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(UK) Kendal: Special needs places to increase from 80 to 120

Oct 21, 2020,Westmorland Gazette: SEND Children school places Cumbria https://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/18809836.send-children-school-places-cumbria/ Northwest England Sandgate School Kendal plans to increase its special needs places form 80 to 120 children. The school situated on Sandylands Rd, Kendal has been reviewing its places in the school after the board of governors wrote a report saying more places for special education and disability students (SEND) should be created. … Councillor Sue Sanderson the Cabinet Member for Schools and Learning, from South Lakeland said: “The report shows a decision taken by the governors of the school to increase the number of places for children and young people with special needs. The proposal will operate from the start of November." She added: "We see a great demand for places in the south of the county for children requiring additional support. Some children are currently having to go out of county to get the help they need. Council funding has already been committed for this year for the expansion of Sandgate school which co-located with Queen Katherine School in Kendal, which is an advantage to both. Is it recommended that the cabinet approve the increase of 80 to 120 pupils to help? It will help increasing demand and take the pressure of the high needs block which is the amount of money we get from the Government. This will also help children on the autistic spectrum. Councillor Anne Burns the Cabinet Member for Children’s Services thinks the problem could be easier with central government support. She said “Cumbria has a great history of helping SEND pupils. We are at that stage now where we can do this, but the problem lies with the Government. They should be giving us the resources now up-front to help SEND children to achieve. We need to get our inclusion strategy right." The County council approved the increase. A report by the local government association last year said the average annual cost to a council of a special needs placement in 2017/18, was £6,000 [$8,000 U.S.] per pupil per year in a mainstream school, compared with £23,000 [$30,000] per pupil per year in a maintained special school, and £40,000 per pupil per year in an independent or non maintained special school. More children with special needs are now being educated outside of mainstream schools for the first time ever. Latest school census figures show that 52 per cent of the 268,545 children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans were placed in state special schools, alternative provision, or independent and non maintained special schools.