Will Forster

Former Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Tories condemned for slashing local special needs budget by £4,403 in Surrey

by willforster on 23 April, 2019

The Lib Dems and I have condemned the Conservative Government for slashing Surrey County Council budget for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by £4,403.72 per pupil in real terms since 2015, resulting in a loss of specialist provision.

The National Education Union, which published these statistics on 15th April, has warned that local authorities have now reached crisis point. Although children with the highest special educational needs and disabilities have a legal right to extra support, the National Education Union has warned that funding under this Government has failed to keep up with increasing costs and rising pupil numbers.

The Lib Dems are campaigning for more money for these pupils who possess an Education, Health and Care Plan, saving schools and councils hundreds of millions of pounds.

I think everyone deserves the best start in life, and education can be the make or break difference. It is therefore heartbreaking, that Tory Ministers are failing the children most in need.

It does not need to be this way. Young people deserve better, and the Lib Dems demand better. That is why we would invest millions more to support children with an Education, Health and Care Plan, freeing up money in the schools budget to provide tailored in-school support for children with less complex additional needs such as dyslexia.

SEND funding is an investment in a child’s future. It can help someone with a learning difficulty or disability secure a higher paid job, security and independence in later life.

I know how vital it can be, and so should Conservative Ministers in Whitehall. That is why Lib Dems are fighting tooth and nail for the money that will make a real difference for children across Surrey.

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