For over a year now, I have been quietly working with local parents of children with disabilities or special educational needs, the brilliant team at Cromwell School, and Tameside councillors and officers towards the creation of an SEND sixth form at Cromwell. I’m delighted that today we are able to announce this will go ahead. Our local children with special educational needs or disabilities deserve quality, local post-16 provision and I couldn’t be happier that will now be a reality. At the moment, too many local young people with additional or complex needs are transferred out of the borough for post-16 provision, or worse, leave the education system entirely, limiting not just their life chances, but also affecting the ability of parents to contribute to the labour market, and both youth and parental wellbeing. This is unacceptable and I’m so pleased we’re in a position to start to turn it around. The provision will start with a small number of places but be increased in the years ahead. I will keep pushing for increased funding and support. Read more here.