RMT to Defend Special Educational Needs Provision for Children

London Transport Regional Council passed the following resolution at its May 2012 meeting:

This union notes the government’s announcement of changes to provision for children with special needs. While the current system is not perfect, these proposals will cut provision, and are a significant attack on support for the most needy kids and the jobs of those education workers who support them.

Government plans include giving parents a 'personal budget' for their children. Rather than being able to expect the support and services that our kids need, parents will need to 'shop around' for services, putting cost rather than need at the centre of decision-making.

We deplore the claim that 'too many' kids are identified as having special needs, with around 20% having some kind of need identified and 2.7% having a Statement of Special Educational Needs.

Our underfunded, fragmented school system is failing to meet children's needs, leaving many with unmet needs which require special attention. The government should tackle this problem rather than penalising our kids by withdrawing special needs provision.

Some of the increase in special needs provision is because progress over the last few decades has recognised and addressed conditions such as dyslexia and autism. This should be welcomed, not cut.
We ask the union to contact education unions and appropriate campaigners, and urge parents, students, school workers and unions, disability campaigners and others to unite to stop this attack and win decent provision which meets the needs of every child.

In response to this resolution the national Council of Executives’ took the following decision on 14 June 2012:

That we note and support the resolution in principle and the General Secretary is to write to all TUC affiliated educational unions asking them for their views and to get an item on the TUC disability committee and send an observer if we can to attend that meeting for that item.

Further the General Secretary to put a suitable item in the RMT News and to place this on the agenda of the RMT Parliamentary Group.

Finally the RMT to be part of any government consultation on this issue. We also support the Camden Unison campaign on attacks on teacher assistants.

What is a National Executive Committee decision?

This article is an 'executive decision' which has been written by the RMT National Executive Committee. The National Executive is the union's governing body in between AGMs. Its decisions set out what the union will do on a particular issue.

These decisions can often be brief, and may be one of several passed over a period of time. To get a better understanding or find out more information about what the RMT is doing, speak to your rep or attend your branch or Regional Council meeting.