Norfolk special educational needs advisor's Downing Street mission

Chris Hadjigeorgiou at Downing Street

Chris Hadjigeorgiou hand delivered a letter raising concerns about support for children with special educational needs to Downing Street. - Credit: Courtesy Chris Hadjigeorgiou

A former Norfolk teacher has said he hopes the government will take heed, after he hand delivered a letter to Downing Street to raise his concerns over shortfalls in support for children with special educational needs.

Chris Hadjigeorgiou headed to London on Friday (October 29) to take the letter outlining his concerns - and those of parents of vulnerable children - to prime minister Boris Johnson.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (Covid-19).

Prime minister Boris Johnson. - Credit: Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA Wire

The Norwich-based special needs advisor wanted to get the message to the corridors of power that children with special educational needs - and their families - are being let down.

The government announced a review on support for children and young people with special educational needs in 2019, but it has yet to be published.

Mr Hadjigeorgiou set up his business SEN Achieve in 2019, to support children with special educational needs, having previously worked in schools for almost 20 years, including as a special education needs co-ordinator.

He felt moved to write the letter to the prime minister and education secretary Nadhim Zahawi after hearing from parents across the country whose children were not getting the support they were entitled to.

He knows of instances where children have not been provided with education for more than 12 months and of children not getting good enough special educational needs support in schools.

He said there have also been instances where the process of providing education, health and care plans for children with special educational needs has taken more than two years.

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Those plans - legally binding documents which set out the support children should receive - are meant to be in place within 20 weeks.

Chris Hadjigeorgiou

Chris Hadjigeorgiou - Credit: Chris Hadjigeorgiou

Mr Hadjigeorgiou said he hoped delivering the letter raising such concerns would help make a difference - and many parents took to Facebook to thank him for highlighting the issues they face.

He said: "It was an amazing day and felt so special to be in such an important place to be able to say what I wanted to say to the government. I hope it will make a difference.

"If I don't get a response - or if I just get a generic one - then my next course of action will be to organise a petition and go back again with some of the parents."

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