Highly paid consultant blames parents and asylum seekers for huge overspends in SEND
Enormous overspends emerging in the council’s SEND budget are not the fault of council bosses squandering money on private sector rip-off artists; spying on parents or paying providers not to deliver SEND services we’ve paid them to deliver.
Turns out, instead, the overspend is the fault of parents and, er asylum seekers. At least, that’s what Vanessa Wilson, a well remunerated management consultant employed on a large undisclosed fee, claimed at a recent council meeting.
“Due to a lack of provision in our area, we’re placing more children in schools out of area. There’s parental choice as well. That’s meant that we’ve seen, in this last year, a doubling in costs of our transport,” she shamelessly explained.
But, as parents are liable for transport costs at a ‘parental choice’ of school, any doubling in transport costs is down to Vanessa’s department’s failures and nothing whatsoever to do with parents.
Vanessa then went after asylum seekers: “We’ve got a large number of children and families coming in who are asylum seekers. We’re seeing an increase in those families where not just the children have complex needs, but also the parents.”
With only 1,500 asylum seekers in Bristol, is it likely this tiny number are responsible for Vanessa’s ballooning costs?
Or is she using them as a convenient scapegoat for her department’s ongoing management failures?