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(UK) Wandsworth: $6.7M for SPED; 78% more SPED students in 5 yrs, 8.9% in next 10 yrs

Nov 23, 2021, SW Londoner: Wandsworth councillors back £5m [$6.7M] plan to expand schools for children with special needs and disabilities

London Borough

Wandsworth councillors have approved proposals to expand support for schools for children with special education needs and disabilities (SEND). The funding will pay for 119 additional places at schools for children with a range of needs. Earlier this week, the council’s education and children’s services overview and scrutiny committee approved schemes, costing just under £5m, to improve support for SEND children in Wandsworth. Last year there were more than 530 pupils attending Wandsworth’s network of special schools and 246 SEND pupils at mainstream schools…. Michael Reeves, Headteacher of Garratt Park School said: “The extra funding is really good news for us to stabilise our finances and have more resources for children. … “We are able to increase capacity because the advisory committee took up the equivalent to a classroom has moved out and we now have space available for children instead…. Around £20m [$27M] was spent supporting these children at school. Another £9m [$12M] was used to fund SEND children who attend schools in the private and independent sector. These include the establishment of a new resource base at Swaffield primary school in Southfields for up to 16 children with autism (ASD) or social, emotional and mental health needs/anxiety (SEMH). Over the past five years, the number of Wandsworth children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) has increased by 78%. This figure is predicted to increase by a further 8.9% over the next decade…. The decision by councillors to expand school places follows hot on the heels of a £153,000 [$205K] council investment in improving the facilities at a playground on Wandsworth Common, designed for use by children with disabilities and special needs…. It also receives an annual council grant worth around £138,000 every year to fund its day-to-day operations and staffing costs. It supports profoundly disabled children with cerebral palsy, visual impairments, hearing impairments, severe developmental delay, children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, children with varying degrees of learning disability, children with emotional and behavioural difficulties, children with ADHD and also children who are still being diagnosed.


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