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  1. ITV Report

Children with special needs 'being failed' by Devon County Council say parents

14-year-old Matthew has just started at his fourth new school Photo: ITV News

Parents of children with complex special needs say they have been let down by Devon County Council.

Local authorities have a duty to provide a plan for children who need a lot of support, but inspectors found the council has been too slow in implementing changes.

14-year-old Matthew Harvey has just started at his fourth new school - all the others were unable to meet his needs.

Matthew's parents say they feel lonely and isolated Credit: ITV News

Let's face it, unless you're in this boat you don't know what it's like. It's lonely. And I think you'll find a lot of other parents in the same situation.

– Lyndon Harvey, Matthew's dad

Devon has a lack of special needs places for children in schools.

The council has written to thousands of parents to apologise for the previous failings, and bosses are promising improvements.

The council is £3.2million overspent on its special needs budget - next year's budget promises more than £11million for children's services.

A support group has been set up for other parents Credit: ITV News

I can't change the past. It is what it is and we are where we are. What I can say is the team that are working on this are as passionate and committed as I am and will be tireless and relentless in terms of focus to get this right.

– Jo Olsson, Devon Children & Families Partnership
Jo Olsson says her team is committed to turning things around Credit: ITV News