Funding boost for SEND school places

Local authorities are set to benefit from a £50million funding boost to create additional school places and state-of-the-art facilities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The additional investment builds on the £215million fund announced last year to ensure children with SEND had access to a good school place and is expected to create around 740 more special school places and provide new specialist facilities to support children with complex needs. As part of this, more than half of English councils will receive more than £225,000 to increase places or improve schools for children with SEND, with every council receiving at least £115,000.

Nadhim Zahawi, Children and Families Minister, said: “All parents want to send their child to a good local school, one that meets their individual needs and supports them to achieve their full potential, regardless of the challenges they may face. This funding will help to create thousands more school places across the country, with a clear focus on transforming the experience of education for children with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND).”

Richard Watts, chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: “Councils have been clear that there is a need to provide additional and ongoing funding to support children with special educational needs and disabilities so we are pleased that they will receive this additional funding. However this should not be a one-off cash injection and needs to be significant, on-going and sustainable funding, otherwise councils may not be able to meet their statutory duties and many children could miss out on a mainstream education. This is why we are calling for an urgent review of funding to meet the unprecedented rise in demand for support from children with special needs.”