Dear Boris, Let Us Learn Too

A campaign by disabled children and young people, parents/carers and allies to ensure their views are represented in the DfE SEND Review

In all the attention now being paid to children returning to school and avoiding further damage to learning, and therefore to equality of opportunity by today’s generation, it is regrettably too often the case that children with special educational needs are overlooked.

It is vital that their voice and the concerns of their parents should not be lost in addressing wider issues of overcoming the continuing challenge of COVID, and recognise that often additional measures and therefore responses need to be in place to ensure that children with additional needs do not fall through the cracks, and therefore lose out once again.

Lord David Blunkett, former Secretary of State for Education

17 thoughts on “Dear Boris, Let Us Learn Too

  1. Under this current system I realised quickly that I needed to know the answers to the questions before I asked in order to know if I was being told the whole truth.. just to get the same help for my child as many other children get. Senior leadership investigated themselves leading to an upheld complaint of lack of paperwork to gain next levels of help even though part of leadership was apparently on an EHC panel. Comments on help in high school at the age of 7 if I still wanted to pursue help as high school have bigger budgets.. not quite the graduated approach. Factually inaccurate LA legal department intimidating letters and much more. It was so frustrating to hear replies that I seemed to have knowledge and made me wonder how many children are not getting what they need through parents being fobbed off. Leadership using an other parent who then offered to be mediator explaining to me it all was down to diagnosis. Breaking GDPR and safeguard on a number of occasions and making me wonder what accurate information parents were getting in my area. I got my parental EHCP after collecting 2 years of medical information on proven need. I am still waiting on how it will be put in place as the draft is far to general meaning the funding will probably be used for other children in the class as well as my child. Is this common.. who knows? How can teachers manage without extra staff or funding/ training, when a larger proportion of their time goes to children with SEND and I wondered if parents who’s children are not affected realise how this will also impact on their education in terms of time and what could be for all. My experience is only in mainstream education but can see the system is broken. What chances does a parent have to help in navigating this system, potentially with their own neuro-diversity if time, knowledge and or money are needed just to get the same as anyone else. Added to the possibility of behavioural or time consuming needs of your child and other areas of your life to manage.. what chance do we have?

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    1. I have a grandson who lives with me his name is aaron and he has ADHD & Autism and we have now been told the school he loves to go to and where his friends are he can’t go there now as the council will not fun them to support him.The government & councils will give money to other things but will not support disabled children im disabled myself,what gets me angry is like all the other people who work have paid into the state but where there children are concerned no one cares.

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  2. Hi,
    I am the Director of Education of a group of special schools in Wales that provide education for pupils with autism. I would very much like to get involved with your initiative, would you mind getting in touch to tell me how?

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  3. Hi I am a parent of a SEN child in Main Stream school. I seriously think that there should be a serious inquiry into contracts of (in my particular caseBarnet) LA. Who is accountable, for what was delivered ( actually nothing -SLT, OT not even annual reviews have been processed. This is not COVID related, in my sons case Barnet has not done anything since he got his EHCP in 2017 and they stoped his SLT in Nov 2019 without even telling school or parents… it’s endless struggle – this is a corruption that should be investigated and brought to light

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  4. I am an Autistic autism Advocate/consultant/ Trainer and Parent. The educational system for Neurodivergent/disabled children is appalling. Parents should Not have to continually fight for their Children’s RIGHT to a full, meaningful and individual education that supports needs. This is 2021. Enough is enough

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  5. My son age 10 has been on a reduced timetable (2-4 hours a day) for the past 11 months. He has an EHCP which states specialist provision however there are only 2 local state specialist primary schools in my area Herts that are suitable and 1 in Beds All of which are currently full with huge waiting lists so can not meet need. His current placement ends in December and the LA have suggested some on line lessons and maybe 1 or 2 face to face for the period jan 2022-July 2022. My son has a right to full time education. I am a single parent who had to reduce working hours at local NHS hospital due to son not being in specialist school. I work to pay for childcare as I’ve been told repeatedly that I cannot get help with childcare and have also been told repeatedly to quit my job to Carr for my son full time. Who would pay my mortgage? What am I teaching my children? I have worked hard for my career and I have a right to work to support my family.
    Herts is in a desperate need for additional specialist schools so that children can have an education in a setting with trained members of staff who know how to teacher them.
    My son is bright he has ASD and struggles within mainstream setting mainly due to sensory difficulties.

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  6. Local Council need to put out children needs first and stop wasting money on free local events
    Stop all the cuts as this is effecting our SEN children

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  7. Suffolk county council must be held to account. We have no school for our 6 3/4 child. He’s never been to school. This is a disgrace.

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  8. As a mother of an autistic son who has been failed in education over the years, I feel it’s essential that SEN children are given the chance of a good education and are treated appropriately by staff and the system. Too often SEN children are left to flounder in a system because its considered to difficult to deal with them. Every child is entitled to a good education but they are individuals and should be treated as such, not pushed to one side and considered as difficult. Both my children were bullied because of their conditions and considered different. Neither were really protected by staff and as a result both stopped telling staff when they had a problem. This led to my young autistic son to finally break down in tears and totally refuse to ever attend school again. He still feels this way to the point we can’t even get him to attend College because he thinks it will be the same as school. He is terrified of large groups of people and is more comfortable with smaller groups. All teachers and staff should be aware SEN children and properly trained to teach and help our children and not just push them away with stupid and insulting excuses.

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  9. Support SEN not LA protection of budgets … we are family destroyed by false FII … don’t bang on about mental health … actually support it !

    Thank you !

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  10. We need huge investment in SEND we need to train our teachers we need to earn the trust of our families and give our children the promise of the futures they deserve the opportunities that are their right and the acceptance they deserve

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  11. Council need to be held to account for their failings in supporting families with vulnerable children to access suitable education, and allowing schools to discriminate far too often.

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  12. I am the parent of 2 children with SEND needs. They are both unable to attend school because the reasonable adjustments are not available which would allow them to attend. They have a right to education which is not being upheld.

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  13. We need huge investments in Send. In addition we need all agencies including schools to be respectful and supportive and not continually parent blame and issue threats or ultimatums. No one knows our children better than we do and being told what to do is not the correct way. Parents need to be listened to and supported as we are the only ones fighting and advocating for our children in a currently unjust system. We need processes such as EHCPS to be easier and be able to access what we need for our children when we need it without bias’s and judgment.

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  14. Thank you so much for bringing this shameful issue into the news.
    The school system is an outdated, soulless factory; hammering children into round holes. They are squashed to fit, or they break. No one cares.
    My daughter broke.
    My son is asking for help. He has asd and adhd and cannot cope with school.
    CAMHS will do nothing and there is no alternative if you are not rich enough to go private.
    The council has just refused an ehcp.
    Looks like home-ed is the only option. Not sure how we will have enough time or money.
    EVERY child has the RIGHT to a DECENT education.

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    1. We were told to right to camhswhich we did concerning my grandson and there response was he do not meet there criteria , we asked what was there criteria which we are still waiting for a reply that was a month ago.

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