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Your spotlight on local services

Parents launch petition against cuts to Hackney's disabled children's services


A Stoke Newington family has launched a petition against plans to slash support for disabled children in Hackney.

Francisco de La Mora and his wife have organised the petition asking Hackney Council to rethink its plans to cut its early support team for children with special educational educational needs and disabililities by 48%.

Francisco's four year old son Martin has Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL), a condition that, among other many things, means he has difficulty speaking.

Under the proposals areas special needs co-ordinators and highly trained specialist teachers face the axe.

Currently the service run by Hackney Learning Trust works with 248 children with complex needs across Hackney, and reaches a further 400 kids across the borough who require extra guidance.

Francisco said early years support had been 'incredibly important' for his son including teaching his son Makaton to communicate.

'It has been a very difficult journey for us, but it would have been much more difficult without them. When we heard about these cuts, we were worried not just about ourselves, but also for any new parents who will not have access to this amazing service in the future.'

He added that the cuts would lead to less inclusion and more exclusion for disabled children in Hackney.

The council is currently conducting an internal consultation on the 20% cut to the Inclusion team's budget. It has not consulted the public even though the cuts will impact on some of the most vulnerable children in Hackney.

Read more and sign the petition here.