Haringey’s SEND failures continue

The shocking scale of Haringey’s failures on children’s SEND provision was laid bare last night at a meeting of the council’s Children and Young People’s Scrutiny Panel. Amanda Bernard, the parent of a SEND young adult, put forward a deputation on behalf of a group of Haringey SEND parents.

The deputation was scathing of decades of failure for SEND families, with Ms Bernard at one point making the heartbreaking comment:
“There are parents on antidepressants because of the actions of the borough council.”
The deputation highlighted in particular the council’s abject failure to engage SEND parents in co-design, despite the Leader claiming that co-production will be the ‘lynchpin’ of her administration.
Answering questions from councillors, Ms Bernard contrasted the council’s consultation style when it was implementing a CPZ with the way it engaged SEND parents. In the former case, all residents in the area were sent letters informing them, whereas in the latter very little attempt was made to contact and include a diverse range SEND parents.
Two of the four Labour councillors on the panel failed to attend the meeting and it quickly became clear that the 15 minutes allocated time for the deputation was nowhere near adequate to hear the full extent of parents’ concerns, and that once again the issues raised by SEND parents were not being properly considered.
Councillor Josh Dixon (LD-Alexandra), Opposition Deputy Leader and Scrutiny Panel member, said:
“Haringey Council’s continual failure to take account of the needs of SEND children and parents is abysmal. Throughout my tenure as a councillor and a scrutiny panel member, parents have made the same points again and again, but no-one in a position of power is willing to listen.
“These parents and young people deserve so much better than this. Sadly, nothing l have seen leads me to think that Labour councillors, who have been running this failing service for decades, are ready to end their ‘we know best approach’ and finally engage with the people who understand this service best.”

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