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(UK) 10% increase in requests for sped plans in past yr; councils faced with failing to comply

Dec 31, 2019, Buckinghamshire Shopper: Local and national rise in families seeking council help for children with special needs https://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/18130357.local-national-rise-families-seeking-help-children-special-needs/ The number of families seeking help from their local council for children with special needs has surged nationwide and locally in the last year, but thousands are being denied assistance, an investigation has found. Figures obtained by the PA news agency show that the number of initial requests for a child to be assessed for an education, health and care plan (EHCP) has increased by more than 10% in the past year, leading to council leaders to warn that local authorities are in danger of failing to meet their statutory duties. Whilst councils are agreeing the majority of these assessments, the number of refusals has also shot up, a trend also found across councils in south London. The data, obtained via freedom of information requests to England's councils, show a 10.6% increase in initial requests for help between 2017/18 and 2018/19. Locally, Bromley saw a 30% increase in the number of initial requests, Merton had a 27% increase, and nearly all boroughs with data available saw the number of requests denied go up. …