***(UK) 'NATIONAL SCANDAL' over lack of SPED places; $460M (US) pledged to help

Mar 11, 2019, Scarborough News: Scarborough family takes Government to High Court over funding for special education needs A Scarborough family is taking the government to the High Court to challenge the way education for children with special needs is funded. Benedict McFinnigan, from Scarborough, has been diagnosed as having post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and chronic insomnia. The 14-year-old was refused an education healthcare assessment by North Yorkshire County Council because the local authority said he did not meet its criteria for having special educational needs. The family appealed the refusal and last year North Yorkshire County Council agreed to assess Benedict for an EHCP. … His mum Kirsty, 40, a full time carer for her children, said: “Sadly the government seems totally oblivious to the national crisis it has created. You only have to see the number of councils across different parts of the country that are all struggling to fund SEND [special education needs] services to see the current situation is not working. … “If families across the country are all facing similar issues it cannot be the fault of councils. This is a problem being created from the very top so it should be sorted from the top.” Campaigners across the country and families with special needs children instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to issue a Judicial Review into the legality of how the government provides funding to local authorities. … “We continue to hear very concerning accounts from families who say thousands of children in towns and cities across the country are not receiving the education they deserve because of government policy. “The families feel that there have been left with no choice but to bring this action and are pleased that the High Court recognises that SEND funding is an issue which needs to be looked at urgently in detail. … Last year education watchdog Ofsted said that it was a “national scandal” that thousands of children in England diagnosed with special educational needs were missing out on support. Shortly afterwards the Department for Education pledged an additional £350 million [$460M US] for SEND funding. However, in response Ofsted added there was still “a long way to go” before children with specialist needs received “the support they deserve.”