Children with SEND

Elected as a councillor in 2015, Alex joined the committee for vulnerable
children and education and was appointed as the Conservative Group spokesperson
for children with special educational needs and families in 2016. His
governorship at Wilson Stuart School helps inform his understanding of the
lived experience of thousands of families across Birmingham and the failures of
Labour Council.

These have gone on for years and have encompassed serious issues from home
to school transport, safeguarding failures with drivers without valid DBS
checks taking children to school, uncommunicative children taken and left at
the wrong school. These are on top of the substantial day to day failures that
families see with EHCP’s being produced that are not up to standard, do not
meet their statutory deadlines, are not renewed as mandated. Children are not
picked up for school, parents do not get through to the phones for answers,
children are on journeys far too long on buses, taken on taxis, being educated
at home because there are not enough places in special schools.

Meanwhile the Labour administration have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds
on consultants, reports telling Council what they already know, on payouts for
staff and gagging clauses, on taxis, interims, and tribunals against parents
that are fighting a broken system that Council then lose.

Birmingham is now the first Council in the country to have a DfE SEND
commissioner imposed upon it after failing to make improvements in 12 of 13
criterion under the OFSTED Written Statement of Action back in 2018 which should
have taken 18 months, but over 30 months was catastrophically failed, delivered
no improvements wasting time and resources. We need to do better for the
thousands of families across the city and we needed to have done it a
considerable length of time ago under a succession of Directors of Children
Education and Cabinet Members. The city needs a service that works for families
and children in the city.



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