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England: 60K more SPED places, $1B more for SPED; AUTISM top of the list

Mar 26, 2024, UK Government: Government delivering on 60,000 more special needs places

Councils are to receive a record £850 million [$1B] cash boost to ensure children across the country receive an education that meets their needs.

Children across the country are to benefit from billions of pounds of investment to ensure they receive an education that meets their needs in high-quality environments for years to come and families are given peace of mind that their children will be looked after.  

A record annual investment of £850 million is going to councils to create new places for young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and in Alternative Provision (AP) in mainstream and special schools, and to improve the accessibility of existing buildings.  

This will provide specialist support for children with autism, learning difficulties, mobility difficulties and more to meet their extra needs, including extra encouragement in their learning, help communicating with other children and support with physical or personal care difficulties, such as using the toilet or getting around the school safely.


The Government is sticking to the plan to ensure every child can receive the education they need to succeed, where hard work is rewarded and aspiration is celebrated. The funding is part of the £2.6 billion [$3.3B] investment between 2022 and 2025 – more than tripling the previous levels of investment - to help to put an end to families having to fight for the right support for their children. 

When combined with the places already being created by the special free schools programme, this funding is creating over 60,000 new places across the country.. . .

Additionally, schools and sixth form colleges will benefit from £1.8 billion [$2.2B] in funding to help maintain their buildings. This funding will support schools to invest in projects like refurbishing classrooms, improving playgrounds and installing new windows, as well as larger projects such as upgrading heating systems, replacing roofs or rewiring electrical systems. . . .

Education Secretary Gillian Keegan said: 

All too often I hear from parents with children who have special educational needs having to fight to get the right support. That’s why this Government has a plan to deliver 60,000 more places that meet the needs of these pupils and their families.

We are also continuing to invest in the school estate, so all children are taught in the best classrooms for generations to come. . . .

Eden Academy Trust is one of the trusts that has been successfully selected to run one of the 30 new special free schools in Hillingdon. It will provide vital, specialist support 180 children with autism and severe learning difficulties in London.  . . .

Meanwhile, Green Gates Academy in Stockton-on-Tees created spaces for children with social, emotional and mental health problems to help regulate their emotions in a calm setting and help them engage in learning. In the Wirral, Calday Grange Grammar School replaced a dilapidated teaching block with a modern music and drama building. . . .


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