NO decision has been made regarding the future of “important” services at special schools in Cheshire.

More than 1,400 people have signed a petition calling on Cheshire West and Chester Council to reconsider plans to withdraw funding for residential services at Greenbank School in Hartford.

The school is one of four which may be affected, along with neighbouring Cloughwood Academy, Hebden Green in Winsford, and Archers Brook in Ellesmere Port.

Councillor Adam Langan, cabinet member for children and young people, confirmed that no decision has yet been reached but did admit that funding is being “squeezed”.

He said: "The council has recently started an engagement exercise with special schools that offer a residential service and the families who use it. I know from talking to parents how important this service is to them, and want to emphasise that no decision has been taken to withdraw it.

"The residential service is used in some schools more than others. Given the ongoing Government funding squeeze on the ability of councils like Cheshire West to offer SEND services, we have to make funding go further than ever. The review does not relate to special school provision, and no special schools will be closed.

"Cabinet will decide on the future of the residential service this summer, taking account of the review and the wishes of families. Whatever happens with the residential service, the funding for it will continue to support services for children with additional needs."

READ MORE: Mum launches petition to save 'life-changing' services at special schools

Northwich Guardian: Jennifer Emerson and her son GeorgeJennifer Emerson and her son George (Image: Supplied)

The petition was launched by Jennifer Emerson, whose 15-year-old son George uses the residential provision at Greenbank.

Once a week, George, who has autism, spends a night with his peers on-site, learning everyday skills such as cooking, shopping and swimming.

Jennifer, 42 and a solicitor, said: “It really is life-changing for a lot of the kids.

“For my son and others, it will make the difference between whether they will require a lifetime of care in a supported facility or whether they can live independently in their own flat.

“It’s so short-sighted to make funding cuts for the most vulnerable children in your community.

“It might save some money now but down the line, it will mean that our children are putting more stress on social care and are a burden to a different budget.”