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(UK) Local county councils in East England struggling to "meet demand" for SPED

Sept 11, 2019, itv: Damning report warns some SEND pupils not getting the support they need Many children in the East of England with special educational needs and disabilities aren't getting the support they need, a report from the Government’s spending watchdog has warned. The National Audit Office (NAO) says local councils are coming under "growing financial pressure" to meet demand. According to the report, the number of pupils identified as having the greatest needs - those in special schools and with education, health and care plans in mainstream schools - rose by 10.0% between 2013-14 and 2017-18. Despite the fact the Department for Education has increased school funding in that time, the actual funding per pupil has dropped by 2.6% in real terms for those with high needs. As a result, councils are increasingly busting their budgets for children with high needs with more children being sent to special schools instead of mainstream education - a system the NAO believes is not "financially sustainable". "In 2017-18, 122 local authorities (81.3%) overspent their schools' high-needs budgets... The position has worsened since 2013-14 , when 71 local authorities (47.3%) overspent," the report read. … This has left some children in limbo because some mainstream schools are reluctant to admit or keep pupils with SEND…. The report noted that pupils with SEND are more likely to be permanently excluded from school, with SEND pupils accounting for nearly 45% of all permanent exclusions and 43% of fixed-term exclusions in 2017-18. The government has recently committed to an extra £700m [$863M U.S.] for special needs and a major review of support has also been launched….


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