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(UK) Barnsley: ASD expected to increase 112%; SPED numbers to increase 173%

Apr 16, 2021, Yorkshire Live: The £11m [$15M] cost of sending Barnsley pupils with special needs to schools outside the area

North central England The bill for sending youngsters with special educational needs and disability to schools outside the borough will cost Barnsley Council more than £11m over the next year. A new report reveals 220 children and young people from Barnsley have a school place outside the area at a total cost of £11,233,061 [$15M]. Other options are being considered, including building schools, expanding current schools, and converting existing buildings in a move to save cash. A report to the council states: “Limited small-scale developments on existing school sites can take up some of the pressure currently, but are unable to achieve the longer-term sufficiency requirements of the local area.” Demand for post-16 education is predicted to rise from 667 places to 1,822 – an increase of 173 per cent. This is in part due to a reform which introduced the right to education provision for young people with education, health and care plans, up to the age of 25. The report said: "There is a current and growing future shortage of designated specialist educational provision for children with social, emotional and mental health [needs].”… The report predicts that in the next eight years, the number of pupils with autism spectrum disorder will rise by 112 per cent, and the number of pupils with social, emotional and mental health needs will increase by 88 per cent. The report, set to be heard by Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet on April 21, seeks approval to “develop a transformational programme aimed at expanding provision in order to best meet the complex education needs of children and young people, particularly the cohort of children and young people with autism or social, emotional or mental health needs.”…


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