LGA responds to special educational needs funding announcement

"This should not be a one-off cash injection and needs to be significant, on-going and sustainable funding, otherwise councils may not be able to meet their statutory duties and many children could miss out on a mainstream education."


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Responding to an announcement by the Department for Education on additional funding to support children with special educational needs and disabilities and school capital funding for new school places, Cllr Richard Watts, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Children and Young People Board, said:

“Councils have been clear that there is a need to provide additional and ongoing funding to support children with special educational needs and disabilities so we are pleased that they will receive this additional funding.

“However this should not be a one-off cash injection and needs to be significant, on-going and sustainable funding, otherwise councils may not be able to meet their statutory duties and many children could miss out on a mainstream education.

“This is why we are calling for an urgent review of funding to meet the unprecedented rise in demand for support from children with special needs.

“It is also good that the Government is setting out plans for new school places. Councils are best placed to support the Government in building new free schools and ensuring existing school buildings are fit for purpose. But the current school capital funding system is highly fragmented, and should be replaced with a single local funding pot, which brings together existing programmes to create additional places, and rebuild, maintain and repair schools.

“We are also clear that the most effective way to set up new schools and meet the demand for school places would be to give councils the powers and funding to open new council-maintained schools where there is a need for additional places.

“Councils have responsibility for planning school places so it makes no sense for councils to be given the responsibility to plan for school places but then not be allowed to open schools themselves.”