Children

The National Audit Office (NAO) has published a report into the support offered to pupoils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).  The  report finds that children with special needs and disabilities are being marginalised by mainstream schools in England.

The NAO accuses the government of misjudging the financial impact of its changes to education, with rising numbers of pupils with special needs unable to be accommodated in mainstream schools following a combination of funding strains, off-rolling and exclusions.

The government has announced a review into support for children with special educational needs.

Five years on from reforms introduced to better support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), the review aims to improve the services available to families who need support, equip staff in schools and colleges to respond effectively to their needs as well as ending the ‘postcode lottery’ they often face.

The review comes a week after the government announced an extra £700million in 2020/21 for pupils with the most complex needs. 

County Councils have warned that the costs of special educational needs (SEND) services are threatening to break their budgets. The County Councils Network (CCN) says the 36 councils it represents have seen a rise of 46% in the number of young people with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs).

Edward Timpson, Minister for Vulnerable Children and Families, has announced a £215 million funding boost to transform the lives of thousands of children with special educational needs and disabilities, by increasing school capacity and making it easier for them to access good school places.

Every local council’s allocation is at least £500,000 to enable them to expand and improve their special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision, with more than half receiving at least £1 million.

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