Another month and another consultation about how we want our services cut in Buckinghamshire. This time we’re being asked about cutting home to school transport. Part of those cuts will see free transport ended to pupils with special educational needs after the age of 16.
The academy and free school system is failing pupils with special educational needs. There is a chronic lack of support for special needs pupils. Educational psychologists, speech therapy, home tuition for sick children, teams of highly qualified specialist support teachers and advisers in short supply. I have spoken to many teachers who worry that they just can’t support them achieve what they can. This means that schools that have autonomy over the pupils that they admit are not taking pupils with special needs. They are forced to travel further to get to school. Parents have been locked into battles with councils to meet their legal obligations to provide adequate schooling.
Now the council wants to force pupils that have to travel miles to school to meet the cost of a failing service. Austerity cuts do not work – they force spending onto those that can least afford it and it’s time we took responsibility. Only a Labour government will be able to truly end austerity.