I READ Wednesday’s Daily Echo with interest regarding proposed cuts to the budget of the city’s special schools, as I and my Southampton Independent colleague, councillor Andrew Pope, had been contacted by parents and the head teachers of schools across Southampton.

We met with those parents and head teachers.

The problems are not limited to just Special Education Needs (SEN) schools.

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As the Echo reported last month, mainstream schools had their funding changed – not by the Conservative government but by the Labour-run city council. Schools were told one thing by the council and then the council did another. They are furious with the council.

Prior to that, the SEN provision in the city had not been properly forecast by the council, and massive unplanned expenditure of millions of pounds resulted.

It seems that the council doesn’t have a grip on its schools, or on their funding, just like it doesn’t have a grip on the safeguarding of children.

This is unsurprising perhaps when the current chief executive Ms Baxendale has presided over several directors of children services and Labour has changed the cabinet members for education and safeguarding many times over the last five years. The latest incumbent Labour councillor Paffey doesn’t have a grip, as neither did his predecessor former Cllr Jeffrey.

And no wonder Ofsted came back recently to inspect Southampton City Council. The Tories were no better when they were “in charge” of the council.

It’s just another case or Labour or Tory, same old story.

Parents and children should be getting the education and facilities they deserve - the best.

Denise Wyatt

Southampton Independents