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UK: 'Escalating number of children with education health/care plans...special education needs'

Nov 26, 2019, Hartlepool Mail: Hartlepool school leaders to demand more money from Government to help children with special educational needs https://www.hartlepoolmail.co.uk/news/politics/council/hartlepool-school-leaders-demand-more-money-government-help-children-special-educational-needs-1324497 It comes after Hartlepool Borough Council Children’s Services Committee approved sending a request to government to transfer money from its schools block funding to the high needs block to meet the gap. Council chiefs requested £0.550 million was transferred to the block supporting children with special needs as part of funding for 2020/21 to meet the demand…. However the forum also requested a joint letter from the council and schools forum be sent to the government explaining the demographics of Hartlepool…. Sally Robinson, director of children’s and commissioning services said the forums stressed there was no concerns over the quality of service from the authority, and they thought the funding should be a government responsibility. She said: “It is a fair point to note that there are increasing pressures, we are seeing escalating number of children with education health and care plans, who have SEND (special education needs and disability) needs…. Government funding to the high needs block increased by £1.748 million from the previous year, just under 16%, but education chiefs said this was not enough following years of cuts and increased demand. Joanne Wilson, headteacher at St Cuthbert’s RC School, said: “We wanted to make a point to the government as headteachers, yes you’ve given us additional money, but it is not enough for Hartlepool.” David Turner, headteacher at Rift House Primary School, said: “You’re talking about really really complex children and families, we’ve got two excellent specialist schools in Hartlepool… “We can continue to campaign together to make sure we continue to get more funding.”