(UK) Yorkshire has $6.5M (US dollars) overspend in SPED; numbers expected to increase more

Sept 5, 2018, Darlington and Stockton Times: Special needs provision £5.5m in red in North Yorkshire despite action AN education authority has predicted it will fail to balance its books on special educational needs provision by more than £5m [$6.5M US dollars] this year, despite having overhauled the service in a bid to stay within budget. As the National Association of Head Teachers said funding for schools supporting pupils with special needs and disabilities (SEND) was at crisis point, North Yorkshire County councillors approved measures to limit the effects of soaring demand on the service. The authority’s education boss, Councillor Patrick Mulligan told the executive committee the county had seen the number of SEND children and young people in the year to January rise by 14 per cent to 2,600, which was expected to rise by a further 30 per cent by 2022. The meeting heard all North Yorkshire special schools were full, despite an increase in places, leading to more than 400 children and young people being placed in more expensive out of area and independent schools. However, the £44.8m the authority received in High Needs Budget from the Government was “insufficient to meet current and expected demand”, leading to a projected £5.5m overspend this year alone…. A Local Government Association spokesman said the unprecedented rise in demand for SEND provision was a national phenomenon. To address the pressures in North Yorkshire for the coming five years, Cllr Mulligan said, measures such as more effective early intervention and long-term provision in mainstream schools would be vital….