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***(UK) MORE ON SUFFOLK: Administer says schools at "crisis point" over SPED

Feb 6, 2019, East Anglican Times: Suffolk’s Clare Flintoff: £45m [$58 US dollars] special school cash ‘extremely welcome’ https://www.eadt.co.uk/ea-life/suffolk-s-clare-flintoff-on-send-cash-1-5881936 In this column, Clare Flintoff—chief executive of a group of 10 Suffolk primary schools – shares her view on provision for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities. Last week Suffolk County Council formally approved proposals to improve the provision for children with special educational needs and disabilities in the county. If the proposals go ahead, a total of £45million will be spent to provide more than 800 young people with places in one of three new schools based in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich and Lowestoft – or a number of extra or expanded specialist units in mainstream schools. … Many of us in schools believe that we are at crisis point now. But children with special needs and disabilities, as well as those with behavioural issues, can find it hard to operate successfully in a classroom of 30 children – and schools can struggle to provide the adult support or specialist therapy needed. … Sometimes this leads to drastic actions being taken – headteachers who are left with no other option than permanently excluding a child or parents who feel that the only positive choice they can make is to educate their child at home. Nationally, the number of children being home-schooled has risen by 27% in the last year according to a survey by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services – a situation that has raised debate about whether the home environment should be registered or inspected by the local authority. … At the beginning of January the BBC reported that families were waiting too long for special needs support in England. In a Freedom of Information request into the time it takes local authorities to produce an Education and Health Care Plan – the plan that sets out the young person’s needs and the support which they are entitled to – we learned the longest individual wait for a plan was in Suffolk at 1,023 days. Across the country, 26,505 applications took longer than the 20 weeks the law says councils should take to finalise them. …