PROTESTERS are due to march against a special needs "funding crisis" in schools.

Teachers, parents and politicians in Barrow are set to join a national campaign to raise awareness of cuts to special educational needs and disabilities budgets.

They will march from the railway station to the town hall, where speakers including education experts and councillors will address the marchers.

It will coincide with a number of other marches taking place across the country and has been organised by Barrow SEN teaching assistant Mai Harrison, Cumbria County Council's autism liaison and Abi Buckingham, of Aura 11, a special needs store in Barrow.

Mrs Harrison, who works at Sacred Heart RC Primary School and is also a local officer for the National Education Union, said the march was important because the Government was "failing" children.

The action follows a report from the National Education Union released in March which showed more than a £1 billion of funding had been cut by the Government since 2015.

Mrs Harrison said: "We want to raise awareness of the cuts they have made to special educational needs and disability across the country.

"It has left many children without proper provisions. It affect the whole classroom and makes teachers' lives harder."

At mainstream schools, SEND funding is awarded by the local authority to provide extra support for SEND pupils, such as paying for specialist teaching assistants.

Mrs Harrison said she was expecting at least 20 people to join the march, which will start at 1pm at Barrow's railway station on Thursday May 30.

"The Government is failing our children," she said.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “We have increased spending on high needs from £5billion in 2013 to £6.3billion this year but we recognise the challenges facing local authorities and in December provided an extra £250million up to 2020 to help them manage high needs cost pressures.

"We have also provided councils with an extra £100million funding to create more SEND places in mainstream schools, colleges and special schools.

“Our ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is exactly the same for every other child – to achieve well in education, go on to college or university, and to live happy and fulfilled lives.”