***(UK) W. Sussex creates Special Support Centres in mainstream schools for increase in SPED pupils

Jan 24, 2019, Horsham District Post: Improving special educational needs provision in West Sussex schools Children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities will have more opportunity to go to school closer to where they live, under new proposals outlined by West Sussex County Council. Richard Burrett, Cabinet Member for Education and Skills, has agreed to instigate a programme aimed at increasing the number of Special Support Centres (SSCs) within mainstream schools. SSCs allow children with additional needs, such as autism or social, emotional and mental health needs, to be educated in mainstream settings. There are currently 32 SSCs in West Sussex, and the proposals would see up to 11 more created over the next three years, opening up more than 100 extra places across the county. Phase One would see two new SSCs created at nursery schools in Chichester and Horsham, and two more added to primary schools, with the aim of opening this September. Mr Burrett said: “The large rise in the number of young people identified with additional needs, and the shortage of local provision, has seen more children placed in specialist schools outside of their local area…. The number of children with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) has gone from 3,423 in March 2015 to 4,912 in August 2018, an increase of 43%. Local authorities fund this, and now also support people with SEND up to the age of 25. With no additional funding from central Government, West Sussex is having to balance its overall High Needs budget….