Crisis fears for Peterborough families as funding for services reduced

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This year has seen special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) gain publicity in Peterborough with parents protesting over a “crisis” in the system - including children being wrongfully excluded from schools - strong criticism from regulators over the implementation of reforms in the city, and desperate pleas for further funding from both charities and the city council.

Now Louise Ravenscroft, chief operating officer at Family Voice Peterborough, which supports parents and carers of children and young people with disabilities, has warned the loss of grants is hitting budgets.

Protesters in Peterborough city centre who argue there is a 'crisis' in SEND provision

Protesters in Peterborough city centre who argue there is a 'crisis' in SEND provision

She said: “Charities and organisations are being pitted to bid against one another for much smaller pots of funding which may not be able to be used in the same way as previously, so there is nothing to replace the services as they close. The end result is those with needs miss out.

“There is a growing level of number of people with disabilities who need support and a decreasing level of funding to provide this support which is a perfect storm for things to go wrong.”

She also warned that funding was being taken from one group to another with everyone fighting for a smaller share of cash.

Ms Ravenscroft added: “There is also only so much resilience that can be built in individuals, families and the wider community before people reach crisis and end up needing high end and often costly services and support.”