A special educational needs and disabilities clinic will be opened in Lewisham to provide expert support to families who have children who have been identified as having SEND.
The clinic, which will be based in St Peter’s Church on Wickham Road, will be run by Growing Hope, a special needs support charity who already run a clinic in Kings Cross.
The clinic will provide therapy in the form of six weekly sessions with targets tailored to individual children. The clinic will also provide sessions for parents and siblings to help them understand and deal with the needs of their family member.
The Kings Cross clinic has already been a success, running a number of sibling and parent courses, and providing therapy to 26 children, who have met the vast majority of targets set for them.
A report by the Department for Education estimated that 14.9% of children in education at the moment have SEND. In Tower Hamlets alone there are approximately 8,000 children with these needs.
However, despite £21m being given to councils across London in February, further cuts by central government are planned.
Additionally, the process of applying for individual funding can take up to a year, during which schools are expected to provide support for pupils out of their own budgets. This can cause a strain on staff and the already overstretched budgets of local schools.
Lisa Edwards, an SEN teacher, told Eastlondonlines: “The SEND clinic sounds like it will be a lifeline for families of children with SEND. Funding in the public sector is the wrost I have seen in 23 years of teaching. Schools, social services and GP surgeries are unable to meet the needs of these families. They are stretched not just physcially but emotionally as well.”
The clinic is expected to open in Summer 2020.