Derby Labour's handling of Special Educational Needs branded 'a disgrace'

August 21, 2017 1:03 PM

Derby City Council is continuing to fall behind in its plans for Special Educational Needs school children.

A Freedom of Information request suggests that over 60% of pupils with special educational needs due to start secondary school this September - who should legally have had their statements of SEN transferred to the new Education , Health and Care Plans - did not receive their new plan in time.

The council are required to have the Education, Health and Care plans in place for all children with special educational needs by 1st April 2018, Under the Children and Families Act 2014. At the current rate, If Derby City Council cannot meet a legal deadline for a smaller cohort this implies that the Council simply won't be able to get the necessary arrangements in place to convert all the old Statements to the new EHCPs.

Local campaigner Danielle Lind said "It's a disgrace how badly this has been handled.

"These children are the most vulnerable in our city but Labour are letting them down and leaving families in limbo.

"Labour need to admit they have a major problem and that they're failing our most vulnerable children. All these children want is to go to a suitable school and receive an appropriate education like anyone else, but Labour's incompetence and disregard can cause children and their families great anxiety, stress and uncertainty fearing where their children will go to school and if provision will be cut.

"It is of great concern that, due to the council not completing the plans on time, families may not have had the chance to appeal any decisions about what school their child will attend or what provision their child will receive before the new term starts. Parents will no doubt feel under immense pressure to just accept, even if they disagree.

"We need an end to Labour's record of failure for Derby."

Derby Liberal Democrats leader Cllr Ruth Skelton said "There is quite clearly a problem here; the FOI replies prove it. Labour need to stop burying their heads in the sand."