William Eichler 07 February 2022

Families spend £14.6bn replacing missing disability support

Families spend £14.6bn replacing missing disability support image
Image: Olesia Bilkei/Shutterstock.com.

One third of families with disabled children have been forced into debt funding their children’s education, a new survey has revealed.

The poll, commissioned by campaign group Let Us Learn Too and the Disabled Children’s Partnership, has revealed that families are spending £14.6bn nationally replacing missing statutory support for their children due to flaws in the special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) system.

The survey of over 1,000 parents and carers revealed that four in 10 families with disabled children have seen their savings wiped out by the cost of fighting and paying for support services, and nearly one third of families (30.9%) have gone into debt paying for their child’s support.

Just over a third (36%) of parents had borrowed money from family or friends to bolster their child’s support, and over half have had to spend more than £10,000 fighting to secure and pay to access basic support for their child.

Over 10% of families had lost between £50,000 and £100,000 and 13% had lost more than £100,000.

‘You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your entire savings or financial security because you have a disabled child and you want them to be educated,’ said Hayley Harding, co-founder of Let Us Learn Too.

‘This amounts to a disability education tax. We’ve heard from families who have had to cash in their pensions early, take out personal loans they are struggling to repay and in some cases, sell their home. Often this is to pay for legal advice to force councils to provide the support their children were always entitled to at school.’

The survey also revealed that six in 10 families with disabled children sought mental health support for a family member due to the stress of fighting for basic services.

One third of families with disabled children said they needed essential therapies for their disabled child but could not afford to pay.

Stephen Kingdom, spokesperson for the Disabled Children’s Partnership, commented: ‘These figures starkly show the cost to families of having to fight a system that should be there to help their children. Parents shouldn’t have to use their savings to fund gaps in services that they have a right to expect.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Clinical Lead, North Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Clinical Lead, North EssexPermanent, Full TimeUp to £57,869 per annumLocation
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Assistant Director Legal,&Governance/Monitoring Officer

Rochdale BC
£70,340 - £81,589
The Assistant Director role has breadth of responsibility beyond legal services incorporating Constitutional and Democratic Services Rochdale, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Rochdale BC

Inspector

Cambridgeshire County Council
£28,226 - £30,095
The Street Works Team currently has a vacancy for a Street Works Inspector. Cambridgeshire, Various places-working out of office base.
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Purchase Ledger Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£19,650 - £20,043
The Revenues Service is looking to recruit a Purchase Ledger Officer to cover maternity leave in our busy Purchase Ledger team. Darby House, Telford
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Specialist Behaviour and Inclusion Keyworker

City of Bradford MDC
£22,129 - £27,514 pa (Pro rata for Part Time Posts)
The role is to support parents/carers to implement changes in behaviour and lifestyle that improve outcomes for children and young people. Based at Specialist Behavioural Services
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Partner Content

Circular highways is a necessity not an aspiration – and it’s within our grasp

Shell is helping power the journey towards a circular paving industry with Shell Bitumen LT R, a new product for roads that uses plastics destined for landfill as part of the additives to make the bitumen.

Support from Effective Energy Group for Local Authorities to Deliver £430m Sustainable Warmth Funded Energy Efficiency Projects

Effective Energy Group is now offering its support to the 40 Local Authorities who have received a share of the £430m to deliver their projects on the ground by surveying properties and installing measures.

Pay.UK – the next step in Bacs’ evolution

Dougie Belmore explains how one of the main interfaces between you and Bacs is about to change.