Julia Belgutay

‘I just wanted to learn – and they wouldn’t let me’

SEND students face anxious wait over funding for places at specialist colleges

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Alicia Jackson is excited about starting college in September. The visually impaired 19-year-old has more reason than most to look forward to commencing her studies at the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC): this is the culmination of a two-and-a-half-year battle to obtain funding from her local authority, which resulted in her spending a year out of education. “I just wanted to learn – and they wouldn’t let me,” she says.

Jackson is far from alone. National specialist colleges across England say that the move to put local authorities in charge of special educational needs and ...

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