PARENTS of children with special educational needs are being let down by a system that is riddled with problems.

This newspaper has reported on the daily, draining fight that many mothers and fathers have had to go through to secure help for their kids.

Firstly, they have to secure a diagnosis of their child’s condition, which many fight for years to achieve.

Secondly, they are forced to apply for an education, health and care plan (EHCP), which is essentially a golden ticket for their children.

It means their kids are eligible for extra funding and potentially a place at a special needs school.

However, Worcestershire parents have faced delays and unlawful restrictions when trying to secure EHCPs.

Some have even had to engage in legal battles with the county council in order to get the help their children need.

Between January 2017 and August 2018, the council spent £163,750 on fighting legal battles against parents, over EHCPs.

The council even employed a law firm that was caught gloating about beating parents in tribunals.

Worcestershire County Council said it tries to reach agreements with families, which it does most of the time, although in a small number of cases there are legal disputes.

One mum, who spent £17,000 on legal fees, told us that many parents lack the money and time to challenge the council.

This means that when the council turns down an EHCP application the child will be left without support, even if they require it.

The Worcester News has also reported on how the number of children dropping out of schools in the county is on the rise.

Almost 25 per cent of these children have special educational needs.

One mother believes that this percentage may actually be far higher, due to the difficulties in securing diagnoses.

She had to pull her son out of school for this reason - and said that the strain of teaching him almost drove her to a nervous breakdown.

Parents are not blaming schools, whose budgets are being squeezed, making it increasingly hard to cater for special needs pupils.

Instead there is a problem with the system, which currently seems to be punishing parents.