Parents called on an education councillor to resign in the wake of a damning Ofsted report which found “widespread and/or systemic failings” in the county’s SEND service.

Campaign group Oxfordshire SEND Parent Action has called on Cllr Liz Brighouse, cabinet member for children, education and young people's services, to resign with immediate effect.

In response, Cllr Brighouse said she would stay on to see through the significant changes needed in the wake of the report.

The inspection report gave Oxfordshire’s Local Area Partnership (LAP) the lowest rating possible and said it must address its failings urgently.

The report states: “Too many children and young people do not receive the right help until they are close to crisis point…".

A spokesperson for Oxfordshire SEND Parent Action said:  “This Ofsted report confirms what we sadly know through bitter experience - that Oxfordshire is possibly the worst place in the UK to be a disabled child.

“We tried to tell Cllr Brighouse about these failings for years but she refused to listen and instead dismissed and disagreed with us at every opportunity.

"She has made statements to us and at council meetings which reveal a profound lack of understanding about the needs of many autistic children.

"She repeatedly says Oxfordshire County Council's (OCC's) failures are just reflective of national problems in SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities).

"Cllr Brighouse has presided over the failures outlined in this inspection and must resign immediately.”

The campaign group said it was planning a protest on November 7, and confirmed it would take part in a peaceful protest arranged by Send Reform England in Bonn Square on October 13.

Refusing the calls to resign, Cllr Brighouse described the report as "useful" to ensure changes are made.

She said: “As part of a family that has a child with SEND I understand the frustration that parents have when services don’t respond properly.

"I care very deeply about improving the lives of children and young people and I am absolutely determined to see through the significant changes that are needed to  provide families with the high quality of services that they need and deserve.

"We and our partners are already making progress and that needs to be sustained, embedded and accelerated. Things are changing and will change further. The report is useful in helping to ensure that happens.”

“We put £500,000 in to the budget this year to improve the response times for Educational and Health Care Plans (ECHPs) which are now nearing the national average and we know that complaints have begun to reduce.”