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(UK) Hartlepool: $2.7M boost for SPED "to balance high needs costs"

Jan 20, 2022, Hartlepool Mail: £2m-plus [$2.7M] Hartlepool boost for pupils with special education needs and disabilities

NE England

Council chiefs have welcomed an increase in funding to help support children with special education needs and disabilities in Hartlepool. Hartlepool Borough Council officers reported they have received an 11% increase in its high needs block funding for schools for 2022-23, equating to a £1.489million [$2M] rise. The high needs block forms part of the dedicated schools grant from the Government and the rise marks the third successive year of “significantly increased funding” following a 12% boost in 2021-22. The council children’s services committee, at its latest meeting, heard in addition to the increase that a further £616,000 [4824K]is to come to Hartlepool following the autumn spending review.... Cllr Jim Lindridge, chair of the children’s services committee, praised the funding boost and the extra support it will provide special schools in Hartlepool. He said: “It’s welcome to get the extra grant funding, that’s important. “There’s lots of areas here and it’s pleasing to see that it’s going to Catcote also and they’ve been included.” Following the additional cash boost, the total high needs funding for 2022-23 will be set at £14.520million [$20M], subject to any final changes. Officers are in the process of a review and establishing a three-year medium term financial strategy for the provision for pupils with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). This will take a longer term view of forecast demand and level of need for pupils with SEND in Hartlepool, and provide a clearer understanding of budget requirements and affordability of options. Danielle Swainston, council assistant director for joint commissioning, said: “We know that the pressures in terms of special educational needs and disabilities continues to be a challenge. “Even though we have had an increase in funding we do know that we have got pressures that continue to be seen across this budget.” Although the funding has seen increases for the past three years, the children’s services committee previously had to submit requests to the Secretary of State to transfer funding from other school budgets to balance the high needs costs.


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