Parliamentary candidates speak out on increasing SEND appeals for children’s education in Scarborough and Whitby

Alison Hume And Roberto Weeden SanzAlison Hume And Roberto Weeden Sanz
Alison Hume And Roberto Weeden Sanz
Parliamentary candidates have spoken out about an increase in the number of SEND appeals in Scarborough and Whitby.

Costly appeals over children’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision have more than doubled between 2019 and 2023 in North Yorkshire.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Scarborough and Whitby, Alison Hume, said she was shocked by the sharp rise in SEND tribunals to do with education, health and care plans for children

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The number of tribunals has increased from 83 in 2019 to 179 in 2023 and have been estimated to cost up to £2,000 each.

Roberto Weeden-Sanz, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Scarborough and Whitby said: “Having volunteered with charities which help people with disabilities for years I know how important it is for children with special needs to get the support they need.”

Asked whether he thought funding for SEND education should be increased, he said: “I am pleased that our Conservative council has increased special school places in North Yorkshire by 52 per cent in the last six years, more than the national average, with another 350 places planned.”

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “If elected as our MP I will always prioritise pushing for more funding from Westminster for Scarborough and Whitby to meet the needs of local children and young people.”

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However, Labour’s Ms Hume said the figures revealed “the true cost of the Conservative government’s efforts to deny children the educational support they need.”

She added: “The drive to cut the number of education, health and care plans is costing the taxpayer almost £400,000 a year but the true cost in terms of the stress, anxiety and unmet needs to the families and children affected is incalculable.”

The education secretary Gillian Keegan MP admitted earlier this year that parents are having to “fight to get the right support” for children with special educational needs but promised that the Government had a plan to deliver 60,000 more places to meet the needs of pupils and their families.