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(UK) Tes: 'Desperate' schools expelling SPED students to save money

Oct 23, 2018, tes: Schools have incentive to exclude SEND pupils, MPs told https://www.tes.com/news/schools-have-incentive-exclude-send-pupils-mps-told School leaders made “desperate” by funding pressures have a perverse incentive to exclude or off-roll children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), MPs have heard. The Commons Education Select Committee today took evidence from groups representing children with SEND. Asked about the fact that 70 per cent of pupils who are excluded have SEND, Justin Cooke, policy and public affairs manager at Ambitious about Autism, highlighted budget pressures. He said: "There is sadly a financial incentive for schools to off-roll or exclude SEN children, particularly when they reach the point of needing extra help that they don’t get via [an education, health and care] plan or SEN support, because they know that those children will then be the local authority’s responsibility. “If they are placed in a special school, it comes out of the high needs block, whereas if they aided inclusion and kept them in school it would come out of their school block.” Cooke said this was particularly the case for schools with a resourced unit, which is funded at £10,000 [$13K US dollars] per place, adding: “You get that funding no matter what, so if you off-roll a pupil halfway through the year, you carry on getting that £10,000. “If you have got a school budget that is so tight you simply can’t pay teachers, there is an incentive there to off-roll or exclude.” … “Lots of schools are running at deficits. Lots of them can’t pay their teachers or repair their buildings, and they might just think it’s the final straw. …