(UK) Cumbria: $2.5M (US) more for SPED not enough

Dec 31, 2018, Mail: Cash is not enough CHILDREN with special educational needs in Cumbria are not likely to see any difference from a Government cash injection into schools. Leading county councillors have said the money, equivalent to just under £2 million [$2.5M US dollars] over the next two years, is not enough. A £350 million [445M US] national package was recently announced by Education Secretary Damian Hinds. But a meeting of the county council’s Labour and Liberal Democrat-controlled cabinet was told that the sum had already been spent. … Cllr Sanderson said more children are being diagnosed with special education needs from autism to social and mental health issues. She also said that children who would not have survived a few decades ago are now surviving, so special schools are taking in more children with significant needs…. Cabinet member Keith Little said mental health was never a factor when he was at school. Cllr Little (Lab, Maryport) said: “It seems to be more and more prevalent now – almost as many as 25 per cent. Young people, as young as six or seven are under so much pressure from the Government to perform. … Making the announcement, Mr Hinds said councils would receive an additional £250 million [$300M US] over the next two years on top of the £6 billion [$7.6M US] already provided for the high needs budget this year. “We recognise that the high needs budget faces significant pressures and this additional investment will help local councils to manage those pressures, whilst being able to invest to provide more support. Every school or college should be one for a young person with special educational needs; every teacher should be equipped to teach them, and families need to feel supported.”