31 MAY 2018

Special Educational Needs Funding

Kent Messenger Column - 31-05-18

Throughout my life I have been driven by a belief that everyone, irrespective of their background or circumstances, has their own special something to offer society. I also believe that they should be given support to reach their full potential, if needed.

I am therefore very pleased to see that the Government are to invest a further £50 million in special educational needs (SEN) provision. Some of my most memorable and inspiring days as an MP have been visiting staff and students at the excellent SEN schools in Maidstone and the Weald, including Five Acre Wood and Bower Grove. These establishments constantly challenge convention in seeking ways to inspire and develop their students who have so much to offer. I hope that the new money will provide extra specialist facilities to support children with complex needs and I stand ready to help our schools to access their share of the funding available in any way that I can.

Special educational needs provision is, of course, just one crucial part of our school system and I am acutely aware of the pressure which exists on all school places across Maidstone and the Weald. It is every parent's wish to send their child to a good, local school and politicians have a responsibility to do everything we can to make this a reality. I am further encouraged that the Government is also to make available a further £680 million to create an additional 40,000 places at good and outstanding schools across the country.

With this in mind, I have today written to Cllr Roger Gough, Cabinet Member for Education at KCC, to ask him how I can help Maidstone schools get their share of the pot, and ensure that all our young people are able to access the opportunities they deserve.

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