Bury North MP James Frith used the first appearance of the new Secretary of State for Education in front of the Education Select Committee to grill him on special educational needs (SEN) provision and alternative provision in Bury.
Quoting the results of a recent survey James carried out of local schools in which 56% reported having to cut SEN provision due to funding pressures, James asked Secretary of State Damian Hinds about delays getting children with special educational needs the right support. The Secretary of State acknowledged that the system needs to be improve.
James also challenged the Minister on the higher than normal number of pupils moved into alternative provision who have special educational needs, which is an issue raised by many parents in Bury. The Minister noted that it is worrying that children with special educational needs are excluded at a higher rate than other pupils and promised to look into the matter.
“I welcome the chance to question the Minister on issues brought to my attention by local headteachers and local parents. He committed to addressing the issues about delays getting support to children with special educational needs and the higher exclusion rates and I will continue to work on a cross-party basis with colleagues on the Education Select Committee to challenge the Government on these areas on behalf of the people of Bury, Tottington and Ramsbottom."