Children with special educational needs are being “repeatedly refused support”, say campaigners.

Families with children who need extra educational help took to the streets this morning to protest against further cuts to Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) services in Waltham Forest.

Campaigners have put together a petition that has so far received more than 1,000 signatures.

Protesters handed the document to Waltham Forest Council this morning and then headed on to join the SEND National Crisis march from Downing Street to Parliament Square in central London.

The petition calls for the council to stop “unlawfully blocking support for children with additional needs and disabilities.”

A spokesperson for the campaigners said: “The council are threatening our children’s education and mental health, and pushing families to breaking point.

“This affects us all – if a child with additional needs or disabilities is unsupported in a classroom, it can put unreasonable demands on teachers’ time, compromising the learning of all children.”

According to the campaigner’s statistics, the number of children refused an assessment for a unique educational, care and health plan in the borough, which would ascertain if they needed additional support or not, has gone up 3,800 per cent between 2015 and 2017.

Campaigners believe hundreds of school children have been left to struggle alone at school.

Protesters also highlighted the long delays for many children who are granted the educational needs assessment, with only 47 per cent of these tests being completed by the council within the legally allowed timeframe.

These delays are, campaigners say, leaving children for extended periods of time without the support vital for them to thrive and succeed in school and can lead to school refusal, suspensions and have a detrimental impact on both the child’s education and their mental health.

Since the petition was written, campaigners say more cuts have been proposed to the council’s educational budget which they fear will have “disastrous consequences for our children”.

Campaigners are also seeking legal advice on the issue.

A spokesperson for Waltham Forest Council blamed “unprecedented cuts” to the council’s budget from central government and “substantially increased demand” for services.

They said: “Since 2010 we have been asked to do much more with fewer resources.

“We have worked hard to improve the support we provide to these young people and their families. The recent Ofsted revisit looking at our SEND services in March this year found that improvements have been made over the last few years.

“We know that there is more work to do as we strive to give all our young people the best start in life and the support they need to make the most of their life chances.

“That’s why we have joined parents and schools to call on the government to increase SEND funding, and have written to Damien Hinds, the Education Secretary, calling for an end to unnecessary and swingeing spending cuts.

“We are also preparing a submission for the recently announced Department for Education review into funding arrangements for young people with SEND.”

The campaigner’s petition can be found here.