*(UK) Dorset Cty: "Over the last 22 months, Dorset has seen a 49% increase" SPED kids

April 5, 2018, (UK) Wessex 96/97.2 FM: Multi-million pound investment for special needs education in Dorset £3M to be invested in education for children with special needs. • 8 specialist bases will be created at mainstream schools. • New special school to open in Bovington. Dorset County Council's Cabinet has agreed to spend just over £2M - plus a £1M grant from central Government - on creating eight specialist bases in mainstream schools to cater for children with complex communication needs. Over the last 22 months, Dorset has seen a 49 per cent increase in children with an Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP). There were 2094 children and young people with an EHCP plan at the end of March and the co.uncil expects that figure to have increased to more than 2,440 by 2023. Changes to legislation mean that young people with SEND now have the right to be supported in education up to the age of 25, instead of 19. It is hoped that this additional investment will help support local children with complex needs both now, and in the future. Cllr Deborah Croney, Cabinet member for economy, education, skills and learning at Dorset County Council, said: "I'm delighted that we're investing in our SEND provision. … The investment comes as part of a wider review of SEND provision across Dorset. Since 2017, the council has spent over £1M on providing additional places and making improvements to the county's special schools, as well as moving Dorchester Learning Centre to Monkton Park. 'New special school to open' A new special school is also due to open in Bovington next September (2019). Funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency, it will provide places for another 160 children with autism, as well as social, emotional and mental health needs. The school will support pupils from Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. … There are also plans to provide additional bases for children with social, emotional and mental health needs in the future.