***(UK) Government adds $440M (US) MORE for SPED; growth in SPED "now recognized"

Dec 16, 2018, Gov.UK: New funding to support children with special educational needs Education Secretary Damian Hinds has announced an additional £350 million to support children with complex needs and disabilities. Children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are set to benefit from an extra £350 million funding to provide specialist support and tailored facilities, helping those with complex needs to succeed. The Education Secretary Damian Hinds has today (Sunday 16 December) announced that councils will receive an additional £250 million over the next two years on top of the £6 billion already provided for the high needs budget this year, to provide much needed support for children and young people with complex SEND. Families will also benefit from more choice for their child’s education through an extra £100 million investment to create more specialist places in mainstream schools, colleges and special schools, giving more children and young people access to a good school or college place that meets their individual needs. This could include more state-of-the-art facilities, such as sensory rooms and specialist equipment. On top of this, more special free schools will get the green light, as the Education Secretary confirms he will approve all high quality bids in the current round of special and alternative provision free schools applications, creating even more choice for parents. Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: … The Government has also confirmed an expansion of the funding to train more educational psychologists, who are responsible for assessing children’s needs and providing tailored support as part of the Education, Health and Care needs assessment process. Educational psychologists also provide outreach to teachers and families, providing new support strategies when the complex needs of a child are not being met. From September 2020 there will be a further three training rounds and an increase in the number of trainees from 160 to at least 206, to help keep up with demand for this specialist advice. Ofsted’s HMCI Amanda Spielman said: … Our inspections show that we still have a long way to go before children and young people with SEND are getting all the support they deserve. In too many local areas, the implementation of the 2014 SEND reforms is not living up to expectations…. The introduction of additional SEN capital grant is very much welcomed and will enable the completion of much needed SEN improvements across the country. The growth in SEN is now recognised and this investment will help local authorities continue the work to ensure they can better meet the needs in their community for some of the most vulnerable children in society.