Disabled pupils’ after-school clubs face axe

John Fielding Community Special School in Boston would be one of those in Lincolnshire affected if plans to axe after-school and holiday clubs go ahead.
John Fielding Community Special School in Boston would be one of those in Lincolnshire affected if plans to axe after-school and holiday clubs go ahead.

Severely disabled children face losing specialist after-school clubs and holiday 
sessions - described as a ‘lifeline’ by some parents.

Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) is considering whether to axe the specialist services, which are organised by the charity Action for Children.

The move would affect 
profoundly disabled children who attend the sessions at John Fielding Community Special School in Boston, Gosberton House School and other special schools across Lincolnshire.

Pupils at these schools have a variety of physical and mental disabilities - with some unable to walk or speak.

Parents across the county are fighting the cuts with an online petition set up to save the services.

They say the clubs are a chance for their children to socialise and take part in fun, specialist activities.

The petition states the cuts would have a ‘devastating effect’ on the children and their families, adding: “The services currently provide independence for the children and social time with their friends in a safe environment with professionally-trained staff as well as a much-needed respite for carers and parents.”

The council contract with Action for Children ends on March 31, but it has now 
been extended to September 30.

Yesterday (Tuesday), Andrew McLean, children’s service manager – commissioning at the county council, said: “We’re currently reviewing our short breaks services for children with disabilities, and have extended our existing contracts for a limited period whilst we engage further with parents, carers, young people and other affected stakeholders.

“Consultation finished last Friday and we will now be looking at the many comments received through our meetings and individual feedback.”

He added: “We are also exploring how we can support other providers in the 
market to become more inclusive for children with disabilities.”

l To sign the petition go to www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-our-social-
clubs-for-disabled-children-
in-lincolnshire.html