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(UK) Ed committee warns of 'significant funding shortfall' for special ed services

Oct 24, 2022, FE News: Education Committee Chair urges Government to stick to SEND promises https://www.fenews.co.uk/education/education-committee-chair-urges-government-to-stick-to-send-promises/

The Education Committee today publishes a response from the Secretary of State for Education, Rt Hon Kit Malthouse MP, to its letter regarding the Government’s special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) review.

The Committee’s initial correspondence raised concerns, based on their predecessor committee’s Special Educational Needs and Disabilities report, about the lack of resources in the SEND system and funding being targeted at more costly, late-stage interventions.

The Committee’s letter also urged the Government to heighten accountability for schools and councils falling short on SEND requirements and to increase support for families navigating the SEND system.

The Government’s response addresses these concerns, referring to a number of pledges made by the previous Secretary of State. However, Committee’s Chair, Robert Halfon, has now urged the Government not to renege on these promises, in light of suggestions from the new Chancellor that areas of government spending may need to be cut.

THE GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE COVERS SEVERAL CONCERNS RAISED BY THE COMMITTEE:

High needs funding: The Committee’s SEND report and letter to the Secretary of State warned of a “significant funding shortfall” for SEND services. The Government recognised this call, and highlighted its commitment to increasing high needs funding for children and young people with more complex needs by 21% by the end of the 2023-24 financial year, to £9.7 billion [$11B]. … New national framework of funding bands:

During its SEND inquiry, the Committee heard numerous examples of schools “off-rolling” SEND students – removing them from schools without excluding them. The Government highlighted that its existing Education Inspection Framework includes an emphasis on off-rolling but their letter acknowledges the work of the Committee and highlights that the proposed new SEND inspection framework will pay greater attention to the experiences of children and families in the SEND system, who the Committee had previously noted were stuck in an “unkind treacle of bureaucracy”….


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