School Funding — [Sir David Crausby in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:24 pm on 4th March 2019.

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Photo of Kate Osamor Kate Osamor Labour/Co-operative, Edmonton 5:24 pm, 4th March 2019

My hon. Friend makes a valuable point. I will share the story of a parent whom I saw in one of my surgeries. The parent has a child with a developmental disability. He spends around £800 per month on one-to-one sessions for his child’s needs, which the family cannot get the council to pay for. Without the sessions, the family believe their child will have no hope of an independent life in future, but paying for the sessions is financially ruining the whole family.

I have also heard reports of children in Edmonton with statements, or education, health and care plans, who receive no special provision at all, or who receive a fraction of the legally required support, because schools and the local authority simply cannot afford it. Worryingly, some councils are pushing back against parents seeking legitimate support for their children, which has led to almost nine in 10 cases taken to tribunals across the UK finding in favour of parents. Every tribunal case is a family struggling and a young person failed by the system.

Time is against me, so I will end by saying that I want the Minister to please listen to the cries from all of us here today. All our children need fairer funding—some children even more than others.