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(UK) Lewisham: Council adds more SPED funding as "demand for Education, Health Care Plans increases"

July 31, 2019, Bromley News Shopper: Plans to better fund Lewisham schools with high numbers of pupils with special educational needs Lewisham Council will give extra funding for schools which have high numbers of students with Education, Health and Care Plans and are performing well, the cabinet member for children and young people has said. The plans are for children and young people aged up to 25 who need more support than is available through special educational needs support. This can include learning difficulties as well as social, emotional and mental health difficulties. … Cllr Chris Barnham said “more thinking was needed” about how the council could better support schools, but there would be more funding for schools performing well. Addressing the full council, he said: “Sara Williams’ [executive director of children and young people] team has started to look at schools which have a high percentage of children with Education, Health and Care Plans, and the plan is to work with the school’s forum, that brings together our school's decision makers, to look at ways at which we might release additional funding to support those schools that look like they are particularly good at including and meeting children’s needs. We are also working with all schools to increase their capacity to meet the needs of children with special education needs. “Last September we set up a new special educational needs advisory service, and that has the aim of increasing positive outcomes for children with SEN (special educational needs) and narrowing the achievement gaps,” he said. This comes as demand for Education, Health and Care Plans increases. Department for Education figures show in 2014 Lewisham Council issued 35 new plans, 88.6 per cent of which before the 20 week statutory limit. In 2015 this jumped to 105 new plans, with only 58.1 per cent issued within the time limit. By 2016 this increased again to 235 new plans, with only 37 per cent issued within the time limit while in 2017, 278 new plans were issued but only 48.2 per cent were issued within the statutory time limit.


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