Ripplevale is a very special school nestled in the middle of the beautiful countryside that surrounds Deal, that caters for boys aged 7 to 16 who have ESBD or ASD. I was welcomed to the school a few weeks ago, and one of the issues that was raised with me was the difficulty that parents have getting their child's needs recognised by the Education Authority.
Therefore I took the opportunity today to ask Schools Minister Sarah Teather about this in Education Questions.
I asked: How can parents of children with special needs be more involved in the education of their children? I recently met parents at Ripplevale school in my constituency who say that they must not only battle the difficulties and challenges that are obvious to all but battle the education authority, time and again, to get a fair, decent and proper education for their children.
Sarah Teather: We finished our consultation on the Green Paper on 30 June and received 2,300 responses along similar lines to those my hon. Friend has outlined. I feel very passionately about the need to involve parents better, particularly if their child has special educational needs. That is one of the reasons we are rolling out Achievement for All—a programme that does exactly that.
I am committed to helping Ripplevale and the parents and pupils, and have also contacted KCC about this. I will keep fighting to ensure that our children's needs are recognised and helped by the authorities, so that parents do not have to struggle alone.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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