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Mums lay 60 backpacks on council steps to show how many special needs children ‘are being failed’ | #specialneeds | #kids | #parenting | #parenting | #kids


Placard-waving parents left a sea of backpacks on the steps of Warwickshire County Council in protest over ‘failings’ for Special Educational Needs pupils.

They said each of the 60 packbags represented a child they claimed the local education authority had let down.

Among the messages on the placards included ‘you are stealing our education’.

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Another read ‘SEN – State Education Neglect.’

Some of these placards were made by Laura White, a mum from Atherstone who spoke to CoventryLive about the battle she faces with the county council over her son Charles.

Laura White from Atherstone at the demonstration

She said she barely recognises her son as he has become so introverted as a result of not being given access to the right school.

The angry mum joined in the SEND Crisis Warwickshire demonstration and was accompanied by one of her other children, Frances.

They have timed the demonstration to coincide with an Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission (CQC) SEND Local Area Inspection into the county council’s SEND provision.

‘Comfortting and upsetting’

Speaking about the demonstration, the mum-of-four said: “It was both comforting and upsetting to see and hear so many families going through the same difficulties with Warwickshire County Council.

“Their policies, which frankly are unfair and discriminatory, are pushing families to breaking point. The emotional, financial and practical implications of their decisions means that, whilst saving the council money on their budgets, families face making incredibly difficult decisions.

“However, we were united as one group, one huge family that are taking a stand against Warwickshire County Council.”

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Mrs White and her fellow campaigners want the inspectors to realise what is happening to families.

“There are so many of us in the same boat,” she said.

“I feel like we are banging our heads against a brick wall because no-one’s listening.”

Make a real difference

The county council says it has launched an ‘ambitious’ programme to transform SEND support services across Warwickshire and wants to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people in the county.

A spokesman said: ““We are working together with partners, parents, carers and young people to improve the outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by promoting inclusion in mainstream settings where that is appropriate, giving schools the skills and resources to meet the needs of learners and building the confidence of parents and carers.

“We are improving SEND provision in Warwickshire through our SEND and Inclusion Change Programme that started in 2020. We aim to provide every child with access to high quality education so they can achieve their full potential. We are committed to listening and engaging with parents and carers in the county and are hosting a series of open webinars to hear their views.”





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