Medway Labour and Cooperative Group today called on Conservative Ministers to recognise the costs to Medway of their botched Special Educational Needs and Disability reforms which date from 2014. Medway Labour Group pointed to the costs of adequate support for Medway’s most vulnerable young people. The designated fund, the High Needs Block, is currently in deficit due to the high costs of supportive school places in special and mainstream schools. Medway Labour Group has written to government ministers demanding action.
Cllr Clive Johnson, Medway Labour and Cooperative Shadow Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:
‘The council’s High Needs Block is currently in deficit and the pressures are growing. Our most vulnerable young people need the most intense support but the government is not funding that support adequately. Local authorities across the country are struggling and the families of children with special needs are all too aware that the system is creaking. I raised this issue with the administration at full council on 7th October and Conservative councillors, Ministers and our local MPs need to step up and support vulnerable Medway families.’
Cllr Vince Maple, Leader of Medway Labour and Cooperative Group, said:
‘We support the action the Council is taking to invest in special needs and disability education in Medway. We have campaigned hard for increased and improved provision and fewer costly placements. But the government is failing Medway by not providing adequate recognition of the costs of SEND support and how numbers are rising. A Labour administration would defend our vulnerable young people and ensure they can face the future with confidence.’