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(UK) Bristol: SPED costs up, more special schools, more special needs kids

June 14, 2021, Bristol Live: Council to tackle forecast £70million [$99M U.S.] hole in Bristol schools budget

SW England Bristol City Council is developing a plan to stop a widening black hole in its schools budget from reaching £70million [$99] in three years. Spiralling education costs, mostly in the special needs sector, means the local authority began this financial year with a deficit of about £10million [$14M] in the budget allocated by central government to manage schools in Bristol…. That figure is set to hit £70million by 2024/25 unless the council changes the way it spends the dedicated schools grant (DSG), the city’s top education official told school leaders as she introduced the plan this month. The council is also making changes to Bristol schools to make them more inclusive and is building more special school places to address a shortage…. “But we have to be mindful that the number of pupils with EHCPs [education, health and care plans] and the number of pupils with SEN [special educational needs] are increasing, so we are expecting an increase in spend.”… The council is among a number of local authorities across the country with a large and growing deficit in their schools budget. Four with a collective deficit of more than £100million have had them written off by the Department for Education, the meeting heard. The council is continuing to lobby central government for more funding for children with special educational needs.


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