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(UK) N. Tyneside: $20M SPED deficit; 10.9% increase in special needs kids in one yr

Sept 13, 2022, Chronicle Live: Special education in North Tyneside facing financial pressures with £17m [$20M] deficit

NE England

The council anticipates cash pressures as more and more children require additional educational support

Funding concerns have been raised despite praise for special educational needs provision in North Tyneside.

The pressure on special educational needs and disability (SEND) services comes from significant increases in the number of children requiring additional support.
According to council figures, a £17m [$20M] deficit is predicted in the higher needs block of the dedicated schools grant. The grant is money given to local authorities to help finance certain schools and academies.

Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission conducted a five day inspection of North Tyneside’s special educational needs services, which included interviews with families, local NHS and council staff. The report concluded: “Inspectors found that outcomes for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in North Tyneside are strong, noting there is a positive picture for attendance, exclusions from school and the number of young people with SEND who progress to further education, employment or training.”

However, North Tyneside, alongside the rest of the UK, is experiencing an increase in the number of children in need of support relating to autism spectrum disorder, social, emotional and mental health, and speech, language and communication needs. According to North Tyneside council’s statistics, by January 2022 there were 5,218 pupils identified with SEND.
The number of children with an education and health care plan has increased by 10.9% between January 2021 and January 2022. The borough continues to place a higher proportion of children and young people in special school provision than is seen nationally (38.3% as compared to 34.8%).

Councillor Steven Phillips, cabinet member for children, young people and learning at North Tyneside Council, said: “Making sure that every child and young person has the opportunity to thrive and reach their potential is very important to us here in North Tyneside and our SEND Ofsted report recognised the passion and commitment of all those involved….

North Tyneside Council may receive a share of £300m [$350M] from the Department of Education to help local authorities across the country manage their budgets for children and young people in need of educational support. The final submission for the additional funding is required by February 3 2023.


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