Keir Starmer's SEND funding promise to Nuneaton parents

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer spoke about SEND funding during a visit to Nursery Hill Primary School in Nuneaton
-Credit: (Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Labour leader Keir Starmer made a funding promise to parents of SEND children across Nuneaton and wider Warwickshire. He said that, if he becomes the next Prime Minister, that he will change the way places are funded.

It follows concerns raised about school places, especially specialist school ones. Speaking during a visit to the region, he also said that there would be a change in how the government would hold local authorities to account on the issue, saying he could make the promise "because I know the frustrations so many parents have".

He added: "Obviously today we are rolling out our plans for nurseries, 20,000 new nurseries, 100,000 places and based in schools, and that is really so well received by parents."

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Speaking on his visit to Nursery Hill Primary School in Nuneaton, he added: "One of the parents this morning said how good it would be. She, in fact, has an older child with special educational needs and so having it all in one place is of huge benefit to her.

"But on the question of local authorities, we do need to work with local authorities on this provision, and that means changing the way in which the budgets are allocated and working with them, of course, on this really serious issue."

He made the pledge when answering questions national and regional media. It came after a Central News reporter asked if he could make a promise to SEND parents about the funding for places after hearing stories about how some had been left 'broken' by the process.

A similar question was asked by a BBC political reporter for Coventry and Warwickshire who spoke about a ten-year-old child from Warwickshire who has ADHD, autism and anxiety. The youngster been offered a place in mainstream school but his parents say it is not suitable for him so, as a result, he is currently not attending school.

The Labour leader responded: "It is very important that we support all children with special educational needs and it is a real frustration and a cause of concern for parents obviously. So we will work with schools and make sure there is a better plan in place.

"But it is important that those early years are provided for as well and that's why we are rolling out our plan for nurseries. That's really important for children before they get to reception year age to get the skills they need. Because, as you will know, too many children in my view are arriving at reception without the skills they need to start learning quickly.

"It is also a release for parents and carers who can get back into the labour market. It is essential and really important for our economy."

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