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(UK) Cambridgeshire 'cannot keep pace' with rising SPED demand; 40% increase/$38M deficit

June 24, 2021, Peterborough Telegraph: Cambridgeshire ‘cannot keep pace’ with rising special educational needs demand

SE England A report by county council education chief Jonathan Lewis revealed that there is a “lack of capacity” within SEND services to support the rising number of requests for Education Health and Care Plans…. According to Mr Lewis, there has been a 38.5 per cent increase in the number of EHCP requests in the past three years, and he acknowledged: “Despite investment in the team, we cannot keep pace with the volume of work.” The council is intending to draw together an action plan for “improving prevention and early intervention for children with special educational needs and disabilities” which it hopes will “reduce the need for statutory processes”. This will include developing “more locally based, school-based provision”. Cambridgeshire already has a “substantial deficit” of £27 million [$38M U.S.] for its high needs funding, but despite lobbying the Government for additional money none has been forthcoming…. Cambridgeshire is currently ranked 145th out of 151 local authority areas for the schools funding it receives per pupil. Mr Lewis’ report will be debated by members of the county council’s Children and Young People Committee on Tuesday…. The service director for education said behaviour, SEND needs and mental health challenges are emerging, adding: “We will need to respond to support this and broker additional services to support children. We do not currently have any additional funding for this.”…


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