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Education in the Media: Tuesday 23 October 2018

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Today’s blog looks at provisions available for children with special educational needs and disabilities.

SEND Provision

Today, Tuesday 23 October, the Guardian published an article on their investigation into the support services for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Government’s reforms to the SEND system are centred around putting parents and young people at the heart of decisions on the care and support they receive. The Tribunals are a key feature of this, and on 29 March 2018, Minister Zahawi announced the next stage in these reforms, with the launch of a two-year national trial for the new SEND Tribunal to give parents and young people the right to appeal all aspects of their Education Health and Care (EHC) plan.

Local authorities work closely with parents to make decisions about what provision will best suit their child’s needs. Last year, £1.3 billion in funding was announced to boost the funding of every local authority’s high needs budget over the next two years. The overall high needs budget for pupils with SEND is £6 billion this year – the highest on record.

There are currently 320,000 young people benefitting from EHC plans. Some of those deemed to be ‘awaiting provision’ may also have recently taken up employment and awaiting a decision to end their EHC plan, as the system is tailored to support the needs of children and young people up to age 25 who need to remain in education.

Minister for Children and Families Nadhim Zahawi said:

Our ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is exactly the same for every other child – to achieve well in school and college, find employment and go on to live happy and fulfilled lives. We have introduced Education, Health and Care plans, putting families at the heart of the process and providing support tailored to individual needs.

Core schools funding is increasing to £43.5 billion by 2020 – this includes £6 billion of funding specifically for children with special educational needs and disabilities, up from £5 billion in 2013. But we recognise there are pressures on high needs budgets due to increasing costs, which is why we have taken a number of steps to help schools and Local Authorities get the best value for every pound.

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