*(UK) "Number of youngsters with SPED needs plans or...that are awaiting places...doubled in a year"

April 1, 2018, (UK) Telegraph: Special needs children 'paying price' for education funding 'crisis' Thousands of children with special needs are paying the price of a "crisis" in education funding, a union has claimed. Official figures show the number of youngsters with special educational needs plans or statements that are awaiting school places has more than doubled in a year. The National Education Union (NEU) claimed that local councils are being "starved" of the money they need for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), with youngsters forced to stay at home because authorities do not have the cash to provide a suitable education. Overall, as of January last year, there were 287,290 children and young people, up to the age of 25 in England, that had an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), or a statement of special educational needs. … The year before, there were 256,315 children and young people with an EHCP or statement, and again the vast majority were 19 and under. The government data also shows that as of last January, 4,050 youngsters with an EHCP or statement were "awaiting provision" - effectively waiting for a place in education. This is up 137% compared with January 2016, when the number stood at 1,710, and up 372% compared with 2013 (858 children). The NEU argued: "Children facing some of the greatest challenges are paying the price for the crisis in education funding." … "Children are at home because local authorities don't have enough money to provide suitable education. … "Local authorities are being placed in an impossible position. They have a legal duty to plan high quality education for every child with SEND, but cuts have taken away the resources they need to educate children with complex needs. Meanwhile, a separate survey by NASUWT union has shown more than a half (59%) of all special educational needs teachers said they had been attacked by their pupils in the last year. Staff among the 1,615 polled said they had been head-butted, punched, kicked and spat on - including, in a handful of cases, on a daily basis. Almost three-quarters (74%) said they experienced verbal abuse in addition to physical assault. Some 7% said they were not encouraged to report such incidents to their school…. "Pupils with special needs who exhibit violent and disruptive behaviour need more help and support and all too often their needs are not being met."