(UK) Somerset struggling with 'skyrocketing' demand for SPED plans

Nov 9, 2019, Somerset Mercury: Council struggles to cope with 'skyrocketing' demand for special needs plans 'Skyrocketing' numbers of parents are seeking support for children with special educational needs (SEN), with North Somerset Council struggling to keep pace with demand. Cuts to preventative services mean more and more mums and dads are turning to the authority to get an education, health and care plan (EHCP). Admin alone is putting a strain on resources, then it has to provide the extra support up to the age of 25 when a child or young person gets a plan - and they are awarded in 90 per cent of cases if a parent appeals a rejection. Education inclusion service leader Wendy Packer told the council's children and young people panel on October 24: "The number of EHCPs is skyrocketing…. "Numbers have increased astronomically in the last four years. It's difficult to keep pace. "It's been hampered by the fact we don't have enough educational psychologists."… Between January 2015 and July this year, the number of children and young people in North Somerset with an ECHP has shot up by 81 per cent. A council spokesman said: "There have been some increases in capacity in the council's special education needs team to meet the rise in demand in assessing and processing EHCPs….