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(UK) London sees 'dramatic/sustained rise' in SPED demand; 31% increase in 3 yrs

July 24, 2019, KCW Today: Special needs and disability funding under pressure across London http://www.kcwtoday.co.uk/2019/07/special-needs-disability-funding-pressure-across-london/ Special needs and disability support in London schools is facing “unsustainable financial risk” according to a report from London Councils. A “dramatic and sustained rise” in demand for special educational needs and disability services (SEND) has led to a £77 million [$96M U.S.] funding gap in the capital, research found. There are more than 200,000 young people in London with special educational needs or a disability, and almost a quarter have high needs. … Demand for health and care plans in the capital has increased rapidly, rising by 31 per cent between 2014/15 and 2017/18. All but one London council now has a deficit in its budget for children with high special educational or disability needs. Councillor Nickie Aiken, leader of Westminster Council and London Councils’ executive member for schools and children’s services, said the current pressure on council budgets was “unsustainable”…. A spokesperson for the Department of Education said SEND funding for schools had increased from £5 billion in 2013 to £6 billion this year, with an extra £42 million earmarked for London in December. …