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Award ceremony celebrates achievements of Kingston children with Special Educational Needs

James Giles

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_centre__Rob_Henderson__Director_of_Children_s_Services_at_AfC__stands_with_Deputy_Mayor_of_Richmond__Cllr_Kate_Howard__and_the_nominees_in_the__impact__category_and_family_members.

Children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in Kingston and Richmond have been given recognition for their accomplishments at an awards ceremony.

The awards run by Kingston and Richmond’s social enterprise Achieving for Children (AfC) took place at Clarendon School in Hampton on 20 January. The event is aimed at celebrating the achievements of local children and young people and their impact they have had in inspiring other children, young people and their families.

People from across the two boroughs were invited to nominate an individual or group of children and young people they felt had done something special under four different categories; ‘impact’, ‘inspiration’,‘personal achievement’ and ‘recognition’.

The AfC team received over 100 entries for judging. Nominations were judged by panels made up of a parent, professional and a young person. Twenty nominations were selected as outstanding by the panels.

Cllr Richard Hudson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Children’s Social Care and Health at Kingston Council, said:

“Having an awards ceremony to recognise the hard work of these individuals is a fantastic idea and are a great way of helping those with special educational needs gain self-confidence. I am confident that they are hugely appreciated by those who receive an award.”

James Giles is the Editor of the Kingston Enquirer, covering local news and events in Kingston, New Malden, Surbiton, Tolworth and Chessington.

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Stop cuts to schools and special needs children

James Giles

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The Council last night (7th February) passed the ‘SEND Transformation Plan’, despite local residents making clear that they had not been properly consulted.

The plans, which include raiding a potential £5 million from the budgets of mainstream schools, were put out to consultation over the Christmas Holidays, which resulted in a response rate of less than 2% of those with special needs children.

SEND Family Voices, a group who until recently worked with the Council on special needs matters, have described the plans as ‘fantasy’, saying: “The risk of legal challenge is now high; the risk of Tribunal rates going through the roof is also now extremely high. The Plan is unachievable & the savings suggested are completely fabricated.”

If 100 residents sign the ‘call in’ below, the decision is sent to Scrutiny Panel for an investigation.

Please sign to ensure that our schools and special needs children get the education they deserve. We demand better for SEND children.

CALL IN: SEND TRANSFORMATION

We, the undersigned, call in all recommendations from the 'SEND Transformation Plan' from the Childrens and Adults Care and Education Committee for review at Scrutiny Panel for the following reasons:

- Councillors were misled by officers who presented the item, who claimed the consultation was sent to all SEND parents, school governors, publicised on the website and via social media, which is gross distortion of the facts.
- The consultation was not published on Kingston Council's consultation portal until 3rd January, leaving less than three weeks for the public to reply through this forum.
- The 'easy read' consultation was not published until after most schools had broken up.
- The consultation did not meet government guidelines on good consultation.
- Out of Borough schools which have Kingston SEND pupils attending were not consulted on the proposals
- SEND partners and parents were not consulted before the plan was published
- The consultation only had 96 responses. There are 4,000+ CYP with SEND in Kingston - at best, the response rate was 2% and in reality, lower, which suggests there was a major flaw with the way in which consultation was carried out, leaving the Council open to legal challenge.
- The committee wilfully held the authority's constitution in contempt by agreeing to the sending the Written Statement of Action to Ofsted a mere two working days after the committee, despite the constitution being incredibly clear that a decision cannot be fully implemented until expiration of a call-in period.
- The risk of legal challenge is now high; the risk of Tribunal rates going through the roof is also now extremely high.
- The Plan is unachievable & the savings suggested are completely fabricated.

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281 signatures

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