Leeds & West Yorkshire

Support for children with special needs to be cut in Bradford

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Support for children with special educational needs is to be cut under plans put forward by a council.

Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council said 50% cuts to its budget from the government meant it had to restructure its provisions from April this year.

It is consulting with parents on plans to lose a quarter of staff working with children with special educational needs in mainstream schools.

Parents have said the council should ensure more support for the vulnerable.

Bradford council said there was more demand for these services and less money available.

It has put forward three options to consultation which ends on 28 February.

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Its preferred option would mean losing 25-30 members of staff across the borough - saving an estimated £770,000 a year.

As well as making cuts to services, it is proposing asking schools to contribute 30% of funds needed to run the services.

Shain Wells, 48, from Menston, has a child with autism who attends a primary school in the Bradford area.

She said the council needed to spend money on services now to save in the long term.

She said: "This is a very short-term approach. What they are saying is we are going to cut support for children. Those children become adults. Those adults need to work, need to take part in their local community, they need to pay council tax in the future.

"This is about how council tax is spent and we are saying spend it now or spend a lot more later supporting adults who don't have the right skills because they didn't get the right support when they were children."

"No-one wants to reduce services for such an important area but you can't spend what you don't have," the council said.

"Instead we have to make the best use of the reduced funding we receive from central government."

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