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(UK) Kettering: County spends $614M on out-of-area special needs places

Oct 13, 2020, Northamptonshire Telegraph: Kettering special school will expand to help county's places crisis https://www.northantstelegraph.co.uk/education/kettering-special-school-will-expand-help-countys-places-crisis-3002142
Central England A Kettering special educational needs school is expanding to another site in order to cater for more pupils. The Isebrook School is creating a new linked facility at the former Age Concern building in School Lane. The school, which is part of the Creating Tomorrow academy trust, will lease the building from Northamptonshire County Council at a cost of £28,000 year [$36K U.S.]. The move comes amidst a huge shortage of special educational need school places in Northamptonshire and a report to be considered by the county council tomorrow (October 14) estimates the expansion of the school could save the local education authority £43,365 [$56K] per pupil, and make an annual saving this year to the school’s budget of just under half a million pounds. Currently the local education authority is sending hundreds of students out-of-county for special education, which is taking a sizeable sum out of the annual £475m [$614M] schools budget. This summer the education officer in charge of SEN place planning said the system was at breaking point and pointed to data that showed that more than half of Northants primary school pupils with an educational health care plan now wish to be educated in a special school. This is a figure well above the national average. Currently Isebrook School educates 206 pupils at its main site in Eastleigh Road and has been asked by the local education authority to increase this to 224 from September next year. It has applied to the ESFA to increase its capacity to 252….