Special needs advisor to deliver call for action letter to Downing Street

Chris Hadjigeorgiou

Chris Hadjigeorgiou is to hand deliver a letter to Downing Street raising concerns on behalf of parents of children with special educational needs. - Credit: Chris Hadjigeorgiou

A former Norfolk teacher, who fears there are "huge and unforgiveable" shortfalls in provision for children with special educational needs, is to hand deliver a letter calling for action to Downing Street.

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

Mr Hadjigeorgiou is a Norwich-based special needs advisor, having started up his business SEN Achieve in 2019, to support children with special educational needs and their families.

Before that he worked in schools for almost 20 years, including as a special education needs co-ordinator.

Mr Hadjigeorgiou said: "One of the free services I offer is advice to parents of children with special educational needs from across the country.

"From day one, but increasingly over the past year, I am hearing from parents who have been told things by school staff and local authority staff which conflict with children's legal rights.

"I am aware of huge and unforgiveable shortfalls in provision for children with special needs across the UK. 

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"Almost every day parents tell me of information that shocks and appals me."

Protesters march against government 'under-funding' of education for children with special needs. Pi

A 2019 protest march about provision of services for children with special educational needs. - Credit: Denise Bradley

Mr Hadjigeorgiou said he has had examples, from around the country, of children who have not been provided with education for more than 12 months and of children not getting good enough special educational needs support in school.

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.

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

And Mr Hadjigeorgiou said he had heard of parents being incorrectly told that dyslexia was no longer a recognised condition.

He said: "I feel something needs to be done about it because I have heard the same thing from so many parents, so that's why I applied to take a letter to Downing Street."

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.

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