(UK) Leicestershire spending $25M (US) on SPED; '...but this can't go on forever'

Jan 8, 2019, Leicestershire Live: Leicestershire council taking £20m plans to shake-up special educational needs and disabilities provision around county Meetings are being held around the county over plans for a £20m [$25M US dollars] restructuring of provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Leicestershire. Leicestershire County Council has launched a three-month consultation ahead of the four-year budget plans and is holding a series of meetings. Events are planned in Wigston, Melton, Loughborough, Coalville and Hinckley from the end of February for anyone who would like to have their say or find out more. The council’s plans include expanding existing special schools in the county, and creating up to 15 new SEND ‘units’ in mainstream schools. The authority also wants to invest in building three new special schools, two for social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH) and one for communication and interaction needs, as well as creating more places in existing enhanced resource bases - small units with specialist staff where children can benefit from smaller teaching groups and extra help. … An additional £10m [$13M US] could also be released for a new area special school as part of the council's wider budget proposals. Funding for this includes a near 4% increase in Council Tax in 2019/20. A total of £47m in extra council tax is expected to be generated over the next four years. The near 4% council tax rise is an increase of around £4 a month on the average bill. Deputy council leader, Byron Rhodes, said: “Taking tough decisions and saving £20m since 2010 means were in a relatively strong position, especially compared to other councils, but this can’t go on forever.”