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1st Jul, 2022

LETTERS: Your discussion from around the borough in this week's Observer

A growing number of school age children in Solihull don’t ‘fit’ our mainstream education system.

This is due to many reasons such as significant medical issues, bullying, poor support when most needed, medical issues, unstable home life or those children who have additional caring responsibilities at home, or just because they weren’t able to ‘perform’ on the spot under stressful exam conditions.

Solihull has a higher than ‘normal’ percentage of school age children that fit into the above criteria. We have many children not receiving the appropriate, targeted and timely support to give our children the future they deserve or are capable of.

Families and pupils in Solihull have just been informed that places that were secured to provide a supportive learning environment have been stopped – no explanation – just its no longer their priority to fund specialist support for hundreds of pupils in Solihull.

Tudor Grange Academy and the Department of Further Education have made the decision to no longer fund this additional educational setting ‘the study programme’ called K2.

Over 200 students and families have been just told they no longer have a future, no longer have a ‘safe place’ to receive the education they need when they were due to start this September 2018.

K2 teaches a vocational qualifications with the additional support to undertake work experience placements to maximise their employment potential and options.

K2 were due to take over 200 students this coming year. 200 children and families that are now completely misplaced.

This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as supporting educational opportunities for children who do not fit ‘mainstream’ education in Solihull.

Solihull Council has been slowly reducing financial support to services and placements to other children who currently are not only out of the school but also those children who are placed in the mainstream setting without the correct support.

K2 has gained the reputation locally for being able to turn students around – due to the expert and specialist support provided by the leadership and teaching staff at the school.

We need your support to to keep K2 provision fully funded now and in the future.

Cirian-Marie Beddoes

Beech Lane

Dickens Heath

It is now two long years since Solihull voted to leave the EU.

The Solihull Observer is to be congratulated for its excellent coverage of this crucial issue particularly on how it will affect companies in the West Midlands such as JLR.

Despite deep government divisions and Cabinet resignations the government is promising to conclude negotiations on Brexit within the next few months.

But what happens if the MPs in Parliament whom we elected to represent us are unable to support the deal reached by the government?

It has been reported that up to 100 Tory MPs are against the PM’s Brexit deal. The leading Brexiteers Boris Johnson and Rees- Mogg have condemned the plan as a betrayal of the referendum result.

I am sure that there are many Solihull voters who have changed their minds in both leave and remain directions. And there are many young people that are now eligible to vote who were under 18 years of age at the time of the 2016 referendum.

Of course, such changes always occur between elections. That is what democracy is all about. Having the chance to change our minds is vital.

Ultimately it was the “people’s” choice to leave the EU and it should be for the “people” to decide whether the governments negotiated Brexit deal enjoys the confidence of those who took the decision to leave in 2016 or to remain members of the EU.

Phil Beyer Solihull

As the now infamous brown bin fiasco rolls on, I can’t help but note the irony. We have been hearing warnings for years now that our public services are cracking under the pressure of Tory austerity. Here we have a literal example in which our Conservative council have skimped on a service (the bins) and it has literally fallen apart at the seams.

It would be humorous were it not for the wider implications. The cracks in our police service, schools and doctor’s surgeries may be less literal but I worry that they are every bit as deep. When will Conservatives acknowledge there is a difference between achieving value for money on our council tax and providing a service on the cheap that isn’t fit for purpose?

Yours sincerely,

James Edwardson

Muswell Close, Solihull

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