ADDITIONAL HIGH NEEDS PROVISION AND SUPPORT ANNOUNCED BY GOVERNMENT

Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, has welcomed the Government’s decision to allocate additional education funding to support children with special educational needs (SEND).

The Government’s ambition for children with SEND is the same as for every other child – to achieve well in school and college, find employment and go on to live happy and fulfilled lives. High needs funding has already risen by £1 billion, from £5 billion in 2013 to £6 billion this year.

On top of that, councils will receive an additional £250 million over the next two years. Families will also benefit from more choice for their child’s education through an extra £100 million investment to create more specialist places in mainstream schools, colleges and special schools, giving more children and young people access to a good school or college place that meets their individual needs.

As part of wide-ranging reforms to the SEND system in 2014, the Government also introduced Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans, to ensure that support is tailored to the needs of individuals, and families are put at the heart of the process. Already, more than 320,000 children and young people are benefiting from these.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

“Being a parent, we all want the very best for our children. We want them to attend a school that supports them to thrive, go on to higher or further education or training, find a job that’s right for them, and to live happy and fulfilled lives. For children with special educational needs this is no different. It is important that they have the right support in place at school – whether that is in a mainstream setting, with additional support, or in a special school.”

“We recognise that the high needs budget faces significant pressures and this additional investment will help local councils to manage those pressures, whilst being able to invest to provide more support. Every school or college should be one for a young person with special educational needs; every teacher should be equipped to teach them, and families need to feel supported.”

Giles said:

“I am pleased that Ministers want to continue engaging with local authorities, health providers, families, schools and colleges to better understand what is driving the cost pressures on high needs budgets, and to work with the sector to help manage them. I know this will be welcome news to local schools as the issue of SEND funding has been raised with me recently.”