Mark Whitehead 03 October 2018

Council faces legal action over £20m cuts to SEND budget

Surrey County Council is facing a legal battle over plans to cut its special educational needs and disabilities budget by more than £20m.

The challenge by families of five children with special needs opened today at the High Court in London.

They are claiming that families affected by the decision were not consulted and the council failed to consider the impact cuts would have.

Earlier this year the High Court ruled that Bristol City Council had acted illegally when it cut £5m from its special educational needs and disabilities budget after parents took legal action.

Lawyers at the judicial review against Surrey County Council are acting on behalf of two teenagers with autism spectrum disorder, two children with autism, and a four-year-old with a neuromuscular condition that affects his mobility and feeding.

Children with special needs in Surrey are currently supported by a range of services including transport to mainstream schools.

A Surrey County Council spokesperson said: 'We are defending this claim but as ever our main focus is making sure children get the support that they need.'

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