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(UK) Suffolk: $11M to add 1,317 more special ed places by 2025/26

Oct 12, 2022, East Anglian Daily Times: Multi-million pound support package for SEND children agreed by council

Suffolk County Council has agreed a £10million [$11M] support package to provide much-needed specialist places for children and young people with special needs.

The decision, which was reached in a cabinet meeting on Monday, will see £3million spent on three additional specialist units that will provide 42 additional places.

A further £7 million will be spent on the development of units attached to mainstream schools to support students with social, emotional and mental health problems and speech, language and communication needs. This will create up to 168 new spaces, and is an addition to previous funding agreed from the Department for Education in 2022/23 for up to 78 new places….

The package comes as Suffolk faces insufficient places to meet growing demand, with the need significantly outweighing capacity.

Alongside the additional funding, the cabinet also agreed to support the application for funding for two free schools from the Department of Education.

One of these will be in east Suffolk and support children with severe learning difficulties and the second will be built in Sudbury for those with autistic spectrum disorder and complex social, emotional and mental health problems….

In total, Suffolk will deliver up to 1,317 new places for children and young people with SEND by 2025/26.

The news marks the beginning of phase three of the council's capital programme and follows phase one which created 825 new places across Suffolk and phase two which will create up to 73 new places.

Council papers published prior to the meeting revealed the risk of not agreeing to the programme would have seen an increase in "the number of children inappropriately placed within educational settings" and lead to "children’s needs not being met in a timely manner".


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