What a day it was! On Thursday 30th May 2019, up and down the country, parents, children, young people, professionals and even a smattering of politicians showed up in their thousands to demand the government moves to end the #SENDCrisis.
It was an amazing feat for many parents to get to the various locations with their children, some in wheelchairs. But the sun shone and spirits were as high as voices chanted slogans to end the cuts to SEND. But not just cuts - we need a sea change so that all professionals take the Children and Families Act to heart and abide by the law.
Nadia Turki, Poppy Rose and all their volunteer organisers played an absolute blinder in organising these marches. We, at SNJ, salute you and we are proud to have supported you, lent a hand and been a part of it. We also salute everyone who gave up a day of half-term to make their voices and feelings heard.
There were marches and rallies in 26 locations across England and one in Wales. We were in London, with myself, Renata and two of her children, Lilia and Dominic, her partner, Lawrence, and our wonderful SNJ columnist, Hayley Goleniowska with her two daughters, Mia and Natty. Mia deserves a special mention for filming the entire London event for our Facebook Live.
A few words from Twitter on the #SENDcrisis marches
Twitter was of course abuzz with the marches - as I was live-streaming with my phone, I couldn’t really join in, but here is a small selection of the best.
A heartfelt note of support from a bereaved parent
I saw this on Facebook and Sue said on her note it was for sharing. So here it is:
I can’t be there tomorrow but I wish I could. I will be thinking of you all. I’ll also be thinking of my son Danny, who took his life last year, failed by education, health and care while having an EHCP that had not been reviewed or any provision provided since the day it was issued in 2016, he was just 25 years old. I’ll also be thinking of my other children also failed by Suffolk plus the hundreds of children and families I’ve supported over the 20+ years and the ones I’m still supporting now. The experience on the ground for these families is worse than it was when I started on my SEN journey all those years ago despite all the promises of change. Something has to happen.Sue Willgoss, Suffolk, via Facebook
I sent out a call for people at the march to allow us to use their pictures so we could get representations from as many locations as possible. As usual, you responded. Thank you. I’ve done my best to get them uploaded so I can put them into a slideshow. Here they are below.
They’re in a pretty random order and I’ve tried to caption them with the photograph owner and who’s in it as best as possible. Navigate with the side arrows or the dots below. Click an image to enlarge it. Thanks to everyone who allowed us to use their pix. If you want to post extra in the comments of this blog, please do so if you can. If you just add it to Facebook, they’ll just disappear in time and won’t stay with this blog post.
Our Live Facebook video of the London Event
We live-streamed the whole London event and you can watch it below.
News Coverage around the country
- Newsflare: London protests held over lack of funding for special needs children
- ITV: Street protests over funding 'crisis' for those with special educational needs and disabilities
- BBC: Special needs: Petition demands action on 'national crisis'
- Hull Live: Huge protest in Hull city centre against 'shameful' treatment of children with special needs
- Peterborough Telegraph: Mum's despair as Peterborough protesters demand action over ‘crisis’ for children with special educational needs
- Surrey Live: SEND families protest in Guildford as part of nationwide campaign to stop budget cuts
- TES: Why thousands protested against SEND cuts today (includes tweets and quote from SNJ)
- On the Wight: Isle of Wight SEND demo shining a light on the ‘local scandal’
- Channel 4: Campaigners demand action over special needs funding
- Derby News: Derby parents support National Crisis March for SEND ( Special Educational Needs and Disabilities)
- Yorkshire Post: Yorkshire families protest over special educational needs 'crisis'
- Guidford Dragon: High Street Protest Over Special Needs Education Cuts
- ITV East: SEND cuts march
- Eastern Daily Press: Underfunding has got to a crisis point': Protesting parents call for more cash for special needs
- Bucks Herald: Power to the people! Aylesbury parents and children protest cuts for kids with special educational needs at County Hall today