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(UK) "Increase in demand"; SPED parents suing govt in High Court over education failure

June 26, 2029, The Canary: High Court told of ‘genuine crisis’ in special educational needs funding A “genuine crisis” in funding for young people with special educational needs could “blight their lives forever”, the High Court has heard. Lawyers representing three families who are bringing a landmark legal challenge against the Government said funding intended to support those with special educational needs and disabilities (Send) was “manifestly insufficient”. Jenni Richards QC, for the families, told the court during a hearing on Wednesday that there was “clear and incontrovertible evidence” of a “substantial national shortfall” in funding…. “On the contrary, the direct result of the lack of funding is that children with Send are not being properly educated, notwithstanding the fact that Parliament has required their needs to be met…. She added: “The critical under-funding … means that the most vulnerable children may not even receive the basic educational provision they require.” The case is being brought by three children on behalf of all young people in England and Wales who rely on Send funding…. The barrister added: “There is no evidence that the defendants have ever asked themselves whether Send funding is sufficient to allow local authorities and schools to comply with their statutory duties and meet the needs of this particularly vulnerable cohort of children and young people, whereas all the evidence … says it is not.”… Ms Richards said Department for Education statistics showed a “rising demand” for Send funding, which had “not been matched by anything like a commensurate increase in funding”. She said the figures showed there were 25,540 young people aged 16-25 in January 2015 with a statement or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan, which had increased to 84,260 by January 2018. Government lawyers said the increase in demand was recognised by the ministers and that Mr Hinds had “made it clear” that High Needs would be one of his priorities ahead of the 2019 Spending Review. … “As noted, decisions by the Chancellor are still more multi-faceted, requiring needs in this policy area to be balanced against those in many others, against the background of a finite pool of Government resources.” The families bringing the case are seeking a declaration that the Government’s approach to Send funding is “unlawful”, which they say will force the Government to consider increasing the amount made available…. \


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