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(UK) Sheffield: Possible 50% increase in SPED in next 5 yrs; "desperately needed" 300 seats

Nov 16, 2021, Sheffield Star: Sheffield education: Secondary schools need an extra 300 places for SEND pupils

Central England Same story Yorkshire Live: Sheffield families are 'at breaking point' as schools face being oversubscribed for the next decade

An extra 300 pupil places desperately need to be found due to rise in children with special needs and mental health problems

Sheffield secondary schools could need an additional 300 places for special needs pupils – with autism and mental health underpinning the demand. Secondary schools in south west Sheffield are facing a decade of being oversubscribed and Silverdale and King Ecgbert could potentially expand to cope with demand. But along with the demand in mainstream schools, Sheffield Council says SEND is also an area which is under “significant pressure”. In the last two years, more than 200 additional places have been created – an increase of over 20 per cent – yet it’s still a significant challenge. Forecasts predict demand for special school places will rise by 30 per cent over the next five years and could rise to 50 per cent in a “worst case scenario”. Council officer Nicola Shearstone says in a report: “Autism and mental health are the needs underpinning the rising demand for SEND places…. SEND families at “breaking point” Sheffield Parent Carer Forum said it welcomed the plans to create more special school places because they are desperately needed. Eva Juusola of the Forum said: “All of our special schools are completely full. We know that some severely disabled children are having to attend mainstream schools who cannot meet their needs, simply because there aren’t any places for them…. “This is pushing some families to breaking point. We will continue to advise the council and the health service on the issues faced by families with disabled children, and to work with them to develop solutions.”


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