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***(UK) 'UNSUSTAINABLE': Richmond special ed cost increases

Jan 7, 2019, Richmond and Twickenham Times: Funding for special needs education falls well short, says Richmond Council https://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/17340101.funding-for-special-needs-education-falls-well-short-says-richmond-council/ Lack of Government funding is putting unsustainable pressure on schools delivering special needs education (SEND), says Richmond Council. A recent announcement of additional money falls way short of what is needed for SEND support at local schools. The latest Government SEND funding announcement provides an additional £474,000 per annum [$600K US dollars] in 2018/19 and 2019/20 to meet the ongoing cost of supporting Richmond children who need additional support in their education. The predicted funding gaps in these years are closer to £5.8 million [$7.4M US] and £7.9 million [$10M US]. … There are currently approximately 3,500 children and young people attending schools in the borough who receive SEN support. In addition, there are around 1,360 children and young people from Richmond whose special educational needs and/or disabilities are significant enough for them to have an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). The number of EHCPs has increased by over 20 per cent since 2016, and it is anticipated that over the next 12 months more than 100 additional children and young people will receive one for the first time. … "Worse still, we are still expecting to see our funding shortfall grow to £12m [$15M US] per year by March 2022 if nothing changes. The Council simply can’t afford to bridge this gap. …”