Cheshire East Council

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Councils welcome extra funding for school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities but urge Government to complete review of system

The Local Government Association has urged the Government to complete its ongoing review of the SEND system.

The call came after the LGA welcomed the announcement in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 that £2.6bn in funding would be made available for new school places for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Chair of the Association’s Children and Young People Board, said: “This funding is good news to help children with SEND access the support they need without having to travel too far.

“To further support the education of children with special educational needs and disabilities, the Government should urgently complete its ongoing review of the SEND system, as children with SEND will undoubtedly need additional support to help address lost learning due to the impact of the pandemic.”

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She added: “This review needs to set out reforms that increase mainstream inclusion, provide councils and schools with long-term certainty of funding to meet the needs of all children with SEND, and give councils the power to hold education and health partners to account if their provision for identifying and supporting children with SEND is not adequate. We are also calling for high needs block deficits to be written off.”

The additional funding unveiled in the Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 was also welcomed by the Association of Directors of Children’s Services.

However, ADCS President Charlotte Ramsden said: “Whilst it is positive that extra funding has been allocated to develop more school places for children with SEND, this will take time to deliver and only alleviates some of the substantial pressures in the system. We still await the outcome of the SEND review which must address the systemic challenges we now face in the delivery of our statutory duties.”

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