Special needs chief warns on provision

By Jonathan Kalmus, September 27, 2012

A Manchester leader has warned that parents of special-needs children may find it even tougher to win educational support as more Jewish schools become academies.

Rabbi Simon Grant’s Greater Manchester-based Binoh special-needs charity has received increased local authority funding from Salford Council to cope with a “marked” rise in casework. Binoh currently supports 100 Jewish families and 14 Jewish schools, mostly strictly Orthodox, with advice on financing and specialist education programmes.

“Academies are effectively schools opting out of local-authority care for special-needs children,” Rabbi Grant said. “What’s worrying is that good schools are becoming academies, leaving local authorities with failing schools.

“This could mean authorities will not have the resources to support a full special-needs service, which academies will have to buy in. As with most government initiatives, the nitty gritty of how it will pan out will only be seen over time.”

Last updated: 12:43pm, September 27 2012