Motion and press release on Special Educational Needs from Surrey Lib Dem Group

Proposed by Cllr Botten
Seconded by Cllr Goodwin

The Council notes that:

  1. Significant numbers of children who are either in the care of the County Council or children with special educational needs are being placed in residential care or special schools outside Surrey. This means that children are either living a long way from family and friends or have to travel long distances to get to and from school which is detrimental to children and their families and;
  2. The County Council is projecting to overspend its special needs transport Budget by £1.2 million in 2017/18.
  3. This Council supports plans to develop travel training for young people with special educational needs and to encourage the take up of the parental travel allowance.

This Council agrees that there is a lack of County Council provided residential places and special needs places for children within Surrey and the County Council will invest in providing more of such places for children in Surrey as soon as practicable.

Lib Dem success as County Council backs more SEND places in Surrey

Liberal Democrat county councillors celebrated today after Surrey County Council unanimously backed their call to increase the level of places for pupils with Special Educational Needs within Surrey. A motion, tabled by Liberal Democrat county councillors, was accepted unanimously by all council members at a meeting today at County Hall. The County Council spends a total of £237 million on SEND services for children and young people, educates 822 SEND students outside of the county, and spends nearly £27 million on travel costs for SEND students.

Cllr Chris Botten, who proposed the motion, said: “I am delighted that the County Council have backed our call for an increase in provision for SEND places within Surrey. This cannot come soon enough as currently far too many Surrey pupils are sent out of county which is both expensive and inefficient in terms of travel times and the effect on family life. Surrey County Council has the opportunity to become an exemplar in providing SEND services and we must work to make that a reality, for the benefit of our pupils and their families.

Cllr Angela Goodwin, who seconded the motion, added: “Parents and carers in Surrey will welcome this news. They already struggle with a complicated and tough system of forms, assessments and a mountain of paperwork – providing more help closer to home would be a huge benefit. Parents and carers want to know that the County Council is on their side in doing everything it can to be provide opportunities for SEND pupils. Hopefully today is the first step towards a new positive relationship that will benefit pupils, parents and carers in the years to come”.

NOTES:

  • Images of Cllr Botten & Cllr Goodwin can be found here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/146827888@N06/albums/72157688064394922
  • The full text of the motion can be found here: https://surreylibdems.org.uk/en/document/lib-dem-send-motion

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