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(UK) Norwich: ONCE AGAIN growing need for more SPED places

Oct 22, 2018, Norwich Eastern Daily Press: Debate on £120m investment for special needs education in Norfolk http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/education/norfolk-county-council-special-education-needs-investment-debate-1-5746910 Proposals which could see millions of pounds spent to improve teaching for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in Norfolk are set to go before a second council committee. The proposals from Norfolk County Council, unveiled in July, would see the authority invest £120m [$156M US dollars] in specialist school places and services and develop more outreach to support children in mainstream schools…. The vision for more specialist resource bases (specialist units in mainstream schools), which could create and extra 170 places, and four new special schools was agreed in principle by the children’s services committee in July. The council hopes these changes will ease pressure on Norfolk’s 13 existing special schools and mean more children can be taught close to home. Due to a shortage of school places, some 300 SEND pupils are currently educated at independent schools in Norfolk or other local authorities. Substantial borrowing will be required for the council to build the new complex needs schools and a range of bases at mainstream schools, specialising in autism spectrum disorder, learning and cognition needs, and social, emotional and mental health needs. Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, said: “Our special schools are among the best in the country but they are at capacity and we want to create more spaces in Norfolk for our children, so that they can be taught near to their homes and don’t have to travel long distances to school. …