Labour County councillors welcome the announcement from the Conservative Cabinet Member for Education to all councillors today to confirm the halt to the consultation into closure of Suffolk’s Specialist Support Centres.
Joanna Hammond and other parents have done fantastic work to raise awareness of the danger to education provision for children with special needs. Their petition on the ‘38 degrees’ website has gained over 6,500 signatories, and local Labour councillors were amongst those who had signed and had helped promote the petition.
Specialist Support Centres are classrooms set up within mainstream schools with specific resources to help young people with moderate to severe learning difficulties access the support they need.
Sonia Barker, Suffolk Labour’s education spokesperson said; “This decision was originally made behind closed doors and without the knowledge or scrutiny of county councillors and we pay tribute to the parents that made us aware of these closures.”
She added; “We have been calling for a complete and thorough review of education for children with special needs, including children with learning difficulties, ADHD and on the Autistic Spectrum, for some years. We are relieved that the parents have won the day over this, but it does not let the Conservatives off the hook. We don’t expect the services to stay the same – there are already far too many children with special educational needs who are being failed by lack of the proper provision. When the County’s Conservative administration finally get round to looking at what services there should be for these children, we will be pushing to make sure that nobody gets left out.”