Luke MP with SEND teachers from across the City.
Luke MP with SEND teachers from across the City.

Once a month I hold a ‘Politics & Pastries’ round table discussion to bring together stakeholders from different communities in Plymouth to discuss their experiences 
and how I might be able to help as their local MP.  

The latest session was held on Friday 8th December at Lipson Co-Operative Academy. This month, I brought together SENCo (special educational needs coordinators) from schools across Plymouth Sutton & Devonport for a discussion on SEND (special education needs and disabilities) provision in the city.  

We talked about the challenges facing children and young people that have a diagnosis which means they need some extra educational support. I heard from these specialist teachers about the difficulties they are facing in terms of lack of funding and resources and about the length of time it takes for these young people to get to the point of receiving a diagnosis. These waits mean that young people are at risk of not fulfilling their individual potential, but also a huge amount of pressure is put on teachers and staff to support these young folk without any extra support or resources. I am grateful to these busy professionals for taking time out of their schedules to talk to me so openly about the issues they are facing.  

It was good to have Cllr Sally Creswell, the Cabinet Member for Education on Plymouth City Council, join the meeting too to listen to the concerns and suggestions for improvements. 

I know that Plymouth doesn’t get its fair share of funding across many areas, and we are certainly not getting our fair share when it comes to SEND provision leading to pressures that are avoidable and unfair. I will continue to fight to get what we deserve for our children and young people across the city.  

If you are in need of support with any of these issues, please get in touch at or call 01752 717255. 

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