In a time of austerity, parents have come together to fight for what’s right and for the greater good of their children, they’re saying enough is enough!
It’s 2019 and we have thousands of parents and carers in this amazing country, fighting for a fair education for disabled children and young people. Why? Because their/our children do not fit the normal criteria for accessing education.
Parents have been fighting for their children’s educational rights for years, however, there continues to be a lapse of support and assessment resulting in tens of thousands of children and young people being left without an appropriate education. In some cases, left without any form of education; or even worse, left within an education establishment that is unable to cater for their needs. The latter resulting in some very damaging mental health, trust and confidence issues.
Nadia Turki, SEND funding campaigner, explains: ‘So this was why I started to look at the current SEND structure and legislation. I quickly realised that it is flawed and that thousands of children and young people were not being provided with correct or adequate education provisions. Hey presto, SEND National Crisis was born!’
Nadia, Poppy and I met via parent online SEND support groups. We have all had very long battles to get our children the right support and found social media groups to be a lifeline full of other parents to advise and support us along with wonderful SEND experts and professionals who give up their time to help parents fight for their children.
I don’t use the words battle and fight lightly. It is quite literally what we have to do with our local authorities to get the needs of our vulnerable children supported and access to the human right to an appropriate education.
I know of parents that are on their third or fourth SENDIST tribunal and who are crowdfunding to band together to take their local authorities to judicial review of which I attended against my own last year. The latest judicial review goes higher, parents are now challenging how central government funds SEND services in the High Court in June.
We have decided to act instead of repeatedly say the words ‘We need a march or something’. Parents have been saying this for years now, despite the SEND reforms 2014 nothing has changed to make any difference.
We believe it’s time we all united and stood up to the powers that refuse to provide our children and young people with the education that is rightfully theirs. There are so many of us struggling and battling an unfair system for our children or the people we care for and it is an exhausting process that hammers us into the ground daily. Parents have given up work, lost their homes and experienced mental health and trauma issues.
If we do what we have been saying we want to do and march together in our masses, then we can no longer be ignored. If you want to make a change then let’s start here. Enough is enough!
- Funding to increase to match needs and ring-fenced for SEND.
- Assessing, monitoring and accountability for improved educational outcomes for each child with SEND.
- One consistent SEND process that all local authorities must follow.
We want to emphasise that the campaign has only gained its momentum and impact thanks to the relentless work and support of our volunteers and coordinators. We thank all our members and followers for their support.
Sharon Pratt is a SEND parent, who, along with Poppy Rose and Nadia Turki, is organising the SEND National Crisis March in London on 30th May at 1pm.