Disgruntled parents are fed up with a 'broken system' and are organising a UK-wide march to protest the Government's failings of Special Educational Needs children.
On May 30 there will be marches/rallies taking place across England and north Wales, with the largest in London.
For the Aylesbury March, people who wish to join are requested to meet at Exchange Street Car Park, Aylesbury - 11:00, with a walk at 11:30 through to Market Square.
Activists will also be handing in a petition, which you can view here: https://bit.ly/2Ww3Qmw
Katherine Watts, who is protesting the failures of government said:
"The whole system is completely broken and corrupt. Parents and carers are so tired and fed up of the constant fight it takes just to get Local Authorities to provide the correct support needed for their children.
"It's an incredible struggle just to get local authorities to produce a suitable Education Health and Care plan."
An EHC plan is a legal document that describes a child or young person's special educational, health and social care needs. It explains the extra help that will be given to meet those needs and how that help will support the child or young person to achieve what they want to in their life.
"Having to battle to get a plan in place, on top of challenging situations faced by parents in caring for their children, ON TOP of fighting legal challenges just to get what they are legally entitled too is too much for some parents to bear.
"A lot of parents end up completely broken and some even give up. We feel we have no other action now but to protest and make our voices heard by Local Authorities and the Government."
Protesters want change now.
They see the principle problems in the chronic under-funding of Local Authorities that has created a situation where SEND service are stretched so thin, they cannot keep up with demand.
They have also criticised Local Authorities for 'not being on the side of parents', and for 'fobbing them off', instead of supporting SEND children.
The activists claim that some children are waiting years for the appropriate levels of support, with some unable to get a diagnosis or a needs assessment.
The SEND National Crisis March have a facebook page, here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/209226553243805/
Katherine continued: "There is a distinct lack of accountability for blatant flouting of the code of practice and of the Children and Families Act 2014.
"I've seen figures suggesting the money Local Authorities spend fighting families with legal tribunals could be as high as £70 million. They are fighting to avoid spending money on Special Educational Needs. This is taxpayers money and some of these taxpayers of course, are families fighting for their children in tribunals.
The activists outlined what they want to achieve:
- Universal structure for the system country wide - at the moment it seems each county has their own way of doing things.
- A board of parent governors with enforcement powers to oversee parental/carer treatment and inlcusion during the SEND/EHCP process
- Mandatory training in SEN Law for all SENCOs, SEN Officers/Managers and Heads
- Mandatory, nationally acredited training for all those drafting EHCPs
- Parental consultation and evidence for expenditure of national fund for each child.