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(UK) Staffordshire: Council allocates $18.3M to create new special needs places

Oct 1, 2022, Lichfield Live: Funding earmarked to provide more special educational needs and disability support in mainstream Staffordshire schools

W. Midlands

County council chiefs say millions of pounds will be spend providing additional educational and disability support in mainstream schools across Staffordshire.
Up to £16.4million [$18.3M] is being allocated by Staffordshire County Council this year and next to create new places and improve existing special educational needs and disability (SEND) provision.

The money will be spent on developing support for SEND pupils to be educated in local mainstream schools where appropriate, while the availability of high needs places will be increased in special schools to reduce the number of children being educated further afield. Cllr Jonathan Price, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for education and SEND, said:

“Putting the right support in place in mainstream schools allows us to teach more children locally in their communities, rather than travelling each day to special schools often some distance away.

“Parents have told us that this what they want and we’re working with them and with schools to make this happen.”…

There are currently 6,697 pupils in Staffordshire with an education health and care plan (EHCP), equalling 4.3% of all students – a figure above the West Midlands average of 3.8%.

But the county sees just 29% of those with an EHCP in mainstream education compared to 39% nationally.

Cllr Price said:

“We will be looking across the county to see where there is the greatest need and we will take action accordingly.

“This is a good news story of massively increased funding for an area where we can work with families to make a real difference so that their children, and pupils in future years, can be given the best opportunities to reach their potential by receiving the right support in their own communities.”

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