Calderdale school places: Halifax Town Hall protest planned over specialist school crisis

Parents are set to stage a rally in Halifax calling for action to tackle increasing concern about Calderdale’s special schools.
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A protest is being held at Halifax Town Hall on Saturday, March 2 from 1pm until 3pm.

Organisers claim the borough’s special schools – both primary and secondary - are overcrowded and there is a “lack of choice and the right provisions”.

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They are urging people to turn out in bright clothing to show their concerns.

Halifax Town HallHalifax Town Hall
Halifax Town Hall

As reported by the Courier, Calderdale councillors have been told by parents and the headteacher at Ravenscliffe School that SEND education in Calderdale is in crisis, with Halifax’s outstandingly-rated specialist secondary school in danger of being overwhelmed.

At a meeting last month, Sarah Campbell, speaking on behalf of a number of other worried parents of children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), criticised “a lack of strategic planning” over at least the past five years.

The Courier has also reported how several Halifax parents have been left angry heartbroken after being told there are not enough specialist school places for their vulnerable children in September.

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Despite having complex needs including being non-verbal and developmental ages of between 12 and 18 months, there are children whose parents have been told they can only be offered a place in a mainstream school.

Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, Coun Adam Wilkinson, said last month: “The shortage of specialist school placements is a national issue and one which is reflected locally.

"The number of children in Calderdale requiring an EHCP has risen significantly, with subsequent demand for specialist places and ongoing pressures on council budgets."