At the start of September we started our campaign to highlight that not all children in the #SEND community were returning to school - whilst every other child in the country obtained their place in the new academic year.
Hundred of twitter users replaced their profile with the #notbacktoschool pin below.
We set a Twitter poll to understand just how many children are actually not returning to school.
We were astounded at the outcome.
An incredible 63% of parents told us their son or daughter had not returned to an appropriate school placement at the beginning of September.
That means if we took the latest figures alone 319,819 in the UK have a statement or an EHCP. By 2018 over 28,000 were awaiting assessment of need. A further 1500 have been reported to be without a school placement in Jan 2019 by The Independent.
Therefore we can assume from our Twitter survey that a min of there are roughly 6 in 10 children with SEND in the United Kingdom, without a sustainable school placement appropriate to their need. Something not already reflected in the figures. This is snowballing issue and both political parties have failed to adequately address the issue. Prolonged DFE inquiries are not producing immediate change either.
We went to the parents to understand where they feel the challenges are. Almost all unanimously stated they felt or had evidence that the local authorities were not fulfilling their statutory duties.
This further impacts the process and creates a bottle neck of children not just without school placements, but also awaiting placements.
Time is running out - marches across the country to raise awareness by parents appear to be falling on excuse the pun (deaf ears). Angela Raynor in her latest address at the Labour Conference appeared to muddy waters further by suggesting all private sector schools should amalgamate with the public sector. We seriously doubt from these statements Labour has any serious grasp of the issues and Gavin Williamson whilst announcing extra funding, has yet to be specific on how the system will change to enable families to move through it adequately without fear of tribunal - to ensure their children are able to access education to which they are entitled.