Parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are coming together to call for better care.

They will be taking part in a protest in Southampton, organised by SEND Reform England, as part of their campaign for "real change" in the education system.

The organisation is calling for a complete review of the education, health and care plan (EHCP) process, more specialist schools and specialist school places, adequate funding for mainstream schools to deliver EHCPs for SEND children, appropriate teacher and TA training on SEND and a review of waiting times for diagnoses.

Aimee Bradley, who leads the Southampton branch of SEND Reform, said: “The aim of the Southampton protest is to raise awareness of the growing number of children and families this broken system impacts.

“We also want to show the public that the system many assume just needs changes - is in fact so broken it doesn’t work at all.

“It is important to have as many protests as possible in centralised places, like Southampton, to show the government we aren’t just a handful of disgruntled parents.

“We are a community that feels completely let down and are asking for a reform to the way the most vulnerable in society are treated.

“I want to show the government we are not backing down from a complete reform of the special educational children system.”

The protest in Southampton will take place from 11am to 2pm on Thursday October 12 at the Guildhall Square.

Twelve other protests are scheduled across the country.

READ MORE: Parents prepare to march over care for children with extra needs

SEND Reform England is a network of parents, carers and professional educators who took part in an organised protest outside Parliament on June 21.

Its petition to support SEND children has surpassed 79,000 signatures.

In March, Southampton City Council approved plans to provide 278 more spaces in special schools across the city.

These will see 102 permanent new spaces at Great Oaks Green Lane, 150 new spaces at Great Oaks Vermont, and 26 new spaces at St Monica’s Primary.

The number of children with an EHCP, many of whom need to attend a special school, has been rising by 12 per cent a year over the course of the last decade and is expected to double by 2030.