to the hard work of the team there, headed up by the wonderful Matt Hesmondhalgh and John Whitton. Due to their hard work and commitment to Mackenzie he has halved his medication and finally started to access the academic curriculum. I was horrified today to receive a letter from the current Headteacher Mrs Lesley Bowes (who subsequently is leaving imminently) that the current resource as we know it is to close and our vulnerable children will be integrated into mainstream with limited support. Mrs Bowes is trying to reassure us that although she is losing key members of staff our children will not suffer nor lose any level of support. I've also heard the devastating news that Mrs Bowes intends to make the backbone of this unit, John Whitton and Matt Hesmondhalgh redundant from their positions as they don't support the drastic cuts to the IR unit. I'm told that this is due to financial issues. However, I was under the impression that the SEN funds the resource separately and therefore, this must be examined in more detail before a Headteacher can be allowed to close what is described as the best Integrated Resource in England. We should be opening more resources like the one at KES not closing them down! Nor should the IR Unit be a victim of KES's mis managed funding. We cannot allow Mrs Bowes to cut this resource just because it does not perform to what the state requires academically in regards to its targets etc, and the demise of the unit be her easy option on saving money. These children are vulnerable and deserve this unit to achieve their goals both academically and socially. The IR unit at KES has a proven track record for its wonderful work in changing the lives of children with Special Educational Needs for over 20 years. I do not know what this ludicrous decision will do to our children. I was strongly of the impression that mental health was finally getting a voice, however, I don't feel this to be the case if we are allowed to close the best resource in the Country and lose the best resource teachers. It must also be strongly noted that Mrs Bowes is retiring from her position as Headteacher this year so will not be present to oversee, or manage these drastic changes. Sheffield SEN should be ensuring that no changes are made to this IR unit and it should be proud of the stature it holds in this field - it has been described and noted to be the best IR unit in the Country with the best IR teaching staff. please sign this petition and save our children's education. Mrs Tracey Cox

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