‘Heartless’ coun­cils deny fund­ing for chil­dren

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY ROSA DO­HERTY

A SPE­CIAL ed­u­ca­tion con­sul­tant has hit out at lo­cal au­thor­i­ties for hav­ing “no heart” in deny­ing Jewish fam­i­lies the right to send their dis­abled chil­dren to a res­i­den­tial Jewish school in Manch­ester.

Rabbi Michael Bern­stein, who runs EMBEE, a con­sul­tancy ser­vice for par­ents with dis­abled chil­dren, said that while his fam­ily had re­ceived fund­ing, oth­ers had not been so lucky.

He said: “My son has Down’s Syn­drome and we’ve re­ceived fund­ing from Haringey coun­cil to send him to Lang­don Col­lege. But there are many par­ents who haven’t been as lucky.

His com­ments came af­ter Sab­rina Leigh, who suf­fers from a type of cere­bral palsy called Worster-Drought Syn­drome, was re­fused fund­ing by Bar­net. Her par­ents, Kenneth and Deb­bie Leigh, from Edg­ware, want her to get tar­geted ther­apy and to live an in­de­pen­dent life in a Jewish en­vi­ron­ment.

But Bar­net has re­fused on the grounds that there are suit­able al­ter­na­tives lo­cally. A spokesper­son for the coun­cil said it was im­por­tant that “vul­ner­a­ble adults and chil­dren were as close as pos­si­ble to Bar­net to en­able close mon­i­tor­ing and su­per­vi­sion”.

Mr and Mrs Leigh have re­ceived a pe­ti­tion with more than 800 sig­na­tures in sup­port of their cam­paign.

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