A LACK of post-16 provision for young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in St Helens is a “huge” problem, a school governor has said.

Janet Leybourne, parent governor at Mill Green School, raised the concerns at St Helens Council’s children and young people’s services overview and scrutiny panel this week.

Ms Leybourne, who is a member of the panel, asked if a piece of scrutiny work  around post-16 or post-19 provision for children with SEND in St Helens could be carried out as part of the panel’s upcoming work programme.

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She said some children currently have to go outside of the borough, at a “huge cost”.

Ms Leybourne said: “It’s a conversation we’ve had for years and years and years.

“I know things are afoot and things are changing, however it’s still an awful lot of money that’s going out of our borough, when a provision could be made here.

“Both for the young person, who we’re putting in a minibus to ship to the other side of Liverpool who, if they wandered of, can’t make their way home.

“And then the parents are obviously concerned as well because they’re not in borough.

“They can’t get to them quick enough if they have a meltdown or whatever.

“Whether we start looking at post-16 or post 19, but it is a huge, huge problem in this borough.”

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Jo Davies, the council’s senior assistant director for education and children’s health, said a piece of work is currently being carried out within the council around post-16 provision for children with SEND.

All of the suggestions for the scrutiny panel’s upcoming work programme will be put forward to the overview and scrutiny commission next month.