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***(UK) Gloucestershire SPED numbers "more than doubled in last 3 yrs"

Feb 18, 2019, Gloucestershire Live: Requests for health and care plans for children with special educational needs doubles in three years https://www.gloucestershirelive.co.uk/news/requests-health-care-plans-children-2559052 The number of requests for education, health and care plans (EHC) for children with special educational needs has more than doubled in the last three years, according to official county council data. … Gloucestershire County Council received 297 requests for a needs assessments in 2014/15, but 650 in 2017/18 - a 118 per cent increase, according to a Freedom of Information request by the Local Democracy Reporting Service. The FOI also found the total numbers of children on EHC plans has soared by more than 30 per cent over the last four years, up from 2,496 in 2014 to 3,290 in 2018. The county council said there is no clear reason why requests for EHC plans are rising…. Mr Day said: “Gloucestershire special school headteachers are aware of the rising number of EHC plans. … In Gloucestershire, the money used to support children with special educational needs is overspent by £4.7million [$6.2M US dollars]. The Government announced a cash injection into the county's High Needs Block of £2.7million [$3.5M US] over two years in December. Charlotte Jones, head of services for children with additional needs at the county council, said: “The rise in the number of children with special educational needs requiring EHC plans is a national issue. "There is no clear reason for this but the general population increase and a greater understanding of medical conditions and adverse childhood experiences will be having an impact. "Schools in Gloucestershire like many other areas, have an overspend in high needs funding to support these children and this has been recognised with additional funds being allocated from the Department for Education.” The number of parents taking the county councils to tribunal to challenge them at various stages of the EHC plan process also rose in the last three years - up from 24 in 2014/15, compared with 30 in 2017/18, the FOI showed….