Every council in the country needs to fund special education needs and disability for each child, however a report released today has shown that at least 30 councils are struggling to meet the demands for SEND. If a council struggles to meet demand, they must submit a financial recovery plan to the Education and Skills Funding Agency. In some cases, families are feeling ‘sick with worry’ as they are unsure if their children’s support would continue, due to it being high-needs funding.
A council has reportedly gone on record stating that support for some children may have to be reduced in order to balance budgets. The council continues saying that they strongly encourage schools to be as inclusive as possible to support children when they can to save overall funding.
Change in Reform
The new SEND reforms in 2014 extended the age range of the Education, Health and Care Plans (ECHP’s) from 2 – 19 to birth – 25. Because of the increased number of people included within the plans, funding needs to be boosted. Funding for education within councils are divided into four ‘pots:’ schools, early years, central services and high needs. Money allocation needs to be re-thought and distributed appropriately to prioritise young people with high needs.