Get rid of county control of help for disabled children

At the moment, County Councils are responsible for the education of disabled children.  This created tremendous distortion in the nature and availability of the care provided.   For example, there are no "PD" schools (i.e. schools specialising in the care and education of the physically disabled) in Surrey.  Surrey only provides education for the disabled in "SLD" schools (i.e. schools for those with special learning difficulties).  PD schools are far more able to help physically disabled pupils than SLD schools, as the latter are providing education to a far broader spectrum of special needs.  Typically, the overwhelming majority of pupils are able-bodied within the autistic spectrum, or with Downs Syndrome, rather than confined to wheelchairs.

This county border-defined demarcation means that children who live near PD schools cannot access them if they a separated by a county border.  This is riduculous and unnecessary, particularly if they live in a county which does not provide PD schools.  If the provision of specialist PD education was controlled centrally, so that county budgets were not the main drivers for the placement PD children (PD schools are much more expensive than SLD schools) the whole system would be much fairer. 

Those professionals who insist that SLD schools can provide the same quality of care as PD schools are simply not telling the truth.  The main driver for them is cost and if they educate PD pupils at SLD schools they will do it.  After all, they only have to fund them until the pupils reach 18, after which they become someone else's problem.  The fact that the lack of specialist PD care may have caused more expensive health-related issues in the interim does not matter to them.  That is a cost the NHS will have to pick up.  Not only is this wholly unjustifiable on the grounds of what is best for the pupil, it is a grotesque waste of money as corrective NHS care is hugely more expensive than in situ preventative care.  A false economy if ever there was one.

Why does this idea matter?

Fairness to the physically disabled is important.  They are at risk of developing further physical problems if they do not receive the best help they can get.  Not only is this unfair on them, as it can hugely impinge on the quality of their lives, but it causes higher care care later in their lives.

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