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(UK) Govt plan: $12B for high needs budgets/$3.4B for more special needs places

Mar 29, 2022, Gov.uk: Ambitious reform for children and young people with SEND https://www.gov.uk/government/news/ambitious-reform-for-children-and-young-people-with-send

Better support for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is at the heart of a new national plan to level up opportunities, with a key focus on ending the postcode lottery that leaves too many with worse outcomes than their peers. The Government’s SEND and alternative provision green paper, published today (Tuesday 29 March), sets out its vision for a single, national SEND and alternative provision (AP) system that will introduce new standards in the quality of support given to children across education, health and care. The ambitious green paper is the result of the SEND Review, commissioned to improve an inconsistent, process-heavy and increasingly adversarial system that too often leaves parents facing difficulties and delays accessing the right support for their child. The plans to reform the system will be open for a 13-week public consultation, giving families frustrated by the existing, complicated and bureaucratic system of support the opportunity to shape how a new system will work in the future - and give them confidence that their local school will meet their children’s needs so they can achieve their full potential…. The proposals are backed by new funding to implement them, worth £70 million [$92M]. This will build on the £9 billion [$12B] government investment in local authority high needs budgets next year and £2.6 billion [$3.4B] for new places for children with SEND over the next three years. Taken together, this is a significant, transformational investment for children who need the most support, sitting alongside recent increases to the respite and Supported Internship programmes, as part of measures to invest in the SEND system and in helping children achieve…. Capital funding allocations worth £1.4 billion [$1.8B] have also been published today for councils to pay for new places and improve existing provision for children and young people with SEND, or those who will benefit from high-quality AP. This funding will help stabilise local systems ahead of any further legislation from the green paper proposals. The Government will also look to approve up to 40 new special and AP free schools in regions where they are most needed. This is in addition to over 60 special and AP free schools already in the pipeline. Low-income families with seriously ill or disabled children will be further supported through investment of £27.3 million next year. This funding will help pay for equipment, goods or services - from washing machines and fridges to sensory and educational equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Over £10 million [$13M] will also be invested to train over 200 more educational psychologists from September 2023, to give advice and input into EHCP assessments, advise schools on how to support pupils with SEND and offer wider wellbeing support to them, their families and teachers…. Dame Christine Lenehan, Director of the Council for Disabled Children, said: I am very happy to welcome this green paper. It shows that Government has listened to the frustration across the sector and the toll that has taken on parents, children and professionals alike….


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