LGA responds to the Education Select Committee report on SEND

“Extra funding for SEND services next year is recognition of these pressures and will help councils in meeting demand for support next year, but we agree with the Committee that system reform is necessary alongside additional funding."


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Responding to the Education Select Committee review of support for children with special educational needs (SEND), Cllr Judith Blake, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“This report supports our long-term concerns that the services for children with special education needs have reached a tipping point.

“Extra funding for SEND services next year is recognition of these pressures and will help councils in meeting demand for support next year, but we agree with the Committee that system reform is necessary alongside additional funding.

“We are pleased that MPs have also echoed our call for Ofsted to assess inclusion by schools – rather than focussing primarily on academic results - during an inspection and hold schools with low numbers of children with SEND to account.. 

“Councils support the reforms set out in the Children and Families Act in 2014, but we were clear at the time that the cost of implementing them had been underestimated by the Government.

“Since the introduction of the Act, which extended eligibility for SEND support, councils have seen a near 50 per cent rise in children and young people with Education, Health and Care plans– which state the support a child with SEND can receive. There are currently 354,000 pupils with EHCPs, and is a 11 per cent increase since last year alone, Government funding has simply not kept up with the increased demand.

“Councils want to work with the Government and families and children with SEND to make the system work more effectively for everyone.”