#LetUsLearnToo: Don’t dilute disabled children’s rights!

With Hayley Harding, Founder, Let Us Learn Too

As part of SEND Community Alliance, SNJ has joined with a new parent-led campaign, Let Us Learn Too, developed out of frustration at the continuing delay of the SEND Review.

There are considerable concerns that the laws in the Children and Families Act 2014 are to be weakened to suit local authorities, rather than the children it was designed to protect.

We’ve written about the SEND Review, its delays, and our fears for its outcome many times. We’re thrilled that more and more warrior SEND parents are deciding enough is enough, and are finding the strength —somehow— to step forward, ready to fight— and loudly.

The campaign has also enlisted MPs and celebrities to the cause.

It was started by SEND parent and qualified solicitor, Hayley Harding, from Sutton SEND crisis in Surrey. Today, we’re delighted to help launch the video for the campaign, with a letter headed for No10 later this week. Hayley is here to tell us more.

#LetUsLearnToo aims to stop plans to erode disabled children’s rights by Hayley Harding

The Let Us Learn Too campaign launches today, calling on Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, to stop any plans to weaken the laws governing school support for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Today we’re launching a video showing the impact and suffering the current SEND education system creates.

Ellie-Mai, who features in the video, was last year turned down for an assessment by her local authority. Her mum was forced to go to the First Tier SEND Tribunal to force the LA to carry one out.

The assessment finally undertaken was poorly executed, and Ellie-Mai’s application was again rejected. She was off school last year through anxiety, as a result of no help being put in place.

Lianne Baker, Ellie’s Mum said, “Ellie is a young girl who wants nothing more than to fit in. It breaks my heart watching her miss out on the education every child deserves to have, this has become our norm throughout Ellie’s schooling years.

“No parent should have to witness the upset, rock bottom low self-esteem and high anxieties that a broken system has caused to Ellie. We have watched Ellie change from a young girl who was once able to take on the world to a young teenager that has been refused acceptance to what every child deserves, an education.

The constant battling for years on end which has worn us all down, the knock-on effect from a bad day at school sees no end when Ellie comes home from school. No family should have to go through this.”

let us learn too logo

Campaign letter to follow

Following the video, on Wednesday, an open letter will be sent to the Prime Minister.

As well as being signed by Special Needs Jungle and the other parent-led groups that make up SEND Community Alliance, the latter has been signed by many children’s charities and organisations.

Amazingly, we’ve also had a great response from celebrities.

As well as the wonderful Carrie and David Grant and family, the letter has been signed by numerous familiar faces, including actor Stephen Fry, former Secretary of State for Education, Lord Blunkett, former Education Select Committee member Emma Hardy MP, Childline founder Esther Rantzen, APPG SEND Chair Olivia Blake MP, former MP Norman Lamb, author David Mitchell, and presenter and former newspaper editor Piers Morgan.

As well as SCA, the signatory charities include the Disabled Children's Partnership, the National Autistic Society and IPSEA.

Petition to sign

On Wednesday, please look out for our petition with the same letter launched at the same time for parents and carers to pledge their support too.

The campaign has been created by me, Hayley Harding (Sutton EHCP Crisis founder), Gillian Doherty (of SCA and SEND Action founder), and SEND parent advocates, Deanne Shaw and Elizabeth Stanley.

We, like many of you, are all parents of disabled children who have had to fight to get their children into school or access to reasonable support at school.

Hayley and son
Hayley and her son

SEND Review please listen!

The results of the cross-government SEND Review will have life-changing consequences for disabled people and their families. It is vital the team gets it right.

However, at present, the campaign group agrees with SNJ’s previous assertions that parents, young people and children are not being adequately consulted.

Let Us Learn Too is urging the government to include disabled people and their parents/carers at the heart of the review.

Watch the video and watch out for the petition

Hayley Harding, #LetUsLearnToo Founder

Website: http://www.letuslearntoo.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LETUSLEARNTOO/

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