Power to the people! Aylesbury parents and children protest cuts for kids with special educational needs at County Hall today

Children with special educational needs and their parents marched on County Hall today to protest against the 'broken system'.

By Hayley OKeeffe
Thursday, 30th May 2019, 3:41 pm
Protesters on the steps of County Hall in Aylesbury
Protesters on the steps of County Hall in Aylesbury

The event - which was part of a national day of action saw scores of parents and their children process through town waving placards decrying the Governments top-down cuts to vital provisions.

Protesters met at ended their march on the steps of County Hall in Aylesbury.

Protesters on the steps of County Hall in Aylesbury

Katherine Watts, who helped to organise the local protest, 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 (EHC) 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.

Kathrine added: "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.

Protesters marched through Aylesbury today

"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."

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.