ISLANDERS will take to the streets to raise awareness of the issues facing children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Currently, Island SEND children experience the third longest delay in the country for receiving their finalised education, health and care plan. The plans outline support a child should receive and should take no more than 20 weeks — however, some have waited more than two and a half years.

A group of parents will demonstrate in St Thomas Square, Newport, on May 30 from 12 noon to 2pm.

Parent and organiser Colleen Brannon said: "When you become a SEND parent, your world changes. You have to learn a whole new language — SEND, EHCP, SENDIASS, I could go on.

"You must fill out an endless stream of forms, be referred here, wait, be referred there, wait, attend an endless stream of appointments, wait some more, liaise with school, social workers, doctors, specialists, the DWP and then wait some more.

"You are told conflicting information from different professionals – not because they aren’t trying their best to help, but because the system is so fragmented, muddled, complicated, under resourced, understaffed and constantly changing, that it’s difficult for even them to know exactly what limited help is available to a child or family, and how they might access it.

"It shouldn't be this way."

Colleen said the party was strictly non-political with everyone welcome.

She said: "SEND children come from all walks of life. There will be guest speakers. Children most welcome, please make placards if you can, come in fancy dress if you like, bring bubbles."