£280m funding boost to improve provision for children and young people with SEND
Department for Education says investment will provide more specialist places and improve provision for SEND pupils across country.
Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) or requiring alternative provision in England will benefit from a £280 million investment, the Government has announced.
Councils will receive the funding to create new places in schools, academies, colleges and early years settings.
The funding will improve existing provision to create modern, fit-for-purpose spaces suited to a wider range of pupil needs, the Government says.
This could be by contributing to the cost of creating a whole new special school, or by improving accessibility, such as installing ramps, handrails or ceiling hoists.
The investment, which represents a significant single-year increase in high needs capital investment, follows £365 million allocated through the Special Provision Capital Fund to create places and improve facilities for pupils with SEND across 2018 to 2021.
Children and Families Minister Vicky Ford said the investment will enable local authorities to invest more in creating excellent school places or enhancing existing provision so that pupils with additional needs and disabilities get the same opportunities as any other.
“Every child or young person with SEND should go to school feeling confident that they will get the tailored support they need at school, and every teacher should be equipped with the right facilities to teach those pupils,” Ford said.
The funding after previous efforts to improve outcomes, including the ongoing SEND Review, which the Government says is looking at ways to make sure the system is consistent, high-quality and integrated across education, health and care.
The funding is for the financial year 2021-22, to support the provision of high needs places needed by September 2022. Up to an additional £20 million will be used to support High Needs capital projects in a small number of the local authorities facing the highest Dedicated Schools Grant deficits.
Professor Adam Boddison, Chief Executive of NASEN, welcomed the funding.
“Given the growing demand for high-quality specialist provision, this increase in high needs funding is a welcome investment.
“I hope that Local Authorities will work in partnership with schools, specialist settings and families so that this funding is targeted to secure long term benefits for learners with SEND.”
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