Robert Henderson, Chief Executive of Achieving for Children, said:
“I am sad and disappointed that SEND Family Voices have decided to cease operating. Over the past four years, they have made an invaluable impact on the lives of local families and children with special educational needs and disabilities. I would like to thank them for their hard work and we will seek to establish a new forum as soon as we can, to help advise and inform our services in Richmond and Kingston.”
Cllr Penny Frost, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services for Richmond Council, said:
“We would like to place on record our thanks for the enormous contribution SEND Family Voices have made on behalf of families with children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) over the last four years. We are very disappointed that they have decided to close.
Earlier this year, Achieving for Children (AfC) stated that they wanted to endorse SEND Family Voice’s application for funding if they were willing to hold mediation with AfC in order to develop a new spirit of partnership and co-production, and we are disappointed they did not take this up.
“We want to deliver the best possible services for families with children with SEND. In a climate of austerity, local authorities and health providers across the country have substantial challenges in implementing the 2014 SEND reforms in the spirit in which they were intended and the Government continue to ignore this. I hope that we will be able to work with local families to set up a new parent/carer forum as soon as possible, and lobby central Government for a fairer deal for our local families.”
"We would like to thank SEND Family Voices for the support they have given to children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their families over the last four years. The volunteers have worked tirelessly representing the views of parents and have made a lasting difference.
"We want to continue to work in partnership with parents, children and young people, so that we can consult and gather their views to help shape future services."
If you or anyone you know would like to be involved then please contact Achieving for Children on 0208 547 5250 or email the Director of Education Services email@example.com.