My experience of campaigning has been a Judicial Review to try and reverse a decision made by my Local Authority (LA), Surrey, without consultation with families and carers, to cut almost £21 million from the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) budget.
As a parent of a child with SEND, I have seen the impact of the continued lack of educational support on the mental health of many children and young people and also their parents and carers.
To understand if your LA is planning cuts, you can look on their website and search under consultations. Although, if you really want to be sure of what is happening locally, it’s best to keep an eye on what is happening at Council meetings and/or Cabinet meetings, as if your LA, like mine, doesn’t consult then this is the only way you’ll find out.
In our case, it was the diligence of a young local journalist who raised the issue of cuts otherwise we would have been in the dark until they hit.
You should also look out for other cuts to services such as day centres as these should also pass through consultation and if not will undoubtedly be discussed at Council meetings. All these things can be challenged.
So my 3 top tips would be:
Check the consultations on your LA website at least every couple of weeks.
Check the LA Council/Cabinet meeting minutes for any budget discussions.
- Spread the word.
If you suspect you may have cuts coming your way and need to find out about Crowdfunding or the process to challenge them, please contact me via our Facebook page: Reverse Surrey SEN Cuts or on Twitter @SurreySENCuts