• SEND speak

SEND funding: Debate, Local Update & SEND Action

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Dear All

Given the recent debate and news this week, here is a short update on the title subjects….

1. School funding - Westminster Hall debate

2. Demand Action for SEND Funding

3. @SEND_Action

1 School funding - Westminster Hall debate

“That this House has considered e-petition 232220 relating to school funding”

This debate took place yesterday afternoon – and ran for a full 3 hours! I haven’t watched it, but have skimmed it (the transcript, when published, will be easier to follow).

The question focussed on what would ‘sufficient funding’ mean. Within the first 11 minutes, the speaker gave an estimate that the £2.8 billion is needed to bring restore the position as it was in 2015.

You can watch the full debate here:

SEND and summing up

The Minister (Rt Hon Nick Gibb MP, Minister of State at the Department for Education) summed up (from 19:13:02) and his comments on SEND begin in the link below:

At the very end, it’s worth noting that the lead questioner* said how very disappointed she was in the Minister’s response; he qualified the existing funding but did not address the evidence presented in the debate. The Minister was asked to ‘think very hard’ about this in future.

(*the first few seconds of the videoed debate is clipped, so not sure who she is)

2 Demand Action for SEND Funding

From Richmond Councillors - 26 February 2019

To re-iterate from the last SENDspeak (dated 3rd March), here is the link to write to Damien Hinds regarding SEND funding and a note to use the email template on this page to write to Damien Hinds:

Damien Hind’s e-mail address

Some feedback from parents is that the link takes you to Damien’s constituency address, however, this is a deliberate choice on the part of Richmond Council:

“The email address is Mr Hinds’ MP email address, he does not have a ministerial email address. On our website we have a function upload a form to the DfE website (the only way to contact the DfE.”

“…it is more worthwhile emailing Mr Hinds directly as he is the ultimate decision maker. However, as the webpage states people are welcome to copy the text and send it through to the DfE as well.”

And if you live in Kingston borough

Further feedback from Kingston residents is that they amended the letter to include Kingston, with reference to when SEND provision is combined.

Having checked in with the Kingston Councillor; they are looking into running a similar campaign in Kingston. No doubt more news will follow in due course.

3 @SEND_Action

“We are a national network of families of children with special education needs/disabilities committed to upholding the legal rights of our children.”

“We are pleased to announce the dates for our landmark hearing challenging the government regarding inadequate funding for children with #SEND. Huge thanks to these bold families, our amazing legal team and our many supporters for making this happen.”

High Court Date Set For Landmark Hearing Which Will Examine Legality Of SEND Policy

“Families across the country are taking the government to the High Court to challenge its special education needs (“SEND”) funding policy which has created a ‘national scandal’.

Campaigners believe that current government grants are leaving councils across the country without enough money to fulfil their legal obligation of providing education for pupils with a range of disabilities and conditions.

Families from North Yorkshire, Birmingham and East Sussex instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to issue a Judicial Review into the legality of how the government provides funding to local authorities.

A Judge has considered extensive submissions and evidence and has now ordered that the case needs to be heard at a full two-day hearing in the High Court, listed for 26 and 27 June.”

The full press release from Irwin Mitchell is here:

If you have any questions at all, please ask and I'll do my best to find an answer.

With best wishes, Romany



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