***(UK) Suffolk expects 18% SPED increase by 2020; $2M+ (US) overspend

Mar 4, 2019, Stowmarket Mercury: Scathing report says special educational needs is not improving quickly enough 18% Projected rise in percentage of children with SEN in Suffolk between 2018 and 2020
300-400 Number of specialist education places needed in Suffolk in short term
3-4 Number of new special schools needed in Suffolk in next two years
600 Increase in number of Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans from April '17-August '18
£1.5m-£2m [$2M-$2.6M US dollars] Projected overspend this year on SEN provision The NHS and Whitehall are set to decide the next steps for Suffolk’s ailing special educational needs provision, following a latest scathing inspection by health and education watchdogs. Ofsted and the Care Quality Commissioning carried out a joint visit to Suffolk County Council’s special educational needs and disability (SEND) service in January to inspect a series of weaknesses identified in January 2017. SEND chiefs had been hopeful the re-inspection would deliver a better report, but the results published today have revealed that the team has “not made sufficient progress” in three of the four areas identified. … It continued that completing statutory assessments on time was “too slow for too many”, and that the new education health and care plans (EHC plans) were “inconsistent”. The report revealed that the county faced such a huge backlog it was required to triple the rate it completed them, and only completed them seven months after its March 2018 deadline. … “There has not been sufficient priority given to changes which would immediately make a difference to families. “This means it is often the case that children, young people and families are still unable to access the services and support that they need and the system continues to make things harder than they need to be, resulting in families being driven to crisis point. … “The lack of communication with families from services has remained a constant frustration for SPCN and, as a result, we have now agreed with Suffolk County Council and the clinical commissioning groups that we will communicate key messages to our families from the main strategic meetings we attend.” The report follows an announcement in January that a major £45m plan had been drawn up to build three new special schools and hundreds of new specialist places at mainstream schools.