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(UK) Isle of Wight sees explosion in SPED; more funding called for

Feb 6, 2020, Isle of Wight County Press: Biggest increase in Isle of Wight children with special needs care plans than anywhere else in the country — but services are improving https://www.countypress.co.uk/news/18216246.island-children-special-needs-care-plans-anywhere-else-country----services-improving/ CHILDREN with special educational needs (SEND) have previously faced difficulties accessing specialist support on the Island, but improvements have now been made.. A joint inspection of Isle of Wight Council SEND services, carried out in November by Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission, found leaders were committed to tackling the 'historically poor support' children had received and ensuring their needs were identified early and appropriate support put in place. In a largely positive report, inspectors said council officers knew what needed to be done to improve services and had provided training in schools to help staff understand how to support SEND children…. Peter Shreeve, assistant district secretary at the Isle of Wight branch of the National Education Union, said the number of SEND children with Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans had increased by 65 per cent between 2015 and 2019 — the biggest increase in the country. He said the Island had significantly more high-needs students but substantially less funding, and schools were forced to 'do more with less.'… Cllr Paul Brading, cabinet member for children's services, said: “This is a hugely positive report that recognises the hard work and commitment of everyone working in local services for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. "The inspectors praised the range and improving quality of Island services and the way the council and our partners work together. … "Inspectors also identified some areas where they think we can improve, and I know we are already focusing on improvement in these areas. "We try our hardest to involve parents but recognise there is still room for improvement and where we have not been good enough is in communicating developments to families.”…