News from the government
The right support for every child
The Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, has announced new measures to support children with complex needs and disabilities. Councils will receive an additional £250 million over the next two years, on top of the high needs budget already allocated to provide support to children and young people with complex SEND. £100 million will also be provided to create specialist places in mainstream schools, colleges and special schools, through capital funding.
More special free schools will also be approved by the department, with the Education Secretary confirming that he will approve all high quality bids in the current round of applications. This should create more educational places for children and young people with SEND, and give parents more choice.
The Government has also confirmed an expansion of the funding to train more educational psychologists, and the launch of a long term research and analysis programme. This will assess the impact of current SEN provision on children and young people’s outcomes, and the value for money of SEN provision in England.
The Secretary of State’s letter to local authorities, detailing these announcements, can be found here.
New Leadership Board for SEND to be established
Following recommendations from CDC Director Dame Christine Lenehan’s 2018 report “Good Intentions, Good Enough”, a Leadership Board for SEND is to be established to improve the commissioning and delivery of services, and outcomes for children. This new expert board will include representatives of local health, social care, and education services, and will work closely with charities, school and families.
Minister Zahawi’s letter to Dame Christine Lenehan, providing further detail on the SEND System Leadership Board, can be found here.