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Suffolk teacher takes their concerns over educational provision for children with SEND to Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill





A primary school teacher has voiced their ‘concerns and frustrations’ about how the current education system fails to support some children with special needs and disabilities in Suffolk.

Jason, a teacher and SENDCo (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator) in Bury St Edmunds, has written an open letter to Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill calling for her to speak out for children with SEND in the county.

Jason, who is also a private tutor, sent the letter openly in order to highlight to her constituents the current educational landscape and to speak out on their behalf.

A teacher has penned an open letter raising their concerns about educational provision for children with special needs in Suffolk. Picture: iStock image
A teacher has penned an open letter raising their concerns about educational provision for children with special needs in Suffolk. Picture: iStock image

He wrote: “I want to voice my concerns and frustrations about how the current education system fails to support some of the children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Suffolk, specifically those children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan.”

An EHCP is a legal document which describes a child or young person's, aged up to 25, special educational needs, the support they need, and the outcomes they would like to achieve.

Jason wrote that he recognised that the failings highlighted in the Ofsted and Care Quality Commission inspection of SEND services in Suffolk were slowly being addressed by a hard-working and overstretched team, but the findings of the report were still true.

“Namely that, ‘...many parents are struggling to find the help they and their children need’,” he wrote.

He wrote that there were simply not enough spaces at specialist settings and the current system ‘does not work’.

Jason, who does not wish to be identified, said: “In my day to day professional life, I see the difficult and challenging circumstances families can be faced with when trying to get the most suitable educational provision for their child.

“Families are often desperate for their child to be placed in a setting with specialist education capabilities only to be told that there are no suitable placements or that there is currently no space for their child in the most appropriate setting.

“The result is that the child remains in a mainstream setting which may be unable to meet all of the provisions legally set out in their EHC plan.

“In this situation, some families may undertake legal action in order to attempt to get the best provision for their child.

“The impact of a child remaining incorrectly placed in a mainstream setting is significant, not only on the child and their family, but also on the workload of school staff, the support available to other children in the school, and the already limited school budget.”

Jason also spoke about the ‘alarming’ impact of the continued stress of shrinking school budgets on school leaders and governing bodies as they are ‘increasingly having to take difficult decisions to ensure the effective and efficient running of their schools’.

He told Mrs Churchill: “I have committed my thoughts to paper with an overwhelming sense of exasperation. Specifically, exasperation at the current provision for children with an EHC plan in Suffolk.

“I ask that you raise my concerns in Parliament on the behalf of the many families in your constituency whose children deserve better.”

He added: “I am writing to urge you to speak out on behalf of these families and to give them the voice which they sadly believe they do not have.”

Mrs Churchill was approached for comment.