'Heartless' councils deny funding for children

By Rosa Doherty, July 11, 2014

A special education consultant has hit out at local authorities for having "no heart" in denying Jewish families the right to send their disabled children to a residential Jewish school in Manchester.

Rabbi Michael Bernstein, who runs EMBEE, a consultancy service for parents with disabled children, said that while his family had received funding, others had not been so lucky.

He said: "My son has Down's Syndrome and we've received funding from Haringey council to send him to Langdon College. But there are many parents who haven't been as lucky.

His comments came after Sabrina Leigh, who suffers from a type of cerebral palsy called Worster-Drought Syndrome, was refused funding by Barnet. Her parents, Kenneth and Debbie Leigh, from Edgware, want her to get targeted therapy and to live an independent life in a Jewish environment.

But Barnet has refused on the grounds that there are suitable alternatives locally. A spokesperson for the council said it was important that "vulnerable adults and children were as close as possible to Barnet to enable close monitoring and supervision".

Mr and Mrs Leigh have received a petition with more than 800 signatures in support of their campaign.

Last updated: 9:45am, July 11 2014