(UK) Sandwell: Additional $9M (US) for SPED; $1.9M overspend this year alone

Dec 23, 2019, Halesowen News: New year cash boost for special needs education in Sandwell EDUCATION for children with physical and learning disabilities in Sandwell will receive a major cash boost next year after the government increased funding by an extra £7 million [$9M US]. But local authority bosses have said that while the borough will benefit, other neighbouring councils may still struggle to cope as they pay for past cuts in the high need service. Chris Ward, chief education officer for Sandwell council, told a meeting of the borough’s Schools Forum the local authority it had been able to avoid major deficits by in-house savings in the past. But he added other neighbouring authorities may not benefit from increased funding. … Sandwell will see its budget for children with special educational needs and disabilities rise from £40.9m to £48.0m from April 2020. But part of the increase will be swallowed up by a predicted overspend of £1.5 million in this financial year. In September, Dudley Council announced its high needs service is expected to overrun by £5 million by March 2020. And last week it said it was having to rethink plans after mainstream schools rejected a proposal to switch £1 million into education for children with disabilities. The dismissal came as headteachers and governors reported a complete lack of trust in the borough’s Special Education Needs and Disabilities system.