Saturday, 18 June 2011

ACT NOW supports ACE - new Facebook page

We have set up a new Facebook page because ACE (The Advisory Centre for Education, England) has lost funding, please like the page and share with your friends - this is the situation:

ACE’s Department for Education (DfE) Helpline Grant funding ends on 30th June 2011, which will mean much of the free advice service, will have to close.

The Government has repeatedly said that it wants to protect the vulnerable and yet by cutting the funding to ACE and therefore services that ACE offers, it is set to hurt and impact on some of the most vulnerable families right across the special needs spectrum.

Any reduction to a service that is tried and tested and is working well for parents who have children with special needs can only hurt who needs that service most. If it’s not broken then why fix it?

ACE was named in the proposals to reform Legal Aid in England and Wales as a source of expert free advice for parents. And yet the Government have decided to cease funding this service. The first cut to disempowerment is always the deepest and unless we stand together to support ACE the knife will continue to cut away at our services.

Important Note: Advice will reduce to a minimal service (with an increase in digital approaches) but the other elements of ACE; training, membership publications etc, will continue.

BY LIKING THIS PAGE YOU ARE SUPPORTING the letter we are going to send to Sarah Teather MP to discuss all of the above concerns. We will be explaining how disempowering this will be for parents of all children with additional support needs but particularly for those with children who have ASD's.

Please invite your friends; we need to make sure Sarah Teather knows how important and valued ACE is as a service. ACE has been running for 50 years and now seems to be a victim of its own success. Power is being taken away from parents with this vicious cut in funding to an as yet unproven service.

Key Message’s:

1) There is unprecedented change in the educational landscape, which parents and families will find incomprehensible (Education Bill, SEN Green Paper and Admissions code)
2) Short time scale has placed at risk the continued provision of the high quality advice services that ACE provides to parents and carers.
3) No organisation has been commissioned to date to progress this area of work.
4) Web based solutions is one method to assist parents and families, but many families from disadvantaged and vulnerable communities want and need somebody to talk through their complex situation.
5) ACE’S expertise enables them to give advice of the highest quality on complex and challenging issues that otherwise would result in social exclusion.
6) The Department for Education (DfE) acknowledges that ACE is the expert in our field.
7) Guidance to schools and Local Authorities on the exclusion of pupils from schools and pupil referral units, names ACE as the first stop for parents when their child is excluded from school.
8) ACE was named in the proposals to reform Legal Aid in England and Wales as a source of expert free advice for parents.
9) Many Local Authorities, charities and professional networks know of our expertise and direct parents and families to us for help.


1 comment:

tern said...

Back in 1972, ACE produced a magazine called Where, that spoke out against homework for preventing kids learning at their own pace and ruining family life with stress.

If that had been listened to, the later development of tryannical ideas of having homework signed by parents and insepcted for effort every morning by headmasters with very loud rasping bellows, would have been averted. Then I would not have had my education and all my originally bright prospects destroyed, by the crimes and atrocities of a homework fanatical school in the 80s.

Whether ACE is worth saving depends entirely on whether it wants to take a position on this issue of child endangerment now and to follow up all such stories now.

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