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(UK) "Spending on children/young people with the most complex SEND" up to $7.3B (US)

Aug 30, 2019,Guardian: Unions demand increase in special education funding Furious last minute lobbying for additional funding for schools, colleges and pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) is under way in the run-up to next week’s spending review. Leaders of the biggest teaching unions had an hour-long meeting with the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, on Thursday, and made their case for more money for struggling schools as part of a long-term funding plan. Letters have also been sent to the Department for Education (DfE) and the Treasury, urging the government to boost funding for special needs and post-16 education, which have been hard hit in recent years. Earlier this week the Guardian revealed confidential plans by the government for a raft of education measures including billions of pounds in funding, a crackdown on student behaviour and a further wave of free schools, due to be announced in time for the start of the new school year. Williamson told union leaders he would not comment on the leaked document, which included plans for an extra £2.8bn for primary and secondary schools up to the age of 16, including £800m for children with SEND. Details of an extra £800m for sixth form and further education colleges were said to be still under discussion with the Treasury…. Another letter sent to the DfE highlighted the crisis in SEND funding in the capital. Signed by 20 boroughs, it said there was a £77m shortfall in funding for SEND services across London last year. Danny Hassell, the lead signatory and Tower Hamlets council cabinet member for children, schools and young people, said: “With demand for services rapidly increasing but funding at a standstill, we have now reached a tipping point with potentially very serious consequences.” A DfE spokesperson said spending on children and young people with the most complex SEND has increased from £5bn [$6.1B] in 2013 to over £6bn [$7.3B] this year. “The prime minister has also made clear that we will increase minimum levels of per pupil funding in primary and secondary schools. Further details will be announced in due course.”…


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