Bristol City Council voted unanimously to back the Lib Dems' motion to restore funding to the special education needs and disability education budget. The motion follows a high court ruling which determined that the council's proposed cuts to the SEND budget were illegal in a groundbreaking case.
The motion will force the council to come back with a revised funding plan that restores funding to the High Needs Block and to develop an action plan to improve the outcomes for children with SEND throughout Bristol.
Cllr Tim Kent, Bristol Lib Dem Finance Spokesperson and mover of the motion, said:
"In our city, schools have increasingly seen the funding for children reduced. Top up funding has been slashed and that has had a significant negative impact on children and schools.
"I think the cabinet made a catastrophic mistake in January in agreeing to such large cuts to SEND. Let us not fool ourselves we all made that mistake. None of us noticed at the time. Thankfully a small group of parents were more diligent and their action has given us a second chance.
"We should not be here but we are. Parents and children should not have been denied their lawful rights. But they have. Funding should be provided to meet need but it hasn’t. That is the past, that is the present, let us today agree that it will not be the future for children with special education needs and disabilities here in our city.
"I am pleased that the council backed this motion unanimously and I look forward to seeing the recommendations of the Scrutiny Task and Finish group."
The motion also moves the council to endorse the British Dyslexia Association definition of Dyslexia and pledges to engage with Dyslexia Awareness week (1st-7th October) and go green.