CABINET MINISTERS like Education Secretary Damian Hinds are emblematic of this country’s exasperation with the damaging policy vacuum on so many issues.
He can find the time to tour the TV studios to defend Theresa May over Brexit, but he is reluctant to meet headteachers to discuss the financial pressures that they continue to face – and he has done little to address concerns about the cost of teaching pupils with special educational needs.
A recurring theme in The Yorkshire Post, it would probably be more productive for Mr Hinds to attend today’s summit in York to discuss the crisis – and the long-term challenges which remain in spite of the Government making an extra £350m available as a one-off payment. An acknowledgement that the issue is a genuine one, the fact of the matter is that local council budgets are still being squeezed as demand for specialist support reaches record levels.
And while Mr Hinds thinks he is being helpful to the Prime Minister by being so loyal, he is, in fact, doing nothing to help all those parents who are enduring a living nightmare because schools, councils and agencies simply don’t have the resources, or staff, to give their children the support that they require on a daily basis in order to assist with their learning and behaviour.
Like all those waiting for the Government to reveal its blueprint for social care, this is another issue that has very little to do with the outcome of the Brexit process. And, as such, it is even more remiss that Ministers like Mr Hinds are using Brexit as an excuse for their own inaction and inertia. Try telling that, Secretary of State, to those families at the mercy of current arrangements.