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***(UK) 11% INCREASE in kids with SPED needs last year in Britain

May 30, 2019, LGO London: Special needs support up 11% in a year https://www.lgcplus.com/services/children/special-needs-support-up-11-in-a-year/7029137.article The number of children and young people with special educational needs (SEN) being supported by councils increased last year by 11%, government figures released today show. The Department for Education said there were 354,000 individuals with education, health and care plans (EHC) in January this year, compared to 319,800 at the same date in 2018. The increase has been driven by increases across all age groups, with the largest rises in the 20-25 age group (32%) and 0-5 (13%). A total of 48,907 plans were issued throughout 2018, an increase of 16% on 2017…. EHC plans, a legal document that identifies educational, health and social needs and sets out the additional support required, were introduced under the Children and Families Act 2014. This extended the statutory duty on councils to support young people to the age of 25 and required councils to transfer children and young people from previous statements of need by 31 March 2018, factors which may have been behind some of the increase in the past year. However, between 2014 and 2018, the number of children and young people with an EHC or statement of SEN increased by 35%.... The figures show 39.2% of children with EHC plans are now receiving support in mainstream schools and 38.6% in special schools. Councils have warned of a rapid and unprecedented rise in demand for SEN support. Recent research commissioned by the Local Government Association found that overspends of the high needs block of education funding will rise to £1.5bn by 2021. In December, the government pledged an additional £250m over the next two years for councils to provide support for children on EHC plans. DfE earlier this month issued a call for evidence on funding for special educational needs and disabilities. Chief secretary to the Treasury Liz Truss soon after said: ”More funding is needed in special educational needs and children’s services, and I am looking at that in the spending review.”