*(UK) Over 4,000 SPED kids have no school placement

June 10, 2017, Schools Week (UK): Pupils with special needs waiting for school place more than doubles The number of pupils with special educational needs waiting in limbo for school places has more than doubled, according to new figures. Released last week, the government data shows pupils with special needs statements or Education Health and Care Plans who are waiting for a school place rose from 1,710 in 2016 to 4,050 this year – an increase of 2.3 times. The increase in SEND pupils who have been permanently excluded without another school to attend also increased six times over, leaping from 17 two years ago to 102 this year. Meanwhile those educated under “arrangements made by their parents”, which includes home-educating children, rose by 377 pupils over the same 12 months. Tania Tirraoro, chief executive of Special Needs Jungle, a website for the SEND community, said she knew of one parent whose child had been out of school for eight months looking for a suitable placement. ... A new wave of special needs free schools do not always cater to the most prevalent kinds of need, Anne Heavey, a policy advisor at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, told Schools Week. Half of all new special free schools set to open from 2017 onwards cater for autism spectrum disorders, following a stark rise in diagnoses. .... Local authorities are “waiting” for special needs free schools to open to cope with the shift, leaving pupils without placements in the meantime, she said, adding: “Local authorities are just hoping a special needs free school will come along.” … Barney Angliss, a SEND consultant, said high-functioning autistic pupils and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder pupils were at particular risk of being excluded but there was little alternative suitable provision available in schools which could properly cater for their abilities.* “If we’re losing capacity for children with behavioural difficulties, these children are at extreme risk of criminal offending, violence at home, the breakdown of relationships and ending up in care,” he said. “The long-term impact of these figures will take longer to appear, but it will appear.”