1,000 signatures reached
To: The Scottish Government
Full time places for children in special schools
Provide full time places for children who attend special school in Scotland, as provided by England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some children with very complex needs are getting no school time at all. Others are getting only part-time places. These children have been assessed as needing care and support and their parents need respite.
Why is this important?
Scotland is the only nation in the UK that is not offering full time places at special schools. In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, special schools returned as normal after Christmas and have been kept open. It seems that the Scottish Government does not understand the needs of children with disabilities.
Only a small percentage of children (3.5% in Scotland) meet the criteria for special schools. There is no question that all of these children are extremely vulnerable and cannot be left unsupervised. Most need constant care and attention. Some have a high level of medical need including tube-feeding, pain management, frequent seizures and/or require assistance with breathing. Others have challenging behaviour and need a high level of routine as well as exercise. The Scottish Government can protect our highly valued special school staff by offering them priority for the vaccine.
Our children are missing out on therapies such as physiotherapy, speech therapy and hydrotherapy. Parents are reporting increased violence towards themselves and towards siblings. The mental and physical health of these children is deteriorating. Some parents are routinely getting as little as five hours broken sleep a night. This is a tragedy waiting to happen.
We are calling on the Scottish Government to follow the good example of the rest of the UK and offer full time places to children in special school.