Search

***(UK) Gateshead had $1.8M (US) SPED over spend last year; $2M shortfall for this year

Feb 1, 2019,Town Moor Chronicle: Post-16 special school provision could be cut in Gateshead https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/post-16-special-school-provision-15760096 Budget pressures have been blamed for cuts in special school provision for older teenagers in Gateshead after council bosses voted in favour of the changes. The 'Post-16 SEND Provision in Gateshead Special Schools' report was heard by Gateshead Council's cabinet last Tuesday. It stated that special school places for pupils in Year 14 are not recognised by the Department for Education and can only be funded from a dedicated schools grant in "very specific circumstances". Year 14 classes, which are currently offered to those with special education needs to allow them to study at sixth form over three years, are set to be scrapped and Year 13 places will only be offered at Dryden and Hill Top Schools to those with profound and multiple learning difficulties or severe autism. The 2018 sixth form intake at Dryden for those in the autism provision at Hill Top have been guaranteed two years of funding. …… The report says that the cuts are needed because of budget pressures, they overspent by £1.4m last year and are predicted to go £1.5m over budget next financial year. … It also says there has been "a substantial increase" in the number of post-16 pupils remaining in Gateshead special schools over recent years. The commissioned number is 41 but in the 2017/18 academic year, 69 pupils were enrolled. A DfE spokesman said the department had allocated additional funding for special educational needs. They said: "We recognise that local authorities have been experiencing pressures on their budgets for those with more complex SEND, and have been listening to their concerns. "That is why we have allocated an additional £250m across England for this financial year and the next, on top of the increases we are already providing. Of this £250m, Gateshead will receive £840,000. …